GeddesB
GeddesB GRM+ Memberand Reader
12/29/22 7:14 p.m.

Through a friend of my wife I have found a rough example of a C6 Corvette.  R-title, needs a few little things, and tires.  Clear coat pealing on the front fenders and hood, this was the area repaired.  Repairs were done by competent person that has since driven the car 40,000+ miles.  Only 46,000 miles on the 2 owner car.  Interior is really nice.  Asking price is 1/2 the KBB price, less than $10K.  Am I stupid for thinking I can fix the little stuff and have a driving bad example of a good car / autocross rig for cheap?  Does the price some reasonable for a car that needs $500 of parts , not including tires, to be right?  

Rodan
Rodan SuperDork
12/29/22 8:43 p.m.

I was going to post our C6 in the "your worst car" thread, but haven't got 'round to it yet.

I'm pretty sure ours was a lemon (also a 1st year '05), but it had way too much go wrong in the 9 months we owned it.  Everything was expensive, required a special tool, or both.  Service manuals are expensive.  It was a PITA to work on.  It had ~50k when we bought it, and I put on it's 3rd water pump.  FWIW, every problem I had was well represented on the 'Vette forums.

I would run far away from any 'Vette that wasn't obviously a well loved garage queen.

 

JThw8
JThw8 UltimaDork
12/29/22 9:51 p.m.
GeddesB said:

 Asking price is 1/2 the KBB price, less than $10K.  

Sub 10k C6, I'd probably do it but Im a glutton for punishment :)

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
12/30/22 7:11 a.m.

I have bought many salvage vehicles and bought them back to Rebuilt Title status.  For me, these were usually cars that were worth $5 pre-accident.  At insurance rates, I figure that a single body panel runs about $2k.  So, if these $5k cars needed a bumper cover and a fender, that 2 panel job runs about $4k.  Since the car is only worth $5k the insurance company totals the car.  I then find a color correct bumper cover and fender for $100 each and I have the car back on the road for $200 and some time.  

But, my area of concern for this C6 is that it was totaled with only 6k miles.  That should make for a pretty high pre-accident value.  That then implies that the C6 has some real high value damage.  It can already be seen that the quality of repair work was low given that the paint is already failing in just 40k miles.  So, combined with low quality paintwork and what was likely high quality damage....I'd want to know a whole lot more about how bad the car was damaged and what other areas needed work.  I'm pretty confident that this was not just a cosmetic, front clip, body panel repair.  

Was the engine damaged?  That would total it.  But, then this is no longer really a 46k C6 considering they likely threw in a cheap (high mile) JY engine.  

Was the suspension damaged requiring body pulling?  An ugly car with a good suspension is fine for the track but bad suspension geometry will always be bad for track.  Throwing money at better struts may never really improve things if there is geometry trouble.  

What we don't know is the age/year the car was totaled.  Was the accident just 6 months in and the car had 6k miles?  That would make for a really valuable C6.  But, some insurance policies will just replace the car if the car is less than a year old and if the same model can still be bought new.  Or was the car 15 years old and had only 6k miles.  This makes for a much less valuable pre-accident C6 as 15 years is just enough to see the car as "old" but before a common car typically increases in value.  If the adjuster didn't take low miles into account the "old" C6 could have just been valued near the price of "average mile" C6's.  

 

To learn more of its history I would start with just a simple Google search of just the 17 digits of the vin.  I have been amazed at how much can be learned from just this simple search.  Often this search will return old salvage auction photos showing the extent of the accident damage.  That search might get you to the names/numbers of original owners.

1kris06
1kris06 HalfDork
12/30/22 10:34 a.m.

If you don't mind posting/messaging the VIN I could check the history

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
12/30/22 11:57 a.m.
John Welsh said:

I have bought many salvage vehicles and bought them back to Rebuilt Title status.  For me, these were usually cars that were worth $5 pre-accident.  At insurance rates, I figure that a single body panel runs about $2k.  So, if these $5k cars needed a bumper cover and a fender, that 2 panel job runs about $4k.  Since the car is only worth $5k the insurance company totals the car.  I then find a color correct bumper cover and fender for $100 each and I have the car back on the road for $200 and some time.  

But, my area of concern for this C6 is that it was totaled with only 6k miles.  That should make for a pretty high pre-accident value.  That then implies that the C6 has some real high value damage.  It can already be seen that the quality of repair work was low given that the paint is already failing in just 40k miles.  So, combined with low quality paintwork and what was likely high quality damage....I'd want to know a whole lot more about how bad the car was damaged and what other areas needed work.  I'm pretty confident that this was not just a cosmetic, front clip, body panel repair.  

Was the engine damaged?  That would total it.  But, then this is no longer really a 46k C6 considering they likely threw in a cheap (high mile) JY engine.  

Was the suspension damaged requiring body pulling?  An ugly car with a good suspension is fine for the track but bad suspension geometry will always be bad for track.  Throwing money at better struts may never really improve things if there is geometry trouble.  

What we don't know is the age/year the car was totaled.  Was the accident just 6 months in and the car had 6k miles?  That would make for a really valuable C6.  But, some insurance policies will just replace the car if the car is less than a year old and if the same model can still be bought new.  Or was the car 15 years old and had only 6k miles.  This makes for a much less valuable pre-accident C6 as 15 years is just enough to see the car as "old" but before a common car typically increases in value.  If the adjuster didn't take low miles into account the "old" C6 could have just been valued near the price of "average mile" C6's.  

