Norfolk, Virginia

I took my very nice classic 1968 Impala to a custom Automotive Shop in Norfolk - FantomWorks to repair a complex Comfortron heating system. I agreed to an original estimate of $1,070 to "diagnose and repair as practical to make system fully functional." The costs included an expensive labor charge of $85.00/hour for 10 hours of labor and 100 in parts. The estimate included an allowance of 25% to resolve any unexpected issues with the repair. In the middle of the repair, FantomWorks stated that no parts were available and they could not "make the system fully functional". They initially demanded that I pay $450.00 in labor costs, plus the cost of an Impala Shop Manual that I did not order. After arguing that the labor costs were not fair since the heating system was still inoperable, they required that I pay $337 in labor costs or I would not be able to pick up car and would be charged $35.00 a day for storage fees until the labor fee was paid. I paid the bill in order to take possession of my car in the middle of a rain storm to avoid storage costs.

Customers Beware: FantomWorks may charge you illegal labor costs for work not completed or ask you to pay more for less than acceptable results.

Reason of review: Problems with payment.

Monetary Loss: $337.

Preferred solution: Full refund.

Fantomworks Cons: Being ripped off.

Do You Have Something To Say ?
Write a review


You will be automatically registered on our site. Username and password will be sent to you via email.
Post Comment

For the people replying that owners should investigate parts, please understand that Fantom Works says that a car owner cannot supply parts and Fantom Works will use only parts that they buy (go to their website and see). Given this, an owner is also at the mercy of whatever markup Fantom Works wants to use on parts and a car owner has no guarantee that Fantom Works will buy and install the right parts and will buy good quality parts.

So, even if a car owner investigates parts, this doesn't help the owner as the owner can't get the right parts and then have Fantom Works install them. And does Fantom Works try to get the best deal on parts? I don't know but my guess would be probably not. Or maybe they get cheap Chinese junk parts and mark them up.

Do they research to make sure they are not buying Chinese parts?

Don't know that, either. They can say whatever they want, but in the end an owner has to trust Fantom Works and from what I've seen, I wouldn't trust them at all.


I got to the point I could not stand Phantom Works. Dan has a horrible grumpy attitude and acts like he is the best shop on the planet.

Not even close. If you ever look closely the body work is horrible. The gaps are bad the panels don't fit properly and his constant "oh *** and hanging his head really gets old. Anyone with a good eye can see the work is poor.

One example of really poor bodywork and ruining a nice truck was the 51 Studebaker that he said had a horrible grill and paint job. In my opinion it was a simply done clean two tone job. He charged the guy $124,000.00 for a truck that went out in raw metal. The close ups of the metal work were horrendous.

The tail gait was rippled, Right rear fender was full of hammer dents. The front of the hood was full of dents. This truck was no where close to being ready for paint or even sealer for that matter.

Two shops that do beautiful work and are fun to watch are *** Rides ( except for "Kev Dog" because he is such a crybaby and thinks he is funny) and Iron Resurrection. The Martin Bros do beautiful work.


From watching the show, I'm not a fan of the guy. However, if you own a classic car, you either need to be able to fix it yourself or be prepared to pay someone to do it.

Nothing in your complaint seems unreasonable. How would they know which parts were in need of replacement until they took it apart? It's not their fault the parts are not available.

I charge more per hour repairing garage doors. $85 is more than fair, in my opinion.


If something is not fixable you still owe payment for diagnosis and labor. That’s basic common knowledge.

If they tore it apart and just decided not to fix it because they didn’t want to, then you have an argument. Do us all a favor, stay home and diagnose your own messes if you are too cheap to pay other people to do it.




Like eating at a fine dining restaurant, eating half the food, not liking it, and expect a full refund. *Face Palm* “Some People’s Kids”


I think you got a great deal. Book rate repair at dealerships on current vehicles is calculated at $100 or more per hour.

You are angry because your repair wasn't accomplished, but the shop still spent labor hours on your project.

If you and the shop had a contract for a guaranteed repair and a specific price to you, then your complaint has some validity. Otherwise, you are angry because you think you've been billed for nothing.


Dan I feel for you Sir, as a Michigan Bodyshop owner, who is I car and State certified, the level of Restoration and modification is extraordinary, it is not very often you find and Owner with as much compassion and concern over the quality of the finished product like you Sir, it saddens me we will not watching the new Season 10 this year, maybe there is room for another competative TV channel were all watching and hoping.

@Dan Kasco

If you are ICAR certified, I am (Platinum) and also manufacturer certified, than you can see with your own eyes that these guys are hacks. Its shops like theirs that gives us all a bad name! Probably written by Dan!


Dan is blatantly disrespectful. Have you ever met the guy?

I had the unfortunate experience of interacting with him at my business. Where he proceeded to yell at my employees and then tell me how to run my business. I don’t think so buddy, I won’t tell you how to fix cars, don’t disrespect people you don’t know. He was in the wrong and didn’t like it.

I had to throw him out of my business and nearly call the cops.

Guy has a real attitude problem. Would never watch that show after that.

@Jason p



Yes, Dan is moody but if you had to put up with customers coming to your shop telling you what's wrong with your car instead of listening to the experts you'd be moody...Dan has always says he would not listen to you if you intended to short cut the work on your car...I speak from experience that some people can never be satisfied...I quit working for the public and only do work on my own classic..I'll miss you Dan for your honesty......Gus


Always make sure you have every thing in writing. All of my quotes are in writing to protect my self and my customers.

If a shop agrees to do work for a set price they are stuck at that price.

If they find unforeseen items, they should ALWAYS communicate with the customer before continuing. NEVER EVER give ANYONE the go ahead to fix your car with out things in WRITTEN .


You ink $85/hr is an excessive labor rate?? Where are you getting work done where that is considered expensive? Would love to have the labor rate for work on my cars at that rate.


Im surprised parts for a 68 chevy are not available! There are more 60's chevy parts than gumballs in the world.


$85 an hour is a value. Labor rates in NC are $95 and in NorCal $100-125 an hour.

I agree with the people that build cars like myself. Every car has unforseen problems and sometimes great discoveries. My 64 Chevelle SS had a Corvette motor swapped into it plus a 65 Chevelle rear end. I bought a date code correct aluminum intake $525 on ebay and Holley carb for $300 that will need a $400 redtoration.

Parts cost money....

old parts cost lots more money If you dont have the talent, tools, knowledge or money to build a car... park it and go buy a model.


They have the right to charge for the unexpected discovery


They worked on your vehicle, as you’ve admitted. Repaired or not labor is not free.

Would you work for free? If so I have plenty of work for you...


How many intakes on self that are OEM replaced with eldbrook not right for oem


85 dollars an hr labor rate is far from unfair.

Fantomworks Reviews

  1. 10 reviews
  2. 0 reviews
  3. 2 reviews
  4. 3 reviews
  5. 18 reviews
Fantomworks reviews