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I am so pissed off....


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Hey guys, just want to vent a little.

I had JUST bought my '72 240Z from a private seller this past Monday. Got a great deal on this car...it has 90K miles on it, has had only one owner, and it runs like a top.

Well, this tuesday, not ONE day after I bought the damn car....this old broad in a minivan backs out of a parking space at 50-friggin MPH (exaggeration) and smashes into the front end!!! Mind you, I am only going with the flow of traffic in this parking lot, minding my own business.

now...there are pieces of 240z all over the parking lot.

So...here I am, with NO insurance on it yet...NO registration on it yet...

...and now they're telling me her insurance company might pay to paint the repaired area, but will not pay to repaint the entire car!

This is old paint. This car will look very funny with a bright orange quarter-panel, and the rest of the car a dimmer shade of orange.

...and I do not have $2200 to paint the whole car right now.

Are any of you experts in the field of insurance claims?

I guess what I need to know, is...if there is a way I can have her insurance pay to repaint the ENTIRE car as opposed to just the damaged part? Is there some kind of "collectible car" clause in there I can utilize?

Any help or condolences are welcome.



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Well, she rammed me in the front right corner, smashing the right side headlight, fender, bent the steel bumper, shattered the fiberglass pieces around the bumper. and bent the front-right quarter panel (wheel fender) so that it rubs the front tire.

The body shop has determined it to be around $700, just to replace the parts. No labor or paint was included in that quote.

That seems like a lot of $$ to repair this old a car. It only cost $300 to repair the bumper of my 350Z....but maybe it's about availablility....I dunno.

All i know is this car has cast a spell on me, and although I've only driven it one day...I can't help but wish I were driving IT instead of my 350Z.


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I would think you could get the parts for less than 700 dollars. I am sure that if you find the body parts off a good donor car in a salvage yard it would be much less than the autobody shop's quote. I wonder if there are many s30's in salvage yards in Texas? Does it matter since the insurance company is going to pay for it? About the paint, I am really not sure what to do if you want a nice paint job throughout. I wish I could be of more help.


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Even if you bought the parts used on your own, it's gonna cost close to 300 or so by the time you get a fender, headlight bucket and all the other little parts to fix it.:ermm:

If the insurance company would write the check to you, you might be able to fix it and put the extra money towards a re-paint, but most insurance companies quit doing that many years ago.

Your best bet might be finding a body shop that will work with you, and you supply the parts and use whatever the difference between what the insurance company pays and what you pay for parts and he might be able to do a fairly decent job of blending the new paint into the door so it doesn't look out of place till you get the money for a total re-paint. In other words, if the insurance will pay 700 for parts only, and you can supply them for 300, he could apply the 400 leftover (plus whatever they allow for paint) towards painting a little more of the car to blend the paint into what is one the car now.

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Yeah, I thought about asking the body shop owner, since I've known him for awhile...if he would be willing to "pad" the pricing on the parts to the insurance company (quote them higher than actual prices), so the extra could help cover a full repaint, but I think this is illegal and don't want to get myself or him in any trouble. I guess I always thought these guys had free reign when it came to pricing their parts, so I figured it may not hurt to ask?

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I know that parts can sometimes be obtained cheaply, but for a solid smack on either of the front corners, I feel you guys are being EXTREMELY optimistic. At a real rough guess on what GOOD parts are going for, let alone EXCELLENT parts, I feel $700 will barely cover it.

A 72 240Z, one PO, <100k miles was more than likely babied and taken good care of. That tells me that even if the paint is faded, and I'm sure it did since Datsun paints are notorious for it, the metal and chrome is bound to be in good shape.

So now you guys propose to find all those parts in equal condition for less than $700? Rots-a-Ruck!

A bumper in Good condition, with only a bit of rust on the backside, needing polishing would probably go for $150 on e-Bay. True, not a good source as some parts there are exorbitantly overpriced. However, as a benchmark that would apply in Texas as well as the Northwest or the Northeast, it at least gives a basis of comparison. Now I don't wish to get into a big discussion on how people have found outrageous deals and therefore that proves that parts are available cheaper than... (insert your area here).

The BODYSHOP told her that they could get the parts for that amount. I'll bet that those prices are marked up, and probably aftermarket sheet metal replacement as well as other aftermarket parts. If all OEM, I want to know the name of the bodyshop and I'll go get parts there.

