Collector's Dream Becomes Collector's Nightmare

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PO Box 523 Albany, Louisiana 70711

In the March/April 1985 issue of the Gas Engine Magazine, a large two page ad was printed introducing a half scale model John Deere. The caption of this ad was 'A Collector's Dream.' It has in fact, become a nightmare. This article is to inform those of you who have already ordered and to warn those of you who might be considering it.

Another gentleman and I promptly ordered two of the engines, enclosing our money order for $ 1050.00, made payable, as told, to a Mr. Terry Wiegand. The ad claimed three to four months for delivery. In November, we received a letter from Mr. Gene Dettmer, of Dettmer Industries, explaining that he was 'in negotiations' with Mr. Wiegand to purchase the rights to the engines, and that the delivery date was delayed until between Christmas and Valentine's Day.

As you have probably already gathered, we still haven't seen our engines. I have been in touch with Mr. Dettmer several times since the November letter and was told nothing of any substance, only that Dettmer Industries was trying to fill the orders.

Suddenly, I received a letter dated April 21, 1986, explaining that Replica Production Motors (RPM) has acquired the rights and patterns of the replica engine, and that Dettmer Industries was out of business because of miscalculation of production expenses. I assume this letter was mailed to everyone who ordered the engines. It explained that 'Combined Financial Services has been retained to handle RPM's account, and that Peoples Federal Savings and Loan Association has been asked to be the depository for RPM.' Questions are to be directed to CFS, who are said to be the accounting and business advisor for RPM.

The letter stated that their records indicate the payment for the two engines, but disclaimed any obligation to honor the orders. They would, however, fill the order if we sent another $350.00 for each engine (total of $700.00). We were given a 15 day deadline in which to make our decision. If they didn't get a response from us within that time, the letter stated that the offer would be void. No mention was made of refunding the money already paid.

I am not accusing any of these companies of being deceitful or fraudulent. If you or someone you know has any information concerning this situation, I would certainly appreciate hearing from you. Also, I am asking the other people who have ordered these engines to contact me. My address is above; home phone: 504-567-1539, work phone: 504-567-5100.

Editor's note: The GEM staff has had some communication with Mr. Wiegand during the past year regarding his original advertisement and the events which followed. In a letter dated April 10, 1986, he said, 'Please have the fellows contact me that write to you. Together we are going to get the problem resolved.' It is certainly our hope that the matter does get resolved to everyone's satisfaction.

Mr. Wiegand's address is 308 Terrace Drive, Waterloo, Iowa 50702. His attorney, who is working on this, is Susan Keith, 612 Mulberry Street, Waterloo, Iowa 50701. 319-236-2228.