The owner of an automobile racing motor is asking Madison County Circuit Judge Dennis Ruth for his property back from the mechanic he paid to service it in 2006.

Ruth is scheduled to hear the breach of contract dispute in a non-jury trial set for 9 a.m. on July 8.

Plaintiff John Prior is suing Charlie Cairns, owner of Pro Craft Racing Engines in Granite City, for the return of his motor or in excess of $50,000, costs and attorneys' fees.

According to his complaint, Prior took a 418 cubic inch Ford aluminum racing engine to Cairns' shop in February 2006 for service. In June of that year, he paid, at Cairns' request, $3,500. Over the next five months, Prior claims he paid $7,000 more and tried to make arrangements with Cairns to pay an additional $12,035.

Prior claims Cairns' would not return his phone calls in November 2006 and that he has been led to believe that his engine was sold to another person.

The case was originally assigned to now-retired Circuit Judge Nicholas Byron.

The case is Madison case number 06-L-1072.

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