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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
See the rebuild thread here.

***EDIT 6: 5/14/2013***
Got the damage estimate in today from NC Classic Restorations. They did a great job and were very thorough - highly recommend them for any in the NC area as it is a family run business and they are good people. I need to stop by their shop in Fuquay sometime this week if I get the time to bring brownies or something as an apology payment for getting a little... curt (for lack of a better polite word) with them. The estimate took longer than expected due to a computer system crash on their end so they ended up having to do it twice. I pride myself on my zen attitude and ability to keep my cool but I did get a little agitated when I thought that I wasn't going to be able to get Jane to Chas's shop before I left for Colorado for the summer. No shouting but probably ruder than I should have been. Anyways, they put the report together twice and it came out very nicely. That report has now been sent to the insurance guy who's in charge of my claim. So far so good on that end.

Since the insurance company cleared me to go ahead and move Jane, I spent a couple of hours today ripping out the entire interior for Chas. What's under the rear seat is far from fantastic and it is pretty strange to look through the trap door and see the taillight panel so close to the interior of the car. HOWEVER, the one-piece floor that Chas put in for me last summer appears to be in excellent shape with only a little dent at the back from the forces exerted on it. Should bang out fine with a body hammer. The rear seat assembly is okay but the part of the seat trim where the seat latches back is banged up - I used to have a problem with the seat coming crashing down if I braked too hard, so I readjusted the area and made a couple of changes to the latch to make it more secure and less rattley. Turns out that worked pretty well because the seat stayed up in the wreck.

It also appears that I have kind of broken my driver's seat. Frame looks a little twisted for my tastes and the seat back adjustment latch is junked. REALLY not looking forward to finding another one of those and upholstering it AGAIN... ugh. Hoping that the latch just came apart some and can be put back together and that the frame of the seat is just twisted due to the latch mechanism. Doubt it, but hopeful! When I pulled the seat the holes in the seat riser were elongated / rippled a bit so that's interesting. Very surprised I didn't break those studs on the seat tracks because I have broken one of them just looking at it wrong before.

Anyways, Jane is going to Chas's place tomorrow morning. She'll be there for the summer as I leave on Friday for Colorado without her. I leave her in good hands though and will be sure to update her rebuild thread (seen at THIS LINK) as frequently as Chas sends me pictures. We'll see how fast insurance comes through but you all know that her rebuild will start the very second that we are cleared to go. Stay tuned.
***END EDIT***

***EDIT 5: 5/9/2013***
Well, it's been over a week and people are still crunching numbers. I got the appraisal back from NC Auto Appraisals and the number Brian put on Jane was pretty dang good. He sent me a 31 page report documenting all of the features on my car, what it looks like, and the condition of each major part. Highly recommend him if anyone in the NC area needs an appraisal!

NC Classic Restorations is working on the damage estimate and I expect to get that back either today or tomorrow. Dan is a really great guy and he has been very helpful to us. He's been swamped with work though (and understandably my estimate is not high on his list because Jane won't be going to his shop) so I'm cool with it taking a couple of extra days.

Insurance is getting antsy because they want to have this thing finished up but are pretty much leaving the ball in my court. Seems like they will be working directly with the people I've hired to come up with a reasonable offer. I appreciate that a lot.

As far as personal injuries go, still seeing the chiropractor every day to try and get my neck cranked back somewhat under control before I leave for the summer. My shoulder's been kind of junked up (muscle won't quit spasming) so we're working on that too. Otherwise, so far so good. I appear to be pretty much all in one piece :)

I'd like to give a shoutout to everyone who has shown support in this whole ordeal - it continues to mean a lot to me and is really helping me through. Props especially to Chris (vamustang) who has offered a rough fastback shell that has a good rear clip to me, and several others who have offered up spare parts! The estimate will come through with a list of parts needed to fix her up soon and then I will have a better idea of what I need.
***END EDIT***

***EDIT 4: 4/30/2013***
The insurance appraiser came out today. I was not able to be there because I had to go back to Wilmington to take a final exam. My mom handled him though and called later to tell me about it. She said that he brought backup - someone that he knew who knew about classic cars - because he didn't know very much about the true value of them. They were very respectful of my car, asking if they could open the doors and being very gentle with it in general. I have two binders full of pictures, receipts, parts, maintenance, etc. that they both looked through at length. They left their business cards and will be getting in touch with both the appraiser I had come out yesterday and the shop that is doing an estimate of damage tomorrow. They then expressed their condolences and left.

