Do not deal with DARREN HARDEN!!

Mike Lucas

New Member
Dec 12, 2007
The purpose of this post is to make everyone aware of a predator that haunts our community in the Nashville, IN area. I have inside information to possibly one of the biggest scam artists ever to grace these boards. As such, my Identity will remain shielded. This post will be based on nothing but fact. I will not allow my own personal feelings to jeopardize the integrity of what I am about to say. Moderators and Administrators, before you delete this thread PLEASE read it in full and try to understand that the intent is to protect another unsuspecting member of our community from making a grave mistake with the party in question. This IS NOT SPAM and every bit of information within is fact and can be proven.

I have known Darren harden for quite a while. Some of you may know him as Doug Harden’s son. In the past both have proven to be good friends and worthwhile bases of knowledge for our local community. Within the past few years something has gone horribly wrong and Darren Harden has turned into what I would deem a habitual liar and thief. There are numerous people that have been ripped off by this scam artist, including some of his closest friends. What I am going to share with you are just a few select examples of Darren Harden stealing money, automotive parts and perhaps even vehicles from members of this very community.

I will begin with letting the cat out of the bag with the situation that lead to this post. Darren Harden was tasked to work on one of my friend’s cars (Mack on some boards) Mack has specifically asked me not to post this- but I simply cannot hold back any longer and I am sure you will all agree with my urgency when you read the story. (sorry Mack if you see this). Mack is a real easy going person and he bought his red IROC Camaro as a treat to himself after college. He tediously looked for a low mileage car of that year and color- this was his baby. He took care of this thing like it was a kid. It was kept simply immaculate- you could eat off any part of this car. Mack gets the itch for some more power, and consults one of his long time friends- Darren Harden. Mack specs out everything for a total and complete engine rebuild from the ground up including a new block. He goes over the specs with Darren and they decide to give the project a green light. Mack buys many of the parts and gives them to Darren, and also paid him upfront for the future work Darren would be doing on his car. We are talking about some big dollar items here- Diamond pistons, AFR heads, etc. Darren is tasked with gathering some more parts with the money such as a ZZ4 block. Without dragging this post out into a 10 page ordeal, Mack calls and checks on his car periodically- to which Darren claims all is well and going smoothly. Mack took on this task to help Darren and get some experience in building an engine. One day Mack shows up at Darren’s garage to help Darren on the process. Darren informs Mack that the engine is already together (Darren was to call Mack before assembly so Mack could see how things work) Darren points to a shortblock in the corner, claiming Mack could bolt his heads on it if he wanted. Disappointed, Mack begins bolting his heads to this engine. He gets the heads on and wishes Darren well and leaves. (Recently it was discovered that the engine Mack bolted his heads on to belonged to a different customer of Darren’s- Mack’s engine wasn’t even purchased at this time just another example of Darren’s lying and manipulation).
Time goes on and Mack periodically checks on the status of his car- to which he is told by Darren that everything is going according to plan and so forth. Things change, both parties get married- have kids, etc. Throughout all of this Mack is assured that his car is getting taken care of, but that it would take more time due to personal setbacks- no problem.
Over the past ½ year, Mack begins to get more suspicious. Darren is caught in several lies and bad dealings with other people, yet always seems to have the right thing to say on the phone when asking about a status update. At this point, Darren has had the car nearly three years. He tells Mack that it is completed- but he has lost faith in himself due to some soured deals, and he will have a man named Mike Lucas finish tuning the DFI system on his car- but assures him the motor is together, etc. Time goes on- and on- and on.. No car. Mike Lucas’ information can not be divulged, only an E-mail address. Mike doesn’t respond to E-mails. Time drags on. Finally Mack demands to have his car back. Darren tells Mack the car is back in his possession. More excuses follow as to why the car simply cannot be delivered. Weeks pass, still no car. Mack figures that since Darren is so incompetent he can’t bring his own car back to him- he will do Darren a favor and just come to pick the car up. More excuses- things such as the trailer isn’t parked correctly to download the car, Darren works all day and all night, etc. Finally Mack procures a trailer and has two friends drive him down to pick his car up at Darren’s. Once they arrive there is no car- anywhere. Darren gets caught in a lie. When pressured to get the car wherever it is, Darren claims “Mike Lucas” has it. Here is a quote about “Mike Lucas”

Mike Lucas is supposedly a DFI tuning guru that runs the system on several of his race cars- so Mike Lucas is who the car was sent to in order to get that tuning done.