 

To learn more of its history I would start with just a simple Google search of just the 17 digits of the vin.  I have been amazed at how much can be learned from just this simple search.  Often this search will return old salvage auction photos showing the extent of the accident damage.  That search might get you to the names/numbers of original owners.

So much good information in this post, especially the part about damage vs value. I hadn't thought of that, but I personally don't ever consider buying anything with a branded title  

Google search of a VIN saved me from considering a car that was for sale here in central Florida last spring, when I found pictures of it from the Massachusetts auction, where it was sent after it was totaled. Took about a minute. After I texted the guy back to tell him I was not interested, he changed the ad to show that it had a rebuilt title. I'm not buying any more rust belt cars either, so it was a big no for two reasons. 

californiamilleghia
californiamilleghia UltraDork
12/30/22 12:13 p.m.

Does the state where it's located have inspections ?

at least in California you can check the smog check website with the Vin and get a list of all the smog check dates , 

plus a Carfax might give some info , 

Can you get it up on a rack at an alignment shop and have them check it out corner to corner etc, 

Good luck

GeddesB
GeddesB GRM+ Memberand Reader
12/30/22 12:32 p.m.

More info:  The car had a front  end hit at 1800 miles, and I think only a few months old.  Damaged a cross member in the front, fenders, and broke the hood loose.  Seller replaced everything broken with GM replacements.  He is a sprint car chassis builder, and had a shop easily equipped to do these repairs properly.  Here in PA the car needed a special inspection to get back on the road, that was done 40,000+ miles ago.  Current repairs needed are the lower radiator support / skid plate.  This seems a common repair for these cars.  The clearcoat is coming off the areas that were repainted after the repairs.  The car has been aligned twice since the accident and it was done by a local shop, who's owner is also our family friend.  

As per exactly why it was totaled for a seemingly minor crash?  I have no idea, but I know little of the inner workings of car insurance (thank goodness). 

I'll try to get some pics today.  Planning on stopping for negotiations.  

Thanks to all!!  

 

Rodan
Rodan SuperDork
12/30/22 1:30 p.m.

I can vouch for the lower radiator support/skid plate being made of glass on C6s.  If you look at them funny, the crap TIG welds disintegrate.

 

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
12/30/22 4:18 p.m.
GeddesB said:

More info:  The car had a front  end hit at 1800 miles, and I think only a few months old.  Damaged a cross member in the front, fenders, and broke the hood loose.  Seller replaced everything broken with GM replacements.  He is a sprint car chassis builder, and had a shop easily equipped to do these repairs properly.  Here in PA the car needed a special inspection to get back on the road, that was done 40,000+ miles ago.  Current repairs needed are the lower radiator support / skid plate.  This seems a common repair for these cars.  The clearcoat is coming off the areas that were repainted after the repairs.  The car has been aligned twice since the accident and it was done by a local shop, who's owner is also our family friend.  

As per exactly why it was totaled for a seemingly minor crash?  I have no idea, but I know little of the inner workings of car insurance (thank goodness). 

I'll try to get some pics today.  Planning on stopping for negotiations.  

Thanks to all!!  

 

Somethings don't add up.  It could be that you are omitting details in your few sentence reply (which is understandable) or it could be that the seller is omitting details.  

Front hit at 1,800 miles and a few months.  Was the car totaled then?  Or, was this just a fender bender that the owner fixed himself?  (with all GM parts.)   Why would the seller fix this himslef, unless...  The car was totaled and he bought the car back to self-fix.  This implies the owner/seller completely knows why the car was totaled.  I'd like to get some proof like some pictures from the accident scene or "after damage." 

Special inspection needed at 40,000 miles in PA.  Why inspected by PA nearly 40k miles later?  Was the car totaled around this time of 40k miles?  Or, is this just the PA annual inspection and since the car wears an R-title does this trigger a "special inspection" every year?  From 1,800 miles to 40,000 miles was the car in PA or another state?  

Aligned twice?  Okay, I can understand aligned once for the first accident, but...  If it was really just sheet metal that needed to be replaced at 1,800 miles then why the alignment?  If it was aligned at 40,000 miles (if thats when the car was totaled) then why two alignments on a car that now only shows 46k miles?  
If this car was just someone's sunny day driver then why two alignments in 46k miles.  Sure, maybe an alignment with every purchase of tires.  How new are the tires?  Even performance tires, street driven, should go 20k. I'd expect the tires to be good.  I am making an assumption that this was not someone's "track day car" which therefore might have been aligned often due to special alignment specs.  For a car that is more a DD, I can't think of any DD that I've ever had aligned twice in 46k miles.   

Color me suspicious and pessimistic. 

dclafleur
dclafleur Reader
12/30/22 4:51 p.m.

At less than 10k running and driving I'd buy it. As in, if it is local to me and can be driven home I'll swing by the bank tomorrow.  That's me though and I have a couple of corvettes and a lift to work on them and consider sub 10k for an LS2 and the respective other bits on the car worth it even if I just end up parting it out..

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