Craigslist isn't the only game in town though, and I've heard great things about Copart.com. Many cars that go through this auction site can be bought by individuals and no broker license is required. Copart is national, and could be awesome for us Vanagon owners seeking Subarus so check out my other blog post on how Copart works.
Check this out.
Say.. what???? 45,000 MILES!!!!!
There may be some competition for this but if the engine is good it's worth $1000 to me easy. Hell, I can make that up on selling interior parts out of it because the interior is cherry.
Colpart is a mind blowing operation. A swathe of battered cars as far as the eye can see in one direction, and cars in racks as far as the eye can see in the other. If you want to inspect a car, a forklift goes and grabs it off the racks and delivers it to the Sales Area where you can inspect it, start it (if it runs) and put it in gear, but not move it.
This car is stated as "Runs and Drives" but as soon as I popped the hood I saw that starting it would be a really bad idea. The shattered fans were pushed against the front of the engine, and the metal cover over the alternator belt was pushed in and touching the belt which frayed.
It took me about 30 minutes to find a tire iron and lever stuff clear of the belts.
I then wired the shaky radiator away from the belts, pulled the fuses for the fans, and turned the key. It started right up. Coolant level unknown. The radiator is gashed, but there is coolant in it. For the minute I ran it temp needle didn't budge. I didn't get too close as the frayed belt was making a bit of a racket.
Unfortunately I felt a slight misfire. It was really obviously not smooth. I tried pulling the HT leads one by one to see if I found a 3 cylinder situation that didn't feel as bad as the others to isolate it to a specific cylinder but couldn't. SUPER disappointed. To be sure I wasn't trashing an otherwise good engine, I used a digital thermometer to ensure the engine wasn't cooking itself, and also to try to find heat variations in the exhaust manifold to help track down the issue.
Decided I had to pass on this one.. which is really painful. My gut is that this is a simple issue but without feeling safe to run the engine for long periods of time before pulling it so I can fix it for sure, I can't risk the time investment in it. It could be as simple as an HT lead or a fouled plug. It could be a failing head gasket.. but it could also be that the harmonic balancer took a whack in the impact and did some crankshaft damage. I'm not ruling out that the "not smooth" I felt was vibration and not misfiring.
Update: Sold for $900 after a bidding war between two users, one in Colorado and one in Kansas. Somewhat glad the price went way up there. If this had sold for under $500 I would be second guessing myself, even with knowledge of the running issue. I'm pretty sure whoever bought it isn't aware of that issue, as I got the car pulled from the rack end of day Friday, so chances of someone inspecting it since then seem unlikely.
With fees, if non broker, buyer would have paid $900 + $325 member fee + $85 gate fee + getting it home.
ANNOYING. I just called Copart to make sure there was room in the sales yard (because I've learned you can show up and not be able to see a car) only to show up and not be able to see this car because there's no room in the sales yard for them to pull it off the racks. Auction is later today so that's the end of that. Best candidate in the near future at Copart for me.
Update: This sold for $225. If I'd come in and bid and won at $250, that would have been around $650 to my door. This could have been the one that got away.
Huh! Update 2: I guess there can be a reserve level on some cars because this one is back up for auction. It also has a buy now price of $600. That would put it at about $1100 in the driveway including fees and tow.
Update 3: Someone bought it Buy Now. Seriously wish I'd been able to see it when I went down there on Monday. What a waste of time that was. This could have been it.