Mike Lucas is supposedly the busiest man on the planet, at times working 17 hours a day, 7 days a week. His job also apparently calls him in the middle of the night into work with no warning what so ever- as such, several attempts to get a hold of Mike Lucas or to go get the car have been thwarted by Mr. Lucas' integrity and dedication to his job.

Mike Lucas supposedly lives 1.5 hours south of the original lying mechanic's residence-hence why the car owner could not just drive to Mike Lucas' place and pick up his car when he showed up and caught the lying mechanic in the act.

Mike Lucas' email was the only information provided to the car owner- Mike Lucas doesnt respond to E-mails.

Mike Lucas finally text messaged the car owner- the car owner called him and stated that his voice sounded eerily similar to the original mechanic's voice. Mike Lucas repeats nearly verbatim the exact excuses the lying mechanic has been giving. When pressed for an address, Mike Lucas explains that he lives with his parents and isnt comfortable giving out their address (Sounds like a real DFI whiz). When pressured as to where this shop he owns is, Mike Lucas says that it doesnt have an address (sounds like a nice place)- but he can send directions via email; again, Mike Lucas doesnt use E-mail. The phone Mike Lucas called from is traced to a cell phone administered about 40 mins. from the lying mechanic (not 1.5 hours).

The lying mechanic's own father goes with him on a wild goose chase to find this missing car and this Mike Lucas guy's garage. Believe it or not the lying mechanic lead his own father down some miscellaneous logging trails into the middle of the woods and discovered that either mike's garage vanished into thin air or he simply didnt know where it was after all.

Naturally, it is starting to seem that Mike Lucas is either a split personality, or a completely fabricated entity to take the wrap for the lying mechanic.

If that doesn’t speak volumes about how fabricated this Mike Lucas guy is, I don’t know what does. Darren even took his father Doug out to the middle of a corn field and said the shop vanished!!

Anyway- here is the climax. After confronting Darren about not having his car, Mack gave Darren an ultimatum- one week to produce the car. ONE WEEK. Darren originally said that he needed a few days, but Mack gave him a full week to produce his car- finished, unfinished, whatever. He just wanted his car back. The entire week Mike Lucas supposedly was working. He was so busy he couldn’t even take a lunch break to unlock the garage so Darren could get this car. Darren begged Mack not to inform his father, Doug. After the week’s deadline lapsed, Mack began looking into legal avenues to get his car back and informed Doug. Darren still wouldn’t even give Mack an address to this Mike Lucas character’s shop. Mack agreed to give Doug 3 EXTRA days to try and get to the bottom of it. In short, Doug now believes there is a Mike Lucas even though the man can’t be reached by phone, address or anything. The only person to have ever seen or talked to the man was Darren. Naturally in those three extra days, Mike has been out of town. Mack still has no clue where his car is even at right now.

Other things I can attribute to Darren Harden:

-Two people I know of had to fight tooth and nail to get parts they had dropped off to Darren back. Not only did Darren not do the needed work, but he also sold their parts in some cases!

-Darren bought a car and installed a completely messed up engine in it, then sold it to one of his GOOD FRIENDS telling him the engine was fresh, etc. He then had an entire bag of excuses as to why the engine was blowing out smoke like a freight train two days later. After a few months of foot dragging and excuses, Darren supposedly fixed the problem. Not a month later the engine is blowing smoke rings again.

-Darren subbed a person to weld turbo headers for him. Darren supplied junk tubing and a junk welder to do the job- the guy that did the work didn’t want to work with the stuff but Darren told him to just give it his best shot. The headers looked terrible. The guy doing the work felt bad (even though it was technically Darren’s fault) and offered to only take 200$ for the work instead of the 300$ they agreed on. Darren was fine with that but would have to send money later- Money never arrived. Darren was questioned again and said he would send it. Money never arrived- NOW Darren is claiming that the owner of the car was supposed to pay this guy, and that it isn’t his problem.

-Darren has been caught using customer’s credit cards to pay for parts for other projects of his. A several thousand dollar convertible top was supposedly bought to finish a customer’s car- ran through the customer’s credit card. Top never arrived- come to find out Darren ordered the top COD and didn’t have the cash to pay for it. No idea where the thousands of dollars went. Darren finally took in money for another job and paid for the top- Robbing Peter to pay Paul.

