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Disaster


stealthbob

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I have some very disturbing pictures to show.....

I bought a beautiful 72R off ebay, all original 40k miles, one owner, warm storage for over 30 years...still has original seat-covers. It was the guys grandmothers car....original title with her name on it "Harriet"

Harriet (now the name of said 72R) was severely damaged during shipping, they forgot to tie her down properly and she bounced up into the upper deck.

I am devastated, this was a truly beautiful survivor that was kept in beautiful condition for 59 years only to receive this abuse.

I am now going to have to try and repair her but she will never be the same, what a loss.

As far as settlement I am considering options and will consult my lawyer in the morning.

I warn you the images will make you sick....

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I was devastated to hear this from Bob earlier today. Absolutely unbelievable. It literally made me feel like I needed to throw up, don't know that I have ever had anything affect me like that. In case some of you may not know, Bob and I have been looking for this car for a couple of years now. And this was the perfect find. All original, one owner nice driver quality shape. It's one thing for a restored car to get damaged in transit, it has already been and can be painted again but this car needed no restoration, but now it will have to be. And the worse part is that Bob paid the extra cost for enclosed transport just to prevent the possibility of it getting damaged and now this. I feel sooo bad for you Bob. Let me know if there is anything I can do. I can cut a top out of something here at Buick Gardens if you need it. Just say the word.

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Even professional enclosed transport is no guarantee of safe arrival. Recently a well known restoration shop sent a car home with a well known transport company, it was the only car in the trailer and loaded in the back lower level....the vibrations of the trailer caused major damage to everything on the car...

Insurance can pay for it but in the case of this poor Buick money doesn't really fix it....

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Well its the next day, I barely slept.

Also this has yet to be delivered to me, its in a warehouse 4 hours away.

Now here is the rub....I got a very good deal on this car, well below market value. They are offering free shipping which was $2100 and more than what I paid for the car but surely it would be around 5k to repair.

What is the value of the car in a negligence case? What I paid or appraised market value?

If I paid 10k for a car and it was worth 5k I'm sure they would use the market worth limit of a payout of 5K. To me it should work both ways.

I have called a lawyer (I have 3 in the family) to guide me. Also for the record I am not divulging the transporter yet, if they come correct and offer full repair settlement I will be ok. If they don't I will be sure to have their logo and name slapped right next to the pictures on every post I make on the net.

I keep looking at the condition of the paint...this was a real gem. Anybody out there ever get involved in such a fix? Should/could this be banged out or should there be a roof transplant?

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I would have to say the first step will be pulling the molding from around the windshield. After that you can look to see if it just dented the roof, or if it did structural damage. Hopefully you get it there and find the windshield just shattered from the impact and not from the roof collapsing. Dents can be pounded out.

As far as the price goes (If they don't pay to repair it) I would go for market value. The idea behind it being that you could not replace that car for what you got that one for. Just my .02 cents.

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The first thing I sent you yesterday was the NADA value guide. I have been searching for completed sales for use as comparables. My Buttercup file may be about the closest we can get to yours for a Roadmaster. But of course the car isn't totalled so I suspect you will be needing to start acquiring estimates to use for supporting any liquidated damages settlement. Depending on who and how big the company is, I suspect an agreed upon settlement paid as liquidated damages may be the easiest and least costly way to go. Wow, how convenient to have 3 lawyers in the family.

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This is a bonafide horror story. Worst fears coming true when having a car transported. I hope they make good on the claim and even if they do, I think name of the carrier should be posted. If I was looking for a company to transport an antique I sure wouldn't want to use this carrier even if they doubled or tripled the amount of the claim. While adquate compensation is imperative, on a car like this I don't think the money is the primary object as the original patina can't be put back.

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Couple of things...

My Lawyer basically said its convoluted when it comes to value but that if it did go to court a Judge would likely try to make me "Whole" That is force them to pay up to what I would get if I tried to sell it, not what I paid for it. That it truly comes down to what the market says its worth and not what one single transaction says its worth.

Oh, he also said do not let them ship this to me until we have settled. What I may do is have it shipped to a really good Antique Resto shop near me, have them do an estimate and also an appraisal. The thing is they are non committal in the emails about going anything past compensation for the shipping.

I just sent an email demanding their official position.

We will see....

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...The thing is they are non committal in the emails about going anything past compensation for the shipping.

....

