This is kinda long winded, but it's a good example so bear with me (grin). This happened roughly 4 years ago, and I've been over it for a long time, but I just found this site and hopefully it can save some others from what I went through with these shady characters. shortly after I graduated high school, I was looking for a new vehicle, and found a 1993 Isuzu pickup truck for sale at messina. The asking price was roughly $3000.
So I called them and set up an appointment to look at it 2 days later. when I arrived, I met micheal messina, who led me into the garage and showed me the truck, which had half of the engine resting in the bed (problem #1: advertising a vehicle not yet ready for sale) and informed me that the head gasket was blown and it was being repaired. I left my number and told them to call when it was ready, which they did. I went back, however micheal was not there, so I dealt with another salesman whose name I can't remember. I test drove the truck, gave them a deposit to hold it, and signed a purchase agreement for the asking price and was going to fully pay in a week. 2 days later, micheal called my house.
i was at work, so he proceeded to berate my mother, calling me and her stupid, and saying that "there was no way in hell i was getting the truck for that price given the cost of the head job, and that I should call him and he'd smarten me up." Which, after my mother called me in tears, I did. He called me stupid again and said "work costs money, what'd you think we were gonna fix it for free?" I quickly informed him that I had a legal purchase agreement in my possesion stating the truck was mine for $3000, the advertised price, and that I did not care what the work cost, nor does it matter, to which he said "ok, come with a tow truck the engine will be in the bed. And bring your mother too." I told him to eat the south end of a northbound horse and told him I would be down on the next day for my deposit back and it would be wise if he took the day off, only to get there and notice that the truck was gone.
Fortunately for him, so was micheal. I asked where it was, and they said it was off getting inspected, which sounded kinda fishy to me, so I left without taking the deposit back, and after consulting with a lawyer friend of mine, I called messina back and told him I had retained a lawyer, was filing a breach of contract suit, and while we were in litigation the truck could not be moved from the lot, at which point the phone was given to micheal's father, the owner, who asked me what I wanted from them. I said "I want this truck at this price. no more, no less." I was told to pick it up later that week. you'd think I won, but it doesnt end here. I bought the truck (paid 'em in traveler's cheques.. haha!)and left the lot with it. After I had driven about 30 miles away, all of a sudden it started acting very funny until it finally died.
I opened the hood, only to find that the retaining bolt for the distributor was missing, and that the distributor had fallen out of the engine and the engine jumped time. Nice, huh? Being a mechanic by trade i was able to retime the engine and used a bolt from somewhere else to hold the distributor in place. Didn't bother calling messina back since they very graciously offered no warranty with the truck. So then a month or so later, I left for college in Ohio and drove the truck out there. it got me back and forth from Massachusetts to Ohio at least 3 times, and then after I had owned it about 6 months, the head gasket went bad again, only this time when it went it ruined the carburetor and put a big crack in the cylinder head itself, which I was told by the guy at the machine shop had been machined way too thin to even be usable and that he was surprised the engine ran as long as it did.
Coincidence? Anyway, having acquired 2 other vehicles in Ohio I just sold it for $300 and called it a loss, albeit a rather big loss as I had spent a good deal of money customizing it. but anyway, that's my story, I hope you enjoyed it and don't buy any crap from messiness motors.
Cumberland, Rhode Island