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Buying a car with a reconstructed title?

This is a discussion on Buying a car with a reconstructed title? within the Firebird / WS6 forums, part of the Vehicle Specific category; Would anyone consider buying a car with a reconstructed title? I'm seeing them once in a while in my search ...

  1. #1
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    Buying a car with a reconstructed title?

    Would anyone consider buying a car with a reconstructed title?

    I'm seeing them once in a while in my search for an F-Body, I usually don't give them a second thought.

    I did see one that looks a bit tempting though. It's black '00 WS6 Formula with 44k on it. It's an auto with T-Tops and cloth, and has new chrome Z06 wheels and tires (or so the ad says, they actually look like 10-spoke SS wheels to me).

    Other than the wheels, and title, of course, this is pretty much my ideal F-Body. The price is 8,999. It's been online for a while now, the price has been dropped from 9,500.

    I'm not looking an investment, any car I buy will be a DD, I put about 17-19k a year on it.

    Assuming the work was done correctly, is this even worth considering? Maybe if I were to get the price down to 8k?

    Thanks.

    edit: Here's a link to pics:
    http://www.autotrader.com/fyc/img_po...r_id=197158971

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    As long as they didn't have to cut into the chassis or as long as they didn't spend hours on a frame machine with it, it should be fine. First get the carfax, it will give you a lot of info. Where the damage was and how much.

    These cars are expensive to fix when wrecked. $6000 or $7000 worth of superficial damage can cause one to be considered totaled. Superficial damage includes bumpers, windshields. hoods, even quarter panels and radiator core supports.

    As a racer I call anything that did not damage the frame superficial. Find out where it was repaired. Ask them if it was all superficial or was it into the frame. To a show car guy, nothing is superficial. But their goals are much different than yours.

    Then go to to the repair shop tell them your looking at a car they repaired. Ask them to pull the repair ticket to see the parts list and labor on the repairs. If they refuse, don't buy it.

    Just remember. Somebody somewhere has one that has not been wrecked and they want to get rid off badley for whatever reason. It's kind of like the guy thats dating the perfect 10, but yet he's sick of her for some reason and just wants to get away from her. Nothing wrong with her, shes just grating on his nerves.

    One last note. I love these cars to no end. But, honestly as a daily driver mine makes my butt hurt. No padding in the seat. Period.
    I never noticed this until I lost (yes, it's a pun) a butt load of weight. Fortunately mines a garage queen! I only drive it a few times a week.

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    Senior Member 35thAnniZ28's Avatar
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    my car was crashed when i bought it...i bought all the parts and payed some guy to install em.. ...just a front end damage...and had to allign the doors...it feels like a new car!.........so i payed 8k(bought and fixed) for a 2002 z28 with 70,000 miles...is that alot?

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    Quote Originally Posted by StuntmanMike View Post
    Would anyone consider buying a car with a reconstructed title?

    I'm seeing them once in a while in my search for an F-Body, I usually don't give them a second thought.

    I did see one that looks a bit tempting though. It's black '00 WS6 Formula with 44k on it. It's an auto with T-Tops and cloth, and has new chrome Z06 wheels and tires (or so the ad says, they actually look like 10-spoke SS wheels to me).

    Other than the wheels, and title, of course, this is pretty much my ideal F-Body. The price is 8,999. It's been online for a while now, the price has been dropped from 9,500.

    I'm not looking an investment, any car I buy will be a DD, I put about 17-19k a year on it.

    Assuming the work was done correctly, is this even worth considering? Maybe if I were to get the price down to 8k?

    Thanks.

    edit: Here's a link to pics:
    http://www.autotrader.com/fyc/img_po...r_id=197158971
    I was tempted to buy a rebuilt vette, the only thing was I had no way of seeing it before I bought it [it was 400 miles away, and that was just too far for me]. Honestly, if you can go and see the car and get the info-i bet it will be fine. I've wrecked a car and had the frame repaired-drove like new.

    oh, and carfax is a scam-they tell you NOTHING about the car's physical history, only stuff like when the title was salvaged/rebuilt

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    I have cars pulled straight on frame machines before too. They all drove fine. Anymore they can often get it more square than the factory did. My concern with unibody type cars is if the car is wrecked again in the same area, the unibody is not as strong and my not protect the ocupants as well.

