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Old November 30th 2012, 21:38
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cookvw cookvw is offline
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Location: Durango, coloRADo, USA
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question and advise

my name is weston. some of you may know me on here. ive been a long time everyday lurker on here and have made a few posts here and their. i started a build thread a long while back, but i never updated it cause i ended up selling that car and got one in better shape to work with. fast fwd 3 yrs, i ended up with a 73 super beetle. the quick list of things ive done to it up in till this point have been that i swapped the front suspention out for a 74 cause of the later model 2 bolt strut, put a vanagon WBX 2.1 motor W/ AMC heads, EFI/ spark controlled by Megasquirt 1 v3.57 board, crossed drilled front disk breaks, all 4 brakes re drilled to 4x100, XXR 002 15x8/15x9 rims with brand new goodyear rubber, and a custom made dash that i also had custom wrapped in vinyl with a mix of different porsche gauges.

now, as of a few weeks ago i let my brother barrow my truck for a while cause he doesnt have a car right now. so i then revert to daily driving my superbeetle. well last night on y way home my 3 yr project was all but DESTROYED!!!

i was sitting at a light waitng in traffic, and i heard screeching breaks, and a loud WHAM!... then seconds later i got hit. turned out that a guy in a 3500 dodge truck read ended a BMW 3 series, then the BMW rear ended me. the damage is quite bad. she hit me so hard that the alternator on the motor bacially took almost all the breaking the alternator, bending my intake, breaking a boss on the engine case (thankfully i think it can be welded), broke the v-belt, broke the passenger side fuel rail, and im sure the list goes on not even including all the body panels that got damaged. heres the before pics, and the crashed pics.

heres the wreckage

what im asking now is...i WANT to get another superbeetle (pref. another 73') and build another one that will be even better. my concerns are that i wont get enough totaled value to go buy another one given the fact that its an old car, doesnt "LOOK" of really any worth value to the regular guy. IF i can get $3500 totaled value for it and i buy the car back, ill be happy cause i then can take that and get another super and swap all my goodies onto it. im super bummed cause this really has been the car ive wanted to build since i was 16yrs old. i was finally building what i always wanted. and it hurts to have it all taken away and not be "somewhat " compensated for it. do any of you have any advice as to how i can go about getting a fair totaled value? added note the the guys insurance is State Farm, and the body shop that i work at is also a state farm preferred repair shop.
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Old December 1st 2012, 03:19
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Steve C Steve C is offline
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Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 1,757

Glad your OK. A friend had a similar problem, he had 56 Oval bug that was badly damaged but repairable, he sued the insurance company to repair his car and not have it written off. They wanted to give him pittance for the car as it was just an old bug.

STI powered 1303 in the works.
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Old December 1st 2012, 07:22
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NO_H2O NO_H2O is offline
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Location: Stockbridge, GA.
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First. It is good to hear that you were not badly hurt. Second. You have to play hardball with the insurance company to get the most money you can. They will try to get away with pay the least they can. You can use many of the parts from your wrecked car on another 73 Super. But your time is worth money too. Don't just fold at the first offer they give you. Be polite but firm. The threat of having to go to court works because it is something that they will not want to do.
72 1302 Smack Black GL
73 Bus (2L CIS Powered)
66 Beetle, 73 Standard Beetle
72 Pinzgauer 710M
Volksport Kafer Gruppe
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Old December 1st 2012, 12:24
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Xellex Xellex is offline
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Location: Bucharest, Romania
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If I were you I'd try to get as much as I could from the insurance company but keep the car and fix it... The damage isn't that bad as to consider getting another bug. Sorry that happened and I hope yo will be on the back on the roads asap.
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Old December 3rd 2012, 16:24
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Humble Humble is offline
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Location: Boulder Creek, CA
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The best thing you can do is to get a lawyer, insurance companies *hate* lawyers, but it's more likely you'll get fairly compensated. Secondly, if you modify any car, keep every receipt in a folder and track every hour worked on the car if you build it yourself. Time = $$$ and a build log goes suprizingly far in proving time spent. I know your pain all too well, my first race bug was rear ended while I was cruising on the street one night many years ago.

I kept every receipt and prepared a replacement cost analysis to recreate my car using estimated build time and local fabrication labor rates. They offered to total my car and I sent them a bill for it's fair market value which was ten times what they were going to total it for. They laughed at me until I retained a lawyer. They settled and paid for a new race motor, new body work, all professional bodywork repairs. Ever since, I have kept very detailed records of money spent on all of my projects just in case I need to prove the car's worth. Just because you bought it for $2500 doesn't mean that's all the insurance company has to pay you.
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Old December 7th 2012, 13:56
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oasis oasis is offline
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Originally Posted by NO_H2O View Post
The threat of having to go to court works because it is something that they will not want to do.
I had little trouble with State Farm when my '71 went up in flames because I had it insured with them at an agreed upon value. If your car was insured at an agreed upon value with your insurance company, they should work with you such that State Farm is aware of how your car was insured.

Unfortunately, showing a lot of receipts for time and parts in improving your car does not do much for an argument that your car has actually increased in value. Therefore, they will leverage all day long against you on that.

When my '81 Pickup (Rabbit-based) was surprised attacked by a woman oblivious extraordinaire going through a stop sign, I had a similar situation as you. I said $680 wouldn't buy a parts Pickup much less replace the one she wrecked, and I wouldn't accept the check if they bothered sending it to me. I said I would be contacting them after I have my neck and back checked out (similar to Dave's advice above). All of the sudden they were negotiating to a different tune.

I hate being less than upfront but being unfairly leveraged into submission isn't something I like either.

Good luck.
(2004-2008): 1971 1302 w/2056
Searching for a new project ...
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