Like I said, so far they have been handling things promptly and without fighting. My mom was impressed with how they acted today. Might come out of this one okay with minimal muss and fuss.

Also, went to see the chiropractor today and had my neck re-X-rayed. The reverse curve that it previously had is now much more pronounced (of course). I'll be seeing them every day this week for adjustments and then will see a different chiropractor in Raleigh until I have to leave for Colorado. Unfortunately, no chiropractor in Colorado - the nearest one is 45 minutes away and only works 9-5 Monday-Friday, which is when I work. Guess I'll just have to deal with it.
***END EDIT***

***EDIT 3: 4/29/2013***
An appraiser (that I hired) came to look at Jane today. He says the damage is severe but he doesn't think that it constitutes more than 75% of the value of the car, which is the cap that MetLife puts on cars to say that they're totaled. In other words, he thinks that the car is not totaled because the rest of it is so valuable. So that is good news.

There is a guy coming to do an estimate on the damage from a different restoration shop on Wednesday. He will give me an estimate of how much he thinks it'll cost to have Jane fixed. Chas can't do an official estimate (I don't think) since he does not have a licensed shop. Nevertheless, the car will ultimately be going to him. The guy who is going to do the estimate for me asked if I had a shell to move my parts over into as it would be easier than fixing my car and I told him in no uncertain terms that I will only accept my car being fixed. I will absolutely not be abandoning Jane after all that she did for me.

The insurance appraiser is coming tomorrow. He will be writing us a check for the amount that I want for repairs on the car. Either we can do it the easy way (he writes me the check and leaves me alone to do what I need to do) or we will be doing it the hard way (my attorney goes after the insurance company for the full cost of the car, emotional damage, physical damage, plus cost of labor for building the car in the first place). It is in their best interests to cut me a check and leave me alone and hopefully they will understand that fairly quickly so I can get a move on with this thing.

In the meantime, they have gotten me a rental car since I technically have nothing to drive. It's a Toyota Corolla and it's pretty awful. I have no idea how people see out of these new cars because there's so many pillars and headrests and what have you in the way of the windows. No wonder people hit each other all the time now, the only way you CAN see is forward! I ripped out all of the additional headrests (not mine) and what have you and it's a little better but the windows are still weeny. The insurance company will ALSO be paying for my rental in Colorado, as I was going to be driving Jane out there for the summer. If they try to push me then that rental will be a brand new Mustang GT instead of some econobox.

So far the company has been very accommodating but I am done freaking out and am ready to get down to business. They will not be screwing around with me because my car needs to be back on the road right now, not right "whenever they feel like it". So far they have been very prompt about things. It may become more complicated once it becomes apparent that more money is involved, but I won't push until they push because I think that it's unfair for either party to take advantage of the other.

Additionally - Chas was up in PA at Carlisle selling a car when he got the news. He bought a new rotisserie while up there with my car in mind. I do not deserve to have such good friends but I am very glad to have them.
***END EDIT***

***EDIT 2***
Here is a link to a post from my Dad on page 12 of the thread.

Chas has seen pictures but has not seen the car in person. He says the car will need to be clipped. He has a donor car.

The appraiser who was supposed to come look at Jane next Monday has been called. He is still going to do an appraisal but now it will be a "prior to loss" appraisal.
***END EDIT***


***EDIT 1***
Thanks to all who are concerned for me. My inbox was full (it's always at 98% anyways because I hoard messages with useful information in them) but it has now been emptied so if anyone needs to contact me privately you are welcome to do so. Apologies for that.

With regard to my neck, yes, I am going to keep an eye on it. My neck is not in good shape to begin with (xrays show that it is bent into a configuration backwards of what it should be) so I know when things are not right. Luckily, I frequent a lot of heavy metal concerts so my neck muscles are pretty strong :) I will be going to the doctor later today or tomorrow but so far the pain is not too bad. Just feels like I've been at a metal festival, I guess.
***END EDIT***

***BEGIN ORIGINAL POST***

Well, I was driving to go to pick my advisor up for lunch today at 12:45PM and slowed down for someone to turn into the gas station. The 83-year-old man behind me somehow failed to see me slow down (or even see me at all somehow) and thus he continued on his trajectory. I saw him about 1.5 seconds before he slammed into the back end of Jane at approximately 45-50mph - floored the gas when I saw him coming but it was simply not possible to get up to speed before he got Jane up to speed for me. I was going about 10mph. Results are not good.

