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Salvage Title Cars: Interesting Story

 
Old 10-12-2007, 12:43 PM
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Harvey Yancey
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Default Salvage Title Cars: Interesting Story

I was at my local Porsche wrench's shop yesterday to discuss some work that is being done to my car in the next few weeks when I saw a 993 coupe on one of the lifts. Decent looking car from 20 ft. The engine was out and I started looking at it when my mechanic said 'do you see it yet' obviously indicating some sort of previous damage. We play this game during most of my visits there anyway.

I looked around the body and saw a few areas that indicated some iffy body work and some paint ... then I saw it ... an overlapping seam ... in the middle of the floor pan between the doors. HOLY CRAP. I had heard about cars like this but had never seen one in person. The car was actually the front end and the back end from two different wrecked cars that had been pieced together ... and seemingly from two different model years of the 993.

Apparently the current owner had bought the car knowingly with a salvage title but was unaware of what had been done to the car (or cars in this case). When my mechanic saw this he immediately called the owner to inform him of the issue. Surprisingly, or maybe not so surprisingly, the guy said he did not want to hear anymore about it. Denial is a wonderful thing sometimes.

Personally I would be afraid to drive the drive the car on the street much less the track. I know a lot of guys out there buy salvage title cars for track work only ... but PLEASE do you homework.

Caveat emptor!
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Old 10-12-2007, 12:48 PM
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Mark in Baltimore
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I agree , Harvey, but it all depends on how the work was done. I have seen a few winning race cars have a new front clip welded on, only to keep on winning races.
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Old 10-12-2007, 12:55 PM
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Agreed ... but this one was split in the middle (door to door) and the repair work was VERY, VERY poorly done. Structually I am not sure how it is holding together.

The poor guy that bought it thought he was getting a steal (probably was told it was a theft recovery) and ends up with a parts car.
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Old 10-12-2007, 01:02 PM
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Mark in Baltimore
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Do you have any pics?
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Old 10-12-2007, 01:03 PM
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dcdude
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Gawd. Is there another way to make a buck that doesn't compromise the safety of others?

Although I'm sure the butcher who slapped together this frankenstein car with his $99 Harbor Freight MIG welder totally rationalizes the quality of his, err, "craftsmanship."
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Old 10-12-2007, 01:12 PM
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Harvey Yancey
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No pics. I thought about it but I didn't think it was appropriate to potentially throw my wrench under the bus. He shared this in confidence. But I thought this was a valuable observation for the list.
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Old 10-12-2007, 07:46 PM
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Chuck W.
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My 993 has a front clip from just in front of the strut towers. I bought it damaged and watch the body shop do the job. I would never buy a salvaged car unless I knew firsthand what work had been done on it.

Once, while at the body shop I saw them cut a BMW down the middle (front to back) due to side damage. They then welded another clean half onto it. That beast is now on the road with a salvage title somewhere. The new owners probably have some "issues" with it.
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Old 10-12-2007, 09:11 PM
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NP993
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Is it actually legal to weld two halves of a car together, in terms of things like the VIN's matching?
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Old 10-12-2007, 11:37 PM
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Not sure what the limitations are with a salvage title ... if any.
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Old 10-13-2007, 12:36 AM
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Don't they need a full inspection to get recertified?
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Old 10-13-2007, 02:23 AM
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Chuck W.
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Originally Posted by matt777 View Post
Don't they need a full inspection to get recertified?
Not in California. Smog check, Brake check and light check. Then an inspection by the Highway Patrol to ensure that it isn't a VIN switch.

Originally Posted by Noah View Post
Is it actually legal to weld two halves of a car together, in terms of things like the VIN's matching?
In California if the VIN's are effected the Highway Patrol will issue a special VIN plate.
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