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Call Collett: Mechanic won't return rare truck bumper

With fresh paint, Robert Bruner’s 1963 Studebaker is refreshed.  

“It's a special truck. I've had it about 10 years,” Bruner told News 2 during an interview in his home in June.

He uses the truck for his handy-man business. He also takes it to car shows, where he’s won awards.

The back bumper on the 55-year-old truck needed to be refinished.   Bruner's hunt for the right person led him to Dave Parks at the Chrome Shop in Concord, North Carolina.

He shipped off the bumper along with a $300 deposit in July 2017.  The job would take two months.  It's been 12 months, and all Bruner got for his money is excuses.

“Their pipes broke,” Bruner recounted one of the excuses. “Then he retrained help. Then the help got the flu. And it just continued.”

Bruner even sent a certified letter to Parks asking for the bumper back even if the work wasn’t done.

“It's an extremely rare part,” Bruner explained. 

“Yes, I've had the bumper for forever,” Chrome Shop owner, Dave Parks, said on a phone call with News 2’s Rebecca Collett on June 28.

Then Parks gave a new list of excuses.   He said he had a heart attack, needed a pacemaker, had two stints and got a Staph infection in the last year.

“I've almost died twice,” he said during the call.

Parks said he'd return the bumper within 10 days of that phone call.  He promised the Bruner’s would have the bumper back by July 9th.  

“It's going to be done or I'm giving him his money back,” he confirmed during the call.

Eleven days later via text he wrote he needed another ten days to finish the work. He followed up by writing he would ship the incomplete bumper back on July 12, 2018.  

“I'm starting to wonder if I'll ever see it again,” Bruner said of the whole ordeal.

Officials in law enforcement who consulted with News 2 on this story say this isn't a criminal matter. If Dave Parks continues to hold the bumper, the best course would be for Bruner to file a civil court complaint.  

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