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Old 03-02-2014, 09:37 PM   #21
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In for emotion based rebuild.
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Old 03-03-2014, 04:00 AM   #22
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Thanks to all of you for your replies and sympathy for my poor car. Ah, it hurts to see the photos.

I had just finally successfully registered the car and was close to just being able to enjoy it for a while. So frustrating, since as you all know, I've been trying to make this happen for a while and just picking the car up was a huge ordeal.

I really appreciate the advice and would love to have more insight. Some have recommended a fix (pinky?) but it does seem like the consensus is to transfer to a shell.

My options are going to be limited depending on how things pan out with the insurance. This is really where I need advice. Here's what I'm thinking:

I owe $12k on this car. The insurance will likely hit me around $10k for the value (payout), and who knows what they'll want for buyback value.

I know I can get them to increase the payout some by pushing mod values, like the hardtop, wheels, and of course I have proof of turbo kit and race seats and stuff (I don't know how much of this stuff would add value, please weigh in here if you do know). However, if I get them to give me more for the car, wouldn't they just charge me more when I go to buy it back from them?

Questions, questions...... Once we figure that out, I'll start asking other questions, because I have some other thoughts about the future. I would love to (try) to follow in Jeff's footsteps, but I just don't know where I would do all the work. I would talk with Josh about using his place but it would be tied up for a WHILE and that's not really practical.

Anyhow, let's talk about insurance. Thanks again everyone.
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Old 03-03-2014, 07:44 AM   #23
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I'm going to take one last swing at this..

Do y'all really think that its less work to start with a bare tub and completely rebuild the car than to just repair the rear quarter panel?? Especially when Ed has NO GARAGE to work in, and the quarter reconstruction would be done by professionals at a body shop who routinely do that sort of work?

Maybe I'm coming at this from a different perspective, given that I've flared rear quarters before, but I really don't think your car is "totaled". Crushed windshield frame, or a hard hit to the door sills, or the whole trunk pushed in three feet; *thats* terminal. But a punched-in rear quarter panel?
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Old 03-03-2014, 09:08 AM   #24
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I think the problem is that quarter panel makes up part of the cars frame. a large hit there is essentially no different that a hard hit to the door sills or a crushed windshield frame.

What year is the car? I got my brothers car from the insurance company for 1200, just for some perspective. His was a 2001 LS with 120K Miles. Payout from the insurance company was 6500 in his case.
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Old 03-03-2014, 10:49 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinky View Post
I'm going to take one last swing at this..

Do y'all really think that its less work to start with a bare tub and completely rebuild the car than to just repair the rear quarter panel?? Especially when Ed has NO GARAGE to work in, and the quarter reconstruction would be done by professionals at a body shop who routinely do that sort of work?

Maybe I'm coming at this from a different perspective, given that I've flared rear quarters before, but I really don't think your car is "totaled". Crushed windshield frame, or a hard hit to the door sills, or the whole trunk pushed in three feet; *thats* terminal. But a punched-in rear quarter panel?
For me at least it stems from the fact that there is significant damage to a uni-body car, a "floppy" convertible one in 100% pristine stock form at that. This one looks pretty crushed up, i guess if you put it on a frame machine and made sure the chassis was at least straight, a repair might be feasible.

And you are right, I might be coming at this form a different perspective, but that is why I said "personally", in his situation it might make sense to try and have the damage repaired with a reputable shop, but for me I would just bite the bullet and re-shell so that I could have a perfect car again.

I do see where you are coming from though, so OP if you really want to repair this shell at least get it on a frame jig asap so you can be 100% sure the car is straight before dumping money into it.

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Old 03-03-2014, 11:26 AM   #26
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If they total the car they have to pay you FMV. If you owe $12K, then I would assume that's at least FMV, right? Or did you finance mods with a loan?

You'll definitely want to buy it back no matter what. Even if you part out, you'll come out ahead if you sell the hardtop, wheels, seats, etc., etc. yourself.

And, who knows, maybe it can be safely fixed. I'm guessing Pinky knows more about bodywork than most of us.
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Old 03-03-2014, 12:11 PM   #27
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Jesus Christ Ed I literally just got sick to my stomach with deja vu' thinking back to what it is like to see your car like that. My heart literally started pounding and I started sweating thinking about finding the car on its roof. Glad you aren't hurt too bad.

