tldr: I bought a lemon and Honest-1 made lemonade. At the end of April I found an older van with potential for a conversion. It was a 1986 GMC Vandura with a high top and insulated walls and ceiling. A perfect canvas to build out a stealth camper at a relatively low price point. If you know much about conversion vans, they generally aren't priced anything below 20K so for me to have the opportunity at 5k(including the initial build) was a dream. The van had $900 of work done on it 15 days before I made the purchase, including a 65 point inspection. It was my failure to not get it looked at again and knowing what I know now, I encourage everyone to get cars inspected regardless of an inspection done by the owner. That said, I don't believe the owner knew all the issues that Honest-1 would eventually have to deal with. I completed the build and planned to move in to it July 1 when my lease was up at my apartment. Around June 15th I sold my car and, I kid you not, 45 min later the van died on me. Because of the fact that I didn't have a car, I wanted it brought to a shop close to where I live. Honest-1 was the nearest AAA certified shop near my place, so that is where I dropped it off. Brian, the manager of Honest-1 gave me a call and I found out the news no one wants to hear: The engine had ceased and we were looking at a total failure. I was devastated. All my hard work building it out to move in, the prospects of not having a place to move to in 15 days... It was a shock. I was looking at a $6000 price to get it fixed at the very minimum. I had a serious decision to make. Scrap the van and move on, or get the work done and try to live the dream. Life is full of gambles and I made the decision long ago that I'm not going to shy away from going all in. Big risk, big reward. So I secured a personal loan from family and called Honest-1. Brian projected a completed van around the 6th of July which would mean that I would have to crash at a friends for only a week. He gave the caveat that it's likely there would be more issues as they started to dig into the components, but if every thing goes as planned, I should be sailing off just a week behind schedule. The goal from the very beginning was to make this project a livable space and that included having a functional engine. The guys at Honest-1 saw that vision and were 100% on board with making it a reality. Unfortunately for them, at every turn, there was another major issue to take on. The van had been totally neglected for years and every time a new component was evaluated, it was determined to be faulty. When you remodel a house you get to know this type of "can of worms" scenario and this was no different. The Vandura was an over sized can of worms. The end date continued to get pushed back with each new problem and I was looking at a much longer road ahead, pun intended. Luckily for me, my buddy that I was staying with was sympathetic, and with a few quality dinners every week and general tidying up of his place, I was able to not overstay my welcome. If you want something done right, it may not be the fastest or easiest task to complete, but it will be worth it in the end. Honest-1 knows this. They seem to live by that standard of practice. My van was completed on the 10th of August, 50 days after I dropped it off at the shop. The engine was rebuilt, the components were rebuilt, and now I get to live my dream again. It wasn't cheep but we knew that going in. It wasn't a fast fix but to be fair, a lot of the time was waiting on parts to arrive. So many parts had to be replaced and an 86 GMC Vandura isn't something readily available. They had to search high and low for some of these parts with lead times of upwards two weeks. Brian aptly gave the van the nickname, "the gift that keeps on giving." He understood how frustrating it was for me to be in this position and wanted this to be perfect for me. His dedication to high standards and uncompromising excellence was the driving force behind making my dream come true. I can't thank them enough.
Thank you so much for the kind words Tyler. We appreciate your understanding in work like this and we hope all is well. Bryan
- Honest-1 Auto Care Gresham