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Old 04-30-2014, 10:33 PM   #1
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Default '94 roadmaster total loss but clean title

First off i want to introduce myself as i am new to this forum.
Now to the story. I have been looking into a buick roadmaster and found one on craigslist which caught my eye. '94 limited 118k clean title $1500 non-negotiable. Its a 3 hour roadtrip for me. I talked to the guy it needs a oil pan gasket since oil is leaking and one motor for a rear window since it doesnt go up and down. Interior is excellent except for the driver seat which needs to be redone. Cosmetically, the outside id say from the pics is a 7/10. I asked for the vin so i could run a carfax before i take the 3 hour trip. And thats what caught my eye. CLEAN title but in 2003 it was considered a total loss vehicle. "Vehicle considered a total loss by insurance company. Collision damage reported." Of course the current owner bought it in 2012 and seemed stunned when i asked him about it and had no clue that it was ever a total loss. He really stands firm in saying that the car runs immaculate and that him talking about it doesnt do it justice and i need to get out there and test drive it to see what he'* talking about. Then i asked if he'* willing to lower the price with this new found info. He states that he wont sell it for under $1500, for that he will just keep it. This was in Arkansas and then in 2010 the car was brought to florida. What does this mean? Is it still worth looking at? I would definitely get it looked at by a mechanic before if i were to purchase it. All opinions and advice is welcomed.

Fyi this is the exact car i've been looking for for a decent price. (Limited, white exterior, tan leather interior)
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Old 05-01-2014, 12:32 AM   #2
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If the title is clean, not salvage or rebuilt there should be no issue. A total loss indicates the vehicle was involved in an incident in which it was more cost effective to replace the vehicle than repair it. Depending on the mileage at the time, i would guess $3500-$5000. Definitely look for signs of the repair, and also scrutinize the odometer readings in the car history. The only concern is that the total loss flag will pop, and it could affect insurance valuation of the car. If the car presents honestly, and is not a time bomb being dumped, you really can't go wrong with $1500.

A lot of times they will rebuild the car, get the totalled/salvage title updated to rebuilt, and then goes to another state who may or may not flag it. If the title is clean, the flag likely got lost along the way. Again, not normally a problem.

like i said, make sure the mileage is consistent and look for collision damage repai, and confirm there is no signs of corners being cut.

Also look at tires too. Old tires will tell you a lot about the car.
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Old 05-01-2014, 12:52 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjolly87 View Post
A lot of times they will rebuild the car, get the totalled/salvage title updated to rebuilt, and then goes to another state who may or may not flag it. If the title is clean, the flag likely got lost along the way. Again, not normally a problem.
Yes according to the carfax thats what happened. Florida gave it a clean title. When i take it to a mechanic to look at is there anything specific i should tell him?
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Old 05-01-2014, 02:47 AM   #4
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Just the usual stuff. I myself would prefer to look under thecar too, and figure out where it took the hit, then you can scrutinize structural components in that area. Also look for signs of a front hit and make sure the airbag light works as it should and goes out as it should.
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Old 05-01-2014, 03:17 AM   #5
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Thanks much appreciated
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Old 05-01-2014, 09:13 AM   #6
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Since this was an Arkansas car and not an Arizona one, collision may not be the only reason it was originally totaled. Flood pops into my mind. Carpets may have been replaced, but by pulling back the carpet you can check for tell tale signs of corrosion in the floor pan, also pull the bottom rear seat cushion and check the seat springs for signs of rust and use your nose on the upholstery to check for mold or mildew. Also check any nooks and crannies for sand which to me would indicate immersion in flood waters.

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Old 05-01-2014, 11:45 AM   #7
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Eh... I know these 90'* Roadmasters are pretty rare, but I'd keep looking. There'* one in pristine condition sitting in an old lady'* garage SOMEWHERE that will eventually be available.

If the buyer didn't know that basic history on the Buick, then there'* bound to be other stuff he/she doesn't know also. 3 hours is a long way to drive for a cheap car that you might not buy. Plus you'll spend probably $100 in gas & food, plus whatever you pay a mechanic, plus the time. I guess it depends on how bad you want THAT car.
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Old 05-01-2014, 03:31 PM   #8
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Thanks everyone. I believe i'll end up passing on one of these yet again :/ due to the sellers honesty and being up front or lack there of. I noticed during the tenure he was owner of the vehicle the carfax states he was in an accident with the front portion of the car. He would have never told if i didn't ask. But since i asked he stated 'yes it was a very small accident thats why the front bumper guards aren't there anymore etc'. Also the car fax states the car had to be towed. I said to him 'so how come the vehicle was towed?' He replies 'wow those reports are detailed. It was it was at nighttime and one of the headlights went out and the cop wouldn't let me drive it like that so i had to get it towed'.
That was the last straw for me. Too many surprises. And while its all conceivable and possible it just seems suspicious. Also he states he'* a pastor and that he was doing construction work on this mans house thats 99 years old and for a present in return that man gave him the car since he couldn't drive anymore. The whole thing sounds like 'the too good to be true' story
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Old 05-01-2014, 04:06 PM   #9
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Good choice. There are probably portions of that seller'* story that are true, and then some others that are exaggerated if not fabricated completely.
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Old 05-01-2014, 08:01 PM   #10
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After reading your last post I agree it is a good idea to pass on it, there could be way more surprises in store, good call.
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