Did UPS intentionally auction off Rob Dahm’s 4-Rotor engine on eBay ?

Photo Credit: Rob Dahm via Youtube Screenshot on "The Lost and the Furious - Short Film by Rob Dahm"
Photo Credit: Rob Dahm via Youtube Screenshot on "The Lost and the Furious - Short Film by Rob Dahm" /

Gee, this box says four-rotor motor on it. If I had to guess, this costs thousands of dollars. It would be a shame if someone lost it.

According to some estimates, UPS handles about 15.8 million packages every day. People are buying and selling every second of the day and items need to be sent back and forth with precision and efficiency. It’s also estimated that on average, UPS will lose .8 percent of all the packages ever shipped on any given day. That means around 126,000 packages are lost in the shuffle. Some items are returned to their sender while other items eventually are lost forever and are auctioned off.

Also, if you’re wondering who Rob Dahm is, this website does a pretty good job of doing it. 

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But not all packages are created equal and are harder to lose in the shuffle then others. Rob Dahm’s four rotor engine is definitely NOT one of those. Sure, rotary engines are tiny and compact, but losing that large of a package by the UPS is definitely something that should not happen, but it did. You’ll be happy to know that Rob Dahm did finally get his four-rotor engine after it was lost for months, earlier this week (Nov. 12, 2015) as a matter of fact. How he got it back, thankfully has been documented on Youtube for all of us to enjoy.  Check out all those videos below starting from his untimely announcement that his engine was lost.

Back in March we learned that Rob’s four-rotor engine was lost somewhere in Kentucky by UPS. Rob had announced in an earlier vlog that he was upgrading his three-rotor RX-7 to something bigger (which oftentimes means an extra rotary added on.)

Six months later Rob gave an update…sortof. UPS still didn’t admit that it was lost and the location of the motor was nowhere to be seen. Leveraging what he knew how to do best, make films, Rob hinted at filming something that would use his experience of losing his package as the plot.

A couple of week later Rob released, “The Lost and the Furious,” an ode to his lost rotor engine with the first Fast and the Furious scene where one minor character, Ted Gassner, is questioned by Johnny Tran and his associate Lance on the location of a couple of SR20 engines to be used in their Honda S2000’s for Race Wars, is used as the fim’s theme.  Check out that video below.

That video not only got the attention of UPS, it also got people actively looking out for Rob’s Four-rotor wherever it may have been. According to his latest vlog, it actually worked. Someone located his exact engine on eBay. The entire four rotor assembly had been split into two separate auctions and his engine had ended up at a recycling facility in Liberty, Missouri. Those two auctions are still actually online, albeit closed obviosuly. Link 1 and Link 2.

2015.11.12 UPS RX7
2015.11.12 UPS RX7 /
2015.11.12 UPS RX7 2
2015.11.12 UPS RX7 2 /

Rob called the engine supplier whom he originally bought it from and they confirmed that those two auction listings compromised his lost motor. The “smoking gun,” according to Rob, was a front counterweight in which there are only four in existence. Two are owned by Mad Mike Whiddet (that famous Redbull sponsored Kiwi drifter) and one was in a tuner shop’s build vehicle called Defined Autoworks. That left the only other counterweight as belonging to Rob.

Rob then purchased his motor for a second time thanks to a friend and got police involved to investigate. And UPS finally called Rob back asking to take his Fast and Furious parody down, which he still hasn’t done for obvious reasons.

Later on in conversation with the person he bought his motor from a second time around, he found out that UPS had auctioned off his motor as unclaimed merchandise. Looking back at photos he was originally sent from the company who built the motor and prepared it for shipping, identifying marks on the shipping slip and the motor itself were easily traceable.

That’s right. The motor had clear markings that could be traced back to Rob, but instead of doing due diligence and trying to find the owner, UPS took the easy way out and simply shipped it off to be auctioned away. The person selling it for a second time on eBay probably had no idea about this and got one heck of a deal on a four-rotor engine. Having no use for it, he probably decided to sell it off.

It’s a little hard to understand from what Rob says but it looks like UPS refunded Rob for the eBay auction where he had to buy his motor a second time around but has left Rob high and dry as far as the original shipping cost nor have they reimbursed Rob for his time spent waiting and having to go through this ordeal .

It begs the question whether UPS did this on purpose knowing this was a high-dollar item? Also, how many of the unclamied pakges auctioned off, if investigated properly, could actually find their rightful owner if UPS did their due diligence?

It’s a shame on UPS’s part and until they either refund Rob his shipping fees back or let small claims court deal with it,they’ll face a wave of social media onslaught asking for some sort of justice. Currently, people are posting on facebook on Rob Dahm’s behalf (even though he never really asked them to) asking for an answer and at least on twitter people are tagging UPS to do the same.


Next: Internet wants justice over Rob Dahm's 4-rotor UPS shipping snafu

We’re curious to see how this all plays out in the end.