Car Shop Taking Forever

Thanks for the additional information

here’s how I see it . . .

You as the customer have done all the shop asked and held up your end of the agreement

The shop has not held up their end of the agreement, whether it’s due to poor management or malicious intent, I can’t say

I hope you’re going to call that shop Monday morning, that you’re coming over . . .

Or if you’re working and can be there before they close for the end of the day, call them and tell them you’re coming over to check on the progress and hang up before they can give you any more excuses

If you choose the latter, you can even say “I’m just leaving work. I’m coming over to check on my car’s progress. Gotta hang up, I’m driving”

Sounds like the shop hasn’t really done anything to earn your business . . . ?

It’s time to fish or cut bait. There is no way a shop should have possession of a car for a year unless it’s a wild custom job headed to the Barrett Jackson auction.

At this point my big concern would also be what is going to happen if this car has problems even if they do get it done? One little problem going to take 2 years to sort out?

I agree. Hold them to the fire or bail on them.

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Are you speaking literally there? As in, you bought them tools? If so, seriously, what the hell? The kid in tech college has tools. You should never have to buy a shop any tools. That’s a big red flag.


In the future, for a complicated project like this it’s best for both owner & shop to agree (in writing) on project milestone complete dates, with payments made for each milestone. If the milestone isn’t complete, no payment. There can be penalties made by the shop to the owner as part of the agreement as compensation for milestone completion delays. I’m guessing this problem is caused by the informal arrangement you have w/the shop. Suggest to try for the two of you to get together, and come up with a new agreement in writing; i.e. move the ball in the above direction.

Show up unannounced and ask to bring your vehicle home.

Discovered today that the issue was a terrible gap in communication between the two managers of the business. I told them we’re scrapping everything and they went into a panic. I’m going to have a majority of the work completed elsewhere, and I’ll let them finish up the motor as was originally planned. Had to give them nowhere to run.


Hi guys. Necroing this thread to give an update.

Long story short…
Wait for it…

Nothing has changed! That’s right folks - it is now May, and not a single thing has changed. They said they were waiting on a cam(last thing they were waiting on before building the engine for some reason), so I checked it out. Supposed to be a bullet racing caM. I called bullet about an order, and there is no record of an order.

There was a reply earlier about putting things in writing. For future reference guys, please put everything in writing before taking on a major job. Because this is bullshit and has been destroying my mental health for a long time now.

Did you follow through and only leave them the motor per prior post? Time to pull that too…

Never take your car to gas monkey garage.

You need to get your car out of there

But before you have it towed out of there, you need to know where it’s going

On monday morning, contact that rival shop . . . the one we discussed earlier. Tell them you would like to come over and discuss them finishing your car, which was started by another shop. If they agree to meet with you, bring over any and all pictures of the project. If they ask, tell them where it’s at right now. If they don’t ask, don’t volunteer that information. No point badmouthing the other shop. Who knows? There might be guys who’'ve worked at both shops . . .

If the rival shop agrees to finish the project, ask them how soon you can have it towed over there

Once the time is established, I suggest you give the 1st shop as little notice as possible. On the day of the tow, call them and be as brief as possible . . . “I’m having a tow truck show up this morning to pick up my car and all that goes along with it.”

Realistically, you might need at least 2 trucks, if the engine, suspension and interior are out of the car

As for “settling up” with the 1st shop . . . can’t give any advice there

And don’t feel too bad about the whole thing

It sounds like when it’s finally done, it might be worthy of being the main article in a car magazine

I’ve read LOTS of car magazine articles where it was bluntly stated that the project was started by one shop, but finished by another shop, because the first one couldn’t finish it . . . usually because of incompetence and/or mismanagement.

Yep, agree with @db4690 As far as payment goes, only pay for parts that they can give you receipts for and that you can verify are with your car/parts. As far as labor goes, I dunno, they’d have to itemize what they spent time on I guess. But can they hold the car and put a mechanics lien on it until the bill is settled? Yeah they can but would they?

Only motor is there, yes!

This is exactly what I have to do because there is no other choice. I really can’t wait any longer. I understand it’s a complete build but I already have a transmission and rear end ready to go, and even a fresh roller with a roll cage all built to make the process easier for them. I have waited nearly TWO YEARS for this with absolutely no progress! In fact, they have just completed machining of the motor approximately 2-3 months ago. I have provided near unlimited funding (which, no I have not paid for any work in advance) to facilitate the process.

