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as someone who is sort of "in the industry" its a gamble. Works out well if you are looking for a project car. Be very careful when using online bidding, there are a lot of cars that get salvage brands that have frame damage, you dont want those at all. If i were to go that route for a project car id only do in person bidding where i could look at the car and touch it.

There is a chance for a VERY good deal on a car that was just too inexpensive of a vehicle to deal with cosmetic damage, with a well kept engine and tranny in working order and no mechanical damage.

The first car is suspicious, i cant imagine a back window out would total a car, something is missing or those pictures dont match the actual vehicle, which can happen. That back window might have been broken and it stormed and the interior got soaked and mold appeared, they cleaned it up cosmetically and put it to auction.

The second car looks legit, hail damage is a no brainer usually, just be aware that the window was blown out during a storm, which means the interior got wet...which could mean interior damage and mold.

Last car i wouldnt touch due to potential frame damage.

Again not sure of your skill level. Taking it to a mechanic to fix isn't going to work, usually insurance has special body shops that cut them a discount, and with that it was still totaled. If your buddy has a shop and you have access to it, and are very handy, salvage car might be worth it, especially if you enjoy fixing it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
That 'holy meteorites' comment was my way of saying 'ain't gonna fix this one by handing a PDR tech $2000 and waiting two days for him to fix it'. It doesn't take much hail to total a lot full of new cars, just have to make it impossible to repair them and sell them as new.

And those three were hammered, every Cruze on the lot had the back window blown out and serious roof/pillar dents.

Sometimes the whole lot gets totaled without any real attention paid to the individual cars on the lot. I know of a dealer who bought a flood titled Mustang GT that way, the water never hit the cabin floor. He's still driving it 3 years later.

The Kalahari car I posted for the interior.
A couple Fridays ago IAAI had a 2017 Premier RS sedan in NY with Kalahari, good bags, 30kmi and the RF suspension ripped loose for $999 Buy It Now. If it wasn't more than 600 miles one way I would have been all over it. Could have paid for the car selling the airbags and doors, and put the interior and back axle in my LT. Saturday morning it was gone, and I realized I should have posted it here when I decided to pass on it myself.
 

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Probably going to be a few more like that from the Colorado copart.com auctions ... there have been multiple hailstorms in the past 6 weeks, some more severe than others. I was lucky enough to drive into one with my less than 1 month old 2018 Volt. I'm just thankful that it was only dime to nickel sized hail stones, and didn't break any glass or plastic ... a mere $2,300 PDR damage.
 
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