James Castellano rebuilt a 1962 VW convertible, which he then advertised on the web site "thesamba.com". He did the work in his dad's shop, Caste Systems Performance, and displayed it at his dad's dealership, Riverview Auto Sales.
James said he personally built the engine, went through the transmission, and did a lot of brake work. The belly pans had been replaced and the car had been painted and a new convertible top was put on. The car showed well in pictures.
After exchanging some e-mails, a price was agreed upon and the car was to be delivered by James from New Jersey to California. The car was paid for up front and the car was delivered as promised.
The car looked as good in person as it did in the pictures, and the first impressions were favorable. When the car was started, it was immediately apparent that something was not right with the engine as it was loud and ran poorly. The exhaust system was barely hanging on and the car would miss and backfire. James made some minor adjustments and the car did run a little better.
I accepted the car at that time as I had to leave for work and could not examine the car further. I had already paid for the car and felt I would not get my money back had I declined to accept the car.
The next day the car again ran poorly. Although I could not be there, James came by and made some more adjustments.
After several days, I drove the car around a short distance. The car seemed to run OK, even thought the motor still made a lot of noise. I had put approximately 50 miles on the car over several days when the engine self-destructed, breaking a hole in the case.
I e-mailed James and told him what happened. He indicated that he would not do anything as I bought the car AS-IS.
I told him I bought the car with the understanding that the motor had been rebuilt. He only indicated that he had built many motors and mine was the only one that "grenaded" itself like I claimed it did.
Although the motor blew up and there were many areas of shoddy workmanship, there were some good qualities such as the paint and convertible top (which James said was done by someone else).
The car was not up to the standards James claimed it was and he would not do anything to correct the shortcomings.
In other words, James was just another "Used Car Salesman". His workmanship is shoddy at best. And since the work was done at the "shop" and displayed for sale at the "Dealership", they should back up their work, but aren't.
I would recommend that no one uses their shop to have work done and no one should by a car from the Dealership, for they will probably get ripped off, as I was.
Thousand Oaks, California