Traditional automobile homeowners floored after storage strips elements, refuses to return beloved autos | CBC Information

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Some traditional automobile fanatics in Nova Scotia who paid hundreds of {dollars} to have their autos labored on or restored by a specialty autobody and mechanic store are questioning if they will ever see their cash — or their automobiles — once more.

They are saying they’ve made repeated makes an attempt to barter with Curtis Customs Radical Storage in Elmsdale, N.S., and its proprietor Curtis MacLean, solely to be ignored or generally charged greater than their unique contract. Some say they have been instructed their autos wouldn’t be returned, whereas others have acquired them again in items.

Curtis Customs has been in enterprise since 2005 and through the years has acquired varied accolades, together with being a finalist for the 2014 East Hants Enterprise Excellence Award. MacLean has additionally labored a number of instances with famed automobile builder and autobody information columnist Wealthy Evans.

Just lately, nevertheless, an growing variety of prospects have been expressing their dissatisfaction with the work being carried out on the store, positioned in an industrial park about 40 kilometres north of Halifax, and a few have efficiently sued MacLean in small claims court docket.

MacLean instructed CBC Information in an e mail that resulting from ongoing litigation he was unable to present a proper interview relating to the complaints towards him.

An indication stating that Curtis Customs Radical Storage is accepted by well-known American automotive customizer and fabricator Gene Winfield. (Robert Guertin/CBC)

Marc Dooley first went to Curtis Customs in 2015, hoping to seek out experience in refurbishing autos. It turned out, he stated, to be a “massive mistake” that led to years of complications over back-and-forth disputes with MacLean.

Dooley stated he wished some rust and holes mounted on his 2005 Lincoln pickup. He was from the Elmsdale space and stated he had seen MacLean’s storage.

“He had a $6,000 answer, which was simply to repair the holes and patch it up, or a $30,000 answer, which was mainly to present me a better-than-new automobile,” Dooley stated.

Dooley stated he and MacLean agreed upon a $30,000 worth level, with Dooley paying half up entrance and the remaining as soon as the job was accomplished. Dooley stated he was instructed by an acquaintance of MacLean that MacLean was a bit sluggish ending jobs, however the work carried out can be good.

“I actually trusted this man. I believed he was going to be an ideal mechanic.”

The within of a Camaro owned by Pommerville whereas it was in Curtis Customs Radical Storage. Pommerville stated it had been stripped of its elements. (Submitted by Maurice Pommerville)

It is now been practically six years that Dooley’s car has been at Curtis Customs, and he is been attempting for the previous two to get it again. 

Dooley stated MacLean refuses to return the car, and has requested for more cash. Dooley has contacted each the Higher Enterprise Bureau (BBB) and the RCMP.  The BBB knowledgeable him, he stated, there was nothing it may do. He stated the RCMP instructed him they might provide to assist mediate the scenario however nothing extra.

An RCMP spokesperson instructed CBC Information in an e mail the pressure has responded to complaints at a enterprise within the industrial park in Elmsdale, the place Curtis Customs is positioned.

“Throughout these complaints, our members attended to maintain the peace between all concerned events. These issues contain civil points between personal events,” Cpl. Chris Marshall wrote.

‘It is my coffin at this level’

Dooley’s Lincoln stays on the store and he stated he has no concept the place to go from right here: “I really feel prefer it’s my coffin at this level.”

And he is not the one one. Dooley was in a position to not too long ago join with others who’ve had related experiences with Curtis Customs.

Danny Hart and Kersten Hanke instructed CBC Information they gave MacLean a Can-Am Spyder, a three-wheeled bike, as an $18,000 down fee for refurbishing Hart’s 1939 Nash Ambassadour. Hart stated elements went lacking from the Nash Ambassadour whereas at Curtis Customs and it was left undriveable.

Nicholas Trenholm stated in an interview that his 1991 Toyota MR2 Turbo was stripped of elements. Kevin Schreiner, one other buyer, stated his 1979 Ford pickup truck had elements taken, and MacLean wished to cost him more cash.

Jim Downey stated after 5 years of forwards and backwards with MacLean, he misplaced practically $25,000 and acquired his 1969 Mustang again in items.

Maurice Pommerville, who left two autos in MacLean’s care throughout 2016, a 1967 Chevelle and a 1967 Camaro, stated his Chevelle was “destroyed” whereas on the storage and the Camaro stripped of its elements.

Kevin Schreiner stated his 1979 Ford pickup truck, proven right here after it was returned, had elements taken from it whereas at Curtis Customs. (Submitted by Kevin Schreiner)

Each Trenholm and Schreiner ended up taking MacLean to small claims court docket and successful. Schreiner was awarded $10,235 and Trenholm $12,500, however each stated they’ve by no means acquired the cash from MacLean.

Pommerville additionally went via small claims court docket and did find yourself getting again each the automobiles he left in MacLean’s care, however he stated it was a protracted and anxious course of.

Pommerville had initially agreed to mortgage MacLean his Chevelle till the work to revive his Camaro was carried out, after which as soon as it was completed he would give MacLean the Chevelle.

The contract was “very clear,” Pommerville stated. Throughout the time he had the Camaro, MacLean was to not do any modifications to the Chevelle and was solely to maintain it streetworthy. However someday, Pommerville stated he went to the store and to his disbelief found the hood of the Chevelle destroyed: “He had reduce the hood all up.”

Pommerville was upset, however stated he gave MacLean one other likelihood. Nonetheless, after practically 4 years of forwards and backwards, Pommerville stated he went to the store to examine on his automobiles. He was shocked to see the Camaro had been stripped of its elements and left in a state of disrepair. He stated he was then turned away by MacLean and instructed to not return to the store.

Court docket case

He ended up submitting a declare in court docket towards MacLean and gained. MacLean filed an attraction, however was not profitable.

MacLean was ordered to return the autos and their elements in addition to pay Pommerville $426 to cowl varied charges associated to the court docket motion.

Pommerville was in a position to retrieve each autos from the store’s lot, however has nonetheless not been in a position to get the elements again. He stated his subsequent transfer is submitting a restoration order, which can permit a sheriff to grab the lacking elements. The garnishment of MacLean’s wages can be doable. The Chevelle was so broken he needed to promote it for elements, he stated.

“The carnage that is left behind is simply phenomenal,” Pommerville stated. “Folks, from the sounds of issues, have misplaced  chunk of saving; they have been saving as much as do their dream venture — gone. In some instances, the automobiles are gone, so it is only a disgrace. I actually don’t desire this to occur to anyone else.”

Former bookeeper

Rob (RJ) McConnell, a former worker and bookkeeper on the store, supplied Pommerville with an inventory of 9 names he stated have been folks owed cash as a result of their elements have been offered or they paid for work that was by no means accomplished. He alleges the sum of the record totals greater than $150,000.

McConnell stated in an interview he’s additionally owed about $130,000 associated to a enterprise association he made with MacLean through the time he labored there involving elements buying and lease funds.

McConnell began a Fb group for individuals who have had unhealthy customer-service expertise on the store. He stated he did not like what he noticed whereas working there, and was a witness in Pommerville’s small claims case towards MacLean.

“I watched him take folks’s automobile elements and promote them,” McConnell stated.

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