    But, thats a fairly unlikely senario. And so far the survey says.......... Its OK if repaired correctly!

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    one thing to rememeber is that the laws are different from place to place when it comes to totalling a vehicle. I found a 01 Z28 for a friend of mine that had 20k on it with a salvaged title. the guy bought the car brand new in florida or georgia and 2 days later got t-boned, did over 3k worth of damage no chasis damage all cosmetic and according to him they had to total the car because it was brand new and the repair bill was over 3k. dunno if that is true but the guy was a preacher so i am inclined to believe him. I say just check it out and if all the gaps line up and the windows and tops don;t leak. go for it. sorry for the long post but also when you drive it make sure that it isn't pulling too one side or another and also stand back away from the front and rear of the car and look at the tires make sure they are not visibly out of camber

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    Senior Member SeVeReDiStOrTiOn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dlmeadows View Post
    I found a 01 Z28 for a friend of mine that had 20k on it with a salvaged title. the guy bought the car brand new in florida or georgia and 2 days later got t-boned, did over 3k worth of damage no chasis damage all cosmetic and according to him they had to total the car because it was brand new and the repair bill was over 3k.
    That doesn't make sense at all. The guy put 20k miles on the car in two days? Totaled a new car for 3k in damage? So instead of the insurance company paying 3k in damages they wanted to pay 25k + to pay off the car? I hope your friend didn't buy it....

    As far as the poster...I wouldn't buy a salvaged uni-body

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    Wow, thanks for the replies! I'm surprised, I was actually expecting everyone to tell me to stay away from it.

    I guess the car warrants further investigating then.

    It's located close enough so that I can go look at it, it's about an hour or so away I believe.

    I really like the WS6 Formulas, which is why I'm interested in the first place. As far as Iknow, '00 was the last year for them, and they didn't make very many.

    I'm thinking maybe taking it through a carwash on the test drive might be a good diea, to make sure that the tops don't leak, possibly due to a tweaked unibody.

    Anything else to check out besides panel fit and the way the car tracks? Any telltales to look for underneath that would indicate major work being done?

    Oh, and what did you guys think of the pics?

    Assuming it IS fixed right, how's the price?

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    My Camaro has a salvage title because it was stolen from the original owner when it was new. The dealer (who specializes in salvage title cars bought from insurance auctions) was up front about it and the price was about 6K under high book. I have had no problems with it.

    Cars are cars, you can buy a brand new one and get a lemon or buy a used one and drive it forever, you never can tell for sure.

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    Member dlmeadows's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeVeReDiStOrTiOn View Post
    That doesn't make sense at all. The guy put 20k miles on the car in two days? Totaled a new car for 3k in damage? So instead of the insurance company paying 3k in damages they wanted to pay 25k + to pay off the car? I hope your friend didn't buy it....

    As far as the poster...I wouldn't buy a salvaged uni-body
    no of course he didn't put 20k on it in two days he had it for 2 years after the accident. I don't know the laws but he said since the title of the car had not yet been completed and the cost of the repair was more than 10% of the original purchase price they had to issue a salvaged title. I know it doesn't make sense but since i don't know for sure i wasn't going to call a minister a liar lol. and yes my friend did buy it because a Z28 vert with 20k miles for 13K is hard to find. he got the car in 2003 and has driven it everyday since with absolutely no problems so buying a salvaged title unibody car is fine as long as you know it was fixed right

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    Well, I emailed the seller, and asked about the title and if he had details on what happened to the car. I also asked if he had the original wheels, as I don't care for the SS wheels on that car.

    I'm thinking that if everything checks out okay with the car, as far as being put back together correctly, this might be a good chance to get a car I might otherwise not afford for a good price, especially if I could get it for 8k.

