Redpants Project Car, Part 1

What. A. Mess.

This project is not off to what I would call a "good" start. Or even an "okay" start. I don't think it'd even qualify as a "better than getting kicked in the shin" start. Buying the car was rather easy, despite the long-distance transaction. The seller in Texas was easy to work with, so that made it easy to get the deal done. But nothing has gone well since.

Internet Infamy

To start, the car made its way onto Jalopnik when the transportation company completely botched loading it on the truck.

Photo from Jalopnik.com

Photo from Jalopnik.com

The guy new he messed up, and was extremely shady from that point on. Before getting the car in Texas, he told me I'd get 1-2 hours notice before he delivered it to me. After picking up the car, he said in an obviously concerned voice that he'd give me 45 minutes notice. Then, when he delivered it... he dropped it off on a road half a mile from my house 2 hours early and didn't call me until the car was already off the truck. He specifically did this to make sure I couldn't see any further damage to the car during the unloading process.

For anyone wondering, I didn't hire this guy nor the company he works for. I hired a company that turned out to be a broker (unbeknownst to me), and they contracted this company to do the job. Had I known this was going to happen, I'd have never considered using them.

Supposedly his company is taking care of things and the company I hired is keeping tabs on it, but let's just say I'm extraordinarily pissed off. I'm refraining from giving out names until things are resolved so I can give a full, fair accounting of what happened from beginning to end. But that doesn't excuse the driver - nothing does - because he did absolutely nothing correctly throughout the whole process.

Are you kidding me

So there we are on the side of a road, half a mile away from my house. I'm pretty pissed off, the guy is being incredibly rude to my girlfriend, who got there before I did because a friend who lives nearby called her when he saw the guy unloading my car in front of his neighborhood. I'm being extremely patient with the situation, but I'm not happy.

Then I got into the car and started it up. Horrendous high-pitched squealing comes from the engine bay.

"What the actual fuck did I get myself into?"

I got the car home, listening intently to the squeal and playing with inputs to see how things affect the noise along the way. Luckily, I popped the hood when I got it into my driveway and immediately saw the problem. The FEAD belt was shredding.

It isn't too difficult to replace the belt, and I keep the belts in stock so it only took an hour to fix. But that's not the whole story. While pulling the old belt out, I realized there was anti-squeal sprayed all over the crank pulley! I'm not sure if the seller did it to hide the fact that there was a problem or what. It might have been the shop that replaced the pulley didn't realize there was an updated belt that needed to be used with it. Whatever the case, anti-squeal on the belt is not the answer!!

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

I knew there would be some paint issues when I got the car. The seller did say the car had some minor repainting due to what he believed was a small mishap in a parking lot. He said it was a driver's car, not babied at all. Okay, that's how I treat my grey one so I thought I knew what to expect.

The reality is that half the car had been repainted... and the other half needed to be repainted.

I got the car for a great deal as far as sticker price is concerned, but the paintwork it needs is going to more than eat any upfront savings. There are massive scrapes in a couple spots that weren't in the pictures, and a spot next to the trunk lip that looked like someone had been buffing the paint and went all the way through it. Adding to that, the black vinyl that had been added to parts of the car needed to be redone (or removed entirely). The vinyl on the roof was done terribly - the front edge didn't cover all the paint and the rear was wrinkled all the way across. There's a hole in the vinyl on one of the fender vent strakes, allowing the chrome underneath to shiny through awkwardly as well.

The interior isn't much better. The leather on the dash panels is all sorts of messed up. Even though it's often possible to have an automotive upholstery shop repair panels that have stretched leather, I'll have to replace most if not all of them in this car.

Well, it is a project car...

All in all, it is what it is. I bought the car sight-unseen and that comes with a huge set of risks. I was willing to accept those risks, and the car turned out to be in worse condition than I expected. It just reinforces why you need to do your due diligence if you're in the market for an Aston Martin (or any car, for that matter).

The bright side is that I'll be able to document all the repairs as I go and use that as content for my website and YouTube channel. There's a silver lining here so I'm not too upset. Just adds a lot of work onto my already-full plate, and consumes money I'd rather put into other things.

Oh well... Turns out this project car is going to be a project car after all!

Redpants Updates

I've started building a Buyers Guide to help people in the market for an Aston Martin. I get questions from people all the time for tips and help with buying an Aston, so hopefully it'll get put to good use!