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Not mine (of course) but my GOD the included repair/correction invoices are making me cringe so hard.

"This Porsche 550 Spyder replica was built in 2002 by Thunder Ranch and was acquired by the selling dealer approximately ten years ago. Utilizing a tubular steel frame and fiberglass body, the car is powered by a mid-mounted 2,275cc flat-four equipped with Weber carburetors and mated to a 4-speed manual transaxle. Records totaling $82k are included from previous ownership, and recent work by the seller is said to have included a tune-up and battery replacement. ..."

Original Post
Bob: IM S6 posted:

How can one car need that much in work?  Crazy.

It can if the mechanic is unscrupulous and can see you comin'... 

Well ferangelator valves and corbundium gear retainers are expensive. The mechanic was only supplying the very best, made in a small German factory in the southern part of the Black Forest over a 7 night period during May, 2011. That's where all the best 550 parts come from.

And the paint used for the red stripes derives its vivid color from the only known meteorite from Mars that wash crushed, processed and sacrificed to make it.

There you go, $82,000.00.

The actual invoices are there, and it's not far from this. Seat belt installation was like $2500. The shop fabbed-up tubular steel frames for the shoulder harnesses. 

Seat adjustments were many thousands before they were swapped out of other seats, billed at $6,000 apparently not including reupholstery(?)

The carbs I can't even. Gotta be $5,000-plus. 

Hours and hours on Brandwood shifter adjustment, including fabbing up new brackets. Having done this I can relate. Brackets do take time to make. But...WHY? The stock bracket works fine in lots and lots of cars!

On and on it goes. And on and on.

Most of these bills seem to date from 2010. My guess is the then-owner was deep pocketed and mechanically disinclined. He wanted it done by professionals.

At one point in the invoices there are entries for "Research feasibility of swapping Porsche 6-cylinder." Several hours were spent/billed, concluding it "would not be cost-effective."



edsnova posted:


At one point in the invoices there are entries for "Research feasibility of swapping Porsche 6-cylinder." Several hours were spent/billed, concluding it "would not be cost-effective."

It was certainly cost-effective for whoever did the research...

You have to admire “Exoticars USA” for having the balls to so grossly overcharge an obviously dumb and easy customer by such blatant amounts for relatively easy fixes on a fiberglass replica car.

Wow.     Just Wow......

Workmanship problems coming out of Thunder Ranch have been pretty well documented over the years, but the gouging of “Exeoticars USA” takes “fixing” those issues to a whole new extreme.

Last edited by Gordon Nichols

This is the PERFECT example off why we require  any shop to call us about performing work on a car if we are participating in warranty repair or otherwise...  These bits are CRAZY.  I haven't even read through them all but they charged $1330 for fabricating a "slave saver" bracket that can be purchased for under $100.

$1000 to make some aluminum seat spacers?!?! ...and then didn't even install them in the end...

A total $5k to install wide fives, and based on their comments they had the stamped caliper brackets which require turning down the bearing capo in the lathe but instead they remachined the entire bearing housing??

Wow... just wow.

Arden posted:

All that money and I  didn’t see a tube of Vaseline!!!

Oh, that's bad- Vinnie would love that!

I might try to track down the owner and call the shop. I feel like these invoices are an artifact worthy of study, and that a cautionary tale could be told that maybe some people would like to read and that maybe could help some folks in the hobby.

Consensus here and on the Spyder board is that the PO got his face ripped off. But I wonder what he thinks.

Since all these repairs were nearly a decade ago, there's nothing legally actionable, right? The shop documented a lot of hours spent; the customer paid the one's mad.

Maybe a little insight from Carey (if he's willing) and a little more (or less) from me, a rank amateur who has documented hours spent assembling and modding a very similar car. . . .

Of course, getting anyone to pay even $.50 per word to publish such a tale—that's the hard part. 

Last edited by edsnova

This owner seemed like a less mechanically inclined version of my friend, "Chuck".  Chuck started a company that eventually did very well as it grew and got bought by the place I worked for.  We kept Chuck on as a divisional VP and he did quite well, allowing him to buy beautiful homes on prestigious Plum Island ($$$$) in Massachusetts and in Boca Raton ($$$$$$$$$) in Florida.  

He also bought a brand-new Porsche Carrera and seasonally drove it between homes because he enjoyed the ride ("it gives me time to think").  He always traded for another new one every 2 years so his car was never out of warranty because, as he said to me, "YOU can work on your car to fix most of the stuff that needs attention.  If I were to do that I would certainly make it worse while I was breaking something else so it pays to pay someone else to fix it."

I saw Chuck last at the wake for our company's founder and he told me he drove up from Florida for the wake so he could get new tires for his Carrera at a place in New Hampshire.  "Why go there?" I asked.

"Because I save $2,500 on the set up there compared to the places in Florida.  The car takes a special set of four a-symmetrical tires (rotation sensitive, it turns out) and the place in Florida gets $7,500 for the set.  Up in New Hampshire they only get $5 Grand."

"So, Chuck, how long does a set of tires last on your Carrera S?" I asked.

"Well, if I go easy on it I can get 15,000 miles out of a set.  They tell me that's good"

That last line shocked me, but I looked into it and yes, the model of Carrera 4S that he got talked into by the dealership in Florida is kind of a Hot Rod version intended for the weekend gentleman racer and should only wear a-symmetrical track-type tires that cost both arms and legs.

All that for a guy who only drives around town and makes two trips along the coast on I-95 each year.  There are a lot of Chucks out there, apparently.

Kevin - Bay Area posted:

I also wonder why you would take a replica to a shop that specializes in restoring Ferraris?


Exactly!  And if you are so inclined, you probably deserve whatever they are charging.  My guess is the owner at that time also had a Ferarri or two, ... or three and that is where he was comfortable taking his cars.

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