Originally Posted by DFDubM
Finally made it by to look at the car. I should mention I didn't schedule an appointment, just dropped in.
The Story: They actually took it in for trade instead of buying it at auction so they will probably have more profit (i.e. negotiating room in it). It was originally listed at $47k and they've dropped the price several times trying to move it. Autocheck confirms locally registered and serviced.
The good: Ran my hands around all the panel edges feeling for tape marks from any repainting and didn't find any. No overspray that I could find anywhere. No accidents reported on Autocheck. Interior is in very good shape, it certainly hasn't been abused, no smoke smell, leather is good, all buttons worked. I ran the vehicle diagnostics and everything seems to be up to date. Engine bay is very clean, they prepped the car well. No signs of repairs in the engine bay or front end that I could see. No big paint scratches on the strut towers, strut brace looks true and undamaged or any other signs of front end suspension damage. Shifts are crisp, clutch seems to be OK to me, smooth revving, AC is good etc. No steering wheel shimmy, car tracks straight and accelerates strong.
The bad: Slight belt noise at startup, may need some new belts or adjustments. The bottom of the front bumper is pretty scratched up. It has been run up on parking curbs several times. I would estimate 50% of the underside is highly scarred/damaged but it is hard to see without kneeling down. The driver's side front and rear wheels show signs of repair. The rear even has a slightly bent wheel lip. It looks like they had the wheels refinished but it was done poorly. Someone just smoothed out the blemishes without repainting. It also concerns me that only the drivers side was like this. My opinion is that the car's drivers side hopped a curb at some point. I got under the car as much as possible and didn't see any damage or signs of repair but without having it on a lift it is hard to tell.
If it were me, I would get a mechanic to look at it on a lift just to verify that it is only wheel damage and nothing suspension or undercarriage related. That part would give me caution but I don't think it would be hard to assess by a mechanic. Otherwise I couldn't find any other issues.
I talked with Jim Houghton and the manager, David Ruiz, introduced himself and told me he would really like to sell the car. I think there could be a decent deal to be made just keep in mind that most would want to replace the two damaged wheels. I would certainly use this as a negotiating point. If you plan aftermarket, tell them to just knock it off the price, if not I would ask for at minimum the rear one that is bent to be replaced.
Hope that helps. All the best!
Edit: I thought I had my camera with me and it turns out I didn't. Sorry, I meant to take a bunch of detailed pictures for you as I know that would have really helped. My bad.
Troy, thank you so much for your help. PM sent.