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Possible scam?

I have come across what appears to be a great deal, with the car having a ton of newly replaced parts, includung

_
New transmission
New timing belt
New front oil cooler
New cooling fan
New water pump
New clutch with pressure plate, sport-cup disc, throw-out bearings, pilot bearings, pivot pin, and pivot bearings
Window tint on all windows and with only one piece on the rear hatch (not two pieces cut and joined in the middle)
Air filter newly recharged with oil
New battery and terminal clamps and wires
New Alternator
New Serventine Belt
New starter
_

So I emailed the guy, and this is the reply I recieved:

"Hi, I'll elaborate the car's needed repair to the best of my knowledge, however,
mind you, I am not a certified Porsche mechanic. I believe that the car needs an
oil change and a new oil filter or compartment. The electrical system works,
however, I believe because an oil change is needed, when the engine attempts to
start, it doesn't, like the oil is bad or something, like the oil compartment needs
to be cleaned. Again, I'm not a mechanic, but the repair is definately an
affordable repair. It will probably cost you a few hundred dollars to get the car
up and running, nothing to worry about. The reason I'm not making the affordable
repair and keeping the car for myself is simply because I am going through financial
difficulty and cannot afford the repair at this time."

Now, a couple of things that concern me - I've talked to a few of my friends and they say that a car should still start if it has bad oil, also, the fact that on the listing he does not specify what the repair is, only that it needs one, and you have to email him to find out what it is.

And the last thing, I know a little bit about social engineering, and the financial trouble thing seems like he's trying to make me feel enough sympathy to just buy it, he mentions it several times on the ad, and in the e-mail.

The car is $1500.

What do you guys think?
Old 07-25-2004, 08:04 PM
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I'd pass...keep looking there are always deals. A very clean 87 944 S just sold in my area for $4K. Keep looking there are a lot of cars out there. Wish you weren't so far away, I got an '87 that's almost ready to be sold...just waiting to straighten out a few electrical issues and re-upholster the seat before putting it on the market.
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Old 07-25-2004, 08:08 PM
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I think you should stop trying to find a bargain...but that's my opinion.

This guy is obviously trying to rip someone off. He might possibly be that clueless...but it's not probable. The fact that he tries to play the "financial bind" card proves he's just out to get your money. IF a personis in that much of a financial bind they'd be more than happy to spend a couple hundred to make a couple thousand. The car would start if if the crank case was bone dry...it wouldn't run very long. It has no way of telling the condition of the oil.

Have you seen the car? Is the body in good shape and the interior in good shape? If the body were straight and clean, and the interior clean and complete, I would offer no more than $750.
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Old 07-25-2004, 08:10 PM
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EDIT: hmm guess you posted before I did and I didn't notice.

Anyway, no, I've only seen pictures but it seems that everything is in good condition, except for the not starting thing.

Also, I have to find a bargain, I'm not rich, I can't throw away a couple hundred extra dollars if I can save it by looking harder.

This is the complete listing:

Up for bid is my beautiful 1985 Porsche 944. Please be aware that since one week ago, the car is not running. E-mail me or call me about the repair that it needs to run properly. The repair is definatly repairable, I've just run into financially hard-times and cannot afford to order the repair myself. Please read on, because if you're a collector, a mechanic, a practical commutor or just a Porsche fan, you are getting an incredible value for the price that I'm asking for.



To the mechanic or collector: since you are experienced with cars, you can probably fix the car yourself, then possess a car that is worth twice the price you that bought it for -- even in this day and age! The value of the car itself then is worth keeping the car, however, you can turn around and sell it and make a profit yourself. Porsche has universal value. A small investment for a big payoff. Honest to goodness, I kid you not.



To the Porsche fan or practical commuter: think about it -- you're getting a Porsche 944 for practically a thousand and some dollars. Now even though the car is not running, it needs a repair that is easily and affordably repairable. The only reason I'm not keeping it for myself is because I cannot afford the repair. Simple as that. But to someone who can order the repair can buy the car, take it to a shop and order the easy and affordable repair themselves. In turn, they will profit from this transaction, because even with the repair made, the cost to buy and get this car up and running again will still cost less than what it would cost to buy an already-running 1985 944 on eBay or AutoTrader or the local newspaper. Yes, it does sound like a little more work on your behalf -- why with buying the car, and then taking it to a shop (I will even recommend the shop I always took it to) -- and to tell you the truth, it is a little more work on your behalf, but when you invest in this Porsche, you will be so happy with the payoff and ultimate benefits. Not only will you have a magnificent car to drive and show-off, you will have saved $500-$1000 from taking my advice, and investing in this car that only needed a second chance (in other words, the money to make a rather easy repair).



It would though make a brilliant project car for the collector or mechanic. On the other hand, for the practical commuter, it is definatly a car that can easily be repaired for basic use. Please read further to learn of the potential and value and investment I have strived to uphold and flourish.



Although at the moment -- like I've said -- the car isn't running, I have recently restored just about everything on this car while trying to keep the factory look. A really close estimate to how much cash I put into it within the past year is $10,000. I’ve always changed the oil with only Pennzoil 10w-40. There is no rust anywhere under or on the car! Modifications and restorations include:



New left door seal (air tight!)
New rear hatch shocks
Front genuine leather bra
New break pads and sensors
Alpine CD player and Ultimate speakers
Tires are Road Hugger Radial GT-A a/s 205/60 91H still under a 30,000 mile warranty


Vehicle Condition

The car has had the following maintenance done in the past two years. This is car has been, and can be strong and fast:



New transmission
New timing belt
New front oil cooler
New cooling fan
New water pump
New clutch with pressure plate, sport-cup disc, throw-out bearings, pilot bearings, pivot pin, and pivot bearings
Window tint on all windows and with only one piece on the rear hatch (not two pieces cut and joined in the middle)
Air filter newly recharged with oil
New battery and terminal clamps and wires
New Alternator
New Serventine Belt
New starter


Terms of Sale

Serious bidders only! The winner is to pay the price of the ending bid! A $500.00 deposit in the form of a cashier’s check is required within 48 hours (2 days) of the auction’s end. The remaining balance is then due within five days (5 days), in the form of another cashier’s check, before the car can be picked up or shipped. If your balance is not paid in full after one week (seven days) of the auction’s end, I will consider our deal void, and I will not refund any of your money. If there is some kind of problem with this, write me and let me know before bidding. I will work with you, the winner, on shipping, but it is preferred that the car be picked up or sent by transportation service at buyer’s expense. No refunds or exchanges. The seats have dyed-sheep-skin covering. My leg is seen in some of the featured interior photos. I will be happy to share with you the reserve price.


The guy has 98.7% positive feedback... But the more I read it, the more it sounds like a scam.

Last edited by Clowd; 07-25-2004 at 08:33 PM..
Old 07-25-2004, 08:10 PM
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Another e-mail... he's a bit too giving, I think...

I will give you the most affordable shipping price I can find -- I give you my word.
I know you have only so much money, so I will help you get the best deal available.
Affordable shipping will not be a problem, I know people who charge reasonably,
therefore I can get you a good price. You definately won't be paying more for the
shipping than what you paid for the actual car -- I'm not the kind of person who
overcharges. I think it's wrong and unfair.

I understand your eBay concerns. I pride myself in being an honest, truthful
person. The only reason I'm not making the repair and keeping the car for myself is
because of financial difficulties. I can absolutely assure you that this repair is
pretty simple for a mechanic, and the engine is not seized. Don't worry my friend,
I have you taken care of, the car is in great condition.

Today I contacted the fellow who tinted my windows and I asked him if they were at
least 40% light transmitting. He was able to certify that the windows have 40%
light transmittance.
Old 07-25-2004, 08:41 PM
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I wouldn't do it.
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Old 07-25-2004, 08:45 PM
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Sounds a little shady to me. Very grainy pics on the auction.
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Old 07-25-2004, 08:54 PM
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True, and I think I've seen them somewhere.. I recognize that shady guy in the suit. Also, how would he get the car to all these places to take the pictures if it isn't running? If they are old pictures, that's no good, I want updated recent ones...
Old 07-25-2004, 08:57 PM
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Drop the cash up front or pay for it in the long run.
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Old 07-25-2004, 09:57 PM
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I think I've somewhat changed my mind about him.. he sounds like a respectable guy, in a wierd shady way...

"Dealing through escrow sounds good to me. I will register with escrow tomorrow.

I don't think it needs a new oil pump. To best of my knowledge, I think that a new
oil filter and pan could get the car running. Then again, I'm not a mechanic, but
like I said, I pride myself in being an honest, truthful person. The only reason
I'm not making the repair and keeping the car for myself is because of financial
difficulties. I can absolutely assure you that this repair is pretty simple for a
mechanic, and the engine is not seized."

But the way I see it, and has already been mentioned, unless there's something really, really wrong with the engine, why wouldn't he make the supposedly cheap repair himself and then sell it for a lot more, especially since he's in such financial trouble?

I asked him if maybe it needs a new pump because that would be something that would keep the engine from not starting.. as far I know those two problems he mentioned wouldn't...

I don't know.. I suppose I'm willing to risk it using escrow and whatnot.. if it's not a scam, it does seem like a really good buy, no?
Old 07-25-2004, 10:28 PM
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Contact your local Porsche Club of America and ask them if someone in the PCA where the car is located can go take a look at it. If they see a potential member coming along, they might just be willing to help.
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Old 07-25-2004, 11:26 PM
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I bet the Ac "just needs a recharge" too. Come on, the oil filter is bad? so the car wont start?

If there has even been a car that needs a PPI this sounds like one.

Also regarding your quote from above: "I have to find a bargain, I'm not rich, I can't throw away a couple hundred extra dollars" Are you sure you are ready to shell out a couple hundred dollars every few months to fix the things that invariably go wrong with a 17,18,19,20 year old car?

I looked for a deal, had $7000 cash and found cars in that range. I ended up biting the bullet paid $9500, for a car that had a new clutch, belts, water pump. The car was a damn near perfect. that siad I paid $600 to fix the AC, and the oil pan leaks a little. My budget for the car is $200 / month for maintenance. Im not rich either, but I dont think "cheap" and "Porsche" go together.
Old 07-26-2004, 05:14 AM
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Definitely get a PPI! It might be a good deal, it might be a piece of junk, and for $100 you can find out!
Also, for shipping, where is this guy located? I had my 944 shipped from Detroit to boston for $315, you shouldn't be overly impressed that he will keep shipping below the price of the car!
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Old 07-26-2004, 05:25 AM
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Run away

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Old 07-26-2004, 07:10 AM
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As mentioned above SEVERAL TIMES...RUN NOW, just replacing the oil pan is going to run you about $2000...and why would the car not run because of a bad filter or oilpan???? WTF???
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Old 07-26-2004, 07:44 AM
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give me a break...you're gonna buy a car from this joker??? If the car is not running, did he have it towed to each location to take his portfolio pics???

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Old 07-26-2004, 07:48 AM
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If you don't have any money then buying a 944 is not for you. It's as simple as that.

If you want to buy a "project' then you WILL need the tools, space, knowledge, technical information, time and money to fix it.

Non running 944s are $500 max.

There's no such thing as a cheap 944. Junk 944s always stay junk.
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Old 07-26-2004, 08:46 AM
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I looked at this car when I was buying. This is at least the second time that this car has been listed (and I think 3rd or more). I would steer clear of it and buy a running car. Heavan knows you're going to be pouring money into the car even when you buy a live one. Buying a dead car is a bad idea, unless you are going to part it out. (If you are, let me buy the fog lights!!!)
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Old 07-26-2004, 08:57 AM
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I would put money on the oil problem being a spun bearing.
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Old 07-26-2004, 09:34 AM
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some of those pics wouldn't look so bad if the car wasn't such a heap. on second thought...
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Old 07-26-2004, 11:02 PM
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