This is like a doctor botching up a procedure that either leaves your loved one dead or permanently disabled and then just saying "oh, you don't need to pay the bill so we're even."

They've got to come up with something way better than that.

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It's easy for me to say, "it isn't the end of the world". Again, it's easy for me to say, but being positive and calm might be the best approach, IMO. Normally things work out, and I am hoping such is present in this case.

I think if were me, I would allow a third party to be the go-between, it may take a lot of the stress off your shoulders.

Please don't take me wrong, I'm no expert, or am I telling you what to do.

I wish you well,

Dale in Indy

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It's easy for me to say, "it isn't the end of the world". Again, it's easy for me to say, but being positive and calm might be the best approach, IMO. Normally things work out, and I am hoping such is present in this case.

I think if were me, I would allow a third party to be the go-between, it may take a lot of the stress off your shoulders.

Please don't take me wrong, I'm no expert, or am I telling you what to do.

I wish you well,

Dale in Indy

Well put...and thanks

In the end I am requesting respect here and if I fly off the handle I loose that position.

My Lawyer (Brother in law) says that it would be best that they did not know I was getting legal advice, It might escalate and back them in a corner and hold a position not favorable to me.

I only want what is fair...for them to pay for he repairs in full. I will pay for the shipping once that is done.

To all you guys who are here supporting me....it does help. Thanks!

It will be fixed and it will be a back story to show tell one day...maybe with a couple of you guys in South Bend, you will see the beautiful Harriet all fixed up.

What does this do to the level of it being judged as an Un-restored Survivor?

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I would think the third party go between has to be mutually agreed to. And I would also read the shippers e mails literally. How convenient for them to just say ..."Oops!"

But I agree w/ Dale too. Gotta stay calm..but insistent. As for a market value, have there been any other sales on E bay that would help provide a model for establishing a value?

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NADA is a respected guide for these things:

1954 Buick 70 Roadmaster 4 Door Sedan Value, Prices & Specs | NADAguides | NADA 1954 Buick 70 Roadmaster Book Value & 1954 Buick 70 Roadmaster Market Price

I would say it is between the low and average estimates at a minimum.

I also have recommended getting it appraised locally, CDN values for this car will be much higher. Seriously, if undamaged I could have gotten 8k easily up here.

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Stupid, stupid, stupid. People wonder why I seem cynical. A 16 year old with a flatbed trailer would put this and a lot of so-called professional drivers to shame. I have had three idiots show up to transport cars and told their dispatchers to never send them to my place again. Just curious; did this driver live on Long Island?

A friend of mine just had the door torn off a car by a transporter who couldn't drive standard shift.

I know it is too late in this case, for the future, always tell the seller that if the transporter looks incompetent or is a jerk do not allow the car to leave. It's not hard to tell. They have mannerisms, style of dress, twitches, and quirks that will warn you. Just say "I am not comfortable letting this car go ay this time." and authorize the previous owner to do the same. I know it is hard to delay delivery when you are excited and the company owner might want to charge. I always tell them Howard said my reasons are valid. When they ask who Howard is just say its your lawyer. Its a good lawyer name and the company owner knows which employees are the idiots.

I didn't feel bad seeing that '59 LeSabre going down. The Pennsylvania junk yard dogs were just grandstanding with that video. The Roadmaster is a shame and I bet I can draw a picture of the guy who didn't tie it down, cowboy boots and all.

Yes, people have called me that a couple of times.

Bernie

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Cowboy boots and Long Island is a bad connection. And then there was the guy with the MOPAR t shirt who etched himself in my mind. And the one with a severe case of short man syndrome. If only I had eaten more high fructose corn syrup, I might not have noticed.

Bernie

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Good God! Appalling!!!! Unbelievable!!!!! Can something like that even be fixed?

Ahhh, the answer is yes. I have a friend that put a roof on a mid 50's Caddy several years ago. The car had similar damage, and was in similar to better condition. Still, it is very sad to see what has happend. I hope you will come out on top. Dandy Dave!

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So sorry to hear about the damage to your fine car.

I have cars shipped all the time and years ago I had a similar experience, the entire car hauler flipped over on it's side and damaged five of may cars. It was a mess but I finally got paid and came out ok. From that time forward I do not let one of my cars in a car hauler without first having a certificate of insurance from the hauler. This way if there is damage you go directly to the insurance carrier and file an immediate claim. If a carrier won't provide the certificate he does not haul my car, simple as that.

