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Inf

My 240Z has possibly been killed

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    I think they would go by car's sale prices if anything, not asking prices. :ermm: Whatever the case, they will take the lower number, I assure you. The only time I had an official overestimate the value of my car was when I was to pay taxes on it. Insurance says $8k for total and DMV says $12k for taxation calculations. Go figure!

    THe DMV would be about right

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    Wow, Inf... tough luck! I used to live right there near that intersection, in fact. We were at School House Rd. and Split Rail Pkwy.

    Kevin Leblanc and Ed Kelly work at Austin Z Clinic and they're pretty serious Z restorers, and they're on Roxie Dr., real close to Anderson Mill. Not inexpensive, but serious.

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    Thanks for the redirect Geezer...I'd be more than happy to help if asked. My "deplorable" manners and "self-interest" helped get my pal a more than acceptable total loss settlement for his mint '71 Z a few years back. He kept the car too, because the motor was perfectly fine. I think a lot of the advice already given in this thread is plenty helpful in dealing with this problem. Most insurance wants to fix cars, the main problem I run into is the body shops and what they want to charge for repairs...it's just a big cycle and we're all caught in the middle. Now what are we gonna do about all those battalions of lawyers? I'm going to Wal Mart to buy some glue traps.

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    That's just too bad. I bet it hurts so bad. Don't let them make your car a total loss. It is fixable. and it is worth it. good luck

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    Hey everyone,

    Thanks again for the condolences.

    The local body shop I took it to has a good reputation and I'd used them for a very minor repair several years ago, but they were not willing to work on it this time around (or even really look at it at all) because it was was an "older model." Apparently they didn't even write up an estimate or touch the car at all. Even the hood had not been opened, so there was no way they could have inspected the front frame sitting in their lot. They sure made a bundle on the towing and storage fees for "2 days" (really 25 hours). Let's just say they picked up nearly 4 digits from the insurance just to pick it up from the tow company and look at it.

    My insurance agent said this shop is usually more into repairing newer BMWs, Porsches, etc and probably don't have the line of credit with any companies that sell replacement parts for a car as old as mine so it wouldn't be worth the hassle to them.

    Anyway, my insurance agent wanted to move it to some other shop that they approved of to sit on the impound lot there, because the body shop I initially chose was charging a daily lot fee after declining to work on it.

    Instead I opted to get control of the car myself for now, and I had them drop it off at my house. It's sitting in my garage now. It may have sustained a front impact, but the interior and everything else was in excellent condition, and I don't want her rotting under the sun and rain in a sketchy impound lot just waiting on paperwork to go back and forth for weeks or months.

    I managed to open the hood and take a good look around. The engine seems fine, but the radiator did get pushed into the fan. It recoiled forward after the wreck, so the front of the fan clutch is no longer rubbing against the radiator, but it is scraping the fan shroud that was already a tight fit before the wreck (this was the awful scraping noise I heard after the wreck).

    Surprisingly, the radiator still had coolant in it when I looked. I'm not sure what to think of this, because I saw a little green puddle after the crash where we pulled off the main road, and figured I'd lost all the rest of the coolant in the middle of the intersection.

    Air conditioner condenser, front bumper, and grille are lost causes, so are all the front body panels.

    The front radiator support has not buckled, as I at first assumed, but the passenger inner fender is compressed rearward by maybe 1" or so, which makes the entire front radiator support angle rearward on the drivers side. This compression can be seen looking in the driver's side wheel well, where the front end is buckled at the top near the front.

    I have been told that it can be straightened out, but I don't really know how that works or how much that would cost.

    Pretty sure the part of the wiring harness that goes across the radiator support is destroyed. The bumper was forced right back through where I think it was. Compared to the body damage this is trivial, of course.

    I'm not sure if I'll even take pictures for now, it's just too hard to go down there and look at it. I parked her in there two days ago and haven't forced myself to go back down.

    The insurance agent admitted he really had no idea how to start making an estimate for this, and would just call around to "places" and see what replacement body panels, etc, cost. I tried to tell him about where these panels are still available (BD, MSA, etc), but he was not interested in this information at all. This makes me worried that the local Nissan dealer will just come back and say everything is NLA, therefore, car must be totaled. We all know this is not true, all those panels can still be obtained with little trouble...

    I looked online into finding an appraiser to do a postmortem, and establish a pre-crash value, and I found one place in Houston that does this all over Texas, but they seemed extremely shady. A lot of the stuff I read about them on the internet makes me question if my insurance company would even consider their judgment as admissible to the claim. I'd hate to pay these guys the $450 they charge just to have it make no difference at all.

