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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, I'm a new member on this forum. I would like an opinion of an expert on a z car. I'm looking to buy a 1973 240 z, California car, zero (0) rust ! Has a cracked dash. Original paint. Has a few long scratches on roof & door; car was keyed. The question is; The car has a salvaged by vandalism title. I'd like to know if this really decreases the value of the car. and roughly by how much? Thanks.
 

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1983 280ZX Turbo
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I'm sure it does. How much depends on who's offering to buy it, but a wild guess would be perhaps 25%. On a car that's nearly 50 years old, salvaged by vandalism wouldn't mean much to me if the vandalism had been repaired. If the only damage is key scratches, the salvage title doesn't make much sense to me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi, Thanks for your reply, very much appreciated. From what I'm told by the seller, he had to replace several parts on the car also. Exterior back lights, several interior parts. Seller sent me many pictures of the car, rust free from California. I'm driving several hours to go see the car, plan on inspecting vehicle on a lift for any structural damage or repairs. I was told that it didn't have any issues. What I don't get is that the motor & transmission mount has to be changed. Not sure what to make of this. I'm not an expert but I know a bit about cars. I lack confidence in this seller since he only mentioned the salvaged title after we've gone thru the whole car & discussed price. Since I'm interested in buying a rust free car, which don't come by often in Canada, I'll take my chances, go see it and see how things go. Your opinion would be appreciated. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi again, Question for you. What should I look for with regards to matching numbers? I know that the number is on the engine block but where on the transmission ? Are the matching numbers the same as the body? Thanks again.
 

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1983 280ZX Turbo
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My assumption is that the car is a driver, not a collector vehicle. I wouldn't worry about numbers, just getting a car that operates well, with a good engine and transmission, and a frame and body (in that order) which aren't rusted out. Numbers matching is for valuable collector cars. This one is neither of those.
 

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240z's are increasing in value and they are great cars as even when they are modified it does not reduce the value. The key is rust and the usual places are below the front fenders, battery tray, the rear rockers, the inside deck lid and to make sure the floor boards are straight not rusted. Look for signs that the floors are not patched welded due to rusted sections and look carefully at the undercarriage to see if it looks stock; Z cars did not have undercoating so if it is rust free it should be obvious. When an owner does it right by stripping it to bare metal and then adding POR15 or some other undercoating they should show pictures of the process so you know it was done right but if the car has some type of under paint, especially rubberized, etc. be careful as that often how people hide rust. Z cars never had that spray so unless there are pictures showing it was taken down to bare metal and then sprayed, beware... Salvage will reduce value but if you do not plan on selling it then it is not a big deal but MOST salvage cars would be due to more than vandalism so that does not make sense to me as a Z that needs minor body work and paint totally faded which would be more work than just scratches would never be a salvage car. These cars are unibody so look for signs of accidents and bring some magnets to help look for filler...
 

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To answer your original questions, there is no trans number recorded so that doesn't matter. There is an ID plate for the VIN including the production date on the drivers B pillar, an engine ID plate is located about halfway down the RF strut tower in the engine compartment. It has the engine serial number as well as the vin on it, and they are different from each other. To go a step further the vin is also on a plate on the drivers side of the dash on the top and it's stamped into the firewall right above the brake booster. It's usually because of the insurance companies that you find a rebuilt title which is basically what you have. They often times lower the value of the car so the repairs will exceed 2/3 the estimated value of the car which makes it a total. The insurance co doesn't have to pay the customer as much money that way and it happens a lot. I've fixed up a few of them through the years and retitled them and put them back on the road. If you keep a pic of the title you have now and get pics of the damage that caused the scenario, it shouldn't affect the value too much providing the damage wasn't structural. If it's just because of the key scratches that shouldn't be of any consequence other than the cost being lower because the new owner will have to pay for repairing the remaining damage itself. If the ins co puts the value of a 240 at 3,000.00 and they estimate to repaint and body work i.e. removing the key scratches at 2,500.00, and replacing the damaged parts at 1,000.00 then they total the title provided the owner wants to get the insurance money. It sounds like the car you're looking at is not going to be a bad purchase provided it looks good elsewhere.
Some insurance adjusters love running over the top of naive customers. One of the shops I use to have had 2 insurance claims depots across the street from me and I was always battling them. They eventually got tired of dealing with my customers because I'd give my customers a quick education and even go to battle for them against the insurance companies. They don't like to lose. I've always taken great pleasure in beating them at their own game. Most ins cos. will spend a dollar to save a dime. Good luck. Z man of Washington
 

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I'm sure it does. How much depends on who's offering to buy it, but a wild guess would be perhaps 25%. On a car that's nearly 50 years old, salvaged by vandalism wouldn't mean much to me if the vandalism had been repaired. If the only damage is key scratches, the salvage title doesn't make much sense to me.
I bought this car. 43k original miles, original paint (Some Scratches), Needs a little interior work, I think she is a collector.
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1983 280ZX Turbo
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I gotta say that one wouldn't take much of a hit if any from a vandalism-salvage title.
 
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