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Bushwack

Value of a Reatta

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I know this is an open-ended question, but here it is:

How much would the value of the car decrease if one of the body parts that contained the VIN label was replaced due to an accident (i.e. passenger door or a front fender)? The car isn't labeled as being salvaged and there were no frame issues. Just that an exterior panel containing the VIN was replaced due to an accident.

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I think the answer to that would depend on the condition of the car and how many miles are on it. I doubt it would make a difference at all on a car with 100K+ miles but if you are talking about a low mileage collector car it could make a significant difference.

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None IMNSHO. If anyone cared that much, it would not be difficult to duplicate, it is just a stick-on.

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I'd say nil to negligible depreciation in value. IMO value is mostly determined by condition of the car, color, and options.

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I understood him to say "VIN label was replaced due to an accident". It doesn't seem reasonable to think that a missing VIN label, and the possibility of an accident in the cars history, wouldn't effect the value of a low mileage car. Heck, some people even check the color of valve caps on the tires.

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I don't think the sticker should be an issue. If a panel was replaced due to collision damage, then that is another issue. I have replaced the front right fender on my 88 due to the well known stress crack problem that occurred on 88 and 89 models. I did however transfer the original VIN sticker to the new fender, and did so cleanly with no tearing or separation of the sticker. So, aside from my posting about it here no one outside my body shop would ever know.

As well since this fender was not replaced due to collision damage (my 88 has never been wrecked) but rather a design "flaw" it shouldn't ding the car's value as far as I am concerned. Others may beg to differ, this is just my opinion on the subject. If I had been in an accident and had to replace panels, I would agree that the value is probably diminished. Not sure by how much, but certainly by some amount.

KDirk

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My feeling is that a properly repaired element done by completely replacing the damaged item(s) and properly refinishining would not have an impact.

Anyone see the bit about the multimillion dollar AutoUnion racecar withdrawn when they could not even tell for sure which one it was ?

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I'm watching Chasing Classic Cars right now and have heard the them say many times "They are only original once."...

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Ronnie,

At a certain level of collectible status and value that is a factor, and certain buyers/collectors clearly value originality. For cars like mine, nice as they may be, not so much. And then you have customized cars with body modifications, special paint jobs and even engine upgrades that fetch huge money at auctions like B-J. So, originality is not always the key consideration. I will still concede that collision damage is going to have an impact on a car's value irrespective of how well it was repaired.

What about cars like the DMC-12 DeLorean, that were plagued by design problems that had to be corrected later with field upgrades and repairs to be reliable? Is an original one with electrical gremlins worth more than one that was corrected with the factory relay kit?

And what of really rare cars (Dusenberg, Auburn, Cord and so forth) that need restoration work to bring them up to their expected condition? Certainly a barn find that is beat to death (even if it is "complete and all original") is not worth near as much as a meticulously restored concours quality car.

Consider too cars that had body defects at the factory from production blemishes. These were repaired (new panel/paint or whatever was needed) before they were shipped to a dealer for sale. While one would probably never know or be able to find out that such work was done off-line at the plant, if there was knowledge of such an incident, it could be argued that the car isn't all original.

Finally, one needs definitive proof that something is not original. If a panel was replaced and the paint work done well enough there may be no way to say with certainty that the work was done or not just by visual inspection. With services like Carfax now, it is easier to see if something happened sometime in the prior ownership of a vehicle, and this can be the proof needed to ding the valuation. If no such record exists, it becomes a matter of conjecture.

I'm not trying to be argumentative, just debating various points that play into how valuation is determined.

KDirk

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Other than not liking to pick apart nice cars, one of the reasons I stopped judging was because I would spot things other judges would miss - and the owners always agreed when I'd mention them.

Talking things like embossed vs silk screened plug wires, what month a speedo changed fonts, that no GM car left the factory with an R (or Y) 59 battery.

One time I brought a car to a national meet and offered a prize if anyone could spot all the "wrong" things. Half way through I even told them how many there were. Finally gave it to someone who missed only five (of around thirty).

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Kevin, Padgett and others. I certainly don't want too seem to be disagreeable at all but my comments are not based on a sellers point of view. I may be wrong but I believe Bushwack is asking about this as someone thinking of buying a car who knows the history of the car he is looking to buy.

