The only paint was on the new clip to match the existing paint.
No body rust, always garaged. There was (at one time, not now) a rust
problem with the bottom corners of the windshield frame; that was a common
prblem with them.
The only problems I had with the car were people hitting it and mechanics
screwing stuff up. Got it out of a body shop at 8AM one morning, had it
parked on the street in front of my business and at 9:30 a woman backed into
it. Back to the body shop. BTW, the first time it was repainted the cost
was $150; the last time (about 1998) it was $1500.
To expound slightly, MOST of the problems I had with the car were people
hitting it and mechanics screwing stuff up. There were other problems, most
of which were normal for any car...master cylinder was replaced once, front
end (ball joints, etc.), brake calipers once (discs never, still have a set
"just in case"), clutch too IIRC.
The one thing that gave me the most problems was the water pump. It had a
rather wierd shape, very narrow at one end and tended to break at the thin
part; went through at least three pumps. The last time was when I was
driving north to start living in Florida. The pump went out in Aldama,
Mexico, a little town about 80 kilometers north of Tampico. I got on the
phome to my wife who was still in Veracruz and had her order one from the US
(easier for her than me on a hotel phone).
Well, they got the pump sent promptly via UPS but they sent it to Monterey
which was the only place UPS went. The UPS office there sent it via another
carrier to Tampico and they passed it on to another local carrier. Trouble
is, the local carrier didn't go to Aldama so it got sent back to Monterey
which is about 200 miles from where I was..
So there I am in Aldama. The most entertaining thing there was sitting on
the hotel porch in a rebar and expanded steel rocker watching the vultures
circling overhead. Fortunately, I met a fellow there called "El Negrito"
which means "the little black guy"; a joke because he was FAR from little.
"Fortunately" because he spoke English - he was from Trinidad - and Spanish.
I do OK in Spanish but it is hard on the phone. He calls the UPS manager in
Monterey and gets the guy to personally deliver it to me. I owe El Negrito
a nice dinner.
And the UPS guy. The best parts of life, or maybe the most
interesting parts, happen by accident.
If you can avoid the rusting out, most cars will last a long time if
attended to. Some just take more care. Mine was a '64 bug.
Kept it utterly reliable until the seat started sinking through the
rusting floorpan. It was time to send it to the boneyard.
On Tue, 5 Mar 2013 22:31:09 +0000 (UTC), DerbyDad03
The bottom line on this is insurance settlements for an older totaled
car is "usually" is a net loss for the car owner.
Your post reminded me of what happened to my son's car.
It was a late 80's Cutlass with 3800 engine.
He was commuting from Chicago to Champagne while attending U of I.
Christmas break I had it at my mechanic to fix some issue.
Great mechanic in Niles, IL. M&N Repairs. Very low crime area.
Wayne, the head mech and owner calls me the day before New Year's and
says the car is ready. Told him I'd get it Jan 2nd.
So I go there, go right inside, but I didn't see the car. It's an old
gas station with room to park about 8 cars outside without interfering
with the tow/plow trucks. So he hands me the keys and I pay him the
charge. He's standing there smiling at me while I wait for him to
tell me where the cars is. Finally I say, "Where's the car?"
He thinks I'm joking, so I repeat it. He thought I already picked it
up with spare keys. Took a bit before he realized I really hadn't
picked up the car. In the 25 years he had the garage, a car had never
been stolen. He said the car was there during the day on New Years
Eve, so we knew it was taken that night.
Reported the theft to Niles PD, and a couple days later they called
and said it was impounded on the far south side of Chicago.
Surprisingly, it had no damage. Not even the ignition.
Think it cost about a bill to get it out of the pound. No sympathy
A few days later on the way back to school in the car, my son gets
pulled over by the State Police. He's cuffed and taken to the local
jail for driving a stolen car.
Took some phone calls to clear that up, and I had to show up at Niles
PD to get them to correct the records.
First thing I would do is get Blue Book value as that is max that
insurance company will pay. Lower mileage and good condition usually
does not mean much to insurance company. I had one low mileage car
stolen and another totaled in past 15 years and might have finagled an
extra $100 out of them above book.
I have a repair shop that I use that works with insurance company. I
prefer final bill paid to estimate. Deer ran into me last year and
estimate was about $1,500 but repair ended up at about $2,500.
Insurance companies know all this stuff and will "total" a vehicle if
initial estimate goes over about 70% of book value as they will not know
true cost of repair until work starts and parts removed to see any
Here, in DE an insurance company has up to one month to give you an
estimate. Don't know law where you live.
I had a similar experience about 5 years ago. Details are a bit
hazy, but here's the basics. Son was driving our spare car, a '93
Beretta. Had about 160k miles on it. Got hit, smashing up some body
parts. Front fender, buckled hood, and front light assembly.
