What Robert said X2! As I understand, that guy hasn't actually produced a car in a while (couple years?). The line up is long (there are people who've been waiting 6? 7 years?). You're dealing with a first class con artist, you'll never see a car, and the best course of action is threatening legal action if he doens't return your deposit. Don't let him convince you that he'll start your car "right away" (because he won't!), and once you get your money back, never talk to the guy again. Al

I've seen many posts on SOC, Samba, etc. and other sites concerning Specialty Auto Sports.

I have never heard anything good about them, people having sent down payments years ago, etc.

I have no first hand experience.

I have wondered why that company is still listed as a maker on SOC

 https://www.speedsterowners.com/pages/makersspeedsters

 

They actually pay for the ad here (ad appears in the right hand column every so often).  Most members, many of who are also donating members, aren't happy about the ad.  Immediately file with the State's Attorney General's Office.  If you have means hire a lawyer.  I'm sure others bilked and are members here will support the effort.

The few that actually were delivered cars are happy with their SAS and have defended the Marque but not the man.  

jncspyder posted:

well panhandle bob...i have placed a deposit...a car iv'e always wanted...iv'e been waiting and am getting freaked out by some things i've been reading...really hope i'm not a complete fool...can you help?

When did you send a deposit?

What delivery timing were you given?

What did you order?

Did you visit SAS (before sending money) or just send money?

What do you have in writing from SAS?

What reserach did you do on the company, before sending money?

You keep asking for help, what kind of help are you looking for?

well roy..not sure i should give all details..but what the hell...coming up on three yrs....was told 18 to 24 mths for speedster model...tenn was along way to go sooo i just sent a cashers ck and i do have a written contract...i'm not entirely a fool...i guess i know what to do..just gotta do it...ask for a car SOON or my deposit back...unless i can get free legal assistance i guess i'm just venting to those who know on this forum

I'm sorry for you, man. But the thing is-- you're not going to get a car, so you'll need to get a lawyer or decide to let it go.

Jim Kelly has posted at length regarding the pyramid scheme that is SAW/SAS. You really do want to pursue legal action, for the good of everyone.

Regarding the ad, etc, that's a matter for the site administrator. His name is Theron. 

http://sasowners.freeforums.org/

Try that link, it should take you to a forum of people who are waiting for cars. I couldn't double check it because it wouldn't open on my phone. Anyway, it is a group of people waiting for cars. There are a few dozen on there but very few comments anymore. I think the guy that has been waiting the longest has been on the list more than 11 years. He actually ordered a '32 Ford when SAS was building those but after SAS stopped building those he opted for a 356 but he's still waiting. 

Good luck. 

jncspyder posted:

well roy..not sure i should give all details..but what the hell...coming up on three yrs....was told 18 to 24 mths for speedster model...tenn was along way to go sooo i just sent a cashers ck and i do have a written contract...i'm not entirely a fool...i guess i know what to do..just gotta do it...ask for a car SOON or my deposit back...unless i can get free legal assistance i guess i'm just venting to those who know on this forum

As Stan said (and I did before), he'll never build you a car so dont' let him talk you into thinking he'll produce, as it will just draw the whole thing out even longer. Take immediate steps to get your money back. Thinking that after all this time he'll build you a car is a pipe dream. Take immediate steps to get your money back.

Robert and I had dinner with Jim Kelly a month or so ago.   He explained that the only real hope of getting anything back from SAS is just hanging on.  If the people on the list push too hard, he will just declare bankruptcy and then they get nothing.  They are between a rock and a hard place and unfortunately didn't find the SOC until it was too late.

I still agree that he needs to contact the Attorney General of Tenn.

JNC;

If like California, the AG is an elected official,  he/she is not going to lose many votes over this,  with probably  98% of the complaints coming from out of state. 

But...yours could be the one the straw that breaks the camels back.

A real bummer, best of luck to you.

 

I bought a CMC back in '88.  This was before the internet so no real warnings on them out there.  Unlike others, I did get all my parts (and dupes on a couple).  It took many phone calls and letters. It wasn't until 1992 that the FL States Attorney closed George Levin's large business. Follow-on Auto Resolutions got parts and $ to like 900 buyers.  Unfortunately, closure occurred again with Street Beasts a few years later in 1999. SAS isn't just about Tenn - there is wire and mail fraud involved (in this case, restitution was $2.5 million).

Does this sound familiar?

The case stated that, over a period of eleven years, Classic Motor Carriages defrauded people by "knowingly and willfully" making "false and misleading statements, representations, and promises" in regard to the "quality of the kit car purchased, the delivery time to the customer and the required assembly time." In addition, "false and fraudulent representations" were made to obtain deposits from prospective customers. Finally, the case stated that Classic Motor Carriages induced its customers to pay for kit cars, and then "failed to provide the automotive parts necessary for complete assembly."

http://www.crankshaftcoalition...ts_fraud_controversy

I'd think closing SAS completely would result in selling off tools, any assets he might have, stash of parts and freezing bank accounts which probably are long spent.  It would keep others from following in your steps.  It would be long overdue and remove another wart on the replica/kit car community. New start replica companies suffer unfairly from these bad apples.