If I was interested in buying a car that I knew nothing about and noticed a VIN sticker was missing, and I couldn't find any damage, then I wouldn't expect a drop in the price of the car. However, if I was looking at a car with a missing sticker, and the owner told me the car had been wrecked, (as I understood to be the case here), I would certainly expect a lower price even if I couldn't see the damage. That is the situation I assumed Bushwack was asking about based on reading some of his previous threads. Maybe Bushwack will chime in and tell me if I'm wrong about my line of thought.

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OK try this. A person with implanted cell phone backs into the door. No damage other than to door.

Instead of repairing the door is replaced with one from a same color/same condition Reatta and the whole car is properly repainted. Does the value change ?

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Padgett -

Forget the value of the car. The value of the offending idiot's Iphone just went to zero though as I have shoved it up their, uh, well let's just say it's gonna need major cleanup and sanitizing treatment. Don't think they will cover that under warranty.

KDirk

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OK try this. A person with implanted cell phone backs into the door. No damage other than to door.

Instead of repairing the door is replaced with one from a same color/same condition Reatta and the whole car is properly repainted. Does the value change ?

I would say yes if the cost of the door and the repaint gets turned into insurance and shows up on Carfax as an accident. My neighbor told me he is in the middle of a dispute with his insurance company right now because of a similar situation where a Rent-To-Own truck backed into the rear quarter panel of his 2009 Cadillac. The truck's insurance fixed it... no problem, but he wasn't happy driving a car he knew had been damaged. A couple of months later he found a new car he liked and decided to trade. The dealership showed him the carfax and offered him $1400 less than he would have gotten with a clear carfax. Now he is trying to get the $1400 from his own insurance in a "diminished value claim". I told him I had never heard of that so he sent me the link (below) that explains it pretty well. The way I read the infomation in his link I doubt he will recover a penny of that $1400. I realize that Reattas are older cars and the values may not be the same as newer Cadillacs but the principal is the same.

Diminished Value Claim

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</td><td id="columnOdometerResultTxt3" class="statCol">

</td></tr><tr class="summaryOdd"><td class="eventCol">

</td><td id="columnAccidentCheckResultTxt1" class="statCol">

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I have to agree that the diminish value loss on a Reatta would not be much but any return is helpful.

In 2005 my wife has rearended by a man having a siesure in her 8 month old 2004 Accord.

She had the car repaired by Honda as approved by STATE ____ INS for $6,000 and the repair looked okay but was it okay? She found this repair shop that does diminished value claims. He wrote a report of the damage that had not been repaired. It would have cost an additional $5,000 for a body shop to go back into the car and repair it back to "new" condition.

We sent that diminished value form to STATE ____ INS and about ten days later we received a $4,000 check in the mail.icon7.gif

She then took the car and the $4,000 and bought an Acura.

These diminished value shops are increasing in the Baltimore and DC area.

Woody

89 Maui

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That CarFax is a deal killer for sure, but it is a reality we have to live with nowadays. In 2004 I sold a Jeep thru an ad in the Newspaper. The guy asked me if it had ever been in an accident, I said "No", then he whips out a CarFax that says it was! A lady hit the plastic running board, cracking it and I NEVER reported it to my insurance company cause the damage was so minor. CarFax found out thru the police report. I showed him the cracked running board and explained and he showed me $8000. But your typical Dsyfunctional Human would have walked at the first sign of trouble because they probably couldnt comprehend anything besides whats on the internet.

Question here...

I have had many cars, the 1990 Reatta being the newest GM I have ever owned - but none of them had the VIN on EVERY body part, is this something "new" that GM did/does? If so when did this start and was it an industry wide change?

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Angelo,

The VIN sticker on major body components was done by federal mandate starting sometime in the late 80's. This apparently is still done, but the VIN tag or engraving is now well hidden (only the informed know where to look and find these markings now) versus the clearly visible stickers used early on.

This was done more to combat theft and chop shops selling parts from "hot" cars. Of course, the stickers GM used in the Reatta era are not only easily removed and reattached, but could be rather easily replicated with technology that has been available for at least a decade. So, there usefulness is somewhat questionable.

KDirk

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What does "usefulness" have to do with a show car ? :D Heck I have seen factory recalls backed out of show cars to make it "as it left the factory" and original date code tires mounted. Not advisable to drive that way.

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