    At any rate, I was Googling some search terms trying to figure out what to do and actually found my own thread here on the first page of search results. This of course makes me keenly aware that the insurance adjusters could possibly be looking at this thread.

    Edited by Inf

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    Andrew, don't become paranoid about who is reading your thread. You have done nothing wrong and are not trying to pull a scam on your insurance company, who is supposed to be on your side, looking after your interests.

    I can understand your concern of leaving your car in an impound yard but by taking possession of it you have relieved your insurance company of the daily storage fees and possibly, effectively slowed the settlement process. Myself, I don't think I would have taken possession of it until it was assessed for damage and evaluated but I'm sure you were cleared by your insurance company to do so.

    It very well may come down to a cash settlement if a body repair shop cannot be found willing to take on the job. Understandably, because of the cars age and difficulty of having all needed parts readily available it isn't a straight forward time & material job and will fall into a specialty repair catagory. Most high volume shops don't want floor/yard space taken up for extended periods while waiting for parts.

    I would make it a priority to have the damage formally assessed and the car evaluated as soon as possible. Don't allow your insurance company to drag their feet. Are they providing a rental car? The costs associated with a rental is the only incentive they have to settle quickly and hopefully fairly.

    I'm sure you could find an individual on your own to repair your car, but make sure any compensation agreed to is enough to bring your car back to its pre accident condition and also considers your inconvenience suffered throughout the ordeal.

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    Have you talked to them about maybe bringing it to a restoration shop that you and the insurance can agree of for the work? They more than likly not go with it but it might not hurt to ask. It is going to take a while to clear this up otherwise.

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    Inf,

    I strongly recommend you have someone from a restoration shop come and give you an estimate on your repair, as it sits. Most autobody shops today aren't interested in classic car work, since owners are too picky, and also since they make a killing doing insurance work on late model cars where door skins are peeled off and crimped, or glued on, and they just throw aftermarket fenders and plastic bumper covers on. Rarely do body men work metal these days like they once did, and few are around who know how. If you don't mind getting your car back out, I'd also recommend you take it to a top notch frame alignment shop and have them put it on their machine to see how bad it is. This might dictate your next decision. Doesn't cost much and the insurance adjuster would probably order that anyway. Don't worry about the parts acquisition. Most insurance and body guys know how to dig up salvage parts values for fenders, bumpers, etc. I think eBay has made that a lot easier for all of us.

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    Andrew, sorry to hear about your loss. When an insurance agent says they have no idea how to make an estimate for this, it makes me wonder how they even got their job... I know of someone near San Antonio who has a nice shop and does fantastic collision and restoration work that may be able to help you if you can't find anyone in the Austin area.

    Here is his info:

    Ranger Collision and Custom

    3848 Hwy 16 South

    Bandera, TX 78003

    830-460-3848

    Scott Morris

    Very nice guy and doesn't take shortcuts in his work. Most shops out there will only work with late model cars and even then you have to wonder what goes on behind those doors. Good luck to you...

    Lee

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    You need to really stay on top of the insurance company. I have a feeling that this is going down the "total loss" path, so you need to figure out your options from there. Restoration shops are very expensive and will push you further into the "total loss" zone. It happened to me. Fortunately, I was close enough to the edge that we managed to strike a deal with the resto shop to get it fixed.

    See what your options are if the car were to be totaled. Can you keep it? What would they give you for the damages? What would it cost to buy the car back from the insurance company after a total, if possible? Fix it? Replace it? Rental car? You need to do what makes financial sense to you without being robbed at the same time.

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    Emailing this thread to the insurance company wouldn't be a bad idea either. When we pay for insurance, we in the marketplace would like to get something genuine in return for the genuine money we are paying.

    And no, "It's the law" doesn't give the insurance companies an excuse for crap coverage.

    If the repairs are estimated to be 99% of the value of the car they should give you that 99%. Common sense coverage like that should be expected of our insurance companies when insuring older vehicles like ours. Heck "middle retail" for my 280 is almost $7k. Your 240 pulls a LOT higher $$ than that. The pictures of it are gorgeous so the insurance company needs to understand it's a classic car and should be insured as such.

    Edited by Jennys280Z

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    Mine was totaled 3 weeks ago. It had 217k miles, carpet was jacked up, seat had a tear, paint was below average, ect. I got 6k. I printed out 5 pages of 72' 240z's like or near mine and gave them to the agent when he adjusted my car. He adjusted it on a Monday and I had a check on a weds. My car was NO where near as nice as yours.

    Rob

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    Mine was totaled 3 weeks ago. It had 217k miles, carpet was jacked up, seat had a tear, paint was below average, ect. I got 6k. I printed out 5 pages of 72' 240z's like or near mine and gave them to the agent when he adjusted my car. He adjusted it on a Monday and I had a check on a weds. My car was NO where near as nice as yours.