Think about what you've seen parts going for:

Bumpers....easily $100 and needing work. NEW? $400 - $450

Bumper Guards ... $25 with rust. NEW? $80

Bumper Rubber...$25 used and rare in good condition, new $40

Fenders...needing work...$50 needing less $75 NEW? $160

Headlight scoop used $35 NEW $60

Hood used and probably with other dents $100 new $350

Lower Side Valance used $35 new $150

Headlight Acorn, Trim Ring, gasket used $25 NEW NLA

Side Marker Lamp used $5 NEW $45

That's $400 in used parts needing a LOT of work and patience, something a bodyshop isn't going to willingly tackle. New parts are closer to $1250 and all they would need is prep and paint.

So, before you get disheartened, let's look at something else.

First off, don't accept that brush off about how much they'll pay. If the amount is NOT satisfactory, then remember these words..."We'll settle this in court." Then you sue the DRIVER and her insurance company. Not the insurance company. The driver is the first person to be mentioned and the one against whom the court would levy against. The insurance company will undoubtedly step in to represent their client, but stand firm.

Next, did you contact your current insurance agent about purchasing the car? If you did, and you (hopefully) took pictures of the car on the day you received it, then you more than likely took shots that show the condition of the car. The contact with the insurance agent and the pictures can be shown to be indicative of your INTENTION to get it insured. Sometimes your insurance carrier will automatically cover you on a vehicle purchased like this. Granted, you SHOULD have had insurance first but......

Another thing, have the prior owner state that they "loaned" the car to you to "test". This involves their being quiet about having been paid for the car, (I didn't say that!) and then stepping in with you and the prior owner AGAINST the woman who hit you in court. The prior owner's insurance is NOT going to be out anything. You'll get paid for everything by the SUV driver. Again, all you have to remember, is "We'll settle this in court."

It can take a long time, but, now here's the clincher, you can sue her in small claims court in the meantime. Those courts usually move things right along, and your trial will come up quickly. Since the insurance company does NOT want to go to court, they'll work FAST. The reasoning is simple, in small claims court, you don't need to go to the fancy schmancy techniques in big court. All you need to prove is that someone's actions cost you money. The real clincher is that with a win in small claims court, you can then turn around and sue the insurance company AGAIN. Why? Because they're the insurer of record for the vehicle that hit you. Now you would be suing the insurer of the VEHICLE and not the woman. Now with a prior win in small claims court, getting a bunch more may be unreasonable, but not necessarily impossible.

Now, as with all Barracks Lawyering, remember, I am not a lawyer. I'm simply another car owner how has worked in a body shop, heard a dozen dozen stories from folks and fellow Air Force members and was also involved in a few myself. So CHECK WITH A LAWYER! The $75 or so you spend on a simple consultation could mean no out of pocket repairs on the car.

Hope this helps.

Enrique Scanlon

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I don't know about Texas but here in Or you have some time to contact the Ins. Co when you buy a car. It's a few days and maby as much as a week . Get on the phone asap and as escanlon said dont be too quick to sigh this off. You wont be dealing with stupid people here , this is what they do day in and day out. Best of luck , sorry for the bent car. They may want to just total it , remember to them it is just an old car. :classic:

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In Maryland, when you purchase a car, it is insured fully for up to 30 days after you purchase the vehicle, giving you time to register it and inform your insurance company. I bought a Honda last summer (flamesuit on) and wrecked it after 28 days of ownership, never having contacted the insurance company as my payment for my other car was JUST being processed (didn't want to pay more). They covered everything, and had no problems with it.

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I can't belive Maryland law allows 30 days to insure! Good thing that you were not at fault.

In Ohio, you can't even get temporary tags without insurance.

Frank, Maryland's laws have no effect on rates in California. Regardless of how/who files claims, insurance almost ALWAYS pays. If an accident happens, a claim is filed... the nuances of fault and law, etc. don't matter.

Enrique, I hope my dog never poops in your yard. It's the incestuous relationship of insurance, doctors/body shops/home repair companies/pharmaceutical companies/etc., lawyers, and lawsuit-happy people that have our country so screwed up. I'm hopeful that you're not one of the lawsuit-happy people (because you're posts are almost always helpful, or entertaining, or insightful) but your knowledge of the topic makes me wonder!

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Originally posted by MDyer

I can't belive Maryland law allows 30 days to insure! Good thing that you were not at fault.

I don't think that's how it works. I think if you have car insurance on one car and buy another car your new car is automatically covered on your existing policy for 30 days. If you have an accident in those first 30 days your insurance covers it and your rates go up just as if you had told them about the new car on day one.

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