We all know that restoring an old Corvette can sometimes take years, but once the owner gets his beautiful car back, that long-time waiting period is usually soon forgotten.
Not so for an Alabama woman, who says she trusted an acquaintance to restore her C4 Corvette coupe about 18 months ago.
Since then, Janice Hill says she has received nothing but excuses and no actual work on her classic ‘Vette from Eric Lambert, owner of Whiplash Kustoms in Huntsville, Ala.
Huntsville Police arrested Lambert Tuesday night at his business and charged him with two felony counts of receiving stolen property and one count of receiving a stolen auto. Authorities say an investigation of a stolen motorcycle led them to Lambert’s business which they say was operating as a “chop shop”.
“Eric Lambert came to my house, drove my ‘Vette away to restore it and paint it,” Hill told WHNT 19 News out of Huntsville. “Since then, we’ve had a problem.”
She hired Lambert to repaint her car and do some minor restorations, paying him a $1,500 deposit after he said he would have it painted within a couple of weeks.
Over the next year and a half, Hill says she paid Lambert another $4,500 but instead of painting the car, Lambert took parts off the car and didn’t do any work.
“There was always an excuse,” Hill said. “And I started to have my doubts, but he had my car at that point.”
Finally fed up with the excuses, Hill finally just asked to have her car back, but even to do that, Lambert asked for more money and she eventually paid him another $500 just to get it back in worse condition than when he started – with the door handles, door panels, tail lights, and seats removed.
Instead of her dream car, the yellow Corvette had turned into her worst nightmare.
“When I got the car back it was awful,” Hill says. “It went from being an old, classic ‘vette, to a junker.”
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