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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi there All,

As many of you know I purchased a 2001 TT lotus esprit out of Marina-Del Rey California a months ago. I searched high and low for quite some time to try to find the right vehicle and color combination for me within my budget and came across the one I purchased. I spoke to the owner (Wesley Burnett) owner OR employee of Total barrier Works; (this guy: http://www.facebook.com/wesley.m.burnett ) a company based out of Mississippi. The guy Who sold the car to me Promised me I would not be dis-appointed with my purchase and told me the car was in exceptional condition. Instead the Seller turned out to be a lying scum bag. He had raced the car and abused it completely having neglected it entirely. The guy in question gave me a cold shoulder and stopped taking my calls after hew knew I found out the car was in serious need of work. He scammed me and went on his merry way. Wesley is truly a terrible excuse of a man; one who is deceitful and dis-honest perhaps even criminal.

After driving the car Illegally for the second time since purchase (Wesley Burnett did not sign the title, still not signed or registered, Wesley wont answer my calls, and does not want to sign the title) The car threw various Check engine codes, went into limp mode and started to smoke from the right bank of the engine. The engine had to come out of the car at this point and I tackled the task myself along with another mechanic (Subaru tech; and friend of mine). The engine pull was tedious but the engine came out. After closer inspections I found that everything was beat to death. Even the brake rotors were warped and grooved. The pads were down to metal the front air deflector broken, the horn and fog lamps were not functional, the tires were down to bare metal, the interior was greased up with Armor-all up to the teeth, the car pissed oil, gears were grinding between shifts, and was truly a dis-appointment, it failed inspection immediately.

After having made a terrible mistake I proceed to rebuild everything. I spent $14,324 dollars in repairs and maintenance work after paying 33K for a "perfect" car

My lotus has NEW everything essentially:

Turbos T-28 BOTH sides
Transmission rebuild with upgraded internals
cam belts JAE
Cam seals,
valve cover gaskets
sensors,
exhaust (old was damaged)
Brakes front
Raditor replaced
new lines,
new hoses
new belts
new plugs
new wires
new battery
new tail light
emblems
tires
wheels
engine harness
transmission mounts
engine mounts tire rods
front strut
lower air dam
new filters
oil pan and gasket
crank seal
alternator
tensioner
rotors

ETC: the list goes on.


The turbos were chewed up, filters looked to be original and oil was shot, transmission was blown inside with bad syncros disc brakes were chewed to bits, turbos leaked oil gaskets were toast.


CONCLUSION:

dont trust anyone! it is not worth it. I lost my shirt, my confidence and faith in some people.

Always look at a car prior to buying. Even if the car is in Marina del rey CA and you are in NY.

to everyone and anyone who has been here for me I appreciate it unconditionally and I thank all of the members for all of the help. Any tool or advice given is much obliged

I got the car running last night and hope to drive this car sometime next month after it is finished even if one day before it gets put away; I have driven a total of 2 times, have not driven since bought; and hope I can reach the 3rd time mark before it goes into storage. I also hope the DMV will accept a title and lien on a vehicle where I have not received a signature yet; I have tried to reach out to numerous lawyers having absolutely no success. I hope all ends well.

On a side note I will give personal reviews on the upgraded transmission and will disclose the company That made the upgrades if anyone is interested. The upgrade re-enforces all of the internals and cost about 3K. Figured I might as well do it right If at all.

Thanks to all
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
That is my rant! who ever buys my car next will be buying MY car, a perfect in NEW condition car with absolutely nothing less than perfection.
 

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Man... Terrible Story! I'm sorry you had to deal with that!

I will say I don't think I would have spent a dime on that car until I had the title! Seems pretty risky! But good luck! I hope it gets figured out!
 

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There's no doubt about it, that story stinks. I hope karma does its thing.

But here's a way to look on the bright side. If you get the car all finished up after the 33K + 15K, that's $48K. Yes, you could have gotten a much better car that might have cost say $38K. It would have been a good car, but chances are there's a few things it would need anyway, like a clutch, like belts, like your desires to still upgrade the gearbox for $3K. So that $38K car could have cost you $41 to $43K instead and it would have been a lot less work.

But if you stick with the car, and own it for 4-5 years, the pain of the work will have faded, and you can spread that $5 or $6K extra over 4-5 years, it's really not the end of the world.

If you go buy a new Jag or many other premium cars, you could lose $15K in just 1st year depreciation.

So it's all relative.

The issue with the title is scary, and that needs to be resolved for sure. Do you have a bill of sale?
 

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Sorry to hear about your story and buying experience. This is why it is so important to get a PPI or Pre-Purchase Inspection of any car when you are buying it across country and can't get to check it out yourself. It may cost you around $200 but it can be a life saver.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Have a bill of sale, and title. Yes I wanted to do an inspection but that was going to cost about $500. Should have done it!
 

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The signed bill of sale should be your saviour in this case.

What's the story on the lien? Who's lien? Tell me the doche doesn't still have a lien on the car? I have a friend that bought an Esprit that still had a lien on it from the previous owner, and even though he paid the seller in full, the seller didnt pay off the lien, and months later, the bank came at night and took the car. He had to drive to the auction in another state, and re-purchase his own car as a bidder, and then fix the damage from the hasty midnight repo. Don't be that guy.
 

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I have bought probably close to ten cars sight unseen, including four Esprits.
I didn't get a PPI on any of them, BUT in all but one case I or a trusted person looked at the car before any significant money changed hands, and in all cases the properly executed title was part of the exchange. The only exception was a car that would have been break even as a parts car anyway(we ended up redoing it).
As to the PPI, I would do it for any car that I didn't know well enough to inspect myself, and am paying significantly mote than what I can part the car out for.

Most people are mostly honest... Problem is you can't tell who isn't.

