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Old 07-21-2013, 07:21 PM   #1
Cali Chase
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Would you buy a "salvaged/ totaled" car as a project

I recently met a guy who has successfully built numerous vehicles in which he purchased as "totaled" from auctions and spends little money and a lot of time and man hours to bring back to perfection.

To me this seems like he stole the cars for the price he paid versus the cars price tags. His examples were considered totaled because hurricane sandy flooded them even though water only came up to the bottom of the cabin.

This practice seems interesting and inviting but I'm sure it's not that easy. The possibility for more serious problems to exist is very high and you don't always get to examine the car before purchase. It's a gamble but could be very fun restoring. I don't know if I would sell the car I would potentially restore.

For an example. Lets say a car fanatic bought a $100k car that was considered totaled, for 15k. The car had very minor water damage( for simplicity lets say there is no frame damage , electrical issues or engine issues). This fanatic spends a year and $5k to bring the car back to perfection and now has a 100k car for 20k. Of he planed to sell it he could maybe get 60k, based on the quality of the restoration and that some car manufactures will inspect a car and considered "un-totaled" or Salvaged. Issues are also present for getting a car like this licensed and insured.

My question is that should I gamble small, maybe only like 3 or so k and have this car as a project car or not participate at all.
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Old 07-21-2013, 07:22 PM   #2
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Old 07-21-2013, 07:31 PM   #3
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There is a local 911 turbo owner who bought a flood car for $35k.... So far so good.
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Old 07-21-2013, 07:37 PM   #4
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I built four or five "official" totals bitd. Made money on all of them.

The first one was a52k mile 325is that was vandalized. I paid $2800 for it and drove it home. Spent thirty five hundred fixing it, but it was mint when it was finished. I made a few hundred off it when I sold it a year later.
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Old 07-21-2013, 08:07 PM   #5
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I have actual experience with salvage vehicles (the cars are totaled for a reason). It is an extremely competitive industry, body shops generally purchase these cars as a way to remain busy during "slow" times. Tons of unknowns are associated with buying a "broken" car, unreal how much folks pay for them at times. The cars not nearly as cheap as your example values suggest, nor nearly as simple to reconstruct. The upside is generally VERY limited. Expect a small savings unless the car was smashed really hard. Ever had electrical issues? It is a complete nightmare. If you pull your carpet up, you'll realize how complicated a vehicles electrical system really is; becomes a nightmare when anything needs to be replaced.

If you are a mechanic with body experience and value your time at a small value, it may be worth the time as a personal project. Newer cars have so many components in the front that it's difficult to put the cars back together properly. Otherwise, chances are the car and frame was "hacked" and not brought back to factory standards if the car was magically put back together for peanuts. Rest assured the smart money is on insurance companies, they aren't afraid of used parts either.

I'll save you from yourself on this one, just don't do it. Salvage cars are a tough and hard sell. The time and aggravation spent on repairing the cars, locating the CORRECT parts, and worst of all selling the cars just isn't worth it. Obtaining financing for a salvage title car is nearly impossible to source from a major bank.

Feel free to reach out to me with any questions

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Old 07-21-2013, 08:37 PM   #6
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yes, but i wouldnt bother flipping them. older cars tend to be totaled pretty easily because they are worth so little. but they would be fine as a track car or a daily...as long as you don't expect to recoup most of the money when you sell it
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Old 07-21-2013, 08:40 PM   #7
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Would you buy a "salvaged/ totaled" car as a project

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cali Chase View Post
I recently met a guy who has successfully built numerous vehicles in which he purchased as "totaled" from auctions and spends little money and a lot of time and man hours to bring back to perfection.

To me this seems like he stole the cars for the price he paid versus the cars price tags. His examples were considered totaled because hurricane sandy flooded them even though water only came up to the bottom of the cabin.

This practice seems interesting and inviting but I'm sure it's not that easy. The possibility for more serious problems to exist is very high and you don't always get to examine the car before purchase. It's a gamble but could be very fun restoring. I don't know if I would sell the car I would potentially restore.

For an example. Lets say a car fanatic bought a $100k car that was considered totaled, for 15k. The car had very minor water damage( for simplicity lets say there is no frame damage , electrical issues or engine issues). This fanatic spends a year and $5k to bring the car back to perfection and now has a 100k car for 20k. Of he planed to sell it he could maybe get 60k, based on the quality of the restoration and that some car manufactures will inspect a car and considered "un-totaled" or Salvaged. Issues are also present for getting a car like this licensed and insured.

