BACStabbed: Four Years of BAC Mono Ownership Hell Ends
My Mono is now sold to a new owner. I wish him the best, I put ten's of thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours of my time to fix everything that was wrong with the car before I put it for sale. Unlike me, he should have many trouble-free miles.
The BAC Mono ownership experience was characterized by bringing me into contact with liars, con-men, backstabbers, incompetents and financial rapists. Ironically, the one honest person in the whole mess with integrity was the man that helped me sell it. I'll never forget this miserable ownership experience and the massive financial loss I suffered because so many people had no regard for the end user of the product. I am thrilled to never have to see that BAC Mono in pieces in my home garage again, as I did so many times, needing to spend so many hours of my time fixing crap I should have never had to deal with or PAY for.
Considering buying a "new" BAC Mono? Contact me before you do...
Since selling the BAC Mono I've placed a deposit and taken delivery of a Wolf GB08 track car. That entire experience so far has been the polar-opposite of BAC Mono. It took 2.5 years for BAC Mono to allow delivery to me of a poorly assembled, improperly set-up, leaky, defect-ridden piece of shit. Wolf and Spring Mountain Motorsports delivered a detailed, perfectly set-up car in 7 weeks. Wolf has been massive under-promise and over-deliver at every step. Detail oriented, professional, competent describes those who I have worked with. The Wolf car offers FAR more value for far less money than the BAC Mono. I could not be more happy with my Wolf Racing Cars purchase and ownership experience so far.
It's been great to talk to people who have contacted me about my BAC Mono experience. Car guys talking to car guys with no bullshit, marketing, or paid spokesmen. So many times in the automotive world the hype is one thing and the ownership experience is something completely different. I'm more patient and willing to work things out than most people, but everyone has their breaking point. I'd be shocked if BAC could find anyone uninformed or dumb enough to make yet a third attempt at opening a USA distributorship. Are you thinking of doing so? Contact me!
Three months on from the Mono sale and I could not be happier. Looking back on the multi-year BAC Mono ownership experience I am SO glad it is over and in the past. A simply miserable period of misrepresentation, lies, incompetence, back-stabbing, financial rape and blame-shifting. Looking back over decades of product ownership experiences this was BY FAR the worst and BY FAR the most expensive lesson learned in trusting people. It's also left me with the desire to never do business with ANY UK based company.
Mono was a nightmare to work on and it required constant repair. My new Wolf GB08SM has been a blast to drive, so easy to work on and maintain, and service parts/tires are reasonable priced. Michelin slicks on the Wolf $1700 a set vs 5x marked up Kumho street tires on the Mono for $3600 (they cost $800 a set in UK!).
If you are looking to purchase a BAC Mono (or Gawd forbid "invest") feel free to contact me for an honest ownership experience. So many other fantastic alternatives from companies who are not out to screw you over at every opportunity.
Emotionally rewarding to know the prospective mono buyers I have been able to share my experience with the past months. After the world-class shitty ownership experience and financial-rape I suffered through to be able to help others is cathartic in a way. To hear the stories of the characters I was involved with, how others have been involved with them as well...
People are spot-on in asking: Why can't BAC keep distributors? Why all the finger pointing? Why are so many cars for sale? Why no more cars sold in US? Why no posts from other owners defending how great the car is? Why would a car company develop and market carbon fiber boat cranes when they were besieged with so many car problems???? Read between the lines right?
Thinking of doing any business with BAC? Feel free to contact me before you do.
BAC Mono Ownership Details
Wow! Many contacts the past week from people wanting to hear about my BAC Mono ownership experience. I welcome the inquiries and quickly responded to everyone who wrote to me. I am going to share some experiences below for all to see. If you have any questions or would like details, I welcome your contact! Some may find this all a bit hard to believe, but trust me, it was a real, honest, living-nightmare ownership experience.
Let me clarify something that readers may wonder about- all cars have "teething pains" and things that need a tweak or adjustment when new. I've owned some very nice cars over the years, ALL have had problems. The difference is that with those cars it was a "few" problems and getting things fixed was quick, competent, and without cost to me. Drop the car at the local dealer, pick up a loaner, a day of so later it pops out fixed and I'm no worse for wear. That kind of ownership experience is typical and to be expected with any car.
