Thanks everybody for chiming in!
I'm just now starting to scour the local auto wreckers ... found out also today that the gas cap door on the car has some kind of issue, according to the seller - it won't pop open, so she uses something to pry it open everytime she fills up. That sounds like an annoyance to me. But undaunted I remain. Hopefully will get a mechanic friend to look at it with me before working on a lower price so that I can afford a replacement bumper.
Any other pre-purchase tips would be great!