John Edwards of Costa Mesa R&D (Fiatnutz on YouTube)

Discussion in 'In Memoriam' started by Dan Sarandrea (Phila), Feb 8, 2018.

  1. Dan Sarandrea (Phila)

    Dan Sarandrea (Phila) Waitin' On Parts...

    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    John Gregory Edwards, 5/11/1948 --- 12/25/2017

    For those that may not know, John Edwards, master automotive machinist at Costa Mesa R&D, passed away on Christmas Day, 2017.

    (Thanks to JJ for posting on Facebook, which I happened to see this morning.)

    John was known in the FIAT community for his many, many informative and interesting videos posted under his accounts "Fiatnutz" and "Jo El" on YouTube:
    https://www.youtube.com/user/fiatnutz
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCK4vDVExxd91SlCN3WFqBnA

    Hopefully some SoCal X-Heads who might have met John or had John do some work for them could chime in with thoughts and experiences.


    "John Gregory Edwards

    "Costa Mesa, CA

    "John Gregory Edwards, 69, passed away on Christmas day 2017 of a massive heart attack. John was born on May 11, 1948 in Indiana to John and Wanda Edwards and moved to California when he was a young boy. He opened his first auto repair shop, Automobili Prova, when he was in his early 20s. He married his wife, Elaine, on June 8th 1974 and they moved to Ventura in 1976. He started teaching with the ROP program in 1984 but decided to concentrate on writing books in 2000. His latest endeavour was Costa Mesa R & D in Costa Mesa CA, which he was still operating at the time of his death. John was a master machinist who will be missed not only by his family but by his customers as well. John leaves behind his wife Elaine Edwards, sister Jennifer Blake, niece Jill Blake, and nephew John Blake.

    "Cremation arrangements are under the direction of Lesneski Mortuary in San Clemente CA.

    "Published in Ventura County Star on Jan. 20, 2018"
    ###
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2018
  2. 128kid

    128kid Courtney Waters

    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    Sad news... I had just met John just before moving from SoCal to NC about 9 years ago. He helped me out with valve guide replacement on the cylinder head for my 124 wagon. He did excellent work and was a wealth of knowledge in machining and automotive engineering, and all around good dude. He will be missed!
     
  3. NM850

    NM850 True Classic

    Location:
    Albuquerque NM
    That’s sad news. A wealth of knowledge lost.
     
  4. Dan Sarandrea (Phila)

    Dan Sarandrea (Phila) Waitin' On Parts...

    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    JJ posted on Facebook that there is going to be a memorial for John at Costa Mesa R&D this coming Saturday, 2/24/18, from 11a to 4p. XWeb members local to the area probably should get ahold of JJ for more information.
     
  5. zonker

    zonker Just Another FIAT Freak

    Location:
    Sun City, CA
    Saddened to read this now so late. RIP John.
     
  6. Derek Milburn

    Derek Milburn New Member

    Location:
    Costa Mesa
    Hello
    My brother and I unfortunately found out today about Johns passing!
    We have found ourselves in a though situation and if anyone can help point us the right direction please let me know. We just went by to check on a 350 motor that was stroked out 383 (finish block color was black) Eldelbrock aluminum heads and has been done for the last 3/4 years! It was paid in cash (5k) and we have two receipts from John and his signature as proof! (Receipt date 07)
    He said it’s sitting over there on the stand all done and just needs a dyno (4-6 years ago) but my guy has to fix the dyno. So we’ve never been in no rush to take it or have it dyno so we would occasionally stop by every 6 months or so and check in on the motor and we would walk thru the shop and look at the motor under the plastic ready for fun! It was always on the stand and ready.
    Last time we went by was summer/spring (2018) yes bad on my brother for never going to pick it up and just leaving it there but we trusted John and it was all paid for and done!
    Today 12/4/18 there was a heavy set guy with full blonde/gray beard and another guy tall skinny and long brunette hair...heavy set guy said he would call some of the dyno shops and try and locate the motor and I know this is a long shot. But if anyone can give us some info on the dyno shops he would use or know if everything was sold off for money or any info on these guys cuz they say the shop will probably be closed by next month! Finders fee as well (1k) Just really bummed we never took it home and stored at our place but John would always say it’s fine here no rush when your ready we’ll get it dyno and in truck! RIP John Edwards
    Thank you
     
  7. Dan Sarandrea (Phila)

    Dan Sarandrea (Phila) Waitin' On Parts...

    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    It's a shame for all concerned! My understanding is that John passed away unexpectedly and knowing a lot of small business owners, I can say that the majority of those that I know do not have a good plan in place for that unfortunate eventuality.

    Just my 2¢ but when you went there this past summer and saw that (1) John had passed away and (2) the engine was still on the stand, you should have taken possession of the engine then and there. It's most likely that whomever is running the shop now liquidated the engine to meet expenses or take advantage of a situation in turmoil. You should also consult an attorney to find out what your legal rights are--many states have laws about a shop owner being able to take legal title to cars or work that has been "abandoned" by the customer.
     
    Derek Milburn likes this.
  8. Dr.Jeff

    Dr.Jeff True Classic

    Location:
    Sin City
    This confuses me a little. I went by the shop earlier this year and it was already closed down. Did it reopen again?
     
    Derek Milburn likes this.
  9. Derek Milburn

    Derek Milburn New Member

    Location:
    Costa Mesa
    Sorry this was the summer before he passed away in 2017. But yes lesson learned the hard way for my brother and honestly I kept telling him the past 3/4 years let’s grab the motor and just dyno it later on when we’re ready
    Thank you guys for your input as well if I do hear anything from the current shop owners and hopefully in good faith they do attempt and find it I’ll let everyone know.
    We had to stick our heads over the gate and saw a few guys in the back the shop still has machines and some motors but yes it looks like it’s getting close to being cleaned out
    Derek
     
  10. Dr.Jeff

    Dr.Jeff True Classic

    Location:
    Sin City
    It will be interesting to see what happens with the business. As I understand his main worker wanted to take it over but that did not work out. Possibly he will reopen somewhere else? If anyone knows more please post it. There aren't any other reputable machine shops familiar with Fiat stuff that I know of in SoCal.

    Derek, I can see how it would easy not to worry about the engine left there. John was honest and very respectable, so who would think something like this would happen.
     

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