Let me begin by acknowledging some obvious facts: First, any classic car purchased online without an inspection carries with it certain risks. Second, signing a contract for a purchase as-is also carries additional risks. I have done it several times with private owners and dealers from all over the country with varying degrees of success and challenges. I am not unrealistic with expectations that classic cars roll off the transport like a new car would so this review isn't so much about my Gateway purchase as it is about honesty and customer service.
With that said, the entire experience with gateway Classic Cars has been, and continues to be, beyond frustrating. Yes, there were over a hundred photos and a video of the car driving like a champ. I also have emails from Mike Wahlen (sales in Milwaukee office) telling me "As you will see, this is a clean car. This Mustang runs and drives great. The engine and transmission work well" and nothing could be further from the truth. I contacted him to make sure that there weren't any problems with the transport pick-up and got "oh, by the way there is a problem with the transmission slipping, but it may only be a vacuum leak and I was gonna call and let you know." Funny how that happens AFTER the full payment was made when I was being told it runs and drives great. That wasn't the only problem either. There was very little fuel or coolant in the vehicle which caused it to shut down after a couple of minutes of idling. Once those minor inconveniences were resolved I was able to drive all of a mile down the road when it quit again and wouldn't start. Had to have it towed to the garage where it sits now to isolate the problem(s). Again, clearly not a vehicle that runs and drives great, nor with an engine and transmission that works well.
On top of this, although they took a credit card deposit by telephone with no problem, I had to drive 40 miles to their Orlando dealership to complete the transaction with that same credit card because they said the CFO wouldn't approve the balance on cc unless I appeared in person. As a guy who does more than a hundred thousand dollars of cc purchases annually on all kinds of products including classic cars this is the only vendor that required that I drive over an hour to make the transaction in person. I even agreed to have them hold the car until they were satisfied that the transaction cleared properly. I do all of my purchases on cc because I get points that save me tremendous amounts of money.
The biggest reason for the poor review is that in addition to all this, I still cannot register the car because Gateway will not send me the clear title for some unknown reason. I have an car that I paid almost $18,000 for that won't run and I can't complete the required registration because Gateway Classic Cars took my money and doesn't give a crap about me since they got paid. In all my years of buying classic cars from dealers this is the first time ever that I didn't get the paperwork and title BEFORE the car arrived, and here it is almost a week later and still no paperwork. It is unacceptable to buy a car (paid in full) and not be able to actually legally own it. What pisses me off the most is that I can't get the salesman or his regional manager (Matt Thompson) to fix the issue. All I get is the standard "the office manager called in sick" and "the owner has been contacted to bring in title" lame excuses for piss poor customer service from the salesman and no response at all from his regional manager. Again, Gateway Classic Cars got paid and the previous owner of the car got paid so who cares about what the buyer gets, right? No matter what anybody else thinks about the mechanical issues with the car, there is no excuse for poor customer service and that is why I'm writing this bad review and why I will never do business with Gateway Classic Cars again.