    Considering I was trying to budget myself to a max of 12k, this leaves plenty of room for heads and a cam later on down the line.

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    Quote Originally Posted by autoxr View Post
    One last note. I love these cars to no end. But, honestly as a daily driver mine makes my butt hurt. No padding in the seat. Period.
    I never noticed this until I lost (yes, it's a pun) a butt load of weight. Fortunately mines a garage queen! I only drive it a few times a week.
    Really? I used to have a '98 Formula, and although it wasn't a DD, I thought the seats were comfortable. I'd drive 2.5 hours to the track in it (one time it took 4 hours due to traffic) and I was always comfortable in it. And no, I don't have any extra padding, lol.

    I had a '88 GTA once too, and I think that thing had the best seats of any car I've owned.

  16. #16
    WCTA88
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    Salvage titles are always hard to tell with but a buddy of mine bought a 97 cobra for 5000 bucks with only 50k miles on it and the only thing he has had to replace was the tail light, so the only thing i can say is keep a good ear on the tranny and engine when you drive it and how it shifts and i would buy it if it heks out ok

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    Quote Originally Posted by WCTA88 View Post
    Salvage titles are always hard to tell with but a buddy of mine bought a 97 cobra for 5000 bucks with only 50k miles on it and the only thing he has had to replace was the tail light, so the only thing i can say is keep a good ear on the tranny and engine when you drive it and how it shifts and i would buy it if it heks out ok

    Really? It was salvaged because of a taillight? Damn.

    I had seen another advertised here I think, it was a salvaged title T/A, all that was needed was a hood, fender, and front bumper. That seems pretty minor to me, if that's the case with this car then I'll definitely go for it.

    I'm looking forward to checking it out. I contacted the seller, I'm waiting to hear back.


    I'm just worried about frame damage, that would probably deter me from it.

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    Junior Member 2KWS6TA's Avatar
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    Only problem is when it's time to sell, salvage/rebuild cars are harder to sell.
    Too many people are afraid to purchase that kind of car unless the price is right. A friend of mine does that for a living...buys salvage cars at the auction and rebuilds them to resale. After he finishes rebuilding them he takes them to the DMV and gets a "Rebuilt Title" for them after they inspect the vehicle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2KWS6TA View Post
    Only problem is when it's time to sell, salvage/rebuild cars are harder to sell.
    Too many people are afraid to purchase that kind of car unless the price is right. A friend of mine does that for a living...buys salvage cars at the auction and rebuilds them to resale. After he finishes rebuilding them he takes them to the DMV and gets a "Rebuilt Title" for them after they inspect the vehicle.

    Yeah, I'm not THAT concerned with resale, as at this point, I thinking I'm never going to sell whatever car I end up getting. Time will tell, but at this point, that's my plan. I regret letting 2 of my previos 'Birds go, I don't want to make the same mistake a 3rd time.

    Plus, if I can get it cheap, that sort of makes up for poor resale.

    Then again, look at the price of 60's musclecars. Those things get rebuilt from nothing all the time, and look what they're going for. As the cars get scarcer, it might not make as much of a difference. Especially as they only made a handful of '00 WS6 Formys.

    So the vehicle has to get inspected before the title is issued? That's good to know. I'll have to check MA laws, see if it's the same there. (car is in MA)
    If it has to be inspected first, that makes me feel better.

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    Junior Member 2KWS6TA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StuntmanMike View Post
    .


    Then again, look at the price of 60's musclecars. Those things get rebuilt from nothing all the time, and look what they're going for. As the cars get scarcer, it might not make as much of a difference. Especially as they only made a handful of '00 WS6 Formys.
    Really can't compare 60's musclecars with modern musclecar prices.
    The 60's musclecars were "restored", usually not rebuilt from salvage.
    Now that GM is reviving the Camaro our TransAms won't hold their value like before.
    A friend of mine just bought a 2001 TransAm WS6 convertable with 30k miles for 15K. Clear title.
    Another friend of mine bought a 2000 TransAm WS6 with rebuilt title in 2003 and paid $9500.
    Hope everything works-out for you.

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