Larry Brown is a used car dealer who purports to sell classic and collectable vehicles from parts cars to nice, drivable automobiles.
The problem is that apparently he sometimes gets the two mixed up and sells a parts car as a nice, drivable auto. I will recount my experience with Mr. Brown, from here on referred to as "Larry", and my unfortunate purchase of a 1963 Studebaker Hawk GT from his Collector Car "Business". Hopefully this will make the decision of whether or not to do business with Mr. Brown a bit easier for you. According to the Quincy PD I am probably lucky that I got a car at all. Alledgedly some folks have not.
Here is a copy of an email sent to Detective Tom Liesen of the Quincy Illinois Police Dept to assist in his investigation into Larry's Internet business activities. It was accompanied by photos, correspondence etc.
I had been searching the Internet for a Studebaker Hawk and in early March 2006 found a listing for a Black, 1963 Studebaker GT Hawk advertised by one Larry Brown on Motorhead Trader and at (((ROR Redacted link))). I called the number and spoke with Mr. Brown. He was cooperative and convincing as he did a "walk around" and answered questions about the car. He was asked:
A: Does it Run? His reply "Very Well"
B. Does the Transmission work? His reply "yes, it drives just fine".
C. How is the interior? His reply "A split in the dash pad but the interior is pretty serviceable".
D. Does it blow smoke on starting, at idle, or under acceleration? His reply "There is no smoke... the car runs just fine and has no problems to speak of. You could use it as a driver the way it sits or you could easily restore it".
E. Is there rust in the fenders, quarter panels, trunk, or anywhere else and if so where and how bad? His reply "No real rust to speak of... the car has no big problems and would make a great Driver".
I called and spoke to Mr. Brown 3 or 4 more times always getting the same info and then being told that he had a Car hauler coming down to South Florida leaving on Friday the 10th and that he could get the car on that truck if we did the deal ASAP. He provided me with the name of the Hauler and his phone number. I called him (David at Auto Kraft) and got a reasonable quote to haul the car to me. Since the car was worth the $5,500.00 in the shape described by Mr. Brown I continued in talks with him.
I tried to get Mr. Brown to send me some more pictures and he stated that the 3 on the Internet were all that he had as he had run out of space on his memory chip and for him to take more would require a 130 mile one way trip and he couldn't do that just to take pictures. He said he could take them when/if he went back to the cars location in a few weeks but that I would miss the hauler. As it was Wednesday, 3-8-06 and Friday was rapidly approaching I foolishly agreed to deposit the money directly into his bank account. He seem like a genuinely nice guy and was very convincing so I fell for it. He called me back Thursday Morning and stated that he would call me back in an hour or so as he didn't remember his banking information and had to go to his office to get it. About an hour later he called and gave me an account number and routing number for a Bank of America Account under someone else's name. A DAVID I. EHRHART (BOA says that they will supply the info by subpoena). I can't seem to find the deposit slip (I am after all, an idiot), but Larry acknowledges receiving the money in a later e-mail. Larry claimed that it was his "financial guy's" account and not to worry. He said that he would send the Title out overnight. So on 3-9-06 I withdrew $5500.00 cash and took it to the Bank of America branch located at 4539 Bartelt Rd. Holiday, FL 34690 phone 727.938.5090 and deposited it to the account given me by Mr. Brown. I feel foolish now, but at the time he seemed like a fellow I could trust. I'm that stupid.
On Friday morning I got an e-mail from Mr. Brown with a few distant and poorly taken photos of a black car on a hauler leaving the parking lot of his shop at 718 York St. in Quincy Il. I was also told that Mr. Brown couldn't find the keys and would have to send them in a day or two after they were found (I've never gotten them) . He also informed me that the windshield was cracked but that there was a windshield in the back seat that was purported to fit the car. I did not receive the title that day and Mr. Brown made an excuse and said he would overnight it Friday for a Monday Delivery.
The Title did not arrive on Monday and Mr. Brown said that he would overnight it on Monday for a Tuesday AM delivery. I was beginning to get frantic and afraid I had been conned... but I went ahead and believed Mr. Brown and waited. By Monday night Mr. Brown was not returning e-mails or phone calls and the title did not show up on Tuesday as promised. I sent Mr. Brown an ultimatum e-mail and left him a voice mail as well. I got an e-mail back Tuesday night with Mr. Brown making excuses about why he sent the title USPS express instead of overnight air. He informed me that I was the worst customer that he had ever encountered, explained the time line as he saw it, made an excuse about not receiving the money fast enough and called me a few names etc. I responded to this email My second Letter which he ignored. On Wednesday, about mid morning, I got the Title by USPS. It was a duplicate Title from 1984 supposedly signed by a man named Mills as the Seller with no date or notary stamp.
I got the car a few hours later and it was not at all in the condition described to me by Mr. Brown. There were no keys, a cracked windshield, a flat tire, two broken tail lights, the hood frozen shut by rust, missing and/or incomplete exhaust, No brakes at all, no emergency brake, dash gauges falling from the dash to the floor, dry rotted tires with splitting of the plys and missing lug-nuts, a trashed interior with no headliner, missing rocker panels, and no battery. After freeing the hood latch with some rust dissolver I got the hood open and was confronted by wasp nests, rat feces, missing wiring, missing dipstick, an empty badly leaking radiator, and Positive and Negative battery cables that had been reversed with the red wire grounding to the block and the black wire going to the solenoid as if the car were a 6-volt positive ground car which it most definately is not. There were many other problems with the car as well.
I called Mr. Brown and left messages. I e-mailed him as well. He finally returned the call and apologized, claiming that he had never seen the car much himself and was only passing along info he got from the owner. I pointed out that he had claimed he was knowledgeable about the car and that it was a fine driver vehicle. He continued to claim that the owner had mislead him and that he would talk to him and get the money back. He stated that I should have refused the car at the time of delivery and then it would be easier for him to get my money back. I explained that I didn't know that was an option and it would have left me with a suspect title, no money, and no car. He made excuses about having to get in touch with DAVID I. EHRHART, his money guy, and get back to me. After I dogged him for a day or two he said that he needed to get the money from the owner and that DAVID I. EHRHART had nothing to do with the transaction. He claimed that he would be seeing the actual owner on Sunday, 3-19-06, and that he would call me back after that. He has since gone into hiding. He did send two e-mails wherein he said "thank God" to my pointing out that the matter was out of my hands now but other than that has not answered his phone, returned phone messages, or e-mailed again. Heh... apparently he thinks if he hides this will all go away!
You can find a few photos of this "driver" at (((ROR Redacted link))). When you go there you can't get back without hitting your back button a hundred times. I haven't coded any HTML in so long I've gotten kind of worthless at it.
U.S.A. CLICK here to see why Rip-off Report, as a matter of policy, deleted either a phone number, link or e-mail address from this Report.