Taken for A Ride 2011

The following is a tale of woe and embarrassment. I had thought initially to keep my misfortune a secret, but what the hell, people may as well learn from it.

I’ve been looking for a “new” Porsche for some time. I wanted either a 914 or a 993. It had not been easy. It seemed as if everyone I dealt with didn’t really want to sell their cars. Lots of people I talked to seemed to be buying something from the US, so I decided I would look there too. I found a car on the web, a 73 914 2.0 being sold on consignment by an outfit called Auto Europa in Naples, Florida. The car was billed as having “no cancer whatsoever” and “no oil leaks”, among other wonderful attributes. The consignor was an 85 year old man who had owned the car for over 30 years. He had service records from day one. He had recently spent $4000 to convert the car back to fuel injection. The salesman, Ed Biocic seemed like a nice guy. He had owned a 914 himself. Apparently Auto Europa also repairs cars, so I asked Ed to get the his mechanic to put the car on the host, and report back. The mechanic, Andrew Farrar reported that there were no holes underneath. “I’m a good judge of character” I thought, and bought the car sight unseen, and third party uninspected.
You can imagine my shock when a week later the thing arrived. There was lots of “cancer”, the car ran badly, leaked oil like a sieve, and had a bad paint job. The heat exchangers were rusted out, and not hooked up. Even the ignition key was held together with bailing wire. Biocic and Farrar had lied through their teeth. When my wife came home from work, we had the biggest fight of our 30+ years of marriage. I called Biocic. He said he was “sorry” the car was no good. The owner of Auto Europa, Marty Kaczmarek offered to sell the car for me for a reduced fee of $500 if I ship it back to Florida. A few days later, Biocic emailed me that they were selling a ’76 912, and would “I want to buy it, after a third party inspection, of course”. You have to admit, they have a sense of humour.
Mike of Mike’s 914’s gave me an estimate of $6000 to get the car through a safety. Mike said that if he sold a car like the one I bought without proper disclosure, he would lose his dealer’s licence.
You know, $6000 is not a great deal of money. This is basically “noise” in a typical stock portfolio. What gets me, though is the greed and mendacity. I spoke to the consignor, one Thomas C Pearson of Naples. His attitude was “just fibreglass the holes”. I can only hope the money brings them all misfortune.
What to do now? Do I take them to small claims court? We’ll see. If anybody has any ideas, I love to hear them.
My first reaction to this car was: just scrap it. I’ve since relented. I’ve asked Mike to repair the engine lid hinge, clean the oil off the bottom of the engine, get it to run right, if possible, adjust the clutch, and tow it back to my place. It doesn’t look so bad, so the neighbours probably won’t complain about it in the drive, Eventually I’ll decide what to do with it.

From the Auto Europa site: This is a very rare 2 owner 2.0L 1973 Porsche 914 with service records. The speedometer shows 18256 miles, but I am sure it has turned over once.  It has a clear FLORIDA Title. It has never been in an accident and is rust free except for a few minor blemishes. No cancer whatsoever. The car runs great and has loads of power. The engine runs real smooth, no knocks or funny noises, and does not leak oil. It has four wheel disc brakes with plenty of pad left on them. It has four good tires with a matching spare tire. The transmission shifts nicely, it does not grind or pop out of gear or leak oil either. The steering is tight and responsive. Everything works electrically. Call Ed at 239 595 3717 or VISIT ED AT AUTO EUROPA, 40 GOODLETTE-FRANK ROAD, NAPLES FL 34102

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