I want to start by saying that the car itself, as far as I know
, is fine. It's the representation, and the people behind it, who are disgusting, and shouldn't be trusted. Also, this is gonna be a long post - so I apologize in advance...
Back in late March, I was contacted through Facebook by Matt O'Connor
, a young guy in Arizona who, apparently, sells cars for a living. He routinely sends me VINs of Ferraris for my database; Ferraris he sees and/or sells - and this thread will ensure that he never sends me anything in the future - but this scam, and all of its perpetrators, need to be outed.
Anyway, in late March, Matt contacted me and said he had another VIN for me, "but there are complications." He said it was a car to which he had access to sell, but he was put under an NDA, and legally couldn't disclose the VIN, or say where it was and how he got it, unless I, too, signed an NDA.
"Send it over!" I said; I had no problem with signing it, and was rather intrigued. After I signed it and e-mailed it back to him, he said the car in question was ZFFDU57A040139182, the Stradale that used to be stored at Paul Walker's shop, Always Evolving Performance, in Valencia, CA; Paul didn't own the car ...but it was owned by Roger Rodas. So now, Roger's widow wants to sell it, and the asking price was $215,000.
A week later, a fellow FerrariChat member (who will go unnamed unless he wants to post in here himself) contacted me about a different
Stradale that he was considering buying. But in the end he said, "It's a no go - but if you find a good Stradale keep me in mind."
So I said, "Actually, I know of one for sale..." And that began the start of what I thought was going to be a promising arrangement.
I went back and forth between Matt and the prospective buyer, negotiating to close the gap between the asking price and what the prospective buyer wanted to pay. The prospective buyer actually became more
flexible with what he was willing to pay once he learned the car was owned by Roger Rodas. I should note here that I know the buyer, and we even have mutual friends. I once went to the Auto Gallery to inspect a different Ferrari for this guy, and I know the cars in his collection - it's a big collection, and it pales in comparison to his other interests. He's not a tire kicker; he could probably check his couch cushions and find the money to needed to buy this car. So when we started negotiations, I knew starting low was just that: starting
. He asked me if the seller would take $180-190K.
I went to Matt and asked what the lowest was that Mrs. Rodas would take for 139182. He said "probably $210." I asked if she would consider $190K - he said, "I'm calling the broker, and seeing what his bottom line is." So Matt wasn't the only broker on that of the deal; he was going through someone else, who wanted to remain anonymous, even though he was supposed to be representing the car for Mrs. Rodas. This mystery prick later turned out to be some schmuck named Mark from Old American Iron. I threatened to sue, I even gave him all of my contact information to forward to his attorney, and the paperwork he promised I would receive in the mail still
Anyway, later that same day, Matt got back to me and said the lowest Rodas would go was $200K. I went back to the buyer and he went up to $193K; then, he got more aggressive and increased his offer to $200K - perfect, right? I went back to Matt and said the buyer would go to $200K, but that would include our commission(s).
Later that night, Mark was supposedly admitted to the hospital after an accident, pain pills rendered him incomprehensible, and Rodas still wouldn't go directly through Matt, so we had to wait.
The next day, I explained to Matt that the buyer was serious and ready to pull the trigger. If his offer of $200K was accepted, he would immediately wire $100K; immediately
. Matt told me that the other broker "was thinking about it." Two days later, I was told that Mrs. Rodas still hadn't made up her mind.
Two days later, I hear back from Matt - he said, "Apparently, Rodas decided to sell it  to her cousin in an effort to possibly buy it back in the future.. Idk."
So I went back to the buyer and broke the bad news. He immediately replied and said, "Offer $225K." That offer seemed to get everyone's intention, at which point they requested a Letter Of Intent - and to address it to Tim Noblett for some reason (whoever he is, I don't know, his name was never mentioned before the LOI came into the discussion). So the buyer immediately put one together. In the LOI, the buyer stated he was willing to pay between $210-225
K depending on miles and condition; does the car come with all original luggage; the money would be wired in full upon inspection before the car is transported; and a $100,000 deposit would be sent immediately
I sent the LOI, and then heard from Matt the following day:
"Yes. So, we sent over the LOI to attorney, and the family spoke with him. They liked the idea and still love the 225k number, but They weren't exactly thrilled with the 210-225k gap on the LOI. So, I'm working with them in the morning and to get all the details. I have been told the car was shipped to Tahoe to the cousin, and The transfer back to Mrs. Rhodas has to be agreed by a majority of the family or something. So, trying to speak to them first thing to get exactly what's going in that family meeting."
So I replied:
"There shouldn't be any issue with the mentioned gap in the LOI if the car is as-represented. The LOI is clear about the buyer taking the car at $225K if the car is as-described. And how did the car already get to Tahoe? It was just in Valencia...?!? It's taken multiple days for EVERYTHING to get through to this woman and get approved by her - but she CONSIDERS selling it to her cousin and it gets whisked away to Tahoe on the same day?!? Why do I feel like there isn't full disclosure here?"
Further discussion reveals that there's another
broker involved - another mysterious jerkoff named Leonard. At this point, I ceased with the niceties and resorted to bluntness - where are we with this deal, wtf is it taking so long for her to make a decision, who are these other people and what is their relevance/involvement, do we have a deal or not
A few days later, Matt sends me this message:
"Hey, wish I had better news, but the family has decided to keep the CS. Tell him that I'm sorry about the confusion that happened, and hopefully we can go forward. To try to keep him happy, I am absolutely willing to look for an exact car that wants, whether it would be another CS or another Ferrari for very close or at wholesale value, that I will make little or no commission whatsoever. And the little money that we could possibly make, would go straight to you."
At that point, I lost all patience. I told Matt to make sure that Mrs. Rodas and/or the mysterious other broker(s) contact me at their earliest convenience. With each passing day, I sent Matt lengthier and more aggressive messages, explaining that legal action seemed like my only logical recourse. A few days later, Matt replies and says, "Call this guy, his name is Mark - (623) 313-3310."
That same day, I hear from the buyer:
"Carbon - I am moving on. Sorry things didn't work out. No offense but wasted too much time and effort to buy a car and felt I dealt 100% in good faith. I don't believe anything the guys you work with is true."
As I said earlier, I called Mark, gave him all of my contact information, and I was promised paperwork from his attorney - my mailbox is still empty, my inbox is still empty, and I have no
Ten days ago, the buyer sends me another message:
"I was told by a broker that the Stradale is still in her hands. The reason she didn't sell was she was told it could brong more money. Not sure how much but they want more - 250 275 who knows maybe they will tell you."
The buyer goes on to say that he still wants the car - and that if I can get it done, he'll triple my commission!
So I went back to Matt...
"Who is this Mark fellow, and how and why is he even involved in the first place? I heard today that the Stradale is still with Mrs. Rodas, and that the real reason she didn't sell was because she was told it could bring more money.
Call someone, talk to someone, I don't care what you do - I better get paid, or I'm gonna plaster this whole thing all over the Internet. And it'll take "Mark's" attorneys a long time to get those posts removed - IF he can get them removed - and it'll cost him a LOT of money. People will read and re-read my detailed comments for MONTHS, maybe even YEARS, before Mark's attorneys can MAYBE have them removed. And I will bump my threads as often as necessary, so that people are constantly reading how this whole thing was a scam. I will post the NDA, I will post the LOI, I will post clips of conversations, I will post everything; I will implicate EVERYONE: you, Mark, Old American Iron, Mrs. Rodas, Mark's attorneys - EVERYONE.
And now that we know she still has the car, my buyer is, miraculously, once again interested. If she thinks she can get more, and wants to hold on to the car, fine - I'll go ahead with everything I mentioned above. But if she wants to sell it to the person who submitted an offer, and a binding LOI(!), let's make the sale."
No reply. Five days later, I sent him another message and said I needed an answer that same day.
Matt's last reply:
"I don't know who your souce is, but what I was told is that Mrs. Rhodas does not have the car any more. They have specifically stated that it is with a cousin. Now, whether that's true or not, I can't confirm or deny it, as I do not have connection directly with the family and never had one. As for selling it goes, she has/had the right to sell it or not. As for everything else, I'm told that Mark will be sending over a few things shortly. I do not know what, when or anything. You'll have to speak to him about that."
So that's the whole ridiculous story in a nutshell. I'm told I should pursue legal action, since nothing in the LOI stated it was non-binding, therefore it's a bound document on its face value and needs to be honored. If anyone is familiar with the law surrounding these types of issues, I'd be very interested in learning. I will be cross-posting this thread everywhere
, as well as tagging Matt O'Connor on Facebook - all in the hopes that these soulless pieces of **** actually try to sue me; at least then I'll get to see everyone's full names on court documents. I personally saw this car in Valencia, CA, two years ago. The pictures I took in March, 2013, were the only ones used in the attempted brokering of this car; Rodas, Matt O'Connor, Tim, Leonard, Mark - no one was able to even provide updated pictures of the car. I don't know if this whole thing was a scam from the very beginning, or if Rodas really did back out in the hopes of selling it for more money, or if she really decided to sell it to a family member with the option of buying it back later on. No matter what, I feel I'm owed compensation - not just for the work I put into trying to make this happen, but also for the business I lost
, because the buyer will never
again ask me to help him find a car. And I don't blame him one bit.