Playskool Motorsport & Luke Algar

Playskool Motorsport & Luke Algar
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This post by Graeme Finlayson was removed from WSCC https://forum.wscc.co.uk/forum/topic/124372-build-diary-westfield-seiyne... so it is being posted here in full.
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7th January, 2022
Graeme Finlayson:
Well, it's time for an update. I'm a straight shooter, I don't mess people around, as anyone who has dealt with me during my time with Westfields and the WSCC will attest to. I've been involved with Westfields and the club for over 25 years now, as an owner, a club editor, a speed series competitor, and a supplier, but I'm hearing my name called and associated with nonsense that I won't stand for. So time to update on what has gone on. Get your popcorn at the ready...

After over four years of disappointment and frustration with Playskool Motorsport (PKM) I've finally got my car back. Well, I say car, it's still effectively a few boxes of bits and an unfinished chassis. Over four wasted years of pain, lies and deceit, all capped off with having to fight a £21,000 *labour* bill to retrieve my own property from a lying, thieving scumbag.

Will I mourn the loss of Playskool Motorsport? Not for a single second. I hope Luke Algar and those involved spend the rest of their lives cleaning festival toilets for minimum wage and are never allowed near anything motorsport related ever again. What they have put myself, and others, through is unconscionable.

This build diary is testament to the nonsense they have done. I don't mess anyone around and I'm very reasonable to deal with. I had hoped for this to be reciprocated given a long history in Westfields and associations with many of the people involved in and around the original PKM. This was not to be the case.

As my build dragged on and the ineptness of PKM/Luke became clear, I tried to move the car away from them on three separate occasions - at one point even having the van and driver booked to take it away. Each time Luke begged, promised, pleaded and lied - because he had already spent the money I had paid up front and he had no way of repaying it. Moving the car from him would have exposed his tricks hence his pleas and promises.

When I finally pulled the plug I got hit with a bill from PKM at 250% the rate we had agreed, for over double the hours discussed for a completed car, for a car that is barely 30% complete. When I contested it, he threatened to double the bill. When I said I wanted to inspect the car to see the work for myself he folded the company days before I was due to arrive (from overseas) to see it, all to try and hide his dodgy dealing.

I have heard that he is trying to spin the narrative that unpaid invoices were the reason PKM folded. More bullshit. I begged for weekly or monthly invoices repeatedly for 4 years. I only received an insane bill for £15k when I finally pulled the plug - £15k for speculative work, at 3-4x the time it should take any normal person being to complete, let alone a "professional" company, for work that hadn't even been carried out or completed. I then offered to pay 75% of the bill, unseen, in good faith, or, that I would see and inspect in person in August (2021). He threatened to double the bill if I didn't pay it immediately. He then folded the company days before I arrived. A company that pays zero rent (his father's building) and had, by that point, zero employees.

The hours charged are insane, bearing no basis in reality. See for yourself below, these are LABOUR ONLY hours (parts were paid for separately). For jobs that aren't even finished.

Hours - Job
44 - Carbon Panelling Making
33 - Carbon Panelling Fitment
89 - Chassis Modifications
55 - Engine Fitment & Mounts
29 - Diff and Gearbox Mounts
25 - Floor Fitting and bosses
66 - Oil Brake & Fuel Line fitting
18 - Bodywork Fitting
55 - Drawing & Machining time

The "Carbon Panelling Making" is for trimming carbon panels that were provided, not making panels, not laying up carbon, not fitting, merely just trimming provided panels. Over a week to do this, and that's with the original aluminum panels available to hand as blanks. I've done this job myself, three times, and it takes two days, at a push, hungover.

The "Bodywork Fitting" at £1,800 is for cutting a few holes to fit a roll cage (the bodywork was already shaped/cut from the fully built/fully functional donor car, with fixings), that's it, nosecone not mounted, no fixings/clips, main tub not even riveted on - the bodywork is just sitting on the car, the (new) nosecone hasn't even had a single hole drilled in it. That's apparently £1,800 of work.

