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Tucson man dropped off his classic truck at a body shop three years ago for restoration; he's still waiting to get it back

The pickup was meant to be a gift for his grandson
Posted at 9:00 PM, Aug 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-12 12:28:44-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — "The truck has been in the family since the 70's and 80's," pickup owner Ted Tucker said.

Back in 2016, Tucker was ready to give the truck to a new generation of his family.

"It was just a restoration project for my grandson which started when he was in the 10th grade," Tucker said. "He's already graduated this year.

In April of 2016, Tucker took his pickup to Earl's Restoration and Repair on the Southside of Tucson. He said owner Chris Tatro told him he could finish the truck for $7,300 within a year.

Tucker paid the business owner $1,000 up front. Another $1,000 the next month. Then $2,000 in August of 2016. Tucker says he made the final payment on his pickup in March 2017.

Now, more than three years later Tucker is out his money and still without his truck.

Since taking on the project, Tatro said he's had to close his business and taken on another full time job. He uses some space at another body shop but says work goes a lot slower when he can't dedicate his full time to the project.

Tucker said he's checked on the truck at it's new location and does see some progress, but told KGUN 9 he feels pushed aside.

"It seems like every time I go over there to see him he's working on someone else's car and I paid him everything up front," Tucker said.

Tucker told KGUN 9 he wishes he had done some things differently when hiring Tatro to take on such a long project.

"I would have had him write up exactly what he was going to do and how he's going to do it in stages, and pay in stages," Tucker said.

He said, he feels like he made a mistake trusting Tatro.

KGUN 9 called Tatro and spoke to him about the pickup. He said it just needs to be painted and then it's ready to roll. He said that should be done by the end of the month.

Now, Tucker is just waiting to see if he'll get his truck back.

"He no longer has his shop and I feel bad for him for that," Tucker said. "Your word is your word. An agreement is an agreement. If you couldn't finish the job when I gave you the money you should have said 'I can't do it.'"

Tucker said he hopes he gets his truck back soon, but that if he doesn't he's ready to take his truck to another shop and pay them to finish the work. He told KGUN 9 if that happens he'll sue Tatro for the unfinished work.