3 On Your Side

Auto body shop has Phoenix area man's car for 2 years

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Gabe Betancourt says an auto body shop in Glendale has had his car for more than two years. (Source: 3TV) Gabe Betancourt says an auto body shop in Glendale has had his car for more than two years. (Source: 3TV)
Betancourt says he wanted to restore the El Camino so he started fixing it up a few years ago. (Source: 3TV) Betancourt says he wanted to restore the El Camino so he started fixing it up a few years ago. (Source: 3TV)
Betancourt says he went ahead with hiring the shop to do the work.   But, that was more than two years ago and the El Camino still isn't finished. (Source: 3TV) Betancourt says he went ahead with hiring the shop to do the work. But, that was more than two years ago and the El Camino still isn't finished. (Source: 3TV)
Betancourt says after 3 On Your Side visited the business, the body shop told him his vehicle should be finished within the next few weeks. (Source: 3TV) Betancourt says after 3 On Your Side visited the business, the body shop told him his vehicle should be finished within the next few weeks. (Source: 3TV)
(3 ON YOUR SIDE) -

A Valley man took his classic El Camino in to be restored, but after more than two years, he still doesn’t have his car back from the shop. 

“I've always had a passion for cars, for older, classic cars. Anything from low riders to cruisers to customs, to hot-rods,” Gabe Betancourt said.

And, when it comes to his favorite car, Betancourt says it's his 1983 Chevy El Camino that he has had from back in his teen years.

“I remember driving and filling up with like $3 worth of gas in the '90s,” he said.

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Betancourt says he wanted to restore the El Camino so he started fixing it up a few years ago.

However, when it came to doing bodywork and painting, he started looking around for a body shop and that's when he came across a place called Lamont's Auto Body.

“I went right in the middle with Lamont's Auto Body in Glendale. He's got a great Facebook page, his reviews were decent so he wasn't the least expensive, he wasn't the most expensive, that's why I chose him," he said.

Betancourt says Lamont's drew up an estimate detailing how they could finish the restoration job, including painting the vehicle.

Betancourt says the total came to about $4,500 and went ahead with hiring the shop to do the work.

But, that was more than two years ago and the El Camino still isn't finished.

On the Facebook page for Lamont's Auto Body shop, the business profiles the El Camino, but just like the picture shows, the vehicle is not fully restored.

And, even though Betancourt says he's almost paid for the job in full, he still doesn't have his car.

“At this point, $4,900. The price did increase from $4,500 to $5,500 and explained that there was [sic] more man-hours and material going into the car and it was a little bit higher than he estimated,” Betancourt said.

Betancourt tells 3 On Your Side that he's satisfied with the work that has been done but says two years is long enough.

“I think I've been very patient, pretty reasonable. Hopefully, you guys can just put a little fire where it needs to be to complete the project,” he said. 

3 On Your Side got involved and we went to Lamont's Auto Body for answers. We weren't allowed on the property, but an employee there came out and told us that Betancourt's El Camino is inside the garage still unfinished.

We wound up leaving, but the owner of the body shop wrote 3 On Your Side an email saying Betancourt's project was "labor intensive."

However, he went on to say that he intends on finishing the El Camino very soon.

In fact, Betancourt says after 3 On Your Side visited the business, the body shop told him his vehicle should be finished within the next few weeks.

Betancourt says, it's about time and he’ll be glad when he gets it back. 

“I was like, I put all my faith in this shop and two years. I don't feel like I was scammed, or duped or a victim of anything. I just feel like I'm a victim of an unreasonable timeline,” he said.

We'll stay on top of this one, and make sure the car is done in the next few weeks. When it is, we will give an update. 

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LiAna EnriquezLiAna Enriquez is a native of Arizona. She attended Marcos de Niza High School in Tempe, Arizona.

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LiAna Enriquez

She then went on to Arizona State University. She graduated summa cum laude from the University’s prestigious, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism with a degree in Journalism/Mass Communications with an emphasis in broadcasting.

LiAna started her news career with KTVK-TV as an intern. She loved it so much she never left! She has been with the station for fourteen years. Currently, she is the consumer investigative producer for Arizona’s top rated consumer segment, 3 On Your Side and is also a general assignment reporter. LiAna also reported for the station’s top rated high school sports show, ‘The Varsity Zone’ for five years.

In her free time LiAna enjoys cooking, watching movies, quading, and traveling. But her absolute favorite thing to do, is to hang out with her husband and beautiful daughters. She is a softball mom. She loves the beach and waterfalls! Her favorite team is the Arizona Cardinals and of course, the Sun Devils.

Life motto: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)

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Gary HarperGary Harper is the senior consumer and investigative reporter for 3 On Your Side at KTVK-TV.

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Gary Harper
3 On Your Side

With more than 20 years of television experience, Gary has established himself as a leader in the industry when it comes to assisting viewers and resolving their consumer-related issues. His passion and enthusiasm have helped him earn an Emmy for Best Consumer Reporter from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He’s also garnered several Emmy nominations

He has negotiated resolutions with companies of all sizes, including some of the biggest corporations in the nation.

Gary has successfully recouped more than $1 million for viewers around the state, making 3 On Your Side one of the most popular segments on KTVK and the station's Web site.

He's best known for investigating and confronting unscrupulous contractors. In fact, many of his news reports have led to police investigations and jail time for those who were caught. Viewers, as well as the companies and people he investigates, regard him as consistently being thorough and fair.

Gary has been with KTVK-TV since 1997. Prior to his arrival in Phoenix, he worked for WZZM-TV in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he was as an anchor and reporter.

Gary is from Chicago, but launched his television career in Lubbock, Texas, after earning a broadcast journalism degree from Texas Tech University. Following his graduation, he was quickly hired by KLBK-TV in Lubbock, where he enterprised and broke numerous exclusive reports. His aggressive reporting in Texas helped garner him Best Reporter by the Associated Press.

Gary has been married since 1994 and is the proud father of two sons. When he's not helping viewers, Gary is busy catching up on his favorite college and professional football teams as well as cheering on his beloved Texas Tech Red Raiders.

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