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Old 01-28-2012, 04:20 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Aren't most of the online listings of salvage cars scams?

Easyexport has a lot of the cars titled |"Export only" and the reviews of them I find are less than exemplory.

I guess I was already looking at salvage leaf/volt setups but most were not from places I would want to deal with.

Don't the insurance companies sell these themselves anymore?

Anyway, I thought the cars went somewhere more legit? I don't know anyone that has ever purchased through these type of online jobs and although I would like to bid on the car it seems very risky.

Also that car would definately need a once over, it looks like the motor and controller might have been junked in that accident.

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Old 01-28-2012, 06:32 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I remember a used car dealer in Florida who had a 61 Corvette stolen from his lot in the mid 1970S. 23 years later it went up for auction and the high bid was $53,000. perfectly restored.
The car was worth about $3k when stolen.
The dealer being the last legitimate owner of the car, apparently uninsured, got his car back, and the people who restored it, or the owner who had it restored got nothing.

Insurance companies contract with salvage disposal companies to sell salvage vehicles. If they even think about an scam, and the buyer calls them on it, the paper trail of funds and the VIN number bring the Feds in on felony Interstate fraud. Big time fines and jail sentences.

The first vehicle I rebuilt, was a 1966 Chevy G10 Van. I paid the salvage yard $400 for the Van. After 13 weekends of working on it it was finished and the junkyard still had not produced the title. I got the owners information out of the glove box and called him. Found out the Insurance Companies name and called them. They had the title and offered to sell me the Van for $200, so I bought it.

Called the State Police and rode to the salvage yard in the cruiser with the Trooper. Walked in the junkyard with the Trooper, showed the junk yard owner the title in my name transferred from the insurance Company. He never owned the Van. His limp arse excuse was he was waiting for them to send the title before he paid for the Van.

The Trooper talked with him for a while and let him know he was risking his license and a Felony charge, and strongly suggested he sell no more cars unless he had clear title.

I have never seen a licensed salvage disposal operation defraud a purchaser. Way too much to risk and they make real good money anyway. Insurance Companies as a general rule don't want to store and sell wrecks. They also don't want to repair them. Apparently they consider the potential liability issues to be prohibitive, since they have deep pockets and are most Lawyers favorite targets.

The vehicles that are rebuilt in Virginia have to be inspected by the State Police before you can even get a title. They check for stolen parts, and if they find them, you go directly to jail. remember when they bombed the World Trade Center wit ha rented Ford Van. They found the VIN on the rear axle housing, traced it back to the rental agency, and the people who rented the Van are still in jail.

On the downside I thin Va has recently enacted legislation making it illegal to bring a wrecked car from another state into VA to be repaired (not positive) so that Leaf would be a parts proposition only.

Understand one reason for it to go cheap. That is the fact that their is practically no demand for any of the parts and may not be for several years. For a person with the resources to accumulate all of the salvage examples of any specific model in a certain area.

He has a virtual monopoly on used parts. The only other source is new parts. Junkyards all know what new parts cost and generally charge 50% of the new part price for used parts.

I may buy a Leaf wrecked depending on how my prototype comes along and how well it does for economy, but the thought of using modules out of a Leaf battery pack and making it electric drive is awfully tempting.

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Old 01-30-2012, 06:15 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Is there a legit online source for wrecked insurance cars ?
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Old 01-30-2012, 08:52 AM   #14 (permalink)
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https://www.iaai.com/Auctions/Auctio...eDateView.aspx

Here is one that is nationwide. My buddies shop has built hundreds per year for over 20 years, with a significant number of them bought from this company. 0 fraud, if there is ANY issue with titles then the bid amount is refunded or never collected in the first place.

The Feds don't like car thieves or any other fraudulent transactions. Here you need a dealers license to get on the lot to inspect them and everything is covered by cameras.

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Old 01-30-2012, 08:59 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ladogaboy View Post
I love how the repair cost is $26,000. I guess that means the battery and motor are only worth $8,000.

Looks like the perfect candidate for a swap to me.
Repair costs have nothing to do with the value of undamaged components. In 1971 the Insurance Companies tried to make body shops look bad by getting an estimate to build a 1971 Chevy from scratch. The $3000 car cost $18,000 to build from scratch then with labor at $9 per hour. Today its over $45 here.

