Mark Cosovich of W123 World

Screwdriver

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As someone who was also conned by Cosovich directly, thought I'd share screen grabs of the "Guru's" latest scam - South African cars.

Beware the Swansea Svengali!
 

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Screwdriver

Screwdriver

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Based on my vehicle's restoration with him, it's safe to say that despite spending well over twice the purchase price of my vehicle to restore it, and all the self selling and bold claims, the man did not honor his end of the bargain or his written commitments. Hence the phrase conned by Cosovich.
 

grober

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I'm not sure what's in dispute here? Is he claiming certain cars were assembled in SA when they weren't? Surely the VIN number would tell you that or as "kit cars" do they all have German VIN nos?
SOME DETAILS HERE
Mercedes-Benz W123
 

219

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I was under the impression that South African cars had their origin reflected in the chassis no - the partsman at Western Autos in Edinburgh once mentioned this to me as there are two characters which cover this .

On the other hand , my Indian assembled W124 had an additional plate on the slam panel.
 

DanielGilmore

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My South African W123 has a VIN that starts with ADB123 rather than WDB123, “A” standing for South Africa, whereas “W” was Germany.
 

219

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Even with the pre VIN chassis numbers , there were characters which denoted where the vehicle was manufactured.
 

124BST

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Screwdriver, would you mind elaborating a bit about how you were 'conned'? I've been toying with the idea of having some major 123 restoration work done by Marc but thought I'd do some research before committing. Reviews on the most part seem good but then there's the odd suggestion like the one from yourself that it's not always the case. Some shared experiences would be very helpful. Thanks.
 
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Screwdriver

Screwdriver

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PM sent. I wouldn't based on my actual restoration experience.
 
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Screwdriver

Screwdriver

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Couldn't PM you so here is my experience.

I sent in my W123 for a service in 2016 - he agreed that he would inspect/service/ repair all issues after conferring with me. The budget agreed to was "up to $2000." To be fair, the car's drive shaft had split causing him to breakdown enroute to Swansea.

A few days later, Cosovich calls only to insist that the car cannot be serviced and must be fully restored. He used colorful adjectives and peddled a strong sense of urgency to highlight that just repairing the car would be insufficient. After insisting that he stick to the agreed budget, Mark asks that I have my car recovered from his garage at my cost. He then threatens to charge me for inspection fees if I don't agree to restore the car with him. I should have run at that stage but I didn't.

I'm skipping over some of the gory details here, but after several agonizing calls, he eventually agreed to perform this full restoration for £8500 all inclusive. It was very difficult to lock him into the "all inclusive" term but he eventually conceded. I shudder to think of what would have happened if he hadn't. What he did not know is that I had priced the cost of labour and parts for the same job (minus powder coating etc.) which came up to around £5500. So I justified the added amount to myself because he would be bead blasting, powder coating and fixing a few additional smaller items all while providing a 1 year warranty for his work while he had the car in his care. (My W123 has SLS suspension, for which expertise is rare in the UK).

Fast forward to delivery of the car 6 months later, following completion of the work. I pointed out that the air-conditioning still did not work, the suspension made terrible noises over speed humps and a grinding noise continued to emanate from the rear. Mark grudgingly took it back and replaced the condenser as it was barely hanging on. He then proceeded to assure me that he would address the other suspension/ drivetrain noises in the new year. Mark continued to ask for more time and by this point, his 1 year warranty period had ended. Immediately after this, he highlighted that the car was no longer within warranty and that he would not repair the remaining issues at no cost. When I reminded him that he had assured me he would do this as part of the warranty in writing, he responded that I should be grateful that he did the job I had paid for, and that he had thrown in a lot of extras as part of that.

Frankly, I would have derived some satisfaction from taking him to small causes court over this, but the issues he neglected can be rectified for less than the hassle and cost of a case. I suspect but cannot prove that he may have realized this as well. I'll end by saying 3 things:

1) Mark epitomizes the following quote "empty vessels make the most noise"

2) You'll find the majority of praise comes from people who buy his book or who trust him blindly ( a colossal mistake)

3) If you want the same level of expertise for your W123, paired with absolute honesty, I'd strongly recommend Holford Motors in Hornchurch. Paul is an ex-Mercedes tech who trained on the W123 when he was in his 20s. What's more, he's a gem of a person and has rectified all issues for me. Can't praise him enough!

Best of luck and let me know if you have any further questions about any of this!
 
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Chugg

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Couldn't PM you so here is my experience.

I sent in my W123 for a service in 2016 - he agreed that he would inspect/service/ repair all issues after conferring with me. The budget agreed to was "up to $2000." To be fair, the car's drive shaft had split causing him to breakdown enroute to Swansea.

A few days later, Cosovich calls only to insist that the car cannot be serviced and must be fully restored. He used colorful adjectives and peddled a strong sense of urgency to highlight that just repairing the car would be insufficient. After insisting that he stick to the agreed budget, Mark asks that I have my car recovered from his garage at my cost. He then threatens to charge me for inspection fees if I don't agree to restore the car with him. I should have run at that stage but I didn't.

I'm skipping over some of the gory details here, but after several agonizing calls, he eventually agreed to perform this full restoration for £8500 all inclusive. It was very difficult to lock him into the "all inclusive" term but he eventually conceded. I shudder to think of what would have happened if he hadn't. What he did not know is that I had priced the cost of labour and parts for the same job (minus powder coating etc.) which came up to around £5500. So I justified the added amount to myself because he would be bead blasting, powder coating and fixing a few additional smaller items all while providing a 1 year warranty for his work while he had the car in his care. (My W123 has SLS suspension, for which expertise is rare in the UK).