Randy
 

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That car was on every list. Global, AutoTrader, etc. it look a long time to sell even though it was priced cheap.

I bought my 98 just a few months ago sight unseen without a PPI (nowhere to get one done in Reno that I could trust). I did have someone related to this forum take a look at it to confirm the basics. To me, if you spend enough time talking to the owner, you can tell what kind of person they are. My car turned out as described and I can say that the PO and I are buddies that email several times a week now on Lotus and other topics.
 

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Sorry to hear of all the trouble. Just curious - did you check the rod/main bearings and crank? That's where my PO problems showed up.
 

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You should not have spent even a nickel on the car once you "bought" it without a signed Title. The PO can claim he lost the Title, file for and receive a new Title and try to reclaim the car. You, on the otherhand can show a Bill of Sale and the transfer of money to the seller. It will be settled in a Court of Law but not without spending more money on lawyers. In the meantime you cannot Title, register, or drive the the car on public roads, insure it, or sell it. This is an ugly mess which you could have avoided just by looking over the car. It would have been immediately obvious the condition of the interior, the tires, and the brakes. Bright spots of this fiasco include the fact that you did not mention any collision history (except for the lower spoiler) and you did not have to rebuild the motor. Even with all of the money you spent you did not do so bad at $48K for a perfect V-8. Of course that doesn't include anything for your or your friend's labor! The DMV in your State should have some provision for issuing a Title that doesn't have to include getting the PO to sign it. There are cases where the PO is dead, there must be some way to handle that situation, your's is similar. As for any Liens, they MUST be satisfied and have proof of such before ANY State will accept the sale of the car. If you thought you spent a lot of money on the car, wait until you finish spending money on fixing the Title! That should have been the First thing to work on, not the last. Now you are in danger of losing not just what you paid for the car but all of the money you spent to fix it up! It could come down to YOU having to satisfy (pay off) the Lien! It might be time to get the Police involved. Be careful though, they might take the car away from you, you cannot properly prove ownership!
David Teitelbaum
 

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Sorry to hear of the difficulties...I went through the title issue with a low mileage Fiero GT last year. I bought the car thinking I could get an abandoned title on it but the last titled state (MD) was not interested in helping. Thankfully I paid little enough for it that I was able to sell it to someone who used the mechanics lien process to get a title, which does not require the DMV from the previous titled state. There are companies that can get you a title but it was $750 or more. Obviously with the money/time you have invested in this car, its worth the cost to go with a title company.
 

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That's good info on the titles companies for Diesel. We definitely don't need to beat him up anymore on the decisions he made, but help him get out of this mess.

The big question is the lien. Does it have one from the PO?
 

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If there is a properly recorded Lien on the car it has to say so on the Title. You can use that information on the Title to contact the Lienholder. If it was a bank, be prepared for the Royal Run Around. If you are unlucky enough to have to deal with a bank that has been bought (and maybe bought again) it can be very hard to get anyone who knows anything. If the Title does have a registered Lienholder you should have stopped what you were doing as soon as you saw that. If the Lien was satisfied they will stamp over the Lien that it was paid and the seller should have paperwork also proving it (good luck on that too). Now if the car was put up as Collateral for a Loan and there is no recorded Lien on the Title you should be OK. You are getting into Legal territory and only a lawyer can give you legal advice. Title companies cannot "clean up" a Title that has a Lien on it. The only way is to somehow satisfy the Lienholder so they will release the Lien. If you can prove that the Lien is not valid or was paid off they must release it. Otherwise you may have to give the Lienholder money. One thing in your favor, typically the Lienholder will not give the original Title to the owner until the Lien is paid off so maybe it was paid. Or the owner is scamming the Lienholder and already got a duplicate Title so he could try to sell the car!!!!!
David Teitelbaum
 

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In the case of my friend, the bank with the lien called him to have a friendly conversation about the lien and how the issue could be resolved. During the conversation, they casually asked where he is keeping the car. He told them. The car was taken that night.

Hide your car if it has a lien from the PO.
 

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I have to ask, why would you replace the oil pan? Was the original damaged? When I rebuild mine I just cleaned it, all the metal bits came right out. The oil pump was another story......

Also, wasn't that turbo damage on the compressor side? Did you take the heads off and check if there was any damage to the cylinders or heads? The broken bits might have been sucked into the engine.

Sorry you had to pull the engine, it isn't the most fun.
 

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Wow.. that sucks.. I think this is one I was considering back in March.. I believe there was some sort of ding on the carfax and the price made me feel a little hesitant.. it was way lower than other 01's I was looking at.. plus I wanted a non-upgraded rear..

Anyway. As others have said keep it for a while and all the rebuild costs will be worth it in the end.. many of those bits might end up breaking anyway.. so now you have a nice reliable car! (As long as the work was done right)

Anyway.. I bought mine sight unseen out of jersey and had some trouble with the PO getting the title.. but he was cooperative and it all went well.. my car has somw tics but they all do to some extent..

Anyway.. get out there and enjoy !
 

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Discussion Starter #20
well guys, Fortunately there is NO lien on the title. When I was talking aboutr liens I was mainly thinking I could put a lien on it using my friends' repairshop chain. After all I have spent considerable monies on the car. When I bought the car I asked the guy questions till I was blue in the face, lotus motor cars had some records (however they were from 2006) and I paid the man, and naturally he sent the title after payment but he sent an unsigned title. shortly after the car came in an enclosed trailer. I have bought cars sight unseen and have been always lucky because I ask questions and do my re-search. This time the seller was in black and white, a liar and a deceptive fellow. Not much can be done! I am still trying to register the car. Ideally Id like to find an attourney so I can sue the bastard. Nobody Ive been able to reach wants to help without 3K upfront its life!
 
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