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I'm just coming to the end of a lengthy restoration of my VW Beetle.
I did a lot of research prior to entrusting someone with my car, I looked at reviews and previous work they had completed before commiting myself.
Throughout the restoration I was regularly sent detailed pictures of all work carried out at every stage of the restoration and payed on a monthly basis.
I looked at your video and I agree that the work does look appalling and I do sympathise with your situation. But there are a few things I'm struggling to understand.
Firstly £15,000 is a serious amount of money, did you just hand large amounts of money to the restorer and leave him to it? Or did you regularly visit the restorer to access the quality of work at each stage?
Even if you are uninitiated in panel fitment and welding, I think most people would know that the work you've had done so far is of poor quality.
If you did make regular visits, why after seeing the quality of his work did you allow him to carry on with the restoration?
Finally, I know it's unlikely now but if he does decide to reimburse you financially in return for your silence in naming and shaming him, that would mean your potentially leaving other VW owners on here looking to restore there vehicle in a vulnerable position.
 

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Discussion Starter · #62 · (Edited)
No, after 15k the van is still a total basket case. When you can buy a nice bay westy with no corrosion for £15k? Have to ask why you started with such a poor example even if you got it for free?
There was not enough cash available six years ago to buy a finished or more up together bus. I could imagine slowly getting cash together over the next seven years that I had to get this done in time for the 60th ...
The thinking at the time was also
"Better the devil you know", in other words this seemed like a better idea than spending say £6000 or £7000 and finding it was full of filler or whatever anyway.
I could see this was rotten through the chassis and spending £3000 to £4000 on that would have meant I at least knew what I had.

The second buy, about a year later was a rust free shell and a twin for the first one, so the idea was to transfer everything useful over, saving time and maybe even a little money.

This guy basically came down heavy on the welded shell and waxed lyrical about the rotten one, as it was "straight" etc, so given I'd seen a couple of complimentary comments on here I thought he knows his buses, he's enthusiastic, the project is at a standstill because the guy I had lined up for the work had died doing the Isle of Man TT.
Some of the points he made about the shell were also fair enough, so all in all I bought into going back to working on the rotten one.

There's more, but I'll cover that I hope in an answer this next post from 1911type4bug ......
 

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Discussion Starter · #63 · (Edited)
I'm just coming to the end of a lengthy restoration of my VW Beetle.
I did a lot of research prior to entrusting someone with my car, I looked at reviews and previous work they had completed before commiting myself.
Throughout the restoration I was regularly sent detailed pictures of all work carried out at every stage of the restoration and payed on a monthly basis.
I looked at your video and I agree that the work does look appalling and I do sympathise with your situation. But there are a few things I'm struggling to understand.
Firstly £15,000 is a serious amount of money, did you just hand large amounts of money to the restorer and leave him to it? Or did you regularly visit the restorer to access the quality of work at each stage?
Even if you are uninitiated in panel fitment and welding, I think most people would know that the work you've had done so far is of poor quality.
If you did make regular visits, why after seeing the quality of his work did you allow him to carry on with the restoration?
Finally, I know it's unlikely now but if he does decide to reimburse you financially in return for your silence in naming and shaming him, that would mean your potentially leaving other VW owners on here looking to restore there vehicle in a vulnerable position.
Some of the above has hopefully just been answered.
As for leaving others vulnerable, I'm aware of my responsibilities on that front and I have just about reached the point where, given his apparently cavalier attitude towards being taken to court, naming on here will be no bar to taking him there.
I have one last thing to do which is to get in touch with his wife and see whether she has anything positive to offer.
If not it's a case of naming then litigating.
As far as the arrangement went, because of keeping the whole project secret, opportunities for visiting were extremely limited, so the process was one of paying for the next bit of work having seen photos.
And yes, I had those little birdies tweeting in my ear, but the situation and my own lack of guile led me to let things carry on in that vein.
I only really got to grips with how much had been spent over about four years, after the event, and "fortunately", through linking others to his photobucket album (now password locked) when I was asking around for who might do paint and mechanics once he'd "finished", I came across someone who advised me to walk away asap ...
I also started to hear of others who have fallen for the patter and the personality, with disastrous consequences of various kinds.
One of them apparently took a lot of persuading that anything was amiss because this welder was "such a nice guy".
Hope I've covered everything, but if not feel free to ask whatever else.
I've asked for £10,000 about 80% of the labour invoiced, so not even the parts and materials used.
I've been paid £500 which just about covers parts that went missing, (!) and parts supplied but not used.
There remains the issue of how it is possible to invoice £450 for a good quality bay cargo floor and then supply a cheap splitty floor instead, when the bits were taken away .....
I could have formally agreed to £5000 over 100 weeks but he turned the "no further action from me" that I was offering into an all encompassing gagging order and exclusion of any admission of any wrong doing on his part.
This was not acceptable as it would have precluded any discussion such as on here about the quality of the work .....
Thanks both for posting by the way.
It keeps me focused on checking that I have in fact been consistent throughout.
 

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Discussion Starter · #64 ·
It had been suggested that a letter to this welder's wife could be accidentally or even wilfully misconstrued as threatening or harassment, however clear I make myself,
so I'm going to go through "Consumer Advice" to Trading Standards first.
Once I have their attention I'll post an open letter to the man himself, on here, as a new thread ...
 

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I think I'd just see a solicitor and take them to court ....
Name them so no one else gets screwed over
 

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Discussion Starter · #72 ·
I don't really get this if you think the guy is dodgy name him how many other people has he ripped off since you started this thread ?
I'm waiting for the box set coming out !
This just kind of fizzled out, didn't it? If it was my £15000 I'd be unlikely to leave on the back burner for so long.......
There is direct and implied criticism here, so I'd like to point out that others who have fallen foul of this guy have done MUCH less, and don't want to get involved even now.
I wasn't going to put this out there, because it might be seen as doing what this guy does, which is to pitch for sympathy, but to answer this criticism: I haven't dropped everything to protect other people because my Mum died mid October, having been seriously ill since June, and this means my absolute priority is being "on Dad watch".
I also have my own ongoing medical tests like MRI and CT, so you'll have to forgive me for not prioritizing people I don't know, over keeping this in perspective for myself.
Rest assured I'm not about to let this fade away.
In any case I've offered to name etc via PM and four people have taken me up on that so far, which means I haven't exactly cut adrift the poor unsuspecting public.
I hope that answers your comments, and thank you for posting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #73 · (Edited)
Hi all,
It's simplest now if I just put this guy's name on here and then ask the mods to close the thread as it's no longer a discussion ...
You can always PM me if needs be .......
The person I would never EVER recommend to anyone for anything other than the most basic of welding work is Jon Hancock, who is admin for "Autobahn Exiles", also known as "65 Deluxe restoration of Autobahn Exiles" ... to be found here:
http://www.65deluxe.com
Thanks for reading and good luck with your projects!
 
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