As someone on the SAS queue who held (still holds) one of the longest outstanding contracts (of those publicly known on the SAS forum), I experienced the years of promises, all the ups and downs, and the hopes and heartache of dealing with Steve. When I first bought in, Steve was still turning out cars and so it was acceptable to consider the wait and easier to swallow his stories and excuses. Each completed car brought me one step closer. I think this is what kept all of us in the queue so patient. Those ahead of us were being rewarded.
But things took a turn for the worse just as I appeared to be in position to get my car sooner than later. As I rose to the top of the queue (as we on the forum had pieced it together), all deliveries seemed to grind to a halt. I decided that despite my long wait, I could wait no longer. My conversations with Steve had always been pleasant over the years but I had had enough. I asked for a refund and he asked for time to sell my contract. I again waited patiently. When too much time passed, and I could not get any response from Steve, I hired an attorney to assist me. This did bring a response from Steve. He has returned the lion's of my money and has a bit more time to sell the contract before he will have to return the rest. We shall see but I am determined to get all my deposit back.
Civil actions may result in a judgment but that doesn't mean one will get paid. Criminal actions, if successful, will pretty much guarantee all will lose. People on the forum are not stupid but, like me, are caught in a no win situation. We want Steve to make cars because we bought into his engineering concepts. We accepted his empty promises because each new build got us closer. I know there are others in my situation who are through with years of waiting. I hope they can get repaid even to the extent I have been thus far. My one selfish concern is that in having to make good on a flood of refunds, Steve will run out of money to pay everyone back and no one will get reimbursed fully. Including me. I have offered my contract to anyone who holds a much lower spot. Knowing that I am at the top of the published queue might give someone a shot at a car with a much shorter wait. For what it is worth, so far I have not had anyone below me step up to take over my contract.
What next? I am seriously considering buying one of the used IMs for sale. Henry has been a helpful guide. But the whole experience has stolen some joy from me and brought on a few regrets that make me gun shy. Will I even enjoy a replica now, so may years later? People age and change. Priorities shift. The money is very important but it is the least of it. Steve took away my fantasy and the pleasure I expected to have and getting my money back can't repair that. Perhaps actually owning a replica will. There is a wise saying: Forgiveness is giving up all hope of a better past. My situation is what it is. I am coming into acceptance and reminding myself of all the wonderful things that have happened in my life over those years that have had nothing to do with money or a car.
Didn't know that I would share so much. Thanks all for being patient enough to read this.