I am unhurt. Ms. Jane took really good care of me and aside from getting smacked in the face with the dozens of pennies in the ash tray as the ash tray was forcibly ejected from the dash, there is nothing wrong with me. Probably have a little whiplash but it's not bad and my neck is not stiff as of right now.

Jane is another story. She is completely trashed. I killed the engine and put it in neutral as soon as the guy was done destroyed her with the front end of his car so that the drivetrain wouldn't get messed up any further than it already is. I believe that it is okay but not sure and haven't tried to start it up since out of fear of a misaligned driveshaft and/or driveshaft shoved into transmission. The body is bad off though. Quarters are crumpled, taillight panel / valence are obviously trashed, rear frame rails are crumpled, doors are tweaked because they got shoved forward by the quarters, decklid is dented in, etc. Inner quarter trim is shattered to some degree. The enormous spare tire I keep in the trunk (205x70x14) I think helped me a LOT. Hubcap popped off of it so I assume that when the guy plowed into me the tire took up some of the force and bounced it right back at him, preventing it from being transmitted to me / as much of the rest of the car. Anyways, pictures are posted below:


















To reflect upon this, there are several lessons to be learned here.
1) Being rearended will not, in fact, cause you to explode in a fireball. My gas tank is crumpled but not leaking and not on fire.
2) Being rearended will not, in fact, cause you to become impaled on the '65-'66 Spear-o-Matic steering column. In fact, you will not even hit it. 3-point seatbelts had a lot to do with this - highly recommend.
3) Driving in a classic car and then getting in a wreck will not, in fact, cause you to end up dead due to lesser safety standards of the '60s. I am not feeling very dead yet, at least.
4) You should not drive a vintage car in an area known to be frequented by retired old people. I am aware that many people on this board label themselves as "old" but I would assume that you are all aware that there will be a point in time in which you are no longer suitable to drive a car. Please do NOT pass this point and continue driving, or you may destroy someone's hopes and dreams on the road.

To conclude, Ms. Jane has been loaded onto a rollback and is currently on her way to Raleigh where an insurance appraiser will come and do his worst. I will then fight with that appraiser, hopefully for not a long time, and then she will be sent off to Chas's. The plan is to rebuild her - he has a shell sitting out in his backyard that may need to become a back end donor. No idea how hard I'll get screwed by insurance but I will find the money somewhere to bring her back to where she was before.

Some of you know this, but I was somewhat keeping it a secret because I wasn't sure if she would be ready - the plan was to drive her to Colorado Springs for my summer job in 3 weeks to use as my daily driver as an extended trial run for the summer. That is obviously no longer the plan.

It was a beautiful day for driving today. I saw a lot of classics out. Hope that you all were able to enjoy your cars as I enjoyed mine.

Kelly
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I had three perfect days of driving that car before someone took it away. Three years of work for three perfect days.
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
So sorry, glad your ok. What kind of heavy boat was the 83 yo driving? Have you thought about aftermarket brighter taillights? I stare at the rearview mirror at llights because I dont think the stock tails are bright enough for todays drivers.
He was driving a brand new Toyota compact something, it had 14 miles on the clock and he was driving it home from the dealer. His wife was following him in their old car because she was "too scared" to drive the new one in case she messed it up. Yes, we all see the irony.

My taillights are super-bright LEDs. There was no way for him to not see me other than eyesight problems and/or incompetence.
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
With regards to insurance, I am insured under a normal stated value policy because the car is a daily driver and collector car insurance puts limitations on mileage, location, usage, etc. The car was going to be officially appraised by someone on Monday. I will never again make that mistake.

Luckily my insurance company is very good and they have always been good to our family. Our family also has a history of extreme tenacity (see: my approach when building this car for 3 years) and so I have no doubt that we will give the insurance companies hell. I do have a parts list and photos for literally everything on the car so that will help me out. There are also photos of the car and videos of it driving on Monday so it cannot be contested that she was any different shape.

Thanks to all for the condolences. This is a hard one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Oh, and with regard to where Jane will be taken to get her fixed - she will be going to nowhere other than Chas's place. I know that he does excellent work and, most importantly, he works fast. I do NOT want to get stuck in some high dollar resto shop that will take years to give my car back because they are running other cars through at the same time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #41 ·
1. Driving under a stated value policy means if your insurance company needed to fix your car...it would be totaled and you would find out the hard way you wanted an agreed value policy.
2. Since you didn't have an agreed value policy in place chance your insurance company will fight for you are slim to none IMO when the other guys insurance company sends you a check for $12k and calls it a day (plus takes the car)
3. You should not have had it towed anywhere but to your house when an adjuster can come look at it. IF you had a 25k agreed value policy you would still be hard pressed to get it fixed.

