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Before I went with VMC for my order, I emailed and spoke with the owner from JPS.  Pretty rude guy and it's his way or nothing at all.  Glad I did more searching and found VMC and Roy at Cloud 9 Classics.

Give Roy a call as he has preset orders with VMCs and his wait times are 1/2 of what you would have to endure if you placed an order directly.  It cut my time down from 24 months to 12 - 14 months wait.

JPS is saying 18-24 months for completion. But I noticed they were selling a couple of partially completed cars, that evidently someone canceled. And now selling a completed car as well, ready to go.

So concerned me that JPS was selling cars themselves, when they were having people wait 18-24 months for theirs.

May be an alarm for sure.

@OVRDRWN I think you are getting lots of experienced advice from folks here.  I would be more than happy to discuss a new build with you and as @pkdfw points out I can get you a car delivered in much shorter time line than direct from builder as I have cars constantly in the production queue that I can assign to new orders.  

Feel free to email me at or call me at 770-359-8400 to discuss the various options and discuss further.

I will also just point out that the builder you are asking about has 2 different cars he puts out these days. One version is built in Brazil and on tubular frame and will come titled based on year of production so 2023 for example which can pose problems in lots of states. Also, my personal experience is that the quality of this version is lower than others as well.

Best of luck which ever direction you decide to go!

The Brazilian cars are copies of the original Beck frame and body, but I don't know anything about their level of quality.  I do know that Beck moved production from Brazil to Indiana years ago to better control quality and supply chain issues.  Maybe the producer in Brazil needed another customer.

At present there are two builders who come highly recommended by their customers - Beck and Vintage.  I'd recommend sticking to one or the other of them.  The Beck car has a proprietary tube frame and modern coil-over suspension with rack and pinion steering and is built to a high standard, but the wait is three years or so.  Vintage builds a very nice pan-based car and if you can get one much quicker through Roy, that may be your best option.  Both manufacturers are known for their support after the sale - something unique in this business.

Either way, Welcome to the Madness!!

I think some of the comments here about JPS might be a bit dated.  Since the "hey day" of JPS in North Hollywood, I think a lot has changed under the banner of JPS Motorsports. I have a JPS Speedster built in No. Hollywood ca. 2006, and I endured a lot of sorting issues after delivery to the East Coast and had, at the end, some trouble dealing with Mr. JPS and his mercurial disposition.  We parted on less than cordial terms. His business model, to the degree that I could discern it was: build to a price point.  He could go all totally custom, and often did, and you would pay considerably more.  But his basic product was built to sell below the top-builders.  So, as mentioned, a lot has changed both with JPS himself and the business, which is now located down toward San Diego, if I have that right.  And the changes may not all be toward the better.  I have no first hand experience to know anything for sure.  Only that the business in some fashion continues, cars are being made and sold, prices are going up, and the wait times are lengthening, like they all are everywhere.   As to quality and after-the-sale support at JPS in 2023, I really could not say.  As I keep my ear to the ground, it seems Vintage and Special Edition are the builders that matter these days.  If I were in the market, I'd look hard at both of these.  I have come to know Carey and some of his crew at SE, and I have seen up close and personal what they do and how they do it.  They would be my first choice.

I agree with El Frazzo about some info here is from the past.

That is why I was hoping there were some followers on here that have current orders in progress or have recently delivered orders that could give me some idea of what the last 18 -24 months have been with John Steele and JPS Motorsports cars.

Or anyone that knows someone with a current order.

From just looking at the website it looks like he is selling off any cars he can. So I assume people are canceling orders, or he would not have these surplus cars.

