This is my site what happened to my 1966 Mustang Fastback at The Classic Chassis located in Fayetteville NC and hopefully, one day, to show its rebuild. When he first returned the car he made promises to completely repair all the damage that he admits happened at his shop. That email is his response when I told him I wanted a local shop to do all the repairs and have him pay for it. As you can see he said he would take care of it, but never did. In his own words the car was not like that when he first got it. The car was not in need of any major work, but now the car currently is not drivable and heavily rusted and needs completely restored. You can read the story here. Be careful if he promises to fix any damages for no cost, he will force you to pay him or threaten to keep your car.
If you have had work done by this guy I would advise taking it to a real expert and have the entire car examined. Take the door panels off and look into doors, check every corner, remove the interior and look at the interior body panels, check under the dash, look under the carpet, everywhere. Check for rust, caked on compound, dry rot, missing parts and bolts.
I managed to successfully sue the owner of The Classic Chassis but should he ever pay up, it wouldn't even cover the cost of court. If you have work done by this guy you are better off just taking the hit or taking matters into your own hands, than going to court, by going public with what he does. Its the only real choice you have. The courts make it very hard to sue for damages and then, at least in NC, provide you absolutely no means to collect. So even if you win, you still loose.
As the owner even testified in court, the car did not have any rust on the car when he got it. You will see from these photos after he was done, that is certainly not the case now. Of course I am not asking you to just take my word on this, he had fully admitted all of this in emails.
Update: August 2015
I recently got some news on Brian Clark. A few years ago he "sold" his business but he actually did not sell the business. He had someone else manage it. He was still involved in the business and working on cars. Something I am sure none of those he cheated knew about as the new "owner" let everyone know he would "fix" those cars at a discount. Well this guy was as big of a crook as Clark. He was eventually arrested for stealing VIN numbers off cars and I believe he want to jail for it. I have no doubt that Clark was involved but he somehow went free. As we continue to see the sheriff will not touch Clark no matter what he does. I was even told that Clark may have been involved in the theft of a vehicle from the shop yet he still walks free.
Clark continue to cheat people for 10 years after he cheated me and no one would touch him. But it appears that finally after all this time his luck may have partly run out as the NC Attorney General's office is pursuing Clark trying to recover damages for those he cheated. I am also told the FBI and DMV are after him as well but I dont have the specifics on what. Of course I am told they are likely to never recover anything and of course dont expect him to see a day in jail. He is currently trying to claim bankruptcy once again.
I have argued with the sheriff to no end. His office just makes excuses for him. They even refuse to make any attempt to recover any stolen parts and return them to the people they were stolen from. I have made little progress on my car. I can barely drive it around the block before it begins to over heat. I found holes in the gas tank that were covered over. This was an after market tank he put in after stealing my original tank and sending unit. When I removed the tank I found that he drilled a hole directly into the tank to mount the wiring instead of properly routing it. I also recently found out why I have trouble shifting into 2nd and 4th gear. He stole the shifter mounting plate and put in one for a 1964 Fairlane for a big block engine which moved the shifter back far enough so that it hits the floor sheet metal when trying to shift to 2nd and 4th The shifter is also missing mounting screws and for the plate and bushing in the arms .I also found that on the passenger seat belts he cut out the supports in the floor for it just as he did for the driver side in the rocker panel.
Update: November 01 2012
Not being satisfied with cheating dozens of customers out of hundreds of thousands of dollars, not paying his employees, not paying his workman's compensation or federal taxes Brian Clark has also not been paying his state and county taxes resulting in the county attempting to foreclose on his home. This resulted in the county taking legal action against all lien holders on his home (me included) in attempt to strip the home of all liens so that they may seize and and sell it at auction. You wonder how this crook managed to hold on to all that cash he swindled from his customers and the money he was paid when he sold his business. This goes to show how crooked the laws in North Carolina are. They so heavily favor crooked business owners they can get away with cheating everyone.
I have yet to even begin work on restoring my car back to what it was prior to Brian Clark getting his hands on it. The authorities in North Carolina have refused to provide any assistance to recover any of the original parts the Brian Clark took from my car, including the hood, front and rear bumpers and both doors. And I have not been able to find any suitable replacement parts.
Update: June 24 2011
I just found out that Brian Clark has sold off his business and possibly started a new one. Those of you who living NC need to find out where this crook is so others can be warned to stay away. WRAL says they are still planning on doing the follow up and are looking into what this guy is up to now. I hope to post that soon.