The BAC Mono ownership however was problem after problem after problem. Required to be fixed by my hands in my garage paid with my money and my time. Keep in mind, some people have paid north of $400,000 for a BAC Mono! The initial purchase experience was a harbinger of things to come, being lied to and having problems ignored were the standard established to be expected going forward. From time of my payment to the first delivery attempt was 2.5 years. Yes, THIRTY MONTHS. There was one communication emailed to Mono buyers I recall during that entire time, BAC shamed into doing it by the then distributor. This gives you a very good view of the kind of people you are dealing with - take several hundred thousand dollars of customer money and feel zero obligation to communicate why the car that was promised in 6 months (already a VERY long time!) is now past 2.5 years.
The original build had absolutely no quality control oversight from BAC, the Briggs brothers were too busy traveling around being rock stars and taking vacations instead of examining every one of these critical initial customer cars to insure a perfect delivery experience. Sector 111 was the distributor at the time (the first in a failed string). Andrew Whitney and his partner scam-artist John Goodrich together with DesmotoSport were acting as US distributors after that. My experience when I asked for help was finger-pointing between BAC and the distributors, and myself, and I was left stuck to fix my own car with no financial support or reimbursement from anyone.
I'm reading there is now yet another new distributor.
The car was originally set to deliver to me at Spring Mountain Motorsport Park, I flew down from Reno very excited and drove the car for the first time for only a few laps on track when the electrical system completely failed! Car was loaded back into trailer, taken back to Sector 111, worked on, and delivered a 2nd time at Spring Mountain. I flew down AGAIN, drove the car for less than 10 minutes and electrical system totally failed AGAIN.
On the 3rd delivery attempt of the new car, the RR suspension snapped while the car was simply being transported in an enclosed trailer, mind you the suspension is under no stress at all in this situation. When it broke the RR of car collapsed down onto the muffler and gouged it. I asked for the muffler to be replaced and it was refused to do so. Please note, there was no reimbursement or any effort to make me whole for my flights and rental cars for the delivery attempts when car broke.
Some months later the muffler blew apart at this gouge from the suspension failure and BAC chose not to warranty the muffler but instead tried to charge me $5000 for a new muffler! Five Thousand Dollars, let that wash over you. The straw having broke the camels back, I chose to say no to this financial-rape and welded a patch onto the muffler. I contacted and tried to get the muffler manufacturer (UK, again) to let me buy one direct from him, but he was blocked from helping me by BAC!
I know of a rear suspension that broke when the attachment bolts sheared or pulled out and the wheel folded under the car, another several cars alternators brackets broke and the pulley cut into the coolant pipes and spewed antifreeze and metal shaving all over the back of the car. Think about that happening to you while you are driving.
Many cars throttle cables broke or froze. Mine froze up and BAC was trying to charge me $700 for a replacement! Think about that..After a string of angry emails BAC finally agreed if I sent my defective cable back to England, they would fix it and send it back! The process to replace it was difficult and painstaking to adjust, and of course requiring the top body to come off...UGH. All of this on me even though it was defective from delivery.
My parking brake never worked, only way to park on an incline was to stop the car in gear and turn off engine.
Everything that broke, either I was blamed or they claimed such a failure was never seen before. As I learned over the years many customers suffered from common failures. Replacement parts was insanely priced- a simple oil filter, available for about $5 in the UK wound up costing me $33. A set of Kumho street tires that sell for $800 a set in the UK were sold to me for $3600!
A defective air filter would have been $2000 to replace, I was able to get the manufacturer of that one to fix it for me for "only" $500 (sent to UK, and shipped back). They were contacted by BAC afterwards and called on the carpet by them for helping me directly!
Working on the car is an absolute nightmare. Body panels are help on by tiny screws and there are various washers, spacers, and blind areas to deal with. I graduated from Nashville Auto Diesel College and worked for 5 years a tech, and have always worked on my own cars. This BAC Mono was a fucking nightmare to perform maintenance on! Getting the top body off, required to access much of the car, was an hour long exercise in frustration and contortion.