From scratch a Leaf would probably cost at least $150k.

But then what would it cost to have each part shipped individually from Japan?

In 1973 when the first Subaru came to my area of the country it was $2895.
The two half shafts and the front knuckles together was over $2200 for just those 4 parts. I told the President of the Dealership that it would be cheaper to just take a new car apart and then they would have every part in stock to fix any car for pennies on a dollar for the parts individually.

I'll bet you will see every Leaf collected by some enterprising individual with the batteries used for many electric car projects and the parts sold to fix other cars. If you have the patience and funding, it can be hugely profitable.

It's at $5800 now, sells today.

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Old 01-30-2012, 09:18 AM   #16 (permalink)
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There is a copart yard only a few miles from my home. This is so tempting. My wife would kill me if I brought another project home.
EDIT:
I look at the pics and I am not certain the motor did not sustain some damage there. It got jacked up pretty hard. Looks like it under ran a semi truck to cave that front crossmember so much.
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Old 01-30-2012, 09:27 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Warning, use due diligence. These yards use forklifts to move the cars around. A careless forklift operator COULD damage the battery. Then you are SCREWED.

In most cases the cars rest on their rocker panels when they are moved. If you can not personally inspect the vehicle to insure yourself of the batteries condition I would not think of buying any car from a salvage auction. You don't even want to think of having to do any battery work above and beyond the existing damage.

Don't jump the gun and make a bad decision, there will be plenty of any car at salvage auctions, and the longer you wait the more information you will have about past accident issues like what happened to the Volt after the NHSTA testing.

I am not trying to influence you and I am not bidding on that car. If I was seriously considering it I would arrange for a personal inspection which means I would have to fly there and ship it to Virginia, two expensive additional costs.

If you are seriously interested in an electric vehicle, a salvage Leaf would be the perfect candidate for the components you would need and today, when this one sells, you will see what the market will bear as far as price, but I think you have to watch the auction as it sells to see the final winning bid.

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Old 01-30-2012, 09:40 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Not bidding, don't worry. I agree totally that you need to watch a few sell to see how it goes. Here in Tree-Hug-istan it may go far over the real value.
Copart is a good legit operation though, I'll say that much.
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Old 01-30-2012, 10:04 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skyking View Post
There is a copart yard only a few miles from my home. This is so tempting. My wife would kill me if I brought another project home.
EDIT:
I look at the pics and I am not certain the motor did not sustain some damage there. It got jacked up pretty hard. Looks like it under ran a semi truck to cave that front crossmember so much.
What I have found over 30 years is from the front suspension forward the car is designed to collapse. The real strength is from the strut towers back.
I bought a 76 280 Z once as a parts car to fix a 77. The car had been clipped from the side and behind, like they were pulling out of a 45 degree road and got nailed. It ripped the front end completely off the car, and the engine and transmission were completely separated from the car and lying on the ground at the salvage auction.

This was in 1977.

Both engine and transmission were still good, they had not been directly impacted.

Based on that experience, what I see on that Leaf is mostly cosmetic damage. Remember it has no radiator or cooling system in the front end. Not sure about an AC condenser. The air bag on the drivers side deployed but not the passengers which messes up the whole dash in some cars. I could figure out the prices of most of the parts today and I get 25% off new Nissan parts, but I don't like to make them do all that work with no hope of a sale, kind of old fashioned that way.


That front cross member is actually what would normally be the radiator support, and it might even be plastic. The are on a lot of newer cars and are just bolted on. I do agree, it looks like it went under something and it may actually have no damage to the frame horns or front bumper reinforcement, just enough impact to light off the airbag (and only 1, not 2).

If that car was near me I would be all over it, and would probably go as high as $8k in price, maybe a little higher after I had my buddy look at it and we had a final repair cost within 10%. As you said, not right now but I will be watching for one on the east coast like a hawk. Northern Virginia and DC in particular.


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Old 01-30-2012, 10:30 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Mechanic View Post
Repair costs have nothing to do with the value of undamaged components.
Hah! I know... I just love the incongruity.

That being said, I have a salvage/auction yard (iaai.com) about 10 miles from me... I was tempted to pick up a car worth at least $10-15,000 just in major, working components (they currently have it listed at $3,500, I believe). Sadly, too much else going on at the moment.

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