Fast forward to delivery of the car 6 months later, following completion of the work. I pointed out that the air-conditioning still did not work, the suspension made terrible noises over speed humps and a grinding noise continued to emanate from the rear. Mark grudgingly took it back and replaced the condenser as it was barely hanging on. He then proceeded to assure me that he would address the other suspension/ drivetrain noises in the new year. Mark continued to ask for more time and by this point, his 1 year warranty period had ended. Immediately after this, he highlighted that the car was no longer within warranty and that he would not repair the remaining issues at no cost. When I reminded him that he had assured me he would do this as part of the warranty in writing, he responded that I should be grateful that he did the job I had paid for, and that he had thrown in a lot of extras as part of that.

Frankly, I would have derived some satisfaction from taking him to small causes court over this, but the issues he neglected can be rectified for less than the hassle and cost of a case. I suspect but cannot prove that he may have realized this as well. I'll end by saying 3 things:

1) Mark epitomizes the following quote "empty vessels make the most noise"

2) You'll find the majority of praise comes from people who buy his book or who trust him blindly ( a colossal mistake)

3) If you want the same level of expertise for your W123, paired with absolute honesty, I'd strongly recommend Holford Motors in Hornchurch. Paul is an ex-Mercedes tech who trained on the W123 when he was in his 20s. What's more, he's a gem of a person and has rectified all issues for me. Can't praise him enough!

Best of luck and let me know if you have any further questions about any of this!

Crikey Screwdriver, that W123 sounds like a bit of a dog!
Breaking down with spilt a driveshaft, suspension making terrible noises when going over bumps, air con not working, condenser hanging off, grinding noises from the rear........is it even roadworthy?? Probs would have been better selling it to a hobby restorer if you’re not into the resto side yourself, and with the cash and that £8500, buying a better condition one to start with or even better one that has already been done to a high standard which someone will have spent double your £8500 on.
Unless that particular car is ‘special’ to you and an expensive labour of love, then £8500 is a drop in the ocean for full resto and maintenance if you don’t do any work yourself.
Of course all very easy for me to say, and we are all a genius with hindsight.........
 
D

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I sent in my W123 for a service in 2016 - he agreed that he would inspect/service/ repair all issues after conferring with me. The budget agreed to was "up to $2000." To be fair, the car's drive shaft had split causing him to breakdown enroute to Swansea.


Doesn't count if you weren't there at the time then?
 
D

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It is worth remembering that dealers in used cars are only after money, some are honest some are not, when temptation is put in the way of a dishonest one to make money by misrepresenting an item they will. There is no such thing as a person who is mostly honest, they either are or they aren’t.

A case in point, many years ago I sold my r129 to a Mercedes classic dealer. The car was beautiful and had covered 70k but had a speedo change early in its life.

The dealer used the car himself for trips to Spain (featured in the Mercedes Club Gazette) before selling it. He forgot that the car had a speedo change and magically lost all of its early history, therefore, to a casual glance the car had covered a genuine c48k miles. He was found out when the new owner contacted me and asked if I’d ever had an issue with a whiny diff on the car as the dealer was refusing to rectify it. We then discovered what had happened. The dealer tried to pin it on me, until I forwarded him the e mail I had sent him clearly outlining the real mileage ( he must have also disconnected the speedo for the trips he made)

Do not give your money to someone who isn’t honest, you will regret it.
 
D

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Doesn't count if you weren't there at the time then?

To be fair, he did say, ‘why I haven’t broken down’ He didn’t
 
D

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It is worth remembering that dealers in used cars are only after money, some are honest some are not, when temptation is put in the way of a dishonest one to make money by misrepresenting an item they will. There is no such thing as a person who is mostly honest, they either are or they aren’t.

A case in point, many years ago I sold my r129 to a Mercedes classic dealer. The car was beautiful and had covered 70k but had a speedo change early in its life.

The dealer used the car himself for trips to Spain (featured in the Mercedes Club Gazette) before selling it. He forgot that the car had a speedo change and magically lost all of its early history, therefore, to a casual glance the car had covered a genuine c48k miles. He was found out when the new owner contacted me and asked if I’d ever had an issue with a whiny diff on the car as the dealer was refusing to rectify it. We then discovered what had happened. The dealer tried to pin it on me, until I forwarded him the e mail I had sent him clearly outlining the real mileage ( he must have also disconnected the speedo for the trips he made)

Do not give your money to someone who isn’t honest, you will regret it.
”Honesty” is much like being “unique” - they’re absolute; there is no “nearly” unique or “pretty” honest.
 
D

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”Honesty” is much like being “unique” - they’re absolute; there is no “nearly” unique or “pretty” honest.
A bit like “never broken down in 15 years” is a bit like “same car only broke down while someone else was driving in the last 5 years”.
 

jdrrco

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A bit like “never broken down in 15 years” is a bit like “same car only broke down while someone else was driving in the last 5 years”.

Or like Trigger's broom.
"I've had the same broom for 20 years. Maintained it for 20 years. This old broom's had 17 new heads and 14 new handles in its time."
 

Will

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“Look after your broom...”
 
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Screwdriver

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Doesn't count if you weren't there at the time then?

The car was delivered to Mark precisely to preemptively address symptomatic issues. Had his workshop been located in the London area (vs. Swansea), the car would never had let him down. I've claimed the cars are extremely reliable but never said that they don't need preventative care. Nice try, but ultimately a futile effort on your part.

Crikey Screwdriver, that W123 sounds like a bit of a dog!
Breaking down with spilt a driveshaft, suspension making terrible noises when going over bumps, air con not working, condenser hanging off, grinding noises from the rear........is it even roadworthy??

See pictures below to decide for yourself but yes, I'd say so. The W123 in question was owned and spec'd by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. It required attention to bring it back to pristine condition and reverse years of neglect. In hindsight, I would have chosen another supplier had I known what I know today.
 

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