From day one the car leaked oil from various fittings. I spend many hours and installed special sealing washers on the oil lines to finally get this mess under control. Driving the car hard resulted in massive engine oil blowby, filling the catch-tank in short order. Servicing the catch tank, a frequent requirement, was another nightmare, requiring jacking the rear of the car high enough to reach the drain plug on bottom of bellhousing and then crawling under the car on your back to drain this overflow. Ugh.
Jacking the car was yet another nightmare, because if you did not jack it in the precise, exact location required, you would crack and quite likely damage the carbon fiber floor pieces! Oh yeah, it required a special formula-car style jack.
During my time of ownership I reached out to fellow owners many times to share fixes and problem areas. Not one time did any distributor or BAC reach out proactively to warn of common problems to look out for. ALL of our cars were riddled with problems. Some received help from BAC, others were BACStabbed.
Keep in mind while I and other owners were suffering from a litany of problems and a horrific ownership experience, BAC was putting their efforts and money in designing carbon fiber Mono boat cranes and million dollar "Marine-Edition" Monos! Talk about a reality disconnect! "Fuck the car owners! We are going to focus our efforts on the deluded fantasy of putting Monos onto oligarch's yachts!"
Making more sense why I use the "BACStabbed" online moniker? Unbelievably, this only scratches the surface of the ownership experience, many many more problems and experiences not touched on above.
Woke up to remember more BAC Mono Problems
Remembered these overnight...ugh...
Rear brake pads literally fell out on 5th time I drove it. Installer forgot to seat the brake pad retaining pins in the calipers. Was running slower than usual on track behind traffic. Brake pedal goes completely to floor! Pumping does nothing. Thankfully engine braking was able to slow me down enough to limp to paddock. LR brake pads had FALLEN OUT onto the track at Thunderhill! RR pads were 90% out and hanging by a small piece. No effort was ever made by distributor or BAC to reimburse me for my lost track day and expense/effort to fix the brakes.
6th time driving, fuel gauge quits working. Load car up and bring back to my home garage. Spend 1.5 weeks pointing fingers back and forth and finally get some troubleshooting suggestions from BAC. I take the top body off, remove cockpit panels, tear into wiring harness. After a day or work, find a wire that had not been crimped into place in a connector. No effort ever made to reimburse me for time and effort.
Mono's have problems breaking the front anti-roll bars (ARB's). So instead of researching WHY they were breaking, BAC simply started making the ARB's non-adjustable, thought being, they were mis-adjusted. So owners paid for adjustable ARB, BAC took that feature from them ("fuck the owners!") to (incorrectly) fix a problem that they didn't understand. Upon very close examination of my suspension settings, I discovered the suspension "pushrods", the rods at all four corners used to adjust ride height, were completely different lengths at each corner! Result is when front moved up or down, it badly twisted the ARB far beyond it design limits. Upon spending 3 days re-adjusting the car's suspension I fixed the ARB problem, but was still stuck with non-adjustable, already twisted (damaged) ARB. No effort was ever made by distributor or BAC to reimburse me for my time and expense/effort to fix the suspension.
All the initial Mono's had incorrect gas charges in the shock absorbers. So had no pressure at all! No effort was ever made by distributor or BAC to reimburse me for specialty tools and expense/effort to fix the gas reservoirs.
Metal bulkhead riveted to frame to separate cockpit from fuel tank and that also acts as the backrest in the cockpit was tearing out the attachment rivets! My best guess is that the frame was weak in this area of the car and flexing under load, resulting in rivets being torn out. No effort was ever made by distributor or BAC to reimburse me for specialty tools and expense/effort to drill out and replace these rivets.
Oil pressure sensor was incorrectly hard-mounted to bellhousing resulting in vibration killing the sensors and in several cases resulting in massive oil leaks. It took me weeks of research to discover the cause of bad sensor readings and killed sensors. No effort was ever made by distributor or BAC to reimburse me for expense/effort to fix the defective mountings.
The body panels, fancy carbon fiber, were rubbing together against each other or against the painted steel frame tubes all over the car. Result was paint rubbed off, dents worn into tube frame (carbon is abrasive!). I spent literally weeks fixing all these problem fitment areas. What a nightmare. As usual- no effort was spared by distributor or BAC in ignoring my investment of time to fix their problems.