I'm sorry for your loss. Every piece of sheetmetal from the fenders back (sans hood) has to be touched on that car, plus underside metal, sub frames, roof line issues.....
Yes, it has been towed to my house. It just got there 2 minutes ago, actually. We spoke with the guys insurance company to make sure that we could move the car to my house because we didn't want them to claim that additional damage happened during transport. Many pics were taken of the condition of the car before it left.

Agreed value insurance would have been optimal and had it been an option, I would have taken it. Unfortunately it wasn't so I couldn't, and I guess it's all irrelevant now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #57 ·
Gesss,
Kelly so sorry to read this post. But most importantly you were not injured. I have fixed worse so I'm sure it can be repaired just hope the insurance doesn't fight you too badly.

Let me know what parts you need and I will help you out with that. I also have a couple parts fastbacks that you may need something from.

Hang in there,
Chris
Thanks Chris, appreciate it. You were actually the first person I thought of when I was thinking about how to rebuild - I was planning on coming up to see your place soon anyways, I guess. We'll see what Chas has to say but I might be needing the rear end of a parts car you've got around... he can do wonders though and I am not a body person, so I don't know. I just know that anything damaged further than quarters is really bad news.

Strangely enough, some random pieces completely escaped damage. The bumper guards of all things are unscathed (did a pretty s**tty job of protecting the bumper!), taillights are fine, and one of the end caps is covered in his paint but appears to still be straight. Given how easily those crack I have no idea how that one worked.
 

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Discussion Starter · #59 ·
Damn, I knew I didn't want to open the thread. Glad you're ok.

Obviously I know exactly how you feel right now, it will only get worse before it gets better. The easy thing would be to get a different car, but there is nothing like knowing you brought it back from the grave like mine was. It may not have every panel in absolute perfect alignment, but it's still my first car, not a copy. Good luck, if you need corner caps, I have several sets of original ford ones, I'll give you the best set for the cost of shipping. I would use ford on the caps and deck lid if possible, better quality. Repop the rest from a reputable source.
Really appreciate the offer - think I will probably end up needing those if Chas doesn't have a set sitting around. One appeared fine but may not actually be; the other was totally twisted. Surprised they didn't split since they have a history of doing so.
 

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Discussion Starter · #65 ·
To all those urging me to keep an eye on my neck - I will certainly be doing so. Have a history of bad neck problems (last x-ray revealed that it is curved in the opposite direction than it should be) so I will know when something is up. So far best I can do is keep it loose and moving so the muscles don't stiffen up and lock it into a place where it's not supposed to be.

Best case scenario is that the wreck whipped my neck so hard that it cracked all the way back into the conformation it's actually supposed to be in! Doubt it happened, but you never know. Anyways, I've got a good handle on that. I will not be signing anything saying that I am okay until my car is fixed and I know that there is nothing wrong with my neck (this was impressed upon me heavily)
 

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Discussion Starter · #193 ·
To all watching this thread: it has been updated. See original post on page 1.
 

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Discussion Starter · #197 ·
Kelly,

You will think me a sentimental old guy, but reading your thread here just makes me want to sob out loud . . .

I feel guilty asking this while your pain is so fresh, but I think that your experience proves just how important the whole insurance thing is, and I'd like to try and make sure that I am reasonably protected if the same should happen to me.
At the moment, my insurance company (that has been damned good to me when my son and daughter in law wrecked two of my modern cars) has told me that they will only insure my pretty pony for liability - they will not offer any other options to even approach the value of my car, which I would estimate at $15K to $20K. (I've got $20K in it but am not sure if it is actually WORTH that much or not) So, at the moment, I am running with only liability on my 45 year old, rust free, never been wrecked, antique Mustang. In other words, every single time I take her on the road I am scared to death, and much as you described, these cars DO get a bit of attention and I have already only narrowly avoided several wrecks probably caused by gawking.

My point? Would you please share with me (us) any recommendations that you might have regarding insurance? What would you do differently? What did you do right? What should we do to best protect our investments and our joy?

Thank you Kelly, and again, I really am so sorry about your beautiful lady
Thanks for the condolences, it really does mean a lot and helps me not feel as terrible. I am very lucky to have so many people caring for Ms. Jane and/or me.