Image result for classic motor carriages miami florida law suit

Oh boy, bashing SAS again.  Trouble is, I am so sick and tired of this, I can't get excited anymore.  Is this man STILL duping folks out of hard earned cash?  Amazing.  It's all been said many times before.  I feel bad for JNC.  He needs to come to Carlisle, and speak to the Beck Special Edition folks, Henry from IM, or go visit Vintage in sunny SoCal.

And why we as a society continue to subsidize these evil doings by posting SAS ads is beyond me.  It is a disgrace, I don't care how at-arms-length Theron thinks he is.

Hi JNC,

Sorry to hear of your business dealings with SAS.  I get contacted periodically from others on the infamous SAS list that are seeking advice about the likelihood of ever getting a car from Steve Lawing.  As you know, the situation looks bleak.  If he is completing cars, he is not delivering them to those at the front of the list.

A former user of this forum, who still supports SAS and owns a silver SAS Speedster, has told others on the SAS forum that Lawing is still very much in business, working like a dog, everything is rosy, yada, yada.  Meanwhile, there has been one car delivered since mine was finished in Aug. 2013.  Not very promising, eh?  No one really knows how many buyers have put deposits on cars, or how many cars are being completed.  If cars are being built, they are NOT being delivered to the poor guys who have been waiting as long as 14, yes 14 years.  The top three on the list put down deposits in 2003 and 2007.  Man, is this a great country or what?

You can send me a private email if you want to discuss additional options.  Best of luck in whatever you decide.

Hey Jim what can this list do legally to share the story, could we not at least list under the makers headers another SAS header which says "SAS Reputation NOTES"  which leads to a story board of people who write their stories of how they have been ripped off .  We have to do our part to Inform new guys that this list exists as well. 

Hi Ray,

I have offered suggestions to those on the SAS list, but the decision to make a formal complaint to law enforcement or to hire private counsel to pursue damages has to remain with them.  There are pros and cons of both approaches.  After all, the guys in the queue are the ones with money to lose.  I was in the same predicament prior to getting my car.  

On one hand, you want to make the guy who took your money suffer, but, on the other hand, if there is even a tiny chance of actually getting your car, you don't want to upset the tenuous financial balance of the "company" by calling the cops, since this guy knows how to scam the system.  I don't know the answer, but, since I have my car, such as it is, it's a rhetorical question only for me.  The final answer will need to come from those whose ox has been gorged.

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.  

Wouldn't it be great if Steve could just step aside and "sell" the queue to someone for -5 percent? He's proven there's a market, and the product is viable as an engineering exercise. The only two problems, in my estimation, are

1. He priced the cars too low for what they are (when they are), and 

2. He can't actually build them.

Two is related to 1., I think, but a really good mediator, plus the AG, could probably make something almost OK out of this.

Get the buyers in a room, have them come up with a figure. Some just want out. they get their deposits back with no interest—or some percentage of same, depending on what's possible. Some want a car, so negotiate a figure that's doable for that. They'll have to pay more than they contracted because, again, it is impossible to build these for what Lawing promised. Some guys will be OK with that. 

Now this is the hard part: find a skilled mechanic and shop-runner, not a salesman, who can make the cars. Put him with that second group of people. 

Lawing pays that guy some figure (probably in the mid 5s) to get him started, and in return the AG agrees not to prosecute him criminally.

Lawing agrees to pay the deposit-wanters some negotiated amount out of his personal assets. Not the business assets, since those are spoken for by the new guy and the remaining queue.

Lawing goes away. Files a Chapter 7, whatever. AG asks the federal judge to put a bulldog BK trustee on Lawing to prevent fraud.

AG works with new guy and TN Economic Development people to get some capital to the new guy on reasonable terms. Small beans. Like a million bucks.

New guy hires three young can-do dudes and builds cars and good will. Ends up with a viable business.

This is no easy thing, starting with finding the guy who wants the business and can actually do it. But there are many potential variants (deposit-wanters take a percentage ownership of the new business in lieu of cash, say) that could make for a deal.

A business person in this situation has no incentive to do anything differently. This money making machine depends on the mystique of someday taking deliver of a bespoke auto at a seemingly affordable price. This method has proven that it drives potential buyers to plunk down cash for the opportunity to wait in line.  He has to do very little to keep this operation running. 

I have no foindation in law. Yet I am pretty sure his ability to avoid prosecution depends on the fact that he maintains that he has never had a contract for a due date for any cars. The people on the list entered into this arrangement knowing this and willingly. If this business person changes anything to mitigate that delecate balance the power shifts to the consumer.

This sort of model preys on the human ego and the promise of a great value. Dr. Seuss has a story about the "Star Belly Sneech". Everyone could do well to pick up a copy.

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The crappy part is we have all fallen for this at some level. Mine? Its the elusive 5 speed.

(Im sure Ive said all of this before...)

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