The repercussions regarding Noel Slade’s work on Citroëns are still being felt in our community in 2018.
Noel was based in Tom’s River New Jersey and swindled many Citroën enthusiasts, taking money for vehicles that were shoddily repaired or restored. In many cases he took deposit money for vehicles he never delivered at all. It is those that have lost money outright that are probably inconvenienced the least. Although the sums of money some people are out of pocket are well upwards of $25K, at least they are not faced with vehicles from Noel that are plaguing them because they need considerable work to make them fit for the road.
During his time purporting to work on Citroëns in the USA Noel operated under 3 names: Citroën Import Services, Eurocar Imports and Frenchclassics.us. (These are now all defunct entities however we did discover an operational website https://offerup.com/p/25308838/ where he appears to be the proprietor based in Barnet, NJ.) At the moment though, his physical whereabouts are unknown.
Many of Noel’s former customers are trying to chase him down for restitution hoping that they can legally be awarded the monies they have lost. The reality is that Noel declared bankruptcy with his former entities so their chances are somewhere between slim and nil doing so.
Invariably if they are saddled with a Citroën that Noel worked on, they end up trying to find a reputable shop with Citroën expertise to sort out their problems. Often they end up contacting Dave Burnham Citroën to tell him their woes and see what help he can provide. This now seems to be a never ending saga for Dave. In speaking with him for this article Dave said; “We seem to be the psychologist for a lot of the poor people as they call here and try to put their cars together. It is getting worse and really sad for the remaining people that had cars with Noel when he went out of business.”
Dave got in another of Noel victim’s 2CV two weeks ago with parts piled inside that were from an H van, a TAV, a DS and a Méhari plus some shop tools. The car had been repainted and some of it had started to be assembled, then when Noel’s empire crashed. Consequently, it was put outside for at least a year maybe more.
Lots of parts are missing and what was done was done with bad workmanship. This poor fellow had at least $12,000 into Noel on top of the price he paid for his car which he bought on eBay. Dave told him how much the last car cost to fix that came in from a Noel victim and his car is much worse. He doesn’t have the money to go forward with Dave so it’s sitting in storage until he can figure out what to do. He plans to go after Noel criminally.
This past Monday another guy that has 3 cars with Noel sent photos of his mess and it was worse than the guy’s mess from 2 weeks ago. He has some parts he can sell if he wants to go get them but it might not be worth the aggravation. According to Dave he too has already shelled out $12,000 to Noel. That’s a tough nut to apply to the overall restoration cost when Dave’s work is factored in.
Dave feels there really needs to be a Noel Slade victims support group so all these people can get the parts for their cars back because it’s like all the parts got thrown into a blender and when they try and get their cars they get parts from all kinds of other cars and not enough of their own to build their own car. Of course Dave is too swamped with work to organize a support group, but if anyone would like to take on the task, he certainly knows a number of potential members. “Hello, my name is Fred and I’m an unfortunate victim of Noel Slade”…
UPDATE: April 5, 2018 – We have just discovered that Noel’s “other” old website, Citroën Import Services, has come back online. It does not appear to be updated, but to the unsuspecting viewer there is contact info and the impression that cars are available for purchase. It is amazing that this URL and his other site http://www.frenchclassics.us/ are online and have not been shut down by court order!