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HomeNews and EventsSpringsteen’s Drummer Sues Mercedes Restorer

Springsteen’s Drummer Sues Mercedes Restorer

Max Weinberg says they stole $125,000

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Remember Max Weinberg? For a long time, he was the bandleader for Late Night With Conan O’Brien, but his true claim to fame is being the drummer for Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band. He’s also an automotive afficionado, having an interest in a particular 1957 Mercedes-Benz 190SL. However, this vehicle has led to a lawsuit.

Max Weinberg image courtesy of Manuel Martinez Perez

According to the Associated Press, Weinberg paid a deposit of $125,000 to Investment Automotive Group, Inc. as a downpayment for the Mercedes that it was restoring. A balance of $100,000 would be paid upon the completion of the restoration, which was promised to be “like-new or better condition using almost entirely original parts,” a “work of art” and the “best of the best.”

However, citing a gut feeling, Weinberg hired expert Pierre Hedary to inspect the vehicle at the restorers’ shop. Hedary found “significant rust, welds that had been improperly made, evidence that the car had been in an accident, and several other major problems.” To add insult to injury, it seems the Mercedes was a 1956 and not a ’57. Hedary concluded that, when finished, the SL would be a very nice roadster but would not qualify at major concours events, suggesting that it would be worth $120,000 at best.

When the owners of the shop refused to refund Weinberg’s deposit, he filed a complaint with the Broward (Florida) Sheriff’s Office. An investigation from a detective says that the restorers took the deposit and put it in personal accounts, covering almost $50,000 in credit card debt and other personal payments. “I did not find any transactions that could have been attributed to the work being done on (Weinberg’s) vehicle,” wrote the detective, adding that he found no indication the money went towards parts.

As such, the detective recommends the restorers be charged with grand theft, though the Broward State Attorney’s Office has said the case remains under review.

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Diego Rosenberg
Diego Rosenberg
Lead Writer Diego Rosenberg is a native of Wilmington, Delaware and Princeton, New Jersey, giving him plenty of exposure to the charms of Carlisle and Englishtown. Though his first love is Citroen, he fell for muscle cars after being seduced by 1950s finned flyers—in fact, he’s written two books on American muscle. But please don’t think there is a strong American bias because foreign weirdness is never far from his heart. With a penchant for underground music from the 1960-70s, Diego and his family reside in the Southwest.

16 COMMENTS

  1. I haven’t seen my 1985 Rolls Royce Silver Spur for going on 2 years. I don’t even know the address where it is.
    A well known mobile mechanic was suppose to strip the vinyl top, fix all rust and then have a auto upholster shop put a new one on.
    Keep saying it has to be RR material very rare to get. It is under a cover somewhere supposedly with the windshield and the back window out because it had to complete rust repair and wait to be refitted. I said just leave alone and put glass back in since it took months to remove rust and repair and paint black. I was told it looked good from 10′ but up close it was not smooth. Should I call the police and report missing?
    This guy rarely answers text messages and always has a excuse for not getting back to me. There was a large article in the Louisville Courier Journal about him and his right hand drive jeep that he decorates for holidays and has a skeleton etc. driving it for kids benefits etc. To be fair his prices for doing stuff to the car up until the top were very reasonable but if I never get my car back, he started in 2018 , what the hell am I suppose to do if not enjoy it?
    Anyone have a suggestion? It is insured by Hagerty. Call Hagerty and put in a claim?

  2. Hey Max! Your old buddy here////not only did I go thru this 4 times, on can, my 1937 Hudson was STOLEN…..by the guy who was supposed to do the build! AR

  3. They should be charged with fraud and grand larceny. Then make them post bail at one million. that will get somebodys attention.

  4. He should have known when they promised it to be restored with ” using almost entirely original parts”.
    You aren’t going to get parts for a ’57 SL at Mercedes anymore. I can’t get a lot of them for a ’05 SL.

  5. I think it’s fantastic that the law-enforcement departments actually got involved in this or I lived there would just tell you to go and hire an attorney and call it a day. Great job.

  6. I had some cars and restored them , unfortunately all the good restorers are gone even their sons who worked in that successful shop they became greedy and thieves, new generation, makes you get old on your only hobby and fun , all I can say is I’m sorry

  7. You are very Sinan, I once owned a collision, restore shop for over 60 years. The people that worked for me were very particular how they did their work. Every one of them had their own thing to do when working on a vehicle. Our shop was recognized as one of the best and the fairest to have work done. Every day all my people came to work. Today the shops in the area cannot even get people to work for them None of the young people want to do this kind of work or any work for that matter. And another thing Sinan, we never asked for a deposit up front. We always felt if for some reason you did not pay the bill when the vehicle was finished, we had your car. But in those days that never happened. Work ethics have so very much changed. It’s just a different way of living, I guess. As we say today, “those where the good days.”

  8. I meant to say Sinan, you are very correct at the beginning of my reply. At 85 years old sometimes it’s difficult putting two words together.

  9. What a disappointment. Mr. Weinberg was wise to have hired Mr. Hedary to produce a progress report on the restoration project. He was trying to do something meaningful, and now he has to go through a law suit.

    Skullduggery is not exclusive to auto restoration shops. I prepaid the Lemon Squad for a preinspection report on a car that I was interested in buying. The inspector, a local stringer, that they sent spent 20 minutes looking the car over, started the engine, and then left. This Lemon Squad inspector passed up on the seller’s offer to put the car up on the hoist to view the the underside, and did not even drive the car. The report I eventually received was a crude fill in the blanks effort accompanied by photos scrounged from the seller’s ad plus a short out of focus video of the car. It’s very much buyer beware out there …

  10. hi hello , sorry to hear this , if you or any of your contacts receive this reply , i will buy this car as is were is , please reply , cheers kevin

  11. I had the pleasure of meeting Max Weinberg a few years ago. He’s a super nice guy. The cars in his collection are perfect. The restorer needs to make this right. No one should be treated like this.

  12. Companies exist to make money. Unfortunately, there are many weak brothers among them who have the philosophy that making money is a matter of attracting someone else. (via scam making money) If the company wants to continue to exist, it usually involves telling the customer a difficult story (it was very disappointing, parts were very expensive, they were not available, a lot of shipping costs because everything had to be shipped far away, etc.) paid per hour, people work very slowly. If you are given an assignment for a fixed (accepted) amount, you will be racing and the quality will be substandard. To return to this car: I assume that everything has been properly put down on paper and if there is a lawsuit, I suspect the client will win. My tip: first inquire about the quality that a company delivers because cheap is often expensive. Precisely because companies want to make good money (yes, wife, I made a nice hit today. And my personal experience: if you want something done well, you have to do it yourself. But yes, most people can do little or nothing and do not have the tools And then you are delivered to the tigers. I have hired a company a few times……..for crying out loud. If I need a company again, I will inquire first and, if necessary, first examine the quality of the work done. Another tip: even if a company is well known, it depends on the person doing the work. Even the best companies have people around who would be better off looking for another job. But it should be noted that employers are not want to act as training schools (I do not have a company to train personnel for the competitor). Good luck with this case. I would continue to litigate until this loser paid…even if it cost me money. Revenge is sweet. When the matter is over I would warn the world about this company

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