The hitter's insurance company paid book value and totaled it.
Think it was about $6-800. Son wanted to fix it. Think I had to pay
$100 to the insurance company for the title. Also think the title was
marked "Salvage" in the state data base, but not sure.
This is Illinois. The insurer was State Farm or Allstate.
So just ask the insurer how it works in your state. They pretty much
go by the book with everything they do.
My son fixed the Beretta for about $250 in boneyard parts, even
getting an exact color match with the parts.
He wanted to do it, could do it, so it worked out.
Think hard about what's damaged and real costs before you go that
You're assuming they are going to total the truck, and you're assuming they
are going to tell you a 1998 Chevy S10 pickup truck is worth $500. Then,
from that assumption, you are off on a whole big scenario of taking them to
small claims court etc.
There is no way that anyone is going to say 1998 Chevy S10 pickup truck is
only worth $500. I just junked a completely rusted out, beat-to-s..., GMC
pickup truck with a blown automatic transmission for $350 -- and they came
and towed it for free. That was just the junk metal value. When the
transmission on that one went out, I bought a 1989 GMC Sierra 1500 mediocre
condition pickup truck for $800. Look online and your 1998 pickup is worth
$2,000 or more.
Let us know what they actually do say after you hear back from them.
Insurance law varies from state to state, so lacking knowledge of what
state you are in, most of the advice posted is questionable.
Generally, if you are making a claim on your own policy, they will give
you the cost of repairs (less your deductible, which they will return to
you if they make a recovery from the other party) or the fair market
value of your vehicle, whichever is less. They can do this because it
is written into your contract of insurance.
The other parties insurer does not have a contract with you. Their
contract is with their insured, so they cannot arbitrarily total your
vehicle. Their obligation is to their insured, and with an at-fault
accident, their insured is obligated, generally, to put you back where
you would have been without the accident. I suspect that if you get a
written estimate of the cost of repairs, and a list of other expenses
you have had to incur, such as the cost of a rental vehicle, they will
be amenable to fully reimbursing you, although they may make an initial
low-ball offer, just to try to save some money. Get their offer in
writing; if it is too low, decline it and repeat what you want. If you
can't come to an agreement, take all documentation and head for court,
but I suspect you will come to agreement, as the insurance company will
not want to have to pay an attorney.
An interesting question you might want to look into is who was driving
the uhaul, as that is the party who will ultimately be liable, unless
there are some strange circumstances that haven't been revealed.
Good point, but U-Haul knows they have some liability in that they did not
instruct the renter on the pecularilarities of the truck.
To go into more detail, my truck was parked and the U-Haul parked next to
it. The driver of the TWENTY-TWO foot-long bed U-Haul was evidently unaware
that the ass-end of his truck stretched beyond the rear wheels, I'd guess,
ten feet. So when he tried to leave, by driving straight ahead and cutting
sharply to the left, the tail of his truck swung to the right, scraping my
vehicle, removing the rear-view mirror and folding the driver's door. It got
the bed, door, and front quarter-panel.
Which is pretty much the same thing. If the vehicle is
only worth $2,000 and it would cost $4,000 to fix it, they
will typically only pay the $2,000, just like they would if
they were paying for it under a collision policy. That puts
you back where you would have been without the
accident. Actually, you'd be a little better off, because if it were
your own car,
under a collision policy, a typical deductible of $500 or
$1000 would apply and you'd only get $1,000 -
You can go to court, but the court's concept of making
you whole is pretty much the same. If the truck was
only worth $2000, as shown by credible sources, that's
what you will recover. The insurance company may be
willing to kick in some additional money to avoid going to
court, but if it gets to court, the rules apply.
I suspect that if you get a
Maybe if it only exceeds the value of the vehicle by a
small amount. But they're typically not going to pay
$5,000 to fix a car that's only worth $2,000.
Get their offer in
And better make sure that documentation includes
blue book proof that the car is worth more than they
I have learned much from the comments you folks have offered. It's said to a
man with a hammer, every solution involves a nail.
I can see where I wanted to rush off to court (having done so countless
times) when there are other, perhaps better, tactics to employ.
Once again, thanks to all who earnestly tried to help; it was much
I've learned from my lawyer sons that most disputes are settled without
going to court even when lawyers are involved.
One son did help me when my car was totaled and drivers insurance
company was dragging its feet. Letter from lawyer can work wonders.
Also resulted in a settlement higher than book value for pain and
suffering sort of thing.
Good question. Last Friday I got a call from the scheduler who said an
adjuster would appear at my residence on the following Monday (last Monday)
between 1:00 and 4:00 in the afternoon.
At 3:00 pm on Monday, the adjuster called. He said he was about twelve miles
away and would be along shortly.
It is now Thursday morning and his fate is still unknown.
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