Last post on Dec 11, 2012 at 7:27 AM
You are in the Classic Cars
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Ford Thunderbird, Car Buying, Coupe
#55 of 63 Re: Classic car inspection? [texases]
Aug 25, 2010 (4:09 am)
This was not about and appraisal but a pre-purchase inspection. They simply document the cars condition as they find it on the day.
#56 of 63 Re: Classic car inspection? [omarman]
Aug 25, 2010 (8:07 am)
Yeah, I had a 1964 Impala SS with a 400 H.P. 409.
It looked and ran OK but it needed a total restoration.
When I was a kid I had a 1962 Impala SS. It had the 300 HP 327 engine. I wish I had it today. It was extra nice with factory air conditioning and power windows.
#57 of 63 Re: Classic car inspection? [isellhondas]
Aug 25, 2010 (9:49 am)
When I was around 15 years old (early 90s) a friend's father sold his 62 SS. It was white with red interior, I think it was a 327, I am pretty sure it too had AC and maybe power options, and it was to my eyes immaculate, the whole package seemed pretty gorgeous to me. He got $6500 for it, which seemed too cheap to me then. Those 61-64 Impalas were stylish cars, especially for the period. When I was looking for my first car, I located a less nice 64 SS, 327/4 speed, they were asking $4500 for it, but it was too rich for me.
#58 of 63 Re: Classic car inspection? [fintail]
Nov 02, 2011 (3:51 am)
Last week (28/10/2011) I had a 1977 Lincoln Mark V Givenchy inspected by Automobile Inspections LLC.
Firstly, let me say I used them several times in 2007 when I was looking for a classic US car to bring to my home here in New Zealand. I recall their reports being very thorough, highlighting what you just can't see on eBay photos. So I had no reluctance in using them again, some 4 years later.
Seems I either got lucky back in '07, or things have slipped - badly. The photos for a start are virtually useless - they show nothing that the seller's don't, and to top it off they're a much lower resolution! It really looks like the "inspector" either was lost for things to shoot, or didn't really care.
Examples include a photo of the radio. Uh, why? Especially as the shot has a great big shadow in front of it! There's a pic of the HVAC controls. Again, why? There's photos of that in the seller's ad, and they're bigger, clearer and have NO huge shadows blacking them out!!
There are exterior shots taken from what looks to be 10-15 feet away. Part of the (very little) narrative says the paint is "chipped" and "dull" but no photo he took even comes remotely close to show just how much. The only other narrative describes the vinyl top as "looks good, but not perfect". But yet again, no photos to show. (I actually received NO pics of the vinyl top whatsoever, so I don't know how imperfect it is. Is it bubbling? Tearing? Faded? Stained/discoloured? Does it appear original or is there evidence of replacement? Who knows? I know I don't!!)
One particularly odd detail concerns the headlight operation. The "report" states that all lighting - low/high beam etc - work fine, yet the item on the checklist "If the car has concealed/pop up headlights, do they work as intended?" he's marked that question "Not Checked". How the hell can you know if the lights work at all then??? Remember folks, this is a 70s Lincoln here.
But he took no less than 4 photos of the spare tyre, so at least I know that's in good shape. Good grief!
He was unable to acces a ramp to get a decent look underneath - OK, fair enough. But why not at least pretend you're half-interested and just take a few shots down the sides and under the front and rear bumpers from ground level? At least it'd be something. Along with perhaps pictures of the door jambs, under the doors, that sort of thing, rather than random, shadow-filled rubbish.
Sorry AutomobileInspections LLC, you have lost this repeat customer for good.
#59 of 63 Re: Classic car inspection? [caddyman1975]
by Mr_Shiftright HOST
Nov 02, 2011 (8:45 am)
Well this is the problem we spoke about earlier. These inspections are "brokered" out to individuals who are contractors, and, I suspect, not heavily vetted. Also, the inspector does not make a lot of money per car, so has no incentive to take his/her time.
With giving out brokered jobs, the inspection company has no good way to regulate consistency except by providing a standard form to fill out. But whether it's done accurately or just "filled out", is the problem.
#62 of 63 Re: Cars On Line.com [mechatech]
Dec 10, 2012 (4:44 pm)
I made the mistake of using JJ's Auto Pre-Purchase Inspections. I had them inspect two different cars -- one in Boston, one in Chicago. Both were 1969 Roadrunners. I ended up purchasing one of them -- then I realized how inaccurate the report was. They missed some very obvious things, including a sticking clutch (that was physically catching on the starter during operation), an obvious exhaust leak at the head, non-functional wipers, leaky differential, and a non-functional temp gauge. There was actually an aftermarket temp gauge that wasn't working either. The inspector missed all these things, although his checklist included checking temp after the vehicle was driven, and checking wiper and clutch operation.
After finding these issues with the car, I contacted JJ, who basically denied any responsibility. Even when I asked how she could justify an inspector that doesn't realize that the temp gauges are not working (even though it's on his checklist), she avoided the question.
I will NEVER use JJ's again!!!
#63 of 63 Re: Classic Car Inspection
Dec 11, 2012 (7:27 am)
I've been following this discussion for quite some time. I felt the need to contribute because I do it for a living. First I'd like say to caddyman1975 and michaelm75 that I'm sorry you received sub-par service from these companies. Those things should not be overlooked. Additionally, undercarriage photos are easily obtainable without a lift, its done by laying on the ground.
I agree with Mr_Shiftright that some big national companies that broker out these jobs to individuals have some obvious quality control issues. There needs to be more consistency there. It is also my understanding that some financial institutions that dispatch inspectors don't check the cars thoroughly due to the company SOP, so that is not a problem with the individual performing the inspection.
With all the company bashing going on here, its important to mention that not all businesses are like the ones mentioned in this discussion. There are lots of smaller quality operations out there. I own a regional PPI business in Pittsburgh and we take GREAT PRIDE in our services. Not all inspection companies are the same and I don't want to see a few bad apples affect the reputation of the entire industry.
Just like any other service, I would suggest taking the time to do some homework before hiring a company. Happy Hunting and Happy Holidays!