Vintage ’51 Buick can’t go home with family

OKLAHOMA CITY - Army Veteran G.W. Mitchell and his son, Mike, are searching high and low for their 1951 Buick Special.

They said body shop owner Ivan Sanchez farmed out the paint job and repairs to a second shop, which was not part of the agreement.

“It's another guy's shop,” Mike said. “Now, he's holding the car and wants to file a lien on it to sell it, because Ivan hasn't paid him.”

Even though, Sanchez cashed both checks, totaling $6,500.

There was no sign of the cash or Sanchez.

We got him on the phone.

“That's not something I can discuss that with you, sir,” he said.

Sanchez hung up on us.

We followed G.W. and Mike to the second body shop in search of their Buick beauty.

The owner told us he didn’t want to get involved and his agreement was with Sanchez.

The repairman tells the In Your Team he finished the paint job months ago, but Sanchez won't come settle up.  

We tried one more time to convince Sanchez to meet us at the shop, but he refused.

We know Sanchez was recently booked in the Oklahoma County Jail for driving under the influence, with a suspended license.

Getting nowhere with Sanchez fast, we convinced the second shop owner to hold off on the mechanic's lien, but he wasn't budging on the price forcing G.W. and Mike to fork over an additional $4,000 to get back their car.

Days later, father and son were reunited with their '51 Buick.

They are pleased with the paint job, but the door panels are missing.  

We stopped by Sanchez's body shop one more time.

Several of his family members met us at the door.

Turns out, the door panels were at the shop all along, and Sanchez's mom assured Mike she was going to help them. 

“She's going to get the money from him,” Mike said. “So, now we're start over, and hopefully mom comes through.”

We'll keep you posted on G.W.'s refund.

  • Be wary of anyone who demands you pay cash up front.
  • Take your time visiting the shop
  • Asking plenty of questions
  • Documenting everything.