Southern Arizona | Investigating 4 You

N4T Investigators: Repair Despair – Update

TUCSON – As customers lose patience, the owner of a collision shop appears to be getting close to finishing jobs from last year.

Mark Deal brought his 1964 Barracuda to Gearhead Motorwerks more than a year ago. He gave the shop owner, Ramon Valencia, a deadline. He towed a trailer up from Sierra Vista and loaded his unfinished vehicle.

“I wouldn’t recommend him to do anything,” Deal said. “I just don’t approve of his work. It’s always an excuse.”

Valencia said restorations take many months, and he kept losing employees.

Valencia said most of his problems are because his shop burned to the ground last January. He relocated and changed the name to Gearhead Autoworks. He said he is still fighting for reimbursement from his insurance.

Victor Rivero’s car was in a crash last December. Rivero said Valencia kept asking for “4 more weeks” but did not finish.

“I don’t know if he has any more excuses,” Rivero said.

Brando Torres brought his car in before Rivero’s.

“This is not a job for him,” Torres said. “I think it’s ridiculous.”

Valencia showed the progress on Rivero’s and Torres’ cars on Thursday. The major damage was repaired. Most of the remaining work appeared to be cosmetic, and Valencia said it should take about 1 more week. Then he said he will have an independent shop inspect the work.

Ike Dent’s car is featured on Gearhead’s website and marketing.

“Looking at it from the naked eye, it is really bad,” Dent said.

After the initial paint job, Dent returned to Gearhead for an upgraded shine. Valencia said an under-qualified employee burned through the paint. Valencia offered to correct the mistake, but Dent does not trust him anymore.

“I think he’s just over-committed,” Dent said.

Valencia said he is finishing jobs and has many satisfied customers. He hopes his problems are almost resolved after the fire set him back.

Sam Salzwedel

Sam Salzwedel

Sam Salzwedel is an investigative reporter at News 4 Tucson.
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