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salvage title -need advice

vetahlk

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 2, 2002
Messages
106
Location
Birmingham,MI USA
Corvette
YELLOW 2002/RED 1/18TH C6 COUPE
I am considering buying a 93 with a salvage title. The car looks beautiful. Has 34K on it. The current owner is a mechanic and body man by trade. Has driven the car for several years. He has been very honest about everything. Says that there was no engine/drive train/suspension damage, but the frame needed slight straightning, which was restored by laser measurement. I'm not looking for an investment, but a fun car (a toy). The price is too god to pass on. What should I look out for and what do you think.
 
L

LarryBible

Guest
I don't know about Michigan, but in Texas a salvage title covers a broad range of salvage situations. The car may have only had minimal damage, but because of the fact that it was sold by the insurance company at auction automatically puts it under a salvage title.

My Dad retired in '83 and has been buying, reconditioning and selling Honda cars ever since. I have seen him get everything from cars that I wouldn't even buy to get a part off of, to cars that had extremely minimal body damage and it makes you wonder why they ended up at auction. Almost all his cars end up with a salvage title.

My Dad insists that the salvage title is something that was lobbied for by the new car manufacturers. I don't necessarily agree with that, but it is to the new car companies benefit for more cars to be "branded."

It sounds like this guy is being straight about it, but a good con man can make himself appear straight.

I recommend that you find a reputable major collision guy that you can trust and have him look it over closely including putting the car on a lift and examining closely underneath. If the car passes his inspection and it drives properly and is rattle free, then make your decision.

One last thing, remember, a salvage title has the car branded. Don't pay full market price as if the car had a regular title. If the care measures up, take advantage of the salvage title and get a reduced price. There are many people that avoid a salvage title like the plague. That's because they think that any car with such a title is dangerous. They can't discern a dangerous car from one that has been repaired correctly.

Good luck,
 

vigman

Motor head!!!!
Joined
Feb 13, 2001
Messages
3,471
Location
Valencia, CA,USA
Corvette
88 Convert ( SOLD ) /1973 coupe 4 speed/1964 Vert!
Salvage

The double edge sword.......

The salvage auction is a way for insurance companies to recoup some money from claims..but more importantly.. it's a way to not have a bunch of inventory laying around.

If the cost of repairs is greater than 50% of ( I believe ) of low Kelly blue book( and there is a year/milage modifier here)... it's salvage... Or you have a crooked adjuster/ shop.

I have seen cars with less than $2000.00 of dammage 10-15K cars... being totaled!


There are ALWAYS deals being made on the side

Usually they are great deals......They have to be to make em attractive.

It's really tough to get loans on these cars...

If you get into an accident.. and want it repaired CORRECTLY there will be a problem, ask 69 My way for his input in this area.

If you want to sell it in the future you have to delcare it's salvage and most people will run.

If YOU want to drive it..... and can get YOUR money out of it in useage... fine.

It will be worth more in parts at that point.

And DO have it inspected by a third party!


Vig!
 

BigRed

Well-known member
Joined
May 23, 2001
Messages
948
Location
Edmonton
Corvette
1985 Bright Red Rocket
If the car is considered "Written Off" wouldn't it be impossible for the serial number to be re-registered as the car has a history of being unroad worthy?

I know around here thats how it works. A car can come back from the dead but It has to go through a VERY intensive inspection.

I think were talking about the same thing but Im not sure how it works State side.

If everything checks out Grats on the new car!
 

FrankM

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 4, 2001
Messages
154
Location
Derry, NH
Interestingly I had a '90 Coupe that was totaled by my insurance co. in '92. I did several rollovers.....:eek

recently I did a car fax on it. It showed the salvage title in Pa. then went to NJ. From salvaged NJ it went to KY and appears with a clean title. It now is in OH and the owner must assume the car is straight.

This leads me to wonder how many of us have a salvage Vette and don't even know it.

At least in this case you do know it. Resale will be tough, but if you buy it right it should not be that bad a problem.
 
Joined
Jun 20, 2002
Messages
2,509
Location
Tallahassee, FL
Corvette
none right now :(
when you buy a car with a salvage title, you have to fix it and have the car inspected before you can register the car... they go through all of the checks to make sure it is road worthy again... If it is a great deal, and all you want to do is drive the heck out of it... go for it... just keep in mind that it is worth much less than a regular Vette, and you may find problems with it related to the accident in the future...
 

69MyWay

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 3, 2001
Messages
4,364
Location
Auburndale, Florida
Corvette
1969 Killer Shark
It all depends!

Forida has really cracked down on salvage cars in general. You can blame in on a number of things. One serious issue comes from the plaintiff bar. You see, there have been people injured in rebuilt wrecks. Since the shops or individuals that rebuilt the wrecks don't always have deep pockets, the plaintiff lawyers instead go after the insurance company that originally paid out on the claim, but did not consider the vehcile "no-rebuildable". They then sue the insurance company for the injuries resulting to the current owners of the car because somebody cut corners on a "rebuildable" wreck to make a few extra bucks.

There are degrees to "salvage vehicles". There are "rebuildable", and "non-rebuildable" cars. To be declared a total loss at least in Florida, the cost to repair has to exceed 80% of the value of the car (this is just a guidline). Depending on the severity of the damage, the insurance company can decide if they want it sold as a rebuildable, or non-rebuildable. Obviously the rebuildable cars bring more money at auction, because the non-rebuilds are more or less parts cars.

Here comes the problem. YES, you can wash a title from one state to the other and create an otherwise clean title. However, if that car is EVER brought back to the state that originally issued the salvage title, it can not be registered.

So, do your homework, find out where it started out as a "salvage car". The truth is, as long as you are getting a reasonable deal on the car, and understand you must pass that same deal on to any future buyer, then you will be fine.

Good luck!
 
8

88canadianvette

Guest
how do u bend the frame [even a slight amount] on a vette, and have very little damage down to the car?:( did he ever tell u how the frame got bent? man would i love to know:confused
 

vigman

Motor head!!!!
Joined
Feb 13, 2001
Messages
3,471
Location
Valencia, CA,USA
Corvette
88 Convert ( SOLD ) /1973 coupe 4 speed/1964 Vert!
How do you bend the frame?!

Get in an crash! Bigger the crash.. the more tweaked the frame is.

Is the question how do you straighten a bent frame?


Vig!
 
S

secondchance

Guest
The last car, 91 red ZR-1 on this website.
http://www.burkecorvettes.com/gallery.htm
Four smaller pics, except the top one,
http://www.burkecorvettes.com/frame.htm
are of my 91.

To answer your question, in this case, factory spot welds were knocked out between rails under the back of the door and b-pillar. Luckly, we found a complete rear clip of another red ZR-1. This piece was slid into frame rails and factory welds duplicated. After the repair, car tracked true and straight. Also, all panels fit perfect.
2 years later, I submarined under a trailer and the top of the LT-5 was ripped resulting in car being totaled. So, all you red 91 ZR-1 owners don't have to run out and check the car.:D

Anyhow, frame repairs are doable on C-4s. Just a question of time and money.
 

Barrier

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 14, 2001
Messages
104
Location
Lido Beach,New York
Corvette
1993 Convertible 1999 FRC Pewter sold
I would be very careful with any Salvage car. Check with your Insurance Company, some will not insure Salvage Title car.
My Aunt bought a Salvage car that was an absolutely mint Buick Riviera, with the CRT on the dash etc. etc. Turned out to be Salt Water Damage, must have been in a Flood. Every wire was corroded and useless, power seats to the engine and dash harness. Each wire fell apart whenever we tried to repair one.
She lost big time on the car.
Barrier
 

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