Need advice and also a warning.

Mopar General Discussions

  1. superbee6

    superbee6 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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    I'm going to start with the warning just in case you decide not to read any further.

    DO NOT DO BUSINESS OF ANY KIND WITH GARY SCHELLENBERG, THERESA DUNAWAY OR G CORP MUSCLE CAR in Fresno CA.

    First off, this is also my fault for being too trusting. I am now fully "beat down" by this hobby and dealing with body shops, shady people, I've lost all energy for restoring a car. This all started back in June of 2018.

    I purchased a 70 challenger from him a year and a half ago. It was a project, solid car, sold as a complete car minus drive train, basically a roller. I went and checked it out, bought the car got a bill of sale. He didn't have the title with him, had to get it out of his files. He owned a shop and showed me some pictures, said he could paint it for me and get it back together and ready for me to install the drive train. I gave him $8500 for the car and $1500 for labor to get started on the paint.

    A few weeks later, I brought him the Gerst front suspension and rear 4 link I bought for it, and the US cartool stiffening kit. Then I took my son down to Fresno (where he lives) and we picked out a paint color and bought $1100 in paint supplies.

    After weekly complaints to him about not having a title, I finally got the title over a year later. The title was a different VIN from the first BOS. He sent me a second BOS and claimed that he gave me a BOS with the wrong VIN the first time. It had been so long by then I couldn't remember for sure if I had matched the VIN on the BOS and the body at that time. I'm pretty sure I did. What he didn't tell me was that he didn't have the title from the very beginning, some shady deal that it was his dad's car and someone had a lien on the title etc, etc.

    Promised me multiple times he'd send me pictures of progress and a paint sample. I finally got a paint sample months later after "it got lost in the mail", then a second time it got sent back to him because it didn't have enough postage. It looked like it was sprayed with asphalt. Crazy texture. He claimed that I told him that I wanted to cut and polish it myself, his mistake and he'd send me another one. Took another month and it was just as bad.

    I have since told him more than 4 months ago that I just want the car now, forget all of the work, just get the parts together and I want the car.

    He just keeps coming up with excuses and lies and I still don't have the car. He basically refuses by ignoring any requests for pictures, and he always comes up with some excuse on why he can't show me the car or send pictures. Claims he moved it to storage for final assembly, then he moved it back to his garage so he could take a picture of it.

    This is only the tip of the iceberg on what has gone on with this guy. I'm just tying to keep this short enough that someone will read it.

    I'm going to post this everywhere I can so if you see it again, just ignore it.

    How do I handle this?

    Thanks for any advice. And spread the word. I'd like it if this guy could never sell or buy anything again in his life.
     
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    • roccodart440

      roccodart440 Well-Known Member

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      a lot of that sounds really typical of resto work in body shops, but it's sad to say that.

      YOu have a title.

      GO pick up the car and bring a police escort. Simple. And if the car isn't there, he has to immediately produce it or be arrested for grand theft.
       
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      • roccodart440

        roccodart440 Well-Known Member

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        And don't warn him you are going to do that.

        I had a guy try to hold one of my cars hostage. He was a nutjob friend of mine at the time that got bent he didn't get invited to my wedding and then got all weird.

        One quick call to the cops, and we went down there under escort and drove away with the car in about 5 minutes.
         
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        • Gdub310

          Gdub310 Well-Known Member

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          What @roccodart440 said about requesting a "civil standby" from the police. If that fails, you can file a small claims case for up to $10,000 in damages, and the filing fee is only about $50. The key part is having the summons personally served on the guy by a process server - that will cost you anywhere from $75 - $200 or more, depending on how slippery the guy is. You don't really want to go to court - the lawsuit is mainly to get the guy's attention and persuade him that he needs to deal fairly with you and return your property promptly.
           
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          • crawsfire

            crawsfire Well-Known Member

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            I doubt the title he gave you matches the car but if it does get your car before he gets a mechanic lien on it.
             
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            • 4spdragtop

              4spdragtop CONGRATS NORTH AMERICA! FABO Gold Member

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              Deal with as much of this "on the sly" this isnt his 1st time doing this I'm assuming, so any warning and you may get screwed.
              Thanks for posting and good luck!
               
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              • superbee6

                superbee6 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                To file the small claims and get the summons served, does that require a lawyer? I'd gladly pay another $250 to get the car and stick it to this guy.
                 
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                • 383Scampman

                  383Scampman Well-Known Member

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                  The guy is a tool . all suggustions are cool but I would add : plaster his name and business all over social media and keep doing it . If you don't lie in the media he has no grounds for liable . Or, sue him for $10,000 liable and damages and let the court sort it out . I'm sorry that you live in the "Peoples Republic of California". We have other ways of dealing with asshats around here .
                   
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                  • 4spdragtop

                    4spdragtop CONGRATS NORTH AMERICA! FABO Gold Member

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                    • superbee6

                      superbee6 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                      • superbee6

                        superbee6 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                        Haha, it makes me feel better already just getting this advice from the forums. Thanks!
                         
