View topic - Buyer Beware - 1948 Custom Coupe on Wisconsin Craigslist

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 12:35 am 
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I recently looked at a 1948 Custom Coupe that was advertised on Wisconsin Craigslist for Dean Mullinax in South Carolina. Now, for a little background on the car, it had previously been owned by longtime club members from Green Bay, Wisconsin and they had owned the car for several decades. In June, they sold the car due to health issues to the current seller in Appleton, WI. They sold the car, along with a number of extra parts, to this guy for $12,500 and were under the impression that he would give it a good loving home. Needless to say, they were very upset to learn that this guy was going re-sell it. The guy who bought it is in fact a flipper and by the first weekend of July, had it for sale at the Iola, WI car show to make a quick buck at a price of $5k+ more than he paid (and without the extra parts). At the time, I glanced at the car as if it was another show car, but didn't look closely. The car presented decently at a quick glance and is indeed a good 10 footer.

Fast forward to late August this year and I mentioned this car (that had been on Craigslist consistently since Iola in July) to a club member who was looking for a '46-'49 coupe. With this member being from South Carolina, he asked if I would drive to look at it (250 miles round trip) and confirm that it was as-described. Up to this point, the car had been described as a good running car with nice paint (no scratches, etc.), a very nice interior, nice chrome, and only a sticky brake. Now, we knew from photos that the interior was mostly correct in pattern, but a color that wasn't originally offered. Talking to the previous owners, we knew that they had changed both the interior color and paint color when I went to inspect it.

Going in with the assumption that somewhere down the road the interior would have to be re-done if it was to be correct and that there may be a few mechanical bugs, the expectation was that I would find a number two or high number three car. What I found when I got there was a car that did indeed have nice chrome and did run good, but had major checking/crazing in the paint, as well as a few blisters from poor surface prep and some touch-ups in a different shade of color, and a car that had some significant underbody rust. The woodgrain inside also was not finished correctly and apparently this is quite pricey to re-do. This was certainly not the car that was described and not the condition expected.

To add insult to injury, the owner rushed to get done and get home, cutting me off before I was done inspecting. Keep in mind I drove 250 miles to get there and I wasn't exactly asking him to stay hours and hours. I suspect he didn't want me to see the flaws visible up close. At multiple points in both my conversation and Dean's conversation with the owner, he touted how he was a "famous car builder". When Dean called back to tell him it had too many potential issues and he would be passing, the owner proceeded to insult him and call him names while again touting his "famous restorer" status (I kid you not, he mentioned this about 4 times). He also said to my friend that the "young kid that you sent out didn't know diddly-squat about cars" and that he "couldn't believe you would send him". Well, maybe I am not the expert on the '48's that I am on the '56's, but I sure do know more than him about what is right on the car and I present the photos below of what the "young kid that doesn't know diddly-squat" found.

In short - be aware that you will be dealing with a flipper who probably bought a car with more issues than he was initially aware of and just wants to make a quick buck. Also be warned that he's not nice to deal with, especially once he knows he's not getting your money. I don't normally post about people or cars like this, but this guy (at minimum) omitted critical information about a car that would be purchased sight unseen and was a jerk all along the way. I hope this prevents any other club members from buying something that isn't as represented.

https://milwaukee.craigslist.org/cto/d/ ... 71463.html


Attachments:
File comment: I'm not sure what was going on here, but it didn't look right.
Underbody '48.jpg
Underbody '48.jpg [ 69.25 KiB | Viewed 358 times ]
File comment: Visible rust holes.
Trunk 1948.jpg
Trunk 1948.jpg [ 125.85 KiB | Viewed 358 times ]
File comment: Visible rust holes.
Trunk '48.jpg
Trunk '48.jpg [ 118.49 KiB | Viewed 358 times ]
File comment: Peeling maasking tape that was painted over black to hide rust.
Rocker '48.jpg
Rocker '48.jpg [ 33.98 KiB | Viewed 358 times ]
File comment: Paint checking/crazing.
Rear panel '48.jpg
Rear panel '48.jpg [ 262.17 KiB | Viewed 358 times ]
File comment: Paint checking/crazing.
Hood checking '48.jpg
Hood checking '48.jpg [ 280.83 KiB | Viewed 358 times ]
File comment: Paint checking/crazing. The roof showed more of the same.
Hood '48.jpg
Hood '48.jpg [ 213.02 KiB | Viewed 358 times ]
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 12:50 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2011 9:28 pm
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I am the person that David went to see the car for. I just wanted to put in my 2 cents worth. This guy wasn't the easiest to deal with to begin with. But all in all, the only thing this guy was interested in was flipping the car and making a profit. I don't think he knows the first thing about DeSotos, in particular this model. He omitted information that I had specifically asked about and states in his ad the car is beautiful. This car looks GREAT from 10 feet away... but it was the up close details that David found that he didn't mention. The fact that he rushed David through the inspection was a big red flag to me as well.He uses all sorts of "used car salesman" techniques to try and push the car and as much as I hate to say it, was an over all butthole.

The car had substantial issues and was way over priced to begin with, he was asking $17500 originally and had "reduced" it to $15500 by the time I had called him. We negotiated to a price of $14000, but for that I expected the car to have no rust issues and for the paint to be in very nice condition.

The point of this post: BEWARE! If you happen to see this car for sale do not buy from this guy. In the end he had the audacity to tell me that David knew nothing about old cars (anyone that knows the Frank family knows that this is what they do) and that I was an ass and overly anal about the car's condition. I think I have that right... lol. Its my money that's getting spent! Needless to say I won't be buying this car....

Dean


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 1:45 am 
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Joined: Mon Aug 09, 2010 6:43 pm
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David and Dean,

Thanks for the info. I'll add this car to the list of examples why you should NEVER buy a car sight unseen. Funny, people will actually refrain from spending several hundred dollars to fly to inspect a car but have little trepidation about hitting the "Buy it Now" button for several thousands of dollars. SMH...

Mark


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 2:27 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 7:00 pm
Posts: 390
What is the current cost of doing the chrome on a car like that?

Just wondering
Steve


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2017 2:30 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2011 9:28 pm
Posts: 67
Not sure Steve, but the chrome was in pretty good condition over all. The most expensive thing to do on that car would probably be the grill, especially since it is pot metal.

The guy who has the car didn't do anything really... the previous owners did most of the work over a 30 year period.

Dean


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2017 3:43 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2015 10:57 pm
Posts: 217
I'd be more concerned with what appears to be rust through and/or cracked and broken underside frame supports. Not very pretty in the pics.

"It's delightful, it's delovely, it's DeSoto"


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