@El Frazoo @OVRDRWN my Dr. Jekyll /Mr. Hyde saga has been well documented....but i cant help but adding my 2 car is a 2018 not recent news or relevant to this discussion since there is no reason for me to ever converse with or visit the JPS Taj Mahal ASYLUM again...all just a painful memory...that said, IMHO i have made my car way better than delivered.... but as @DannyP  with correct observation has noted...i concur with the notion of you get what you pay for and probably safe to say that "let the buyer beware" still applies with full force...that's my story and i'm sticking with it...happy motoring! ..a P.S.  he's not getting any younger so who knows how many cars are in the future that will leave the ASYLUM....and i'd be curious if there is a successor waiting in the wings to continue the operation?...thankfully, not my place to say

@ovrdrwn, I have no experience with JPS, but after discovering this group two and a half years ago, I decided on Beck from Special Editions.  After ordering in November 2020, I received my deluxe kit in November 2022.  I have spent the last three months finishing it, installing the gearbox, transaxle, miscellaneous hardware, engine, etc.  Throughout the process Carey and the team at Beck (Special Editions) in Indiana have been very supportive with advice and parts as needed.  My car is now on “ready” and has far exceeded my expectations.  I cannot say enough good things about Beck.



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I was just trying to be honest and not repetitive about JPS.  I agree about the business with the Leopard and his spots.  Stan is correct about past behavior, the Jeckle/Hyde thing.  Ol' John there would often tell you whatever he thinks you want to hear, regardless of what he might actually know or believe.  I was just making a point that my first hand data is quite dated, and precedes the move to SD and the acquisition (as I hear it) of a partner.  Perhaps the partner is a different kind of cat?  I have no idea.

Why would anyone buy, given what's said here?  Good point. My case might be the answer: I knew nothing of the industry or this community when I saw his ad in a magazine.  And price.  So that might be it right there.  And say what you will, at least at one point, JPS was very particular about paint, and produced some great looking cars.  In my case, as I hear it told, my body came back from paint and was deemed UNSAT.  So was sent back and done over to meet spec.   Below the paint is where the corners were cut and this or that overlooked.

And so: sorting.  It could be said that all of these cars from all of the builders, from best to worst, require sorting.  They are hand built, so shyt happens.  Some builders will sort out the cars before delivery and catch most (never all) of the things.  So an owner will have either a short or longer list of shyt that pops up needing attention.  My sorting at JPS before delivery was, I'm pretty sure, nonexistent, despite claims to the contrary.  At the end of the day, and it was a lot of days, years even, my "sorting" has pretty much arrived at a point.  I am looking at about 20K mi after all. Early on, JPS was very attentive, and sent replacement parts from CA to MD as required.  Then, not so much, and I was on my own.  But hey: its a hobby.  Ask @Stan Galat, he's never been finished "sorting" because, as he will quickly tell you: more is more.

@Jared - I'm really, really sorry, man.

At least people are being honest now. When I bought mine in 2002, all I had to go on was the reputation he had on this site. At the time, there was a rating system. Buyers worried about hurting resale if they gave an honest assessment were giving him ALL 10s!!!

Your story may help some poor soul in the future. Nobody wants to be the cautionary tale, but I'm tired of charlatans in this business.

Last edited by Stan Galat

Truely a shame that his legacy is what it is and has been for a couple of decades with no chance of light at the end of the tunnel.  Me, I'm a hobbyist keeping safety paramount followed by integrity which provides for a good night's sleep. Out of all the projects I've only dealt with one verifiable village idiot who is his own worst enemy by delving into mechanicals he knows nothing about and has had two shop owner's request that he departs with his attitude and not patronize their facility again.

EDIT As I am writing this there are two or three fighter jets running the river valley here in WV (usually do on nice days) that are so fast they are gone in a blink of the eye, but I can hear them do for quite a distance before they loop back again and again.  For whatever reason they don't show up on " Flight Radar 24....."

Last edited by Alan Merklin

@Stan Galat and all that choose to my year and 1/2 saga dealing with Dr. Jekyll i was nothing but cordial in my attitude with him...i never was rude or angry towards him...we actually had some nice chats about cars and such at the start of our business together...only after he had 3/4 of my $$$ did the transformation into Mr. Hyde began....i lived close by the original shop which began to upset him with my visits checking on's an actual quote..."if you dont stop bothering my guys i'm going to push your car in a corner and not touch it for 6 months"...i actually nearly threw in towel twice!!....on delivery day i said "so, john...todays the day" which he answered actual quote "yeah and i'm glad because you've been a total ASSH_LE the entire time"....i just turned the other cheek and considered the source since i was used to it at that point.....then walking towards my car i touched another car and complimented him on the paint which invoked this response..."don't touch my cars, yours is over there"...i could go on...but i think that explains it i've said before...all just a painful memory does not surprise me , these recent revelations commented above and am sorry i cant help...but luckily i have no reasons or desires to involve myself in the good doctors JPS ASYLUM of luck recovering your $$$ and happy motoring

