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AUTO - review for Legends Motorwork in Alexandria
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Leoallafila's Avatar
Posts: 2,479
Join Date: December 15, 2010
Location: Alexandria, VA
AUTO - review for Legends Motorwork in Alexandria - May 31, 2012, 08:02 AM

I'd like to share my positive experience with a car mechanic after a streak of bad ones ever since I moved to the US: I found Legends Motorwork while looking online for someone to work on my 1972 Ford Gran Torino: after bad experiences with other places I finally found a REAL mechanic. Let me put this in perspective: when I say I had bad experiences before elsewhere that is not the typical "ah man, repairs for my car where expansive so I'm pissed and I'm going to rant about it on the web to get back at them": I know cars, I have been in the car racing business for years and I know more than some of the techs that I have met before.

The reason I choose to bring my car to a mechanic for some of the maintenance /work is that I have a single car garage and I don't have the proper space and time to do some of it myself.

My Torino had developed a coolant loss that after some research turned out to be a badly sealed headgasket on the driver's side head. Greg and his guys agreed with me when I brought it there, and he also reconnected the ground wire between the frame and the engine that wasn't in place. The estimate and the wire reconnection were both free and we agreed I would bring in the car to have him do the work as the estimate I got was very good. The fact that I saw half a dozen of other muscle cars in his shop, along with what we talked about, made me feel comfortable the guy knew what he was talking about. I dropped the car off as agreed, then I had to leave to Europe for work and got regular email updates from Greg about the status of the job. He suspected the head to have a problem so I asked him to halt everything until I got back and he was ok with it (didn't charge me for the car sitting in his shop for 10 days), he got it magnafluxed and pressure tested and luckily it turned out to be ok. Long story short: he fixed the original problem, re-arranged the wires in my engine bay area to look a lot more clean and neat, he repainted the engine with the correct blue color and adjusted the timing. Towards the end I was getting anxious about getting it back as it was a Friday and I was supposed to get the car to a charity event on Sunday so they stayed after hours to finish the job and I picked the car up on Friday evening at 8!

The day after I noticed an oil leak from the intake gasket, so I went back to have it checked. I dropped the car off the same day and got a courtesy car for the day so that they could let the car cool down, fix the leak and let it seat over-night. I also lamented that the adjustment that had been made to the ignition had made the car a little sluggish on take-off so they put it back to the original setting. I got the car back yesterday and I am happy with how it drives. At pickup I was told "come back after 1000 miles or so one evening, we'll have a beer and we'll check valve clearances". That to me is a very different attitude opposed to what I feel is the guideline in every other place I've been that seems to be "no matter what, every car that gets in here HAS to spend at least $800 dollars and it doesn't matter if it really needs it or not. Upsell, upsell, upsell".

In the end the total cost was more than anticipated but they most definitely did a whole lot of more work than what we initially planned, none of which I felt was unnecessary. I think the cost of the work was fair and (altough it's too early to be sure) the quality of the craftmanship seems excellent. The oil leak, for which Greg apologized profusely is one of those things to be categorized under "stuff happens", especially in an engine who'se surfaces are 40 years old...

On a side note you should know that IF your car is a "classic" it will not be worked on in a hurry: they rightfully give immediate attention to customers who need their daily drivers back, as opposed to people like me who bring them a "toy" car. I don't think this is news to anyone who drives a classic, as it's the way it is everywhere, but it's worth to know: if you need your classic car back by a specific date, make sure you tell them and have an understanding about it before you leave, especially during busy summer weekends!

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