Aston Martin owner: I did it because he made me look like a fool

Aston Martin owner: I did it because he made me look like a fool
About $19,000 of coins. Took a worker about an hour to scoop up all the coins and put them in bags and load them into a car boot.

He had been ordered by the court to pay about $19,000 to his car dealer.

But, unhappy at how he had been treated by the dealer, the customer duly brought the money to the Exotic Motor showroom at Alexandra Road on Tuesday - all $19,000 in coins, weighing about 30kg.

"I did it because the car dealer had me running around and waiting for nothing. He made me look like a fool for 1½ years," businessman Ong Boon Lin, 34, told The New Paper yesterday.

The episode began when he approached Exotic Motor in late 2010 to sell his blue Aston Martin V8 Vantage. He had bought the supercar for about $550,000 four years earlier.

"It was a two-seater sports car that couldn't fit my family. Plus I was overseas most of the time and my dad didn't dare to drive it because it was too low," said Mr Ong, who is married and has a toddler.

He intended to trade in the car for a new Bentley GT, costing about $770,000, from Exotic Motor. He would top up the difference. Exotic Motor's owner Tang Siu Tong suggested that Mr Ong consign his Aston Martin to the showroom.

"He also said that by leaving my car at the showroom, it would be easier for him to push it to customers when they came by," said Mr Ong.

"The plan was to sell my car first and then buy the Bentley. So I left it with him."

Mr Ong continued paying for his car's road tax and insurance, totalling about $35,000 each year.

"So for about 12 months, I continued paying for my car even though I didn't drive it. Mr Tang said I could take the car out anytime to drive, but I was overseas most of the time," said Mr Ong.

In August 2011, both parties entered into a sales and purchase agreement, which stated that the car dealer would take the Aston Martin and Mr Ong would buy a new Bentley from Exotic Motor.

COSTS

At this point, Mr Ong said Exotic Motor was supposed to bear the costs for his Aston Martin.

"I was going to sell it, so I wasn't going to spend another cent on it, especially after waiting so long," he said.

"So we agreed that if it was sold, Mr Tang would just deduct the costs from the final amount (on the Aston Martin)."

He claimed that his Bentley was also not delivered to him, despite the agreement stating that it would arrive within six weeks.

"Mr Tang kept giving excuses," said Mr Ong.

"He first said my loan to finance the purchase of the Bentley wasn't approved, and then he said the Bentley was rejected from entering Singapore. After 1½ years, I got tired of waiting."

So in early 2012, Mr Ong said he withdrew his Aston Martin from Exotic Motor and later sold it to another car dealer.

Mr Tang sued Mr Ong, who was ordered by the court to pay about $19,000 to cover for Mr Tang's legal fees and the car's insurance, road tax and maintenance costs borne by Exotic Motor.

"I offered to pay in four instalments, but he said no," said Mr Ong.

"So after all that he's done to me, I gathered all the loose change from my shops and paid him."

On Tuesday, he went to the showroom to make the payment.

"I didn't behave aggressively. I even joked, laughed and told the staff that I was going to pay in coins," said Mr Ong.

"She seemed okay."

He said that after she had signed the acceptance letter, his worker pushed a trolley supporting a Styrofoam box containing the $19,000 worth of coins into the showroom.

The box, however, broke as his worker was entering the showroom.

Mr Ong said he then tipped the trolley and let the coins drop on the floor because he wanted his trolley back. He then left.

"Was I too much? I was really unhappy with his business practice and I paid the amount in full. So, no," he said, with a mischievous grin.

rloh@sph.com.sg

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