There is plenty more (!), I'm tired of typing for now. Next time I'll post all the details of how the suspension rocker stud broke while the (new) car was simply sitting in the transport trailer. Poor quality parts? Installation? Both? I'll give you the details and you can decide. I'll also post up an amazing interaction with a BAC associated con-man at the end of my ownership experience that will leave you shaking your head in disbelief.
Should be clear to any reader that Briggs Automotive Company (BAC) is not a car company you would EVER want to have anything to do with.
Since I seem to be on a roll here with consecutive posts, may as well talk about something I thought about last night and was coincidentally asked about by a prospect who contacted me:
"I wonder how BAC functions today, if a Mono was ordered prebuilt from their workshop, and spent time on local tracks, before being shipped to the US?"
My reply (plus some added info):
BAC is still owned and run by the people who treated the initial customers, the first 50 cars or so worldwide, like trash. A current prospect might think "hey, sucks to be you!", but the time will come you need parts, service, and help and a zebra does not change it stripes. At the first opportunity you'll be solidly screwed too.
Speaking of which...this reminds me that the solid mounted engine and transmission which transmits massive vibration throughout the car, vibration-fracturing various parts and brackets, the car shaking itself to pieces. Supports for the air compressor and exhaust system broke apart on my car in short order. Who was left shoulder cost of repair and effort to replace? Me of course. Many of the parts are not good quality, one owner's car developed rusted body screws shortly after delivery, he had to replace all of them.
The prices they charge for a new car are hugely over cost. This point is critical to understand: You are stuck buying all repair and replacement parts directly from BAC or distributor at exorbitant, financial-rape prices. BAC will actively contact and request a supplier to break all contact with you if you try to source parts direct, I've never seen anything like this in my automotive ownership lifetime. Everything is a strange, uncommon size or shape or specification, so no free-market aftermarket parts supply exists. The new car owner suffers from a litany of defects, the car manufacturer refuses to replace them, car owner tries to buy replacement parts direct and is actively blocked by manufacturer who chews out the supplier for even considering to help the car owner! Car manufacturer marks up replacement parts 500% and forces car owner to only buy from them to replace the defective parts. Mind boggling.
Once you buy the car, you'll suffer instant, massive, depreciation, so many are/were for sale on secondary market plus low intrinsic value (over-priced when sold) you won't get an offer for more than $100 or $130k. The black one that's been for sale since the late spring was bought new for $370k. Yes, he will be lucky to sell it for $130k and take a $240k loss on a literally brand new never driven car. Other owners are waiting quietly in the background, simply hoping for supply to drop and prices to go up so that they can sell.
Closing point: Keep in mind, this is a car company that knowingly (over several years!) allowed defect riddled and improperly assembled cars to be delivered to full-price paying customers. They chose not to conduct a quality control inspection on a single car before delivery! They knew the cars were defective, yet were perfectly fine letting the customer research, fix and pay to repair the car's problems. Are those the kind people you want to give $300,000 or more to?
Briggs Automotive Corporation BAC Mono Update: Hits New Low
I was contacted last week by a very nice fellow who wanted to hear specific details of my BAC Mono ownership experience. As you know from previous posts, I welcomed this contact and we had a wide ranging discussion by email and telephone. Long story short he was looking at buying a pre-owned Mono, massively marked down in price from the owner's original purchase cost. Following our honest, fact-based conversations he decided against the purchase. Now, what makes this worthy of a post is the comment he received from Mark Rayner, COO (Chief Operating Officer) of BAC. The prospective buyer gave me permission to publicly post what was stated to him, and I quote verbatim:
"Interestingly, he mentioned you and your posts and indicated that you had done a bunch of aftermarket parts and they were the main culprit behind your problems and that they were rebuilding the car with the new owner using factory parts and all would be right again."
This is a despicable bald-faced lie by Mark Rayner. Despicable. Lie. My car had 1 (ONE) "aftermarket" part on it, brake rotors, I explain why in detail below.