    Rob

    That's the problem is how nice his car is. They will look at the ones around the area like you did and give him the same price, not good most Z cars are not in that quality, and when they are they are rarely sold.

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    Sorry I'd stopped making updates here while things were moving along.

    I've more or less reached an impasse, or so the guy on the phone would have me believe today.

    Keep in mind while reading this that I was NOT liable for the accident in any way (the other guy was) AND the other guy has insurance. I chose to work with my own insurance company because I thought I would get a more fair shake being that they are not who will pay in the end.

    My insurance company totaled the car out, claiming it would cost $7695 to repair. That should tell you something about what they think the actual value of the car was right off the bat.

    Basically, they came at me two weeks ago with an initial "cash value" offer of $5750. I told them that was ridiculous, and the first claims adjuster (who handles repair adjustments) told me I should take it up with another guy, a total loss claims adjuster who my case was being transferred to. I was told to expect a call from him soon.

    11 days go by and I hear nothing, so I finally call up my insurance company and track down the guy responsible for my claim. He tells me he "has been looking at it and putting my file together," and the fact that he still didn't have a figure, despite them coming up with one previously, tells me he hadn't looked at my case at all. I know these guys have somewhere around 100-150 cases assigned to them at any given time, but seriously, couldn't even be bothered to give me a call?

    Anyway, I tell him that, as per the previous adjuster's suggestion, I had copies of receipts to send him showing work that had been done. He gave me his email address, and I sent them to him. Although I've spent much more, I could only find receipts for about $6700. One receipt showing about $4000 for a rebuild of the original engine/A/C install 4 years ago, and a large number of receipts over the last year on various suspension, brake components, wheels, tires, etc.

    Adjuster finally calls me back 5 days later and tells me that they "disregarded anything over 60 days old, except for the engine receipt that has a 'longer' window." Quoted me a new cash value of $7600 this time. The newest disregarded receipt was from July, so essentially everything except the engine work was ignored.

    I'm fairly pissed they just ignored most of the receipts, especially considering that I've only driven the car 1100 miles since the earliest "disregarded receipt" from mid 2009. All the 2010 receipts were within a window of less than 600 miles before the wreck. Your average daily driver would blow through 600 miles in no time, far less than 60 days, anyway. I'm also fairly certain that no concession was made to valuation after the engine work despite only 8800 miles being put on the rebuilt motor.

    Their latest offer was right around the "low retail" price that NADA lists, while my car should be on the high end between "average retail" and "high retail," or between $11,675 and $20,150. The insurance adjuster told me on the phone today that "those books" are "made by guys" and "used by lending institutions" and that "we don't use those." So basically "your car is worth what I say it is by doing a 'national search.'"

    I asked him what cars he compared it against, and he cited me ONE car:

    "I found a 1972 Datsun 240Z with a 2.4L 6 cylinder engine and a 4 speed transmission with a cash value of $5600 in [some town], Michigan. That one has 160,000 miles on it, yours has 128,000 so we adjusted for that"

    This "adjustment" is of course relative to the 128,000 miles, not the mere 8800 miles on my total rebuild of the original matching numbers L24. He made a confusing statement I can't remember about the condition of this other car, ending with "we didn't make any deductions on yours for condition, so you're getting the best possible offer."

    I asked him what other cars he looked at, and he paused, and shifted topics around and didn't answer my question. Just said something about "we did a national search and that's what we came up with." He then said I should be happy that his offer was "$3,000 more than the previous one" (not true, it's less than $2,000 more).

    Of course, I told him this was unacceptable. He then told me the following (as best I can recollect, not exact words):

    "Well, if you find this unsatisfactory, we can move to the next step in the settlement process. If we can't agree on a figure, we can send an appraiser out there and he can look at it and establish a value... you can send your own appraiser out there too, and they can get together and agree on a value for the car. Then whatever they decide on, that is legally binding and we will give you what they decide. If they come up with $5,000, we'll give you $5,000, if they come up with $15,000, that's what we'll give you."

    This pissed me off, because essentially it's a threat, as in "agree to what I offered you, or take your chances at being screwed over by our company-approved appraisal guy."

    When I looked earlier in January, I could not find a local classic car appraiser that would look at a car and do a "post mortem." A ton of internet searching found no one locally, and even in a bigger market, I'm not even sure where I could find one who would be willing to sit down with the insurance company's guy after doing such an appraisal and go to bat for me. I'm sure the insurance company knows this would run me at least several hundred dollars just to get an appraisal done, let alone have him deal with the other guy, assuming I could find someone who would.

