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Topics - Colli

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General Discussion / Snow Jeeping??
« on: January 24, 2016, 07:43:41 pm »
Anyone get out and play in the snow this weekend? Let's hear some stories and see some pictures!

21st Annual (2016) / 2016 Dates and Location
« on: October 12, 2015, 10:08:43 pm »
JULY 16 & 17, 2016
YORK FAIRGROUNDS - 334 Carlisle Ave, York, PA 17404

The owner of the Markets and Hanover (and Shrewsbury) came out to our Jeep show last weekend and was very impressed. He approached several members of the club and is interested in doing a Jeep only cruise event in the future. Meanwhile, he would really like the Jeep community to make a strong presence at their next scheduled Car Cruise coming up in August:

Wednesday August 5th  from 6 to 9pm
Car Cruise - sponsored by the Markets at Hanover
East Berlin VFW Post 8896
107 Locust Street
East Berlin, PA

Food, Fun, Music, and Cars!!!

If you've read my "Colli Goes Commando" thread (, you know I am in the process of restoring a 1967 Jeepster Commando. After some random Googling I went to Carlisle Customs and Classics (aka Carlisle Autobody) for the body work. To be fair, I will say up front that the body work itself looks to be a quality job and the end result looks great. However, I would NOT recommend doing business with them. Iím not generally one to rant, but this ordeal has been the worst customer service experience I have ever had. This is going to be long winded so I will summarize my main complaints up front:

ē   I ended up paying  50% more than the initial estimate and had to consult a lawyer to avoid paying out even more than that. At the end of the job, the grand total on the invoice I was given says the total cost was 350% more than the estimate. Thatís 3.5 times more!!
ē   It took almost 2 years (23 months) to complete the body work. This was body work only Ė no mechanical, interior, trim, drive train, engine work or anything else.
ē   They made alterations/decisions on the vehicle without asking me first.
ē   The owner tried to get out of replacing/repairing my bumpers by saying the ones I gave him were unusable and I would need to get new ones. I had to argue with him to get him to take care of the bumpers.
ē   My windshield got cracked while in their possession and they were not going to replace it until I argued with them to get them to do so.
ē   When the vehicle was done and supposed to be completed I went to pick it up and found the following:
   o   The windshield and rear window were not installed.
   o   The hood hinge bolts (and several other interior bolts and screws) were left unfinished Ė just bare metal.
   o   Without consulting me first, they installed and after market hood prop rod that is too big, unfinished (more bare metal), and looks horrible.
   o   The tailgate does not line up correctly and the owner told me thatís the best they could do.
   o   He did not replace some plugs in the truck bed rails because mine were unusable and he didnít bother to find something to replace themÖ leaving a series of holes around the bed of the truck.
   o   The vehicle's original trim tag had been thrown away, and the VIN tag had been carelessly ripped off the vehicle and damaged.
ē   The owner would consistently request that I send my periodic payments to him via wire transfer or overnight a check to him and was pretty pushy about it. That seemed really sketchy.
ē   In general the owner was a fast talker who gave me a lot of lip service, changing stories, and excuses and did not live up to his promises as far as budget, timeliness, and communication.

Now if you have a whoe lot of time to kill, here are the details surrounding the above issues:

When I met the owner of Carlisle Customs and Classics, Vinnie Scalavino, he came out to give me an estimate on a body work restoration of my 1967 Jeepster Commando. The vehicle was completely disassembled at this point so everything was out in the open to see.  Vinnie gave me a big speech about how he would be committed to staying in communication with me to make sure everything is just how I want it and deliver my dream car to me. He also talked about horror stories you hear about people having their cars tied up in body shops for over a year and he assured me that would not happen with him and he would get the car back to me so I could enjoy it. During the conversation I stressed several times that I wanted this vehicle restored to its original factory conditionÖ no customizations or alterationsÖ completely stock. He assured me again that he would deliver my dream car and I would be completely satisfied with his work, and gave me a reasonable estimate. So I was promised communication, complete satisfaction, in a reasonable amount of time, for a reasonable amount of money. None of these things came true.