£3,300 in labour alone to 50% complete oil/fuel/brake lines. Not parts, labour. Where the front and rear ends aren't even terminated, they're just hanging loose. That's £3,300 to cut maybe 10 hoses, make about 15 terminations and cable tie them up.

A total of £21,000 labour to panel a chassis, do engine mounts, gearbox and diff mounts, half complete fuel/brake/oil lines and add in some cross bracing. It's insane and a reflection of the desperation and nonsense that PKM tried to pull.

He claimed "but the car was special and very custom", that may be the case, but what is special and custom about taking 3x as long to cut and fit panels than a normal person? To mount a diff? To add ~10 new bars to a chassis? - oh, that's £4,450 in labour for purely adding in a few cross braces if you were wondering...

My mistake was trusting these crooks. I transferred a large lump sum up front as I was promised the car in 6 months. Luke took that lump sum and spent it paying off his debts/bills that had nothing to do with me. Then my car got put down the list while they tried to make enough money to repay the money they owed my build. Do you really believe a company like Edwards Motorsport takes 8 months to build an exhaust? No, it took 8 months for PKM to scrape together the money from other builds so they could pay them to release my car, all while lying to me about it and trying to shift the blame for the delay.

Various ex-employees have since updated me on the nonsense that went on, including the fact that for a full year, less than one day’s work was done on my car while other jobs were pushed through to try and make back the money he had spent.

I'm not the only one PKM have screwed over. There is now something of a support group of people who have been ruined by them. From the guy who's car was stuck there for 5 years(!) and never finished, from the guy who had to go there and work on his own car in person to get anything done, to the guy who was so sick of it all that when he finally extracted his car back from them he sold it and quit Westfields for good - only to be sued by the new owner of the car as the work carried out by PKM was so bad.

I'm sure there'll be various die-hard friends of PKM on here doing their best to defend them, people who had a great experience buying a (copied) roll cage or a set of brake pads - I don't care. I've been through this, I've got the proof, I've spoken to others who have been screwed, hell, this diary is proof of the nonsense and lies I've been fed. I'm happy to furnish this thread with all the direct messages and emails, all the salacious details, all the lies and bullshit he span and spewed, I have every aspect backed up and ready to go - despite Luke trying to sneakily delete shared DropBox folders and messages. I hope no one has to deal with any of these people ever again. I’ll make it my mission to make sure they don’t have to. A company founded on an idea stolen from a fellow Westfield owner and then ran into the ground by a lying, thieving, two-faced crook.

This isn't libel for WSCC to worry about so the admins don't need to chicken out and remove this or lock the post (it'll be on the FB groups and Internet wide anyway) - it's ME posting this and I'm more than happy to back it all up, post further proof and discuss/have it all out publicly. Bring. It. On. Screw these guys. What they have pulled over the entire Westfield community is unconscionable.
Anyways, in the end, after a correspondence fight, having to threaten a legal battle, I had to pay a £15k labour bill to the liquidators to get my property back. That's at least £10k more than the worth of the work done (and that's being generous). Gutting.

I had hoped that the only silver lining was that the money went to the liquidators (and therefore creditors) rather than to PKM themselves.

However, as it turns out, through dubious accounting and claims, all the "creditors" are Luke, his dad and/or companies owned by them and their friends (I can upload this document if wished), such is the scam they've pulled off on everyone (customers, friends and club members) to steal their money and conveniently sidestep their own responsibilities.

For me, it's broken me. I put everything I had into this build, climbing up the ladder of club motorsport over 25 years to get to this point and throwing everything in on this one. Everything. Working two jobs just to afford it. And now I'm done. I really don't think I have the stomach to complete this build now. Just looking at it makes me think of the money burned and the years wasted by dealing with this idiot and my blood boils. Five friggin years gone. I can't bring myself to do it now, I'll sit and think for a week or two, but I feel I will be parting it out and leaving Westfields for good.

I'm not the first person Luke Algar and these crooks have ruined Westfields for, but hopefully I'm the last. Good riddance to them.
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