Recently purchased a mostly stock 1957 Bel Air from this business (aka Hot Rod Shop LA or Bader Ink). Original engine had been replaced with a big block V8 sometime before. Entire transaction completed through emails and texts, which were all very courteous and timely. | During prepurchase discussion, seller admitted that the car had a “few flaws.” When asked what they were, the response was “little ding in chrome, some pitted chrome, stereo not wired. It’s not perfect.” Nothing else was mentioned and the vagueness of the answer should have caught my attention. Once the purchase price had been agreed to, seller offered to coordinate and install the following aftermarket upgrades (at an agreed upon price): serpentine kit (water pump, a/c compressor, p/s pump, alternator and brackets), air conditioning, power steering gearbox, front disc brakes, electric fan, seat belts, tilt steering column and wire the stereo and install extra speakers. | During the installation of the aftermarket upgrades, I had “RoadReady Inspections” (nationwide classic car inspection company) inspect the car. The inspection report noted mostly minor issues that I was already aware of, through discussions with the seller. Overall, the inspection was very poor as I see it now and a waste of money. The lack of discrepancies from this report and minimal issues as mentioned by the seller, gave me a false sense of confidence in the quality of the car. | Also during this timeframe, I asked the seller if all the lights (headlights, tail lights, brake lights, turn signals) were working. Sellers response was “I’ve checked all that stuff. all worked…..but I’ll double check everything.” | Once all aftermarket upgrades were complete, I forwarded the money for the cars shipment in an enclosed transport carrier. There was some difficulty/delays with the shipping but the car did finally arrive, but in an OPEN carrier. A bit of a surprise, but I should have been informed of the change and if there was any price difference between an open and closed transport, I never received any reimbursement. | During offload, the truck driver commented, “watch those brakes” referring to the cars brake system. Later, I could see why – extremely weak brakes in my opinion. When I questioned the seller about this and the new front disc brakes, he replied “The brakes are good. But it’s a heavy car. Need to step on them. It stops. I’ve had worse”. | The following additional issues were immediately apparent that had never been mentioned by the seller or in the RoadReady inspection report – gas gauge needle fluctuates/unreliable; speedometer wildly inaccurate; newly installed a/c inoperative (fan runs but clutch doesn’t engage. Seller stated that it worked before shipment and passed me the supplier’s phone number for troubleshooting of the system. Also the a/c was not yet completely installed at the time of the RoadReady inspection and thus was not mentioned in their report). Air conditioner vent hose behind dash was broken upon installation and was fixed with duct tape, which then separated. One headlight, both tail lights and brake lights NOT working. Oil leaks from engine, transmission and rear differential. Needless to say, not what I expected. | In my opinion, the seller’s comments throughout the transaction were overly flattering of a vehicle that still needs alot of unexpected work. Remember, what is NOT said about a car, is just as important as what is said. As always, buyer beware.
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