That rear quarter panel took a HARD hit, jesus...that sucks.


When I bought my car after the insurance payout/deductible/price of buying back the totaled car I still owed about $1200 on my loan. I had to pay in the $1200 so that I wouldn't be upside down in the loan before they would release the title back to me.

They were god damn ***** about not releasing the insurance check before I paid off the loan on the car. I finally went far enough up the corporate ladder and threatened to cancel all my business insurance/apartment/Jetta/workers comp policies due to the fact that I felt they weren't treating me right as a customer who has had their insurance for 10 years.

After I threatened to take my business elsewhere and saw the light that it would take me a couple years to pay off the loan, and therefor was asinine to expect the car to be paid off before the insurance check was release, they released the insurance payout after I paid $1200 into it thereby negating being upside down after they cached the insurance check.

State Farm contracts their insurance appraisals out to a different company though so I was having to deal with my lien holder, insurance company, and the appraisal company to get everyone on the same page. So it just was a giant cluster **** since I was dealing with three companies, instead of 2.

If you are OK with not doing a full rebuild why not just restore the car in pieces after you buy a new donor car, put all your old parts on it, get it running, THEN restore the car piece by piece?

I wouldn't even approach doing a shell up restore of a car with no garage. There is just no way you could do it unless you have a 2 car width driveway and enough space in your apartment to store parts.

Maybe you could rent a storage unit and keep all the parts you aren't working on in there, or even restore the car in the unit?

Not sure, I got lucky that my father let me use his 3 car garage to restore my Miata. IT is the only reason I was able to do the work so fast.
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Old 03-03-2014, 12:21 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hornetball View Post
If they total the car they have to pay you FMV. If you owe $12K, then I would assume that's at least FMV, right? Or did you finance mods with a loan?

You'll definitely want to buy it back no matter what. Even if you part out, you'll come out ahead if you sell the hardtop, wheels, seats, etc., etc. yourself.

And, who knows, maybe it can be safely fixed. I'm guessing Pinky knows more about bodywork than most of us.

You don't want to know what that car books at.

I think he can get close to what he owes out of insurance, but it's going to be a hell of a battle.
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Old 03-03-2014, 12:44 PM   #29
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I think he can get close to what he owes out of insurance, but it's going to be a hell of a battle.
That is the hard part. Insurance adjusters won't look at the car like you do. They don't understand nor care what was done to the car or why it is special and deserves more monetary payout.

So you have to be a nice, courteous, yet firm bastard and explain to them what has been done to the car, why x part is worth more than their software says it is etc etc.

Pull out every stop you can getting FMV on the car. I made a spread sheet of the price of every part brand new and the price of the parts in the used market and then did a spread sheet of what cars similar to mine sold for in the private market.

The spreadsheets helped me get an extra 5-800 on the payout. The key thing is just to contact them regularly and often to babysit them every. step. of. the. process.

If they can't get a hold of you they are just going to do all the work and if you make them redo it all over again, they won't be very friendly in regards to helping you out.

I flirted and pulled every courteous word in the proverbial book with my adjuster(female) to have her at least like me or see that discussing/arguing with me was going to be less painful.

Don't be angry or short with them. If all else fails get a private evaluation of the car done and then "kindly threaten" to get a second opinion. This starts the process all over again and makes them more likely to throw some money on top rather than having to do all that paperwork over again.
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Old 03-03-2014, 12:48 PM   #30
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Right, and since we're dealing with a car that has lost almost 50% of its book value in the last year. (Literally... we just got done selling ours. Harsh reality check.) It's gonna be interesting.
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Old 03-03-2014, 12:59 PM   #31
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Were you speeding at all or did the cops issue a ticket? IF yes to both that could make things harder with the insurance company.
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Old 03-03-2014, 06:25 PM   #32
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Thanks again for all the messages guys. Jeff, I'll return your PM separately. Thanks for the insight.

Cops were not called. I was not exceeding a posted speed limit (at least not by much). Just when I leaned into the throttle a bit it came around and FAIL.