Update: November 11 2010
I recently learned that the Secretary of State has closed on Brian Clark's business. I am not entirely sure what that means, but its possibly related his dismissed bankruptcy case. Or he may have filed to dissolve his business. In 2008 he owed the government around $220, 000 to $250, 000 for failing to pay taxes and workman's comp I believe. I don't remember exactly what the bankruptcy lawyer told me. With interest and penalties I'm sure that is much more now. What I fear this means is that Brian Clark will be forcefully shut down soon and many others will loose all they have paid Brian Clark and any original parts he has taken from their cars. You may need to contact the Secretary of State to check on this. If this happens he will likely just open up a new business with a new name and continue his ways. Keep an eye out for this and make sure the public knows where this crook turns up.
If anyone does plan to sue, if you ever expect to collect on that judgment you will have to prove fraud. But NC makes that near impossible. You should also know the judge may not even allow the jury to consider fraud. However with all the stories coming out there can be no doubt his wife and his brother in law, Dave Summers, are involved and cannot deny being fully aware of his crooked dealings. In Dave Summers case he has been directly involved with me and others. So if you do sue, make sure to include their names in the suit. That would prevent Clark from hiding behind his wife by putting her name on the business and personal property. If you are able to do that then you may not have to prove fraud to collect. Be sure to consult a lawyer.
To make it cheaper try and contact as many others as you can and sue him together to share lawyer fees and court costs. However I like the idea of him trying to fight 20+ lawsuits. He won't be able to use bankruptcy as a threat since he has already tried that with the government. He cant file again for years. And I think he would be hard pressed to get a lawyer to take up his case since he owes so much money. The reason is, if you can provide fraud he is forced to pay any judgment otherwise you must try to seize property to sell at auction. This is how he has been getting away with not paying judgments, by hiding behind his wife putting the business and personal property in her name. Even more so since his bankruptcy. So with her name in the fillings you would possibly have a chance to seize property. I have yet to be able to collect on my judgment, which would not even cover legal costs if I am ever able.
However, be careful if he hires the lawyer he used in my civil case, Steve Lawrence. Any meetings you have with him, Brian Clark, or anyone associated with him I highly suggest you have a 3rd party with you, with a video camera to record everything. They will all lie about anything that was discussed or things they personally observed on your cars, including the lawyer, Steve Lawrence. And you will need that video when they do. If they bring a video camera try to get your lawyer to force them to turn over an unedited copy. They will, such in my case, use an edited version at trial to remove anything they don't want the jury to see.
WRAL is also planning on doing a follow story on this due to the large response they have received from former customers and their experiences.
Update: October 23 2010
A news story has finally been done on the crooked ways of Brian Clark by WRAL 5 out of Raleigh NC. Nine people were interviewed for the story, many more have added comments to the story saying how they have been ripped off by Brian Clark all with similar stories of what happened to me; paid for work not completed, cars left outside to rust for many months, work only partly completed, cars damaged, parts missing, etc. And Brian continues with his same excuses as he has given me.
What really pisses me off is how he cheated deployed members of the military. No work done on the guy's car and Brian refusing to return his money. Brian Clark needs to go to jail. Has this guy no shame at all? The local authorities need to seize all his property and sell it off to pay back on his cheated customers. Clark has stolen hundreds of thousands of dollars from people and ruined their cars. His excuse? "I'm just trying to run a business". But apparently cheating his customers is not enough. He has to cheat his own employees as well. Not paying them for their work.
The story on WRAL can be found here, http://www.wral.com/5onyourside/story/8489292/. Or go to http://www.wral.com/ and search for Brian Clark.
Update: October 15 2010
It would appear that Brian Clark continues to defraud customers as several others have posted reports on Ripoff Report.com. All sound the same, thousands paid, no work done, parts go missing, etc. Visit the site and see for yourself, http://www.ripoffreport.com/Search/classic-chassis.aspx.
Update: June 8 2010
It seems Mr Clark has continued his crooked ways. I was recently contacted by another individual who was cheated as well. Work not done at all or not completed, parts stolen, thousands of dollars lost and a ruined car. I was not the first cheated by this guy and Jim sure this guy will not be the last. Someone will have to step up and get this guy shut down and put in jail. You must contact the Sheriff, the police will not get involved. Contact the media and get the work out. Gather all the people you can find who have been cheated and make the Sheriff do something against Mr. Clark and his brother in law who seems to always be directly involved. At this point I think any lawsuit could make the case to include his brother in law and wife in the suit saying that had full knowledge and direct involvement. This would prevent him from hiding his assets and bragging that he is untouchable.
I also found out that Mr Clark had attempted to illegally transfer the title of my car so he could sell it, while he was claiming to work on it. He was going to do this with the assistance of a relative who works for the DMV in Fayetteville. The matter is currently under investigation with the DMV. The person he tried to sell my car to said he was told I had abandoned the car there. Legal documents from my suit against Mr Clark show this to be a lie. I may never get any money from my lawsuit against him. He filed bankruptcy last year. Seems he is not satisfied from cheating his customers, he also does not pay his taxes or workman's compensation.