@OVRDRWN @majorkahuna Yes, I did. Here's what I had to do:

1. After 2 full years of waiting, I finally made several polite requests by email and by phone for a refund.

2. When that did not work I had a lawyer make repeated requests on my behalf.

3. JPS then refunded partial amount. He would not refund in full.

4. So I left a Google Review (which I highly recommend) and then I filed suit in my town and state in small claims court (because the order was placed and payment made from my location).

5. Then I had to hire a process server in San Diego County.

6. I received a default judgment, which means I then had to file for writ of garnishment, which I too received.

7. Then it had to be sent to his bank and to his office and record the judgment in SD County.

8. Then a couple weeks later his bank sent me a check for almost what the judgement stipulated. I say "almost" because there was no more money in his bank account to seize. So he still legally owes me money but the majority of it has been given to me.

This was a huge effort but was, very unfortunately, necessary. I hope this helps

Sounds to me like you did the right thing the right way. Partial payment once accepted is viewed by many courts as a settlement. When you have been skirting the law as long as he has they become in effect defect attorneys. If you want to really go after this A hole you can go back to court and demand payment immediately, I was caught in a tow scam many years ago and when the defendant refused to pay I had the Sheriff pad lock the business. I got my money within a couple of hours.

California Small Claims Courts can help with debt collection, especially if the debtor lives or does business in California.  It can also be useful for companies and corporations who are registered in other states, by using the Sister States Judgment Act. 

If you live in one of California's 58 counties, and sent money/entered into the contract from your county of residence, you may be eligible to use Small Claims Court to help collect a debt.  Limit is currently $10,000.  Each county has a Small Claims Court representative to help claimants to file.  Help is available online.

There are hoops to jump through, but costs are considerably less than hiring a civil attorney.  Be aware that the Small Claims Court judgement does not contain provisions for collection.  There are mechanisms in place for collection, but they are also time-consuming.

Claimants should perform due diligence/research before filing suit, and decide whether the investment of time is worth it or not.   If the respondent does not respond, claimant will usually be granted a default judgement.  You then need to perfect that default judgement, then progress to collection.  If your eyes are beginning to glaze over as you read this, you may want to consider hiring private counsel.

@pkdfw posted:

Before I went with VMC for my order, I emailed and spoke with the owner from JPS.  Pretty rude guy and it's his way or nothing at all.  Glad I did more searching and found VMC and Roy at Cloud 9 Classics.

Give Roy a call as he has preset orders with VMCs and his wait times are 1/2 of what you would have to endure if you placed an order directly.  It cut my time down from 24 months to 12 - 14 months wait.

on away now if you're smart. Steele has $30k of mine and the project stalled out. I live in Florida, he loves long distance customers. I called several times, got the cold shoulder or broken promises. Some or most all cars are now made in Brazil, the quality is not as good as the Mexican ones as I see it. I last called John months ago and he said he was on a job with a client and would call right back. never heard another word. I wrote and said I was coming to the shop. He tried to delay me. Then before I showed up he wrote and said that he could not build a car to my liking and would give me a refund. After 19 months, I was tired and done of his shenanigans. He installed the wrong leather as well. It seems he builds a car to HIS liking or idea, despite all the promises on his website. That's why there are always a number of cars for sale that are "new". Things just don't seem to work out well with John. On June 12 he actually said that he was sending a check that day. Nothing. I wrote again and he said he was broke and had to sell some cars before he would pay me.  

I've turned over everything to a law firm and other officials that I will not name here. It may take a while, but he needs to be stopped for false advertising. My build sheet was made from his form, and never changed. he later claimed I kept changing my mind. One lie after another is his methodology. He even told me that when the car got here from Brazil he'd re-do the interior.  That was 6 months ago. I went to the shop and there was no one there at lunch, doors wide open. I saw the car and the details were nothing like he used to do, nor what I ordered.

I could go on, but you're wise to find another more reputable shop, or better yet, buy something you can test drive and that has been sorted out.

Best wishses.


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