I took some more photos today. Damn it hurts to see this thing, and it hurts all that much more to know it was my fault. I had even named the car It's bad.





I knelt down and looked under it. The control arm looks straight, but as I look further under the car, there's a horizontal brace that goes under the exhaust. That brace is crooked. I don't know what that means, since I'm not familiar enough with the underside of these cars.

Gap by passenger side taillight


Driver side a-pillar base. All straight, everything lines up.


Passenger side a-pillar base: not straight, doesn't line up properly. :(


Driver side door gap. Does this look bigger than normal to you?






OTOH, I looked on autotrader again and comparable cars to mine (except stock, of course) are still listed at $12k, some more, some slightly less. KBB is showing just under $9k! I'm thinking this will help me when I talk to the adjuster.

I did actually talk with the adjuster today. He seemed like a really nice, reasonable guy. He's coming out Wednesday morning to see the car and I'll look it over with him. I'm hoping for the best.

...I've started browsing for shells. I am torn because I really really loved this car. I have always wanted a gray MSM. I'm tempted to just shop and buy a real clean gray MSM after this is all sorted, and swap parts as I can. I could buy back my MSM and strip the tub, find a place to store the parts, and sell the tub, and install the parts on the new car as I am able. That's probably the most reasonable solution at this point.

I have also had the thought of buying an NA chassis and swapping everything into that. '95 or older to avoid plug-in emissions garbage. Is that at all reasonable, or am I delirious?

I think my first plan there makes the most sense. I am hoping -- REALLY hoping -- that I'll be able to just end up paying off my loan and keeping the car without having to lay out too much cash. If I can do that, I think Plan A is the best plan.

I haven't told the PO yet. It might kill him. Poor guy. I'm an ***.
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Rebuild all the salvage Miatas! ASS!-img_20140303_121853.jpg   Rebuild all the salvage Miatas! ASS!-img_20140303_122939.jpg   Rebuild all the salvage Miatas! ASS!-img_20140303_122930.jpg   Rebuild all the salvage Miatas! ASS!-img_20140303_122800.jpg   Rebuild all the salvage Miatas! ASS!-img_20140303_122811.jpg  

Rebuild all the salvage Miatas! ASS!-img_20140303_121936.jpg   Rebuild all the salvage Miatas! ASS!-img_20140303_121948.jpg  
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Old 03-03-2014, 06:32 PM   #33
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You aren't an ***, **** happens, especially since you weren't hooning it on public roads.

Honestly without a garage I'd go the path of least resistance, so option A.
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Old 03-03-2014, 06:36 PM   #34
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Thanks Jeff. Anxious for Wednesday. Who knows -- maybe when this is all over, I'll be in a better position. :shrug:
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Old 03-03-2014, 06:39 PM   #35
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Ouch brother, you have our collective shoulders to cry on.

I love my NA to the point where I don't think I'd get an NB unless I wrecked mine. However the NB is a nicer car, I don't think anyone but yourself could decide if that is a good idea. NA + msm bits would be pretty awesome though.

I agree that plan A is the best idea, except i personally would say go with a standard NB vs the MSM. You can take all the MSM bits off yours and swap them onto the NB, so there would literally be no benefit to buying a MSM and then swapping parts.
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Old 03-03-2014, 07:03 PM   #36
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I'll still sell you my blue one.
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Old 03-03-2014, 07:46 PM   #37
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Lol why do you want to get rid of that car so badly? Ha I'm going to buy a west-coast car for the rebuild. I am feeling good about Plan A. Just have to sort out the insurance, then talk to my wife... HA.
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Old 03-03-2014, 09:00 PM   #38
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Have fun with that last part.
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Old 03-03-2014, 09:18 PM   #39
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Through all of this, my wife has been incredibly supportive and helpful. She hasn't once blamed me, and she's been super patient as I've gone through mourning, ha.

I got a good one (me wife). I think she will be on board A lot of that depends on how things turn out with the insurance.
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Old 03-04-2014, 12:23 PM   #40
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It's a long-term partnership. Just make sure to give more than you take.

I'm 29 years into mine. She's still hot. Me, not so much LOL.
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