    So basically the insurance guy has given me two options:

    1) Accept the ridiculously low settlement now, or

    2) Go to "the next step in the settlement process" and get appraisers involved, in which case I could get screwed anyway.

    I'm not sure what else I can do at this point?

    Anyway, I suggest ALL of you go get a classic car insurance policy through Haggerty or some other company, AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. You always read these kinds of stories and think it will never happen to you, I sure did. "I take great care of my car, I only drive it for leisure, and I keep it garaged 365 days a year, and I drive as defensively as possible!" Unfortunately, s**t happens.

    I won't name my insurance company while this is unresolved, but it's one of the big ones.

    Edited by Inf

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    INF

    I like everyone else empathize with you and can feel your pain. I guess you haven't slept very much since this happened. But it's time to get another rig. Be it a project or one that's ready to go, IT'S TIME TO MOVE ON. First, don't let the insurance company total it. Take the money they give you and use it towards another one. Second it looks as if with the exception of the front end you still have a usuable car so your next rig shouldn't take that long to be usable everyday. And on the brighter side you have plenty of spare parts for your next machine. These things happen, and to you and everyone else remember this, "IT IS JUST A CAR". You can't take it with you. So treat it that way. When I restored my green one to the left I kept telling myself just that when people would ask me, "What if something happened to it?" And that is the same mentality I have as I work on Project 3/72. Would you have felt any different if you were in your 911 GT3R? So take the insurance money, keep the car and find yourself another. There are plenty of them around the Houston area it seems, and it seems as if you have the expertise to put one together properly. Keep your head up and we are all behind you. Good Luck!

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    OK all states have a insurance department of some type contact them and ask questions. Get a lawyer they are pushing you around ya your going to pay money, but they are at ultimatums and you need to use the laws to their fullest extent. They are not negotiating now with you the law might change that or make some type of mediation happen, even court. I've gone through this be prepared to pay 2-3,000 in costs but you should make that back.

    Don't RIP your car yet you might be able to save it if you can get a good deal out of the insurance company. Did you receive firewall damage?

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    INF

    In addition the INSURANCE GUY is not your friend and his sole job is to LOW BALL the hell out of you and move on to the next case even if the other person is at fault. The first thing they consider is age of vehicle. NUFF SAID. Even if it was a factory resto the age is the first question they ask. Keep your car, take the best settlement you can and use the money towards another rig. Consider this, none of us will get out of ours cars what we put into them in $$$$$, so don't expect insurance companies to give you what you put into them regardless of what we all may have seen on Barrett Jackson in years past. The value is almost entirely sentimental. I too have been in this predicament and I walked away feeling cheated but I learned a valuable lesson. " They can take a lot away from you,... BUT THEY CA'T TAKE WHAT YOU KNOW!". We are all in your corner.

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    Andrew - Have you put together your own comps to get a value for your car? When you appeal your outragous property tax assessment, that is usually the first step - go out and get at least 10+ comps showing what you think is a fair value (or even more if possible) and send them to the insurance guy. If you do his work for him, perhaps you can get a fair amount.

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    Do NOT settle. These adjusters are under incredible pressure to get it settled and the more you stonewall them the higher they will go. Demand an independent appraisal. This will be over $10K I am sure and then they will want to fix it...

    JUST SAY NO!!!

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    Conedodger is correct. My Toyota was rear ended last summer. The insurance for the driver at fault said my car was totaled after I had a body man give an estimate of 1,500 to repair it. They tried to low ball me over the phone and when I expressed concern with how they came up with a price for my car they got very rude. I stayed calm and explained that "I was the victim not the insurance co.". and all I wanted was to be "made whole again". I did not give in till they gave me a price equal to the repair of the car (eventually 1,488). I was happy in the end but I needed to not give in and stay calm and professionall with them even when they verbally abuse you. Also I did not settle medical with them till I was satisfide with the settlement.

    Edited by grantf

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    Your best defense at this point is to have an independent appraisal done. Yes, they can give an appraisal even after the accident. Also, get comps. Your car was a numbers matching refresh/restoration. Find 2-3 similar cars ie: numbers matching refresh/restore in 1st generation that have an asking price in the $10K plus range. I can see from your pictures that this will not be difficult. Once you have evidence to show that the adjuster is wrong he has to cave. Even if he doesn't, do NOT settle. The longer you wait the more likely his or her boss is to get involved. Once they do, the check can get much larger. Trust me, one of my best friends was an adjuster. They are under a lot of pressure to get you to settle fast and low. DON'T!!!

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    I won't comment on all the advice that you are getting but finding comps on here, zcar.com. hybirdz.com and ebay should find you 5-15 240z'z that have been restored. I would also contact Jim, the owner of z car mecca, to see if he could help with appraisers.

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