These are just a few examples that I can cite off the top of my head. Some of you are probably asking “well- why don’t these people go to Doug Harden, he seems like a reasonable guy” Doug Harden has been informed about his son’s terrible business practices. Doug harden has even bailed him out a few times, yet when Darren gets banned from posting on certain boards because of some of the aforementioned dealings, Doug Harden allows Darren to continue to post under his name in these forums. To put it bluntly, Doug Harden has on rose colored glasses when it comes to his son. He feels that Darren just gets badmouthed and so on and that things just aren’t his fault. I understand as a father it is probably a tough pill to swallow, but here are some of the responses Doug has given when questioned about his son:

“People need to mind their own F^(KING BUSINESS”
“People expect everything from Darren but don’t want to give him any credit”
“There are two sides to every story”
”Darren doesn’t charge rent or fees on all his buddies cars that he has helped work on”

Real professional and mature responses, right? Its obvious that Doug is going to side with Darren regardless of what happens-blood is thicker than water. Darren has made his bed and if Doug wants to get in it with him, that is a choice he makes.

What I want to tell YOU is to stay AWAY from Darren Harden. If Doug or Darren read any of this, I challenge you to respond and try to disprove ANY of what I have said- ANYTHING. I can back up everything that is in this post, but I can assure you Darren cannot back up anything that comes out of his mouth. To date, there have been VOLUMES of bold faced lies Darren has been caught in. Still need more proof- google “Darren Harden” and see what comes up-sort of Ironic that it is a post about how he has ripped yet another person off.

If other people have had run-ins with Darren Harden, this is the time to bring them out in the open. Post them up. This stuff has gone on FAR too long with this scam artist and I think the jig is just about up.
Wow! I'm out of breath just reading this. Seems to me, that if you took the time to post this, there has to be some validity to it all. Good luck with exposing Darren, and his dealings.
I can assure you, this is all 100% true. It is not a joke and not just an attempt to smear a guy's name. This guy is a major con artist.


Darrens father Doug seems to realize more of the depth of the situation and has agreed to help get this situation sorted out. Mack's car is on its way to his house as we speak- exactly as it was dropped off 3 years ago. No engine was ever purchased and put in it, no work was ever done according to Doug. Still no clue on where Mack's money or parts are or where Darren had been hiding the car all this time. Updates will follow as they come in. -PLEASE STAY AWAY FROM THIS CON ARTIST!!
Sounds to me he got hooked up on crack or meth and its real hard to manage other peoples stuff when they cant even manage thier own life.

But lesson learned...never hire friends or family and dont pay 100% up front
sounds like he is goin to be lucky to get the car back !!! hopefully the car isn't trashed !!!! sounds like $$$ and parts are long gone :frown:

Sounds to me he got hooked up on crack or meth and its real hard to manage other peoples stuff when they cant even manage thier own life.

But lesson learned...never hire friends or family and dont pay 100% up front

Im not sure what the drug of choice is in the area he lives but we dont have a crystal meth problem in Chicago its heroin here, but from what I hear Crystal Meth is more addictive than heroin. Dont rule out the good old fashioned asswhipping. Violence solves all problems.:)
Dont rule out the good old fashioned asswhipping. Violence solves all problems.:)

This matter is getting pursued legally- as such nothing has been done to tarnish the outcome of this ordeal. I certainly dont want things to get twisted around in his favor- that is why all of these posts contain factual information and not what I would really like to say about this guy.

I also think that you are making some valid assumptions but I cannot verify any of them just yet.
this guy definetly needs to be EXPOSED!!, i sure hope this guy gets his car back. he's lucky he's dealing with a calm person, people i know would have no problem taking him on a trip to alligator alley. i don't think i would be taking it that calmly. good luck.
your screen name is mike lucas lol:cool:

;) A bit of humor...


The car has been returned to its owner with no engine. Most of the parts have been recovered, but not the money. Doug is being a very stand up guy about this situation and promises to take care of it. That said, please preserve this thread for posterity. I do not have faith that Darren Harden is a changed man, and I will not stand to watch one more person be screwed over by him and his actions.
This matter is getting pursued legally- as such nothing has been done to tarnish the outcome of this ordeal. I certainly dont want things to get twisted around in his favor- that is why all of these posts contain factual information and not what I would really like to say about this guy.

I also think that you are making some valid assumptions but I cannot verify any of them just yet.

