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Wayne 962's Avatar
Lesson Reinforced: Always get a PrePurchase Inspection!

So, as you guys may have known, I was looking at this car here:



from a company called Ecarlink.com. Well, I had them take the car into Park Place Porsche for a Pre-Purchase inspection, and it seems like the car has had a ton of not-so-good quality paintwork done on it. This is a one-owner, 1999 car.

This car was being billed as a flawless, one-owner car, and was priced at a premium for this status. I have no problems paying top dollar for a perfect car, but it has to be perfect. Not having been repainted within the first few years of it's life. The fellow at the Posrche dealership mentioned that he couldn't recall another prepurchase inspection car coming in with this much paintwork on it in the past. He said it looked like the roof was one of the oly areas where the paint was original. Paintwork across the car measured from .007" to .016". Now, I'm not a used car dealer, but in my opinion, a car billed as pristine and near perfect should not have *any* repainting. Maybe I'm unrealistic.

So, I call the guy up who is selling the car, and let him know politely that I'm disappointed that the car has so much paintwork on it. The guy (Len Critcher) totally blows a gasket - insisting that I tell him the name of the service manager at Park Place and saying "I'm going to call his boss and complain." Then he says, "okay, don't buy the car then" and hangs up on me! I was still talking (hello? hello?). I really couldn't believe that this guy hung up on me.

I didn't even get a chance to tell him what else they said about the car (missing floor jack, no toolkit, and the left and right rear tires were mismatched and had different wear, like someone was trying to cheap-out in replacing only one tire at a time).

This used car dealer guy (Len) also told me that he repaints cars all the time and that something like 70% of the cars he sees have been repainted (he only seems to deal in newer cars). Maybe I'm out of whack, but I would think for top-dollar premium on a 1999 Porsche, I would expect the car to not have been repainted - especially all over the car.

This just cements a few things that I tell people when they ask me (and they do ask me a lot):

- Avoid buying a car over the Internet, unless it's *so* cheap that you can afford to pay for problems to be fixed once you get it. (I have done this twice with good results).

- If you are buying one remotely, then always get a prepurchase inspection, no matter how slick the presentation is. Although this is still probably a very good car, it's not worth the "pristine top-dollar premium" that this guy was charging. Mechanically, the folks said this car looked pretty good, but it's probably a low $30K car versus a mint condition $37K car...

Buyer beware. PrePurchase Inspections = good.

Maybe I need calibrating, is it normal for cars this new to have extensive bodywork and paintwork?

-Wayne

Old 04-30-2007, 04:16 PM
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I would agree that 70% of the cars out there have had paint work before. My family has owned a dealership for over 60 years so I have seen this.

but in your case to charge a premium for a car that has had so much paint work is wrong.. Sorry it did not work out for you
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Old 04-30-2007, 04:26 PM
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It's not unusuall for a dealer to repaint a trade in in an effort to clean up little nicks and chips. After all who drives