Having to deal with damaged cars in the past, If this was my car I would let the insurance company take the car and go find another to replace it. It might take some time but the headaches will be much less. It's unfortunate that it was damaged, but these thing happen. Even if you did not get the insurance certificate there are ways of finding out who the trucker has coverage with,start with the state DMV where he is licensed.

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Sickening for sure, but an experienced body man can repair that without replacing the roof. If you have existing antique auto coverage, sometimes new acquisitions are automatically covered.

Yes. But his insurance shouldn't be made to pay.

The shipper should fix the car back to the state it was when they picked it up.

edit:

Ask your lawyer if you should go directly to the shipper's insurance company.......

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The advice I have received is to allow the process to continue, to have delivery made but not to my possession.

Basically the the damages need to be quantified by an estimate. So I am having it shipped to a good Antique Auto restoration shop in my area where they will provide a written estimate. I have tried to push them into accepting responsibility up to the value of the car and they returned with they need a written estimate to move any further.

One thing of note, I also said that they have admitted already careless negligence and the response I got was "Oh no, it was a mechanical failure" I was told from the first guy that the driver forgot to tie down the frame...now its a mechanical failure?

I reminded them of their reputation of being a high end car hauler and why I chose them, it would be a shame for them to have someone like me out there dissatisfied with the images that I have.

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Agreed...to me though it shows they are backtracking away from their responsibilities.

They may come through...which is why I have chose not to mention who they are.

In the end this stuff does happen, its how a company makes it right is what matters.

This is not done, rather it is quite preliminary...its also a very small claim considering they haul some heavy hitters.

Not sure if some of you guys know where I am coming from, why I am so banged up over this....I explained it at 54B which I will copy here:

Since I was little I always thought that Dad's Roadmaster was the car of cars, he went on about how it was the best car he ever drove. Teenage years hit and its just not practical but the thoughts were there, man how cool it would be to have one of those to drive.

Fast forward to my first post here, days after I just lost my 3rd dog in 2 years....I wanted the dream of DRIVING a 1954 Buick Roadmaster just like my Dad, hell now I wanted to get one so we as Father and Son could share the memories and create new ones. I found one and it ran and it was cheap! I had maybe 20 minutes total drive time, all of it white knuckled as I was feeling it out. I can still remember the shame I felt on the side of the road waiting for the tow ride back...I knew it was dead, I knew I did not have the money to fix it.

Next comes a cascade of poor decisions made purely on the high of finally getting a car like this and reading all the restoration posts. I think what happened was inevitable....I made it a 10 year project while deluding myself it was always one season away from the road.

The years have ticked by...4 of them, not one night I didn't fall asleep with the thoughts of what I might be like to drive around in a 1954 Buick....what have I done?

I can't afford a nice driver, anything I buy gets $2500 added to it for shipping. I only wanted something I could drive...no projects, I have one of those. I almost gave up, any car that was reasonable was not drivable. Then Harriet came by, the pictures were fuzzy and showed more rust than shine but once I heard the story I knew better...this was a very special car. This is one that I can afford AND drive. I bought it and started thinking of what is to come. Picking up my kids at school, the local 50's drive in....trips with Dad just driving around creating memories.

I was alive again, so very happy.....

You see this has nothing to do with bright sides or parts cars or future possibilities. This was for the now, the memories that are to made now from dreams past.

Now I may have another project I can not afford to put on the road....forgive me for loosing my Buick faith a little, forgive me of not seeing the bright side.

All I want to see right now is the road through the front window of a 1954 Buick.

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The Buick Gods are looking down upon me!

Thanks to everyone for their well wishes and Buick prayers because it worked.

I was called by the owner of the company...he is 78 years old and obviously a car guy.

He was appalled by what happened and wanted to personally express his apologies for what happened. He mentioned that he recognized the intrinsic value of such a car and was truly saddened that it was treated in such manner.

He continued to offer me the chance to come down a see it, all expenses will be covered including gas and hotel. He also wants to introduce me to his car restoration guy to see if I want it fixed down there. He has a history of Antique car restorations and should be able to do the work.

He continued and gave me his personal cell number and said to call him first for anything as he personally wants to take care of this and make things right.

I am going Friday, and likely won't use his offer of all the expenses but ya can't ask anymore than that.

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