Id have someone beat his ass anyway. The best the legal system will do is get him on a payment plan which will take him years to pay you back. He needs his ass kicked and hard. I cant believe you allowed him to even leave your sight after you discovered the car wasnt at his house. If he was dealing with me he would have been in a world of **** instantly. Godd luck with getting your $ back. This guy sounds like a world class piece of s hit.
We got scammed, TOO!!!

Dear all, please read this posting in addition to the other posts and know that this seemed to be all happening around the same time as the other incidents....ours started EARLY in 2007 and just ended in the fall of 2007, so almost a year!

Here's the story in summary:
My husband and I purchased a 1999 V6 Ford Mustang that had 66k. We wanted to replace the original engine with a suped up one and really did some thinking about what we should do. I started working only about 6 months before we made this purchase and had started mentioning it to a guy I worked with and thought he knew what he was talking about and could maybe give us some suggestions. This person recommended calling Darren and just seeing if he could do anything to help us out....yeah...BIG MISTAKE!! After taking about a month in a half or so to sort out some details, we decided to have Darren start working on the engine so that once my husband was done with some little details, we could get the car down to Nashville. We met him half-way (DUMB MISTAKE!!!) to give him a check for THOUSANDS of dollars and asked that he wait until the next day to cash it...that's right, he cashed it that same, this really peaved me off, but I tried to keep my cool and just blew it off as a mis-communication on my part.
So, we waited, and waited, and waited, and waited to hear back from Darren...he kept saying that he was working basically 24/7 and was getting **** from Christy, his wife about not spending enough time with her and their baby a woman myself, I tried to put myself in Christy's shoes and showed some compassion. Okay, so we waited, and waited, and waited.......

He finally said that he needed to have the car to install the engine and make some final adjustments~~~~sounded logical~~~~I wanted to have the car trailered instead of driven to keep it out of the road grime and crud, so Darren offered to come up to Indy and pick it up with his enclosed trailer, oh yeah, he also wanted the rest of the money. I wasn't home (luckily) and my husband took care of it, the car was gone and we told him that the check would be given to him upon completion of the job. No big deal....we were all happy and excited to have "DANG" down there getting a new engine. Well, we then again started to play the waiting game, now mind you we were able to mapquest his name and address and thought everything was still logical and could be explained (time wise) and I kept talking with this guy from my work and he kept saying, just be patient, Darren's a good guy, he'll do what's right.
So we then played the waiting game and I kept calling to check in. Finally, my husband had had enough and knew that I was WAY past my limit. So he contacted him to put the heat on. It didn't we were about to jump in the car and take off to find his house and to find out where our car was, then all of a sudden, Darren calls and apologizes and says that he'll have it done in a week, so we hesitantly said ok. So then the week passes, passes again, and again and again. He kept saying that Mike had the transmission and was rebuilding it, then it was the excuse of the PADS (?) system not working with this particular part, so he had to order more parts, then he said that there were problems with the A/C, and the list keeps going.
This had been going on for almost a YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Finally, the car got back to us with the engine and transmission out of the car. The car looked like CRAP, leaves inside, dirt and rain depris on the paint, etc. I WAS PISSED!!!!!!!!!!!! but happy to see the body in one piece. (trying to be optimitic) Inside the engine bay was scratched to hell and back and my husband could've puked because she was perfect when she left, then all apart when she got home.
So to finalize the story, we never got an engine, as promised, a supercharger, as promised, a rebuilt transmission, an aluminum radiator, etc. He also kept saying that he was personally machining new heads and could machine them with two mustang ponies on them to help dress the car up because he knew it would get me off of his back about things....We NEVER SAW ANY TRACE OF MACHINED METAL, nor could I ever find what company he worked for.
We threatened to take him to court and he delivered a check. I called to verify funds and guess what...Lo and Behold, NO MONEY!!!!!!!!!! his account was empty and locked :lock: We contacted the police and they said that they couldn't do anything because his company was not real and it was a personal matter.
So out of all of my frustration, I "contracted" my dad for advice.
We ended up taking a road trip to Bloomington and met him at his doctors office, yes, you read right, doctors office...probably a good thing....we picked up the cash to have the engine re-installed and missing parts and bolts replaced, etc. Darren's last words to me were, "I hope this doesn't end our communication with each other...I would still like to have pictures of the car when it's done...." my response was, Yeah, RIGHT!!!!

So, to end our tragic story, the car is home, with the original engine back in and my husband and I are back to square one, still dazed and confused about the months we lost out and hope there's no other damage to the car that we're unaware of.

Thanks for the chance to vent and hear that other people were unfortunately scammed, just like we were!!