My question is that should I gamble small, maybe only like 3 or so k and have this car as a project car or not participate at all.
Lol. What planet do you live on? 100k car with a salvage title for 15? I've been to every major dealer auction in ny, scratch and dent and salvage cars still fetch a pretty penny my friend c


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Old 07-21-2013, 08:54 PM   #8
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Lol. What planet do you live on? 100k car with a salvage title for 15? I've been to every major dealer auction in ny, scratch and dent and salvage cars still fetch a pretty penny my friend c


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Old 07-22-2013, 01:05 AM   #9
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Would you buy a "salvaged/ totaled" car as a project

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There is a local 911 turbo owner who bought a flood car for $35k.... So far so good.
Yep that's who i was referring too.


And I wouldn't plan on selling the car: just rebuilding and enjoying. Not I'm it to make a profit
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Last edited by Cali Chase; 07-22-2013 at 01:07 AM.
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Old 07-22-2013, 02:06 AM   #10
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sounds like there is more to this story on the repair side or extent of damage - flood cars can command incredibly high prices at times, there is no stealing a Porsche at an auction either. keep in mind that flood cars can take time to present issues etc; fine today and a complete disaster tomorrow.

Quote:
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Yep that's who i was referring too.


And I wouldn't plan on selling the car: just rebuilding and enjoying. Not I'm it to make a profit

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Old 07-22-2013, 08:35 AM   #11
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I would only do it if I enjoyed the work, had access to facilities and tools, and could get deals on both parts, and labor I couldn't do myself.

If you're in that kind of situation, though, go for it.
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Old 07-22-2013, 10:34 AM   #12
Cali Chase
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Would you buy a "salvaged/ totaled" car as a project

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Originally Posted by Chris3Duke View Post
I would only do it if I enjoyed the work, had access to facilities and tools, and could get deals on both parts, and labor I couldn't do myself.

If you're in that kind of situation, though, go for it.
Reading this makes me think I should go with it. But what I think it breaks down to is what condition the car is in. I could pay a hefty some of money for a car that is said to have been in "minor flood damage" and yet it has so many more issues. Water does yield mold and corrosion, those issues would present them selves in almost any situation.


I would love to do something along the lines of this, attempting to bring a totaled car back to good condition. I won't do it necessarily for profit, only for the perks of owning a unique car that I have rebuilt.


I know I started a thread a while ago about considering a 911 as a track car. I love the older air cooled 911s and would really like to rebuild one. Maybe this is a good opportunity. I wouldn't necessarily "build" the car to be a track car though.

Other then older 911s, I would probably just search around to find a reasonable deal on a car that isnt destroyed. I have a close friend who is a certified BMW, Audi Porsche merc mechanic, and does ppi's. he would love to help me out on this project.
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wanting to get a vf-570 and 315/30s rear, 285s/35 front.The 285s rear arnt enough

Last edited by Cali Chase; 07-22-2013 at 10:38 AM.
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Old 07-22-2013, 10:51 AM   #13
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It's a gamble. If you do it often enough, get familiar with a certain type of car and rack up some extra parts in the process, it can be very profitable.

A lot of times, "flood damage" cars are insurance fraud. Absolutely no damage except wet floors. Other times it's an electrical cluster****.

Short term, it's an extremely risky gamble. Long term, with experience and the law of numbers in your favor, it's not a bad idea.
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Old 07-22-2013, 10:56 AM   #14
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Especially salt water floods. Salt water on exposed steel = instant rust.
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Old 07-22-2013, 11:43 AM   #15
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Would you buy a "salvaged/ totaled" car as a project

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Originally Posted by 'busa View Post
It's a gamble. If you do it often enough, get familiar with a certain type of car and rack up some extra parts in the process, it can be very profitable.

A lot of times, "flood damage" cars are insurance fraud. Absolutely no damage except wet floors. Other times it's an electrical cluster****.

Short term, it's an extremely risky gamble. Long term, with experience and the law of numbers in your favor, it's not a bad idea.
So which car brand and model would you recommend? Is there really a consistent winner or is just luck
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Old 07-22-2013, 12:02 PM   #16
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Especially salt water floods. Salt water on exposed steel = instant rust.
yes
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Old 07-22-2013, 12:18 PM   #17
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a classic car, yes. Something from the last 20yrs...most likely not.
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Old 07-22-2013, 12:21 PM   #18
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So which car brand and model would you recommend? Is there really a consistent winner or is just luck
It's whatever you get good at. Could be Ford Mustangs or Nissan Altimas. With time you'll get better at gauging damage from the pictures and descriptions and you'll rack up spare parts and sources. Prepare to break even or even lose money on a few, especially in the beginning.
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Old 07-22-2013, 12:24 PM   #19
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flood car...hell no.
5 year old car that has been rear ended. maybe.

my own car that was totaled. probably.
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Old 07-22-2013, 02:10 PM   #20
Cali Chase
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Would you buy a "salvaged/ totaled" car as a project

I think I might do some more research and maybe talk to some people with experience. When a good opportunity presents its self maybe I will jump on it, but I will probably start small, something cheap.
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