I have NEVER heard of Taylor Congleton of Congleton Services/Racing in Vermont till a couple of days ago.
WARNING TO ALL OF YOU WHO ARE SELLING TRUCK: COCK BLOCKING DOESN"T COME CLOSE TO WHAT THIS GUY JUST DID THIS MORNING.
Let me give you the whole sad tale and you can judge for yourself.
I am a big lurker here on D-Source principally because I work in the Middle East running around helping clarify a confusing world of bad people who need to be eliminated. Sometimes I write books or pontificate on TV other times I am in the field. I just returned back to the USA from 7 years overseas last year and brought over three of Defender 110s. This last two weeks I put the rarest of them, one with around 6000 km original on Ebay.
Doug Crowther imported it in 2014 as my POV and its been here using it as a part time runner. It was in good condition, brought to USA shape by Patrick O'Reilly at Gas Menagerie in Troy NY. Its been registered, inspected and insured. The only thing wrong was I couldn't drive it much because I was tooling around bopping back overseas.
For the last two years this truck had a website (www.quickwit.com
) that showed well over 50 photos of every day of this vehicles life since the day we brought it at a foreign government auction in 2012. It explained everything that had ever been done to it and what remained.
I listed my truck on Ebay. Someone, who had researched the truck, saw the 51 high res photos on the website but asked no questions made an offer that was 10% below what I was selling it for but I accepted it. The new buyer called me while I was in Egypt last week and we spoke for an hour. He had been looking for a Defender CSW for a couple of years and liked mine ... he asked me if I could recommend a company nearby to do an interior restoration. The truck is for his house in Nantucket, of course. I said try ECR but also mentioned another company in Vermont that imports that I didn't know was not into restorations. He called them and that company recommended to the buyer to use Taylor as he had worked for Rovers North and would be GLAD to come pick it up and drop off the check. As I was told by the buyer Taylor would come to my residence, pick up the truck, deliver a certified bank check and trundle off to his shop where the client would pay him to restore the interior to his specs.
Note ALL of this was a week AFTER the truck was bought on Ebay and the deposit paid.
HOWEVER, when I first spoke to Taylor he seemed completely hesitant to talk to me. He told me he didn't know anything about the vehicle and was coming to make an inspection. I said What inspection? If you mean checking the VIN and Chassis number fine but this vehicle was sold on Ebay. Granted, its good someone should make sure its not a hole-filled wreck but the truck is as advertised VINs match, engine matches all matches. I got my first uneasy feeling about him on that call because he really did not seem to want to come get this truck. I asked him if he had seen the advert or the website ... he said "I'd rather not get involved if its an Ebay deal." Really? No due diligence on a truck you are about to transport? I encouraged him to look at the photos in the advert. Nope! OK, come get it I said.
Today he shows up to pick up the car. I was not there as I am out defending America from an insane cultist terrorist group but fuck me, what do I know? My friend comes over with the keys and lets him in the barn where its kept. He looks at it , gets under it, kicks the ties and then gets in his truck and calls the buyer. He talks to him for 30 minutes and comes out, starts the truck. My friend goes "Hey you need to pull out the choke and let it warm up, its cold blooded." He ignores that tries to drive it right out and it stops. Needs gas and high revs. He gets out, gets in his truck and leaves.
He calls me later as he is returning back to Vermont. I say WTF. He says "I told the buyer I would not take this truck or give you the check because in my estimation its not worth what he paid for it." I said based on what? Is the bulkhead shot? Floor pans rusted out? The chassis rotted? Something there you saw that wasn't advertised? he said "because I won't restore the truck in my shop if he pays you what he bid on Ebay. If he wants to give you a check then fine but I won't give it to you."
I was stunned.
I said Dude, that's not your decision to make. You were supposed to drop off a check and take back a truck. He says "I won't work on a truck in my garage because in my estimation that's not the price I would have paid."
Suddenly it hits me. (IMHO) Oh I see, he saw the check, called the client and said 'I can sell you a truck with a custom interior for your nice Nantucket home for the same amount.' and convinced the buyer to breach of contract soooo ...
1) I HAVE NEVER HAD A ROVER SHOP TELL ME THEY WOULD NOT DELIVER A CHECK, PICK UP A CAR AND WOULD NOT DO WORK ON A CAR BECAUSE THEIR OPINION IS HIGHER THAN A CONTRACT WHICH THEY TOOK NO PART IN. Nope, not even in Africa.
2) This little event just set a new low on my opinion of Congleton Services. God knows I have never heard of this fool and as of now I will work my hardest to inform everyone globally that this is a person and shop to avoid. God knows I would NEVER give this shop money since their standards are so high normal customers are forbidden to sell cars that might come to them.
3) Who TF is he to determine what the value of a Defender is? We've all seen real rusted out beaters and polished turds (TECHNICALLY ALL DEFENDERS ARE POLISHED TURDS) and vehicles without any documentation and funny titles and VINs but a Rover shop encouraging the client to breach a contract is a new one on me. Do any others do this to screw private owners??