Let me be crystal clear- my problems were directly related to 1. Poor quality factory parts. 2. Non-existent quality control 3. Bad design and engineering. 4. A terrible relationship between BAC and it's US distributors resulting in 5. Terrible build quality. 6. Compounded by the vibration of the car stress fracturing and vibrating loose parts. 7. Getting financially raped by BAC on replacement parts.
This brought back to my memory yet another problem stemming from lack of quality control, read on...For many years I have had a great relationship with MovIt Brakes. They are an ultra-high quality German brake system manufacturer who was a Formula 1 technology partner and designs and manufactures brake systems for some very high end cars. MovIt and I worked together to develop a brake system for Porsche 997.2 and 987 cars that I had. They are the best of the best. The USA representative and I worked to develop a Surface Transforms based Carbon/Silicon/Carbide brake rotor/hat and pad set for my Mono to replace the steel brakes it was to be delivered with. We were successful and the carbon rotors and pads worked great, never had a problem. The OE steel rotors were boxed up and given to me at delivery since I had paid for them and they would otherwise have been installed on the car. The reason I explain the above is to share this: two of the four OE steel rotors the car was to be delivered with had cooling vanes facing the wrong direction! Here is a link that illustrates what I am talking about. Instead of two left hand rotors and two right hand rotors, I was supplied with 4 left hand rotors!
The searing irony to Mark Rayner's claim- The one single part (brake rotors) installed on my car that was not originally supplied by BAC saved me from yet another problem: overheating brakes on one side of the car due to incorrect OE parts!
In case there was any ambiguity about my public response to Mark Rayner's claim above about my car having aftermarket parts: "It is a despicable bald-faced lie". If you dear reader ever have contact with BAC, call them out! Ask them, why did you you lie? If they still try to claim it as true, challenge them to provide to you in writing (email) a list of the alleged "aftermarket" parts that I allegedly installed on my car. Please then forward that to me so I can defend myself.
Have any of you by chance watched the series on tv with Leah Remini exposing Scientology? What drives her, is the same basic motivation that drives me to post here and take the time and make the effort to be available to others and share my experience.
Here are two things I've not shared before- a BAC Mono owner in Europe reached out to me some months ago, I invited him to call me and what resulted was a THREE HOUR long conversation, with two and half hours of that, him pouring out his experiences with BAC to me! There was no distributor(s) involved in his situation (so that excuse is off the table!), and it was stunning the parallels between his experience and mine: lies, misrepresentation, financial rape. BAC explained him to a group of factory visiting Mono buyers as a malcontent, who abused his cars, who should not be listened to. An early US buyer who also loudly complained about all the problems and defects and lack of accountability was also put forward as a malcontent, all his problems his own. Demonize the buyer of the car for all the problems. Blame them, take no responsibility. See the picture?
This bogus statement from Mark Rayner to a Mono purchase prospect illustrates clearly the current problem for all owners, and future problem for all prospects- there is no integrity. As a prospective buyer ask yourself, why you would ever turn over hundreds of thousands of dollars to people who treat buyers of their product like this? What will they say about you to other people when you begin to have problems?
Those of you reading this who are trying to sell your Monos, don't be mad at me for exposing truth and facts. My car is sold (at a huge financial loss to me), but as current owners you are still in a position to take collective legal action to hold accountable and seek redress from those responsible.
That's all for now, as always I welcome BAC Mono purchase prospects to contact me for a direct, blunt, factual discussion before you risk your hard-earned money.
PS- I've updated and closed my years-long and years-old BAC Mono RennList thread to reflect the current reality. 53,000 views on the most popular Porsche forum in the world! Wow.
Comment from a UK based MonoForum.com reader.
Just read your thread from the back end of last year where you detailed the litany of complaints with your BAC.
As a Brit, I can only apologise. Not that I can do anything about it, but for you to suffer like that is pretty parlous, and I feel ashamed if I’m honest.
I will never own one, nor have the means to do so, am content with my little GTE Red-top Westfield.
But anyway, just felt compelled to email you to say that not all Brits are knobheads! Haha.
A non-knobhead. "
Of course I replied to the gentleman and thanked him for his exceptionally kind email. As he and I agreed, good and bad people everywhere!