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                        • ocdart

                          ocdart Inland Mopars Car Club FABO Gold Member

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                          roccodart440's suggestion is exactly what to do.
                          My '69 Dart had been in a paint shop for just over a year when the shop owner told me he wasn't going to promise a completion date. I called the local police and arranged for them to meet me at the paint shop. I then showed up unannounced with a trailer and told the owner I was there to pick up my car. He first refused to let me take it. I told him the police would be there shortly and he changed his tune to telling me I couldn't take it because his secretary wasn't in that day and paperwork needed to be written up first. I told him he better find a piece of paper and a pencil and start writing.
                          When the police finally showed up he'd changed his story again and had the paperwork all ready to go.
                          He lost his business to creditors less than a month later - I was lucky I got my car out in time.
                          Go get your car.
                           
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                          • roccodart440

                            roccodart440 Well-Known Member

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                            Exactly.

                            Don't mess around. Someone has your stuff and will play games and hardball...... until the gestapo are there ready to cave his head in if he says no.

                            Go get your stuff
                             
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                            • Gdub310

                              Gdub310 Well-Known Member

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                              You don't need a lawyer to do the paperwork - it is a simple form you fill out and file with the small claims clerk:

                              https://www.courts.ca.gov/documents/sc100.pdf

                              Your best bet would be to sue him in the county where his business is located, although technically, you could file in the county where you live. You would also want to find a private process server close to him - you can look them up on Yelp.
                               
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                              • superbee6

                                superbee6 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                                Gotta love this forum.
                                 
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                                • yellow rose

                                  yellow rose Overnight Sensation FABO Gold Member

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                                  Go get it NOW. Do as Rocco said and move quickly. The guy is a shyster and you owe him no alligence.
                                   
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                                  • crawsfire

                                    crawsfire Well-Known Member

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                                    What damages does the OP have to sue for? Does he have a contract that was broken? The only thing I see is if the title he gave him doesn't match the car. The rest is just typical "not happy with the progress" BS that happens in most shops. A judge won't give him a dime.
                                     
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                                    • fratzog lover

                                      fratzog lover Well-Known Member

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                                      Are all these thieves 54 years old?
                                       
                                    • Gdub310

                                      Gdub310 Well-Known Member

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                                      Well, it's been quite a while since my first year of law school, but the elements of a legally binding contract are offer, acceptance, consideration, and a meeting of the minds (aka mutuality of obligation). Here, a contract was formed when the seller offered to sell a car for $8500 and the buyer accepted that offer and tendered payment in the amount of $8500. However, the seller is currently in breach of his duty under the contract to deliver the car to the buyer. That would be the basis for OP's suit and his damages.

                                      But the real point here is, the OP just wants his car and parts back. A small claims suit would be mostly to get the seller's attention. Some 90% of such suits are settled before they ever get to court, either by the parties directly, or court-sponsored mediation.
                                       
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                                      • Naplm00

                                        Naplm00 Well-Known Member

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                                        you own the car just go get it with a tow truck
                                         
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                                        • crawsfire

                                          crawsfire Well-Known Member

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                                          I think that's what i said. Filing a suit now would only drive the guy to seek counsel and they'd tell him to put a mechanics lien on it. Op doesn't even know if he owns the car he thinks he owns at this point. He needs to go see and take it from there imo. Doubtful he'd ever collect even if he won.
                                           
                                          Last edited: Nov 22, 2019
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                                          • superbee6

                                            superbee6 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                                            I also have the BOS that states he is the legal owner and there are no liens on the car. That was a lie and that's why it took over a year for him to send me the title. And maybe why the VIN was changed. The VIN for the title I received is different from the one that was on the original BOS. I now have two different BOS both for a challenger and different VIN. One does match the title.

                                            At this point, I'd take all of my money back and moeny for the parts he still has or get the parts back from him.
                                             
                                          • Gdub310

                                            Gdub310 Well-Known Member

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                                            A lien can only be placed against a vehicle when work or services have been completed on a vehicle and the registered owner refuses to pay. That doesn't apply here - the dispute is over the sale of the vehicle.

                                            This isn't a legal advice forum, so I don't want to get too far afield, but OP might also have a remedy in an action for the tort of conversion. But at its heart, this is really a simple breach of contract, which can be resolved with a small claims case if all other attempts to recover his property fail.
                                             
                                          • crawsfire

                                            crawsfire Well-Known Member

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                                            That's silly, you think this guy won't claim work was completed and he hasn't been paid? Attorneys are professional liars so everyone involved in the judicial system lies to try and at least stay on even ground. Who ever lies the best wins. Welcome to America.
                                             
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                                            • Gdub310

                                              Gdub310 Well-Known Member

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                                              F you too pal.

                                              But at least OP now knows you are not an attorney and therefore, any opinions you have provided here are based on your ignorance.
                                               
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