Regarding insurance - I have full insurance (daily driver policy) on my car through Amica. They have been awesome for our entire family for my whole life and have never batted an eyelash, even when my dad's woodworking shop got hit by lightning and set on fire shortly after we had finished rebuilding it (which happened because it was burned to the ground). Very good company and they gave me a policy with full coverage, it's just not agreed value. You should be able to get a policy that does at least stated value full coverage easily.

If you are not intending to drive your Mustang frequently, I would highly recommend you put it under Haggerty or Grundy - both very good classic car insurance companies that do agreed value (which means that you say how much you want the car insured for, they say okay, and then if you wreck it they pay out exactly that much). Classic insurance is the best way to protect your car. Mine is only under a normal policy because I drive it too much, too many places, and with too little protection (i.e. it isn't always garaged). If I could find an agreed value daily driver policy, I would be under it in a second - but as far as I have seen, no such policy exists. My car has been appraised for its full value by a professional appraiser though which will hold up against an insurance company fairly well (though we will find out just how well in the following couple of weeks). That's really all I can do to protect mine.

About wrecks caused by gawking - happens all the time to me. Usually people tend to veer away from the cars they're goggling at so I have to point out to them that they are about to rearend the car in front of them. I have only almost been hit once because of someone paying too much attention to my car (a father and associated family were driving behind me, looking at car, not looking at stoplight, had to stop very quickly when I stopped for the light). As far as I'm concerned, if you are looking at my car then it is harder for you to actually hit me. It's when you're not looking at my car that I'm concerned since apparently that's when the wrecks happen.

Wrecks happen. A lot. Lots of people on this board have had their prides and joys trashed by people who just can't pay attention. Thing is, until we invent force fields (which I clearly have yet to do), all we can do is hope for the best. It's no good to leave your car locked up out of fear of others because then you are letting your fear control you and the world is missing out on a great car. You can't control the actions of others. Better to drive frequently and defensively than to let your car collect dust.

As soon as Jane is back in one piece she will be going back on the road (but not in Wilmington, NC, because that city is far too dangerous to have any car in). I fully intend to finish her in time to drive across America to California and back in the summer of 2014. Along the way I will encounter many terrible, terrible drivers. But there's nothing I can do about that so I might as well just not worry.

I will keep you all updated on how insurance handles things.
 

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Discussion Starter · #203 ·
By the way I read your post, it seems as if you plan on having your insurance company involved? I would only talk to the insurance company of the man who hit you, no reason to Amica involved at all.
No, my insurance company will not be involved. Was just giving out some information regarding my coverage of my car (as it would be in the event of a wreck that was my fault or no one's fault)
 

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Discussion Starter · #211 ·
Edit 4 is up on the main post regarding chiropractors and insurance appraisers.

Mods, please let me know if I am spamming this thread to death and I will limit the updates to once every few days.
 

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Discussion Starter · #217 ·
Jus for my 2 cents, shop around for chiropractors, their not all the same.mi got hurt a couple of yrs ago at work and went thru the company's ppl for the first few weeks and hated it. Finally just bit the bullet and paid outta my own pocket for someone I liked. Made a big difference. Don't let them cheap out on the medical. Their at fault and you deserve to be taken care of, not just delt with....I'm sorry about the car, it's all of ours worst nightmare.
The chiropractor I am currently seeing is the exact same one that I have been seeing for a couple of years, so no problems there. All I had to do was file for personal injury through the claim already open.

So far they are doing a good job of taking care of me. It made me feel a lot better that they have been so accommodating.
 

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Discussion Starter · #231 ·
Hi Kelly,
I bought a really rough 65/66 fastback rear body the other day... I bought it kinda thinking you could use it since the back clip is good. If you need anything off it, it is yours for free. No worries it was cheap...

Just let me know when you get your parts list together and we can work out the same deal as last time.

Call or email me if you need anything. Best wishes, Chris
That is so, so generous of you Chris - I really can't thank you enough! As soon as we get Jane to Chas's shop we will figure out what we need. I might take you up on that because I feel kind of bad using his pretty restorable shell to piece Jane back together. I'll email you and see about getting some pictures of that.

You're the best!

To all others: EDIT has been posted in the original post.
 

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Discussion Starter · #238 ·
To all: original post has been UPDATED and a new thread will be started shortly for the whole rebuild. It'll be called "Calamity Jane's Rebuild #2: 2Fast2Furious" or something to that effect. Keep an eye out.
 
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