Pre-Purchase Inspections & Appraisals

Memory Lane Classic Car Appraisals

Winnetka, CA

22 years in service

1 employee

Gold member

Bio

Looking back it was a perfect year with lots of interesting vehicles to inspect and I thank several people who contacted me through Thumbtack. I enjoyed it very much and hopefully you as my clients will leave more testimonial here.

About Memory Lane Classic Car Appraisals

hired 1 time on Thumbtack

I mainly conduct highly detailed pre-purchase inspections (PPI) on cars for sale online and in auctions and report this in very elaborate written reports. Please do NOT contact e if you're looking for the cheapest quote out there, I will probably be the most expensive one around. Sorry, no $99 "drive-by inspections" here, mine are highly technical and elaborate. My motto is you get what you pay for!

I can save you a plane ticket or an expensive mistake! I can even perform the inspection AT the vehicle with you; so you experience my findings first hand. I'm a licensed mechanic with decades of experience and will make sure you don't make any mistakes buying your next car. I also perform vehicle valuations and adjustments for insurance and settlement purposes.

I am located in Los Angeles, California and will travel in the Southwest USA if the object is worth the effort and my inspection/travel fee.

Thank you,

Maurice Mentens

Location

Winnetka, CA 91306

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Reviews

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  • 5/5 stars October 2, 2014

    This company awhile back helped me big time while I was fighting with my insurance in regards to the value of my 1987 Grand National! If i were ever in this situation again and needed an appraiser there's no other company I would turn too! He got me way more then I expected! id recommend them to anyone!

  • 5/5 stars January 6, 2012

    Dear Maurice, Thanks so much for the prompt and thorough inspection of the 1959 Thunderbird I wanted to buy. You did the job promptly and professionally, sending me nearly 100 photos and an informative report. You photographed hard to reach areas of the car that I'm sure I wouldn't have thought to look at myself. You proved that a car may look great from 10 feet away (or in web photos), but loses a lot of its charm when the trained eye points out the many subtle flaws. In particular, you pointed out the problems with the quarters which convinced me that the car fell short of its advertising. I appreciate your saving me from a $40,000 mistake!!!

    John Bessich,
    Huntington Station, NY.
    1959 Ford Thunderbird Convertible

Question and answer

Q. Describe the most common types of jobs you do for your clients.

A. Full blown Pre Purchase Inspections (PPI) where a remote client wants to find out EXACTLY what a seller is offering. As an independent contractor I stand between the two parties and give a very detailed, dry and very technical rundown of what problems the buyer can expect from the car. As a follow up I offer an escrow service so people run less risk to become the victim of a scam. I'm sorry to say a growing percentage of cars offered are far from what the seller discloses....

Q. What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?

A. Never buy anything without a professional inspector's opinion! Better spent a few hundred bucks to make sure than taking the risk of entering into a horrible experience.

Q. If you were a customer, what do you wish you knew about your trade? Any inside secrets to share?

A. Look for someone with actual mechanical knowledge and experience in the automotive restoration and trade field.

Q. What questions should a consumer ask to hire the right service professional?

A. Ask the "inspector's" background and how long he has been doing this, that would tell you enough about how capable he is. Anyone can get into this business, so make sure their credentials are the right ones!

Q. What important information should buyers have thought through before seeking you out?

A. Is the buyer really serious in going through with the purchase? If the vehicle checks out well the buyer has first right of refusal and mostly the seller wants this expedited.

Q. Why does your work stand out from others who do what you do?

A. My technical background is extensive as a licensed mechanic. I hear from every client who can compare that my reports are way more elaborate than others, my eye for detail is better and I have started out as a buyer so I know exactly what a buyer is looking for!

Q. What do you like most about your job?

A. Every day, every vehicle is different and has new challenges. Sellers are very good at hiding problem spots, it is my task every day again to figure them out.

Q. What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?

A. They mostly ask what my background is and I always tell them I started out buying rust free cars from the South West to sell them in my shop in Europe. I also performed high end restorations there (still do) so I know if any work has been done right or not. I'm a degreed physicist and licensed mechanic with decades of experience.

Q. How did you decide to get in your line of work?

A. Because I hunted for exotic cars in the US my overseas clients always wanted to have EXACT descriptions of the cars I found for them before they bought them. Those were the very first Pre Purchase Inspections I ever did, now more than 25 years ago. Once I moved to the US most of my clients are still very remote so I have to be very precise in what I put in my Reports.

Q. Tell us about a recent job you did that you are particularly proud of.

A. A 1968 ($115,000) Shelby Mustang Convertible was sold through eBay but the (New York) buyer did not trust the pictures the seller sent him. The seller wanted a $5000 deposit to seal the deal but the buyer hired me and sent me the $5000 to hand it over to the seller after I saw the car. When I got to the Long Beach address I found a pawn shop, the owner told me he DID have that car inside but could not give it out because there was a $50,000 loan against it. After more investigation I found out a pawn shop employee set up the eBay auction and had collected several ($5000) deposits for the same car. I was able to save the buyer a lot of money for something he would have never received!

Q. What is your greatest strength?

A. A very professional approach, a highly detailed and complete written report so the buyer can be sure he does not have to waste time with the wrong vehicle. I'm very diplomatic with buyers and sellers and after receiving my report every transaction ends with the buyer getting exactly what he thinks the vehicle is like.