At this time, I can’t see any other solution. The “rival shop” we discussed gets things done quickly and specialize in the LS engine. I only selected this shop initially because they were FRIENDS of my dad, who also had work done to his vehicle with great success prior. With that said, there’s absolutely zero fun to be had with no car, and I don’t know of any other way to motivate these people.

Motor is simply just a machined block, but the pistons etc are there. “Short block is complete” they say, while there’s simply parts laying around everywhere it’s a mess. So, realistically you’re saying I’ll have to bite the bullet and just get some trucks to go and haul the crap out of there, in parts or not? (assuming they would agree to complete)

Your car is in a bad state right now . . . it’s literally in pieces, correct?

The most concerning thing is the motor . . . because it’s not even assembled

It really sounds like this shop is taking you for granted, not showing you any respect, and they’re very badly mismanaged, on top of everything else

If all they have is the motor, then one pickup should suffice. You are way more tolerant than I ever would have been. I would call the owner and remind him of the prior conversation and commitment they made last time. It’s now x months later and their chances are up. I will be at your shop at 1pm Monday to pick up my motor and all the parts that go with it.

I’ve helped a friend in similar situation. It was unbelievable they were aghast we were there to pick up his car and parts. They tried to convince him to let them continue as he was “next in line”. Yeah right. 5 or 6 cars parked in with 1/4" dust on it. We hauled it to another shop that actually did the work they promised to do…

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Yeah. So I wanted to just go ahead and do that but it’s almost like I’m in too deep here. I’ve known these guys for so long and then they went ahead and did that for me. They said they were “looking for a proper donor car” because as I was mentioning this car would be a total rebuild. Anyway they only told me this after I basically railed them in a nasty text. So I found one a proper donor car and sent it over. You know what they said? “Oh, I thought you didn’t have the money so I didn’t want to push the envelope here and bankrupt you.” Really? After I have pushed to get this car done since day one and countless mentions of money not being a concern. Then to top it off they then revert to “We didn’t want to tell you but we ran out of money to do this project.” That’s all they would’ve had to tell me a YEAR ago when it started sitting. So I bought them all the parts. Some motor parts still on order even. I’m just too far in this to back out of it in my eyes, and the rival shop continues to laugh at this entire situation from a safe distance (which I would too).

Anyway I decided I’m going to come by unannounced randomly to make sure they’re doing something. Excuse after excuse guys. They have all the parts to put the car’s new rear end in (which I had bought over a year ago and is collecting dust as well) and should be doing that. If I go in tomorrow and it’s sitting there I’m going to go absolutely nuts, and there are just too many parts laying around to go elsewhere so I feel kind of screwed here.

Unfortunately that thinking almost always leads to failure. It’s been used to justify not changing directions in everything from car repair to the Vietnam War, and it almost always results in just wasting a lot more resources than you would have if you’d pulled the plug earlier.

These guys are not interested in finishing your car. They are not going to get interested even if you throw parts at them.

At this point I would be worried that if I dropped by for random “inspections” they’ll just throw crap together without doing it right just so that they have something to show you so you shut up and leave. I would not trust them to build this car correctly.


The track record is clear. Expecting it to suddenly change in your favor is not likely and the more probable result is shoddy work just to get it done.

Unfortunately, I learned this a long time ago. Now I don’t give much rope at all. First signs it’s not going right, I make it known. Second time, I pull the plug.

Reminds me of these landscape guys I hired to do a patch job in my front yard. Insurance was footing the bill and I was passing along the inflated amount to them to get them to do the job quickly. They promised to get there that week. One week later, what’s going on? Oh, you’re next. Two weeks later they got notice that the job had been retracted as of 5pm. It was 4:55. This was to avoid having them run over to start working on it. They said, that doesn’t leave much time…ah, you had 3 weeks to collect a nice fat check for doing very little. Now someone else will get that chance. Click! I did it myself and pocketed the cash…


You keep saying that the cost is not a problem , so pay them to put every thing in one place and have it all moved to a shop that really will do what you want .

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The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results…

This shop will make you insane! Don’t be insane. Push, pull or drag that car out of there!