Car restoration taking years

May 17, 2013 1:36:20 PM PDT
James Colvin has had enough.

"Very frustrated, I mean very. Words just won't describe how I feel about him because I don't feel nobody should have to go through what I went through," he told us.  

Colvin was talking about Wayne Goss, the owner of G&S Auto Body in Goldsboro.  Colvin took his 1967 Pontiac to Goss in November 2011.

"He promised me that he would have it ready by March 2012.  But he said, before I can start, I need $4,500 up front," Colvin recalled.

Colvin says he paid him the money, and would make visits to the shop to check the progress.

"He had parts here, parts here - had everything together.  He said, 'I've had all this restored.  Bumpers, the seats, everything on the inside is restored all I got to do is put it back together,'" Colvin recalled.

The first of 2012, Colvin paid another $3,200 - making it a total of $7,700.

"So he told me, 'Give me three weeks. Everything will be back together.'  So I said, 'Well, listen I need it for the car show that's gonna be in Dunn in July-August,'" said Colvin.

The car show happened, but Colvin still didn't have his car back and says he heard excuse after excuse.

"Your car is ready. All I got to do is just get one thing.  And it's been that way the whole time," said Colvin. "He got my car. He got my money, so that puts me at a disadvantage."

Colvin was fed up and didn't know what to do.

"So the last time I went down there, it was this year, 2013, and I told him, I said, 'I won't be back. I'm going to make you famous,'" said Colvin.

Famous, by calling me. In March, the owner of G&S Auto Body told me the car was basically finished. He just had to do a few things but would have it done by the end of the week. Each end of the week, the car still wasn't done and he told me there was a new item that had to be done on the car. This went on for more than a month and a half before I paid Goss a visit at his shop in Goldsboro.

I asked to see the car, but Goss said it wasn't at his shop.

"No, it's at the upholsterer getting a dash put in," he explained.

Goss said the upholsterer was in Swansboro - an hour and a half away. So I asked when Colvin would get his car.

"My plans are to give him that car Friday," he said.

I pointed out we'd heard that a few times before.

"Well, it's been a tough car.  I mean it's Pontiac's four-doors not like the two-doors, and I mentioned that to you before," said Goss.

I pointed out he's had the car since 2011.

"Yeah, but you know, things have gone crazy with it so I mean it just is what it is," said Goss.

"Just be honest are you going to get the car done?" I said.

"Yeah, I wouldn't do him that way.  He's a really nice guy and he doesn't deserve this.  And I really, to be honest with you, I'm as embarrassed as I could be over this car because this is the worst car I've had you know in all the years I've been in business, this is the worst car I've ever had," said Goss.

And remember, Colvin has already paid Goss over $7,700.

"And if you'll remember though, I knocked out all of his debt you know everything that he owes me," said Goss.

We had go through the contract and the payment history to remind Goss there wasn't much debt to knock off - just $1,300.

Goss again defended himself.

"I know it sounds crazy, but it's been a nightmare, it really has.  One of the worst cars I've ever had," he said. "I hate that it's in this situation to be honest with you.  I feel terrible.  I mean it's not something I want to do.  I don't want to be in a situation where I'm upset or having somebody upset with me because we've been doing this for so long over the years that we've never had a problem."

We continued to press Goss to see the vehicle, and he told us he'd go pick it up and have it ready the next day. But that evening, he called to say it would be the following Friday. Each time we called, he kept pushing back the completion date.

After being told it would be finished, I went with Colvin to collect the car. When we arrived, the car was at the shop, but it is still not finished.

"We didn't make it. We put a lot of effort into it to try and make it," said Goss.

While the car looks shiny on the outside, there's still quite a bit of interior work to do - including a cracked dash that Goss had told me the week before he was getting replaced.

Colvin did get a chance to look over the car he hasn't seen in a year and a half. He told me while he's frustrated the work is not finished, he's happy with the quality of what has been done.

"Now, he's doing a hell of a job," said Colvin. "Whole lot of progress."

Goss says he needs just one more week to finish it.

"I hate it for myself and him, but we put a lot of effort in the car and it looks great. He was very pleased with it to this point.  So we may be behind schedule, but it's not what we want to do. I feel terrible about it," said Goss.

So next Friday we'll be back at G&S Auto, and hopefully this time Colvin can drive away in his 1967 beauty.

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