As agreed upon in the contract I signed, I put down 50% and agreed to put down more money as the job warranted it. Eventually, it got to the point where I had already paid him a fair amount over the estimate and assumed the end was near, but he came back and asked me for more money.  The contract did state that the estimate was no guarntee of final cost, but I asked him how much more this was going to be and what the bottom line would end up being. He told me he wasnít sure. He couldnít give me a final number, or even an idea of a final number. He went on and on about how much more work there was than he expected and what bad shape the vehicle was in and how there arenít any replacement parts available so they have to fabricate and patch everything which takes a lot of time. I asked him what the point of the estimate was. I argued that the point of him looking at it in advance was to see how much work it was going to be, and that perhaps he should have done some research before taking the job so he would know parts arenít available. I expressed my extreme displeasure that he wasnít living up to his estimate and he just kept talking about how much work it was and that the estimate was no guarantee. At this point I decided to consult a lawyer to find out what consumer rights were in regards to estimate overages.  It did clearly state on the contract the estimate was no guarantee of final cost, but I didnít think that gave someone carte blanche to run up the charges as far as they want. I was right. The lawyer verified that there was legal precedent in PA dictating that anything 25% or more over the original estimate is considered egregious and legally actionable. I gladly shared my findings with Vinnie and we exchanged a few e-mails on the topic before coming to an agreement on a final number that I agreed to pay and not a penny more.  Even with all that in the end I paid out 50% more than the original estimateÖ and it would have just kept going from there if I had not put a stop to it. At the end of the job, the grand total on the invoice I was given said the total cost was 350% more than the estimate. Thatís 3.5 times more! To illustrate the point with purely ficticious numbers... a $10K estimate would have been turned into a $35K job. And he didn't see a problem with that.

On top of that after all the talk about getting the vehicle back to me so I could enjoy it, would you believe it took him almost 2 years (23 months) to finish the job! So the money and timeframe parameters were completely blown. But wait thereís moreÖ

At one point I was on the phone with Vinnie (one of the times he called asking for money, which is the only time I heard from him) and he was telling me about all the progress they had made, including adding three support braces to the roof. Wait what? I asked him why he did that without talking to me and reminded him that I wanted this vehicle to be completely original and didnít want anything altered from its original state. He tried to convince me that the changes made the roof stronger and that it was too flimsy without the extra support, and that nobody would notice that these three braces arenít original. I told him that I would notice and thatís all that matters and furthermore, the roof had been fine for 47 years without the extra support and I was confident it would hold up. I told him I did not authorize the addition of these support braces, I do not want them on there, and he needed to take them out. We went back and forth on this for a good 20 minutes before he finally agreed to take them out. However, Iím sure he had already charged me the labor to put them in and he probably charged me the labor to take them out too.

Then another time I was talking to Vinnie he asked me what I was going to do about bumpers. I reminded him that I gave him the original bumpers. He told me those bumpers were unusable because there were too bent. I said Iím sorry but how is that my problem? I delivered the original bumpers to him with the body and the bumpers were listed on the contract so I expected him to deliver restored bumpers. We went back and forth on this topic too a little before he agreed to get bumpers. This was after I had already pulled the lawyer card so he knew he wasnít getting any more money from me and I think he was now trying take shortcuts wherever he could so he didnít lose money.

During another discussion he asked me what I was going to do about a windshield. Again, I reminded him that there was a windshield on the vehicle when it was delivered to him. First he tried to say he didnít have it, and I said he better look again because I gave it to him and it was listed on the contract. (as an aside, there were a few other parts that he said he didnít have and when I told him to look again he found them) Then a few weeks later he was talking to me about a few parts I needed to order and he again said I would need to get a windshield. Again I told him that I already gave him the windshield. Now he says he has it but it is cracked so it canít be used. I told him it was most certainly not cracked when I gave it to him so if it is cracked now they are responsible. He tired to say they had it sitting safely wrapped up in a box on a shelf so they didnít do anything to break it. I said I donít care where it was sitting, it was not cracked when I gave it to him and I have a lot of pictures to prove it so they are liable and will have to replace it. We went a couple rounds on this and it got a little heated. He actually told me I was pushing the envelope asking him to replace a the windshield but he wasnít going to argue over a piece of glass so he would go ahead replace it. Damn right! Again, I think he was trying to get out of paying out any more money out of pocket since I wansn't paying the 350%.

Hereís something else that struck me as very sketchyÖ whenever he asked me to make a payment he wanted me to wire the money to him or send it overnight. He was pretty adamant about this and tried to convince me it was safer than putting a check in the mail in case it got lost. I told him it would be fine and I could always stop payment if there was a problem. I thought it was weird that he asked me to do this and strange how pushy he was about it. I felt like he was trying to solve his own immediate cash flow problems using me. I did not oblige.

When he finally called me to say the Jeepster was done and I could come and pick it up, I made arrangements to get off work and showed up at his place 1.5 hours from my house with my truck and trailer. Well, there were several issues. First, the windows were not installed. He said he planned to install them but the seal he ordered didnít arrive in time. I asked why he didnít just call me and tell me this so I could reschedule picking it up. He said he didnít want to make me wait until he could get his glass guy out there. I told him I had already waited 2 years and wouldnít have minded 2 more weeks if it meant the windows got installed. Now I have to pay someone to come out and put them in. Iím sure he didnít call to reschedule because he figured if I came all the way out there with my trailer I would just take the vehicle and go and he would get out of paying the glass guy. He was right. I let him know I was not happy, but I just wanted to be done with him.

I wish that was the only problem. I also noticed that the tailgate didnít line up exactly with the body. He actually said it was t he best they could do but I could bring it back if it really bothered me. Also, there are 12 holes around the edge of the truck bed rails that were filled with buttons/inserts when I dropped the body off. These holes were left empty. I asked him why he didnít put my buttons back in and he said it didnít have anything in the holes. I told him it most certainly did and I have lots of pictures to prove it. So then he changed his story to say that mine were unusable because they were too rusted and they donít make replacements. You would think that being a body shop they could have come up with something. I think the truth is he didnít even bother to look into it... you know, since he wasn't getting any more money out of me. Then he showed me this big ugly hood prop rod he installed. Not only was it not original, it was oversized and unfinishedÖ a bare metal monstrosity hooked to a finely painted classic hood. This is another thing he did without asking me first and it looks terrible. I am going to have to remove it and hope the holes it leaves arenít too bad. Also, a lot of the exposed screws and bolts were not painted, including the hood hinge bolts that sit front and center on the hood. This is a very noticeable spot and it looks terrible. He said he saw pictures on the internet where Commandos had unpainted hood bolts. I told him I had never seen one like that. Then he said maybe itís a matter of preference which really pissed me off and I asked why he didnít call and ask me what my preference was since itís my car? Then he said he wanted to leave them unpainted anyway in case I was going to take the hood off to put the engine in. The story keeps changing and the excuses keep coming.  He finally said if I really wanted them painted I could send them back to him, but seriously?

These were the main issues along the way but there were a bunch of similar smaller things too that I wonít bother going into. So basically his initial promises about communication, timeliness, and costs were not met and he gave me a lot of lip service, changing stories, and excuses along the way. Again, to be fair, the body work does actually look very good. I will also say that for the most part Vinnie remained calm and professional during our interactions. However, the overall general business practices of Vinne Scalavino and Carlisle Customs and Classics were less than satisfactory.

Other Events / PA Jeep at West Manchester Truck Touch
« on: October 06, 2013, 03:41:10 pm »
The first Saturday every October West Manchester Township in York County puts on a Truck Touch event where various vehicles are on display for kids to check out. This year among the township trucks and equipment, emergency vehicles, and various other novelty vehicles, my Jeep was there to represent. I think some of the dads were more excited about it than the kids were. Anyway, it was a good opportunity to get the club's name out there. I talked to a few people about the club and of course our awesome show. Here are a few pictures from the event:

General Discussion / EVOR 4X4 Adventure
« on: May 05, 2013, 05:51:05 pm »
This weekend was the EVOR 4x4 Adventure up in Snow Shoe, PA. Jenn, Dave, Dan, Keith and I went up and worked as trail guides for the event. It was a really nice event with a little bit of something for everyone. They had a nice trail ride with a really fun steep hill climb and an obstacle course with a wide variety of fun things: various mud crossings including one serious mud bog, a big rock pile, a massive tire course, log bridge, a log/mud crossing, mogul bumps, a car crossing (yes, driving over crushed cars) and a hill climb. It was a great event and the weather could not have been any nicer. Here are just a few pictures from the event: (Keith - please share your pictures too - I especially want to see the video of me going up "winch hill"!)

I just had to include this shot here for everyone to see. This is "Trail Boss" Jenn Watson being towed off the tire course by Dan "Goldie Lockers" McKenna: (p.s. gotta give him credit - Dan made it across the tire course)

Monthly Meetings / Information / January Newsletter
« on: January 06, 2013, 06:39:09 pm »
PA Jeeps Club Members,

Your printed January 2013 club newsletter is currently on its way to your mailbox!† :)
Meanwhile enjoy this full color, link activated, online version by clinking on the link below:

January PA Jeeps Newsletter

General Discussion / Rocky Mountain Trail Ride
« on: October 28, 2012, 10:26:13 pm »
While in Colorado for work I rented a Jeep and checked out some popular back country trails. "Breathtaking" does not even begin to describe how gorgeous the scenery was. Here are some pictures:

General Discussion / Jeep Wrangler on Discover Channel Series
« on: August 19, 2012, 12:06:22 pm »
Saw previews for this series on the Discovery Channel that starts tonight featuring a TJ:

General Discussion / Bantam Jeep Heritage Festival 2012
« on: August 14, 2012, 08:50:57 pm »
A few PA Jeepers and EVOR folks made it to the Bantam Jeep Heritage Festival this past weekend. As an afterthought we ended up doing a PA Jeeps Club tent to promote the club and the show. There was some interest in the show and we actually signed up a new member to the club!!

Here's a few of my pictures:

Here are some great pictures that Bryan took:

And here are some pictures from the Jeep Invasion in downtown Butler:

General Discussion / Maine Jeepcation 2012
« on: August 13, 2012, 07:59:14 pm »
Got back last week from a fabulous week in Maine visiting my parents. (in between trail rides) Also spent a couple days at the Mid Coast Maine Ride hosted by the Western Maine Mountain Jeepers. ( These are the same folks that host the Jeep Jamboree in Bethel, Maine every fall. Anyway, it was a great time and here are a few pictures:

Technical Advice and Questions / Leaky Shock
« on: July 27, 2012, 12:46:18 pm »
Just got to Maine for vacation and when I pulled the Jeep off the trailer I noticed one of the rear shocks (BDS 9500) is leaking oil pretty good. I'm not anywhere that I can get a replacement right now, but I hauled the Jeep all the way up here to take it out and play with it. Will I risk hurting anything else or getting stranded if I run the Jeep with the bad shock or will it just not ride or perform as well?

General Discussion / Custom Body Shop?
« on: May 02, 2012, 07:41:32 am »
Anyone know a custom body shop in the York or Harrisburg area? Especially someone who specializes in restoration work for old rusty vehicles!† :(

General Discussion / Dash Repair?
« on: February 18, 2012, 01:43:46 pm »
Anyone know somewhere local (York county and vicinity) that can repair or recover dash boards? This is what I am trying to fix up:

Work In Progress / Colli Goes Commando
« on: October 29, 2011, 02:27:26 pm »
As I posted in the General Discussion section, I just bought a 1967 Jeepster Commando Pickup that I found at a farm near my house. It only has 14,848 miles on it and it runs and drives. It's pretty complete but it needs some TLC. Here are some pictures from the day I brought it home:

As it sat on the farm:

Loaded on the trailer to come home:

At home in my driveway:

Tucked into the garage:

This will be a slow work in progress and I'm not 100% sure yet how far I am going to go with restoration, but I definitely want to bring it back to life and get it back on the road. I'll post updates as progress is made.

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