KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Fifteen months after leaving his exotic sports car at a Lenoir City mechanic, a Knoxville man wants to know when his car will be returned in working order.
David took his Porsche GT4 to Robert Berry and Eurohaus Motorsports in October 2020 expecting to have it back and on the road in three months.
“He immediately said it needed, it lost compression and it needed a new engine,” David, who did not want to give his last name, said. “He disassembled it really quick. He took it apart; cleaned it. He did this almost immediately. I was actually hopeful at this point. He said it would be done in 90 days.”
David said he paid $10,000 upfront. An invoice shows another $3,000 was paid to Berry. After 90 days, however, David’s car wasn’t ready and he said Berry stopped returning his calls. Beginning in January 2021, David sent Berry several text messages trying to find out when the repairs would be complete.
“It was just a number of excuses, one after the other,” David said. “That started in January, February, March, April. It continued on and on as the reason why it wasn’t being completed. Then I went in and saw it in June or July and my engine was in a hundred pieces where nothing had been done in the past seven months.”
David asked the Loudon County Sheriff’s Department to have a deputy stop by the shop and talk with Berry.
“Loudon County Sheriff went and paid him a visit because at that point he was denying to give me my car back,” David said. “At this point, I just wanted my car back.”
David said after the Sheriff’s Department went by the shop car was fixed quickly. However, it broke down the next day. David returned to Eurohaus Motorsports to have the car fixed again.
“I got it back, it overheated immediately,” he said. “I went right back to him again because it was overheating. Then he informed me he was going to pull the engine out of the car again.”
WATE reported on Berry, the owner of Eurohaus Motorsports, more than six years ago. In July 2015, Ryan McElveen wanted his car back, but Berry had the motor out of the car, and it was far from being street-worthy. So, McElveen took Berry to court and won the case. Two weeks later, McElveen got his car back and the engine was repaired at another shop.
In November 2015, Michael Ritter explained a similar story. His 1988 Porsche 944 had been in Berry’s garage for three years. A judge ordered Berry to fix it, he never did.
Also at the time, Berry was indicted by a Knox County Grand Jury charged with theft and tax evasion regarding the shop he operated. He pleaded guilty, was placed on four years probation, and was ordered to pay nearly $24,000 to the Department of Revenue.
David’s Porsche GT4 is now in Maryville at the new location for Eurohaus. In the lot, there were more than two dozen other cars. In the garage are another dozen waiting to be repaired. But no one was at the shop when Dare visited Friday afternoon during business hours.
Dare called Berry and asked about David’s Porsche.
“He said I’ve had that since 2020,” said Barry in the call. “No, I haven’t. He got it back and drove it. It was making a noise and I told him, I’d fix it. So don’t start on me.”
Berry claims he’s right, and he’s done nothing wrong. Before he hung up, he didn’t say if the car is OK to drive.
“I want my car back, in any shape,” David said.
Don Dare will continue to follow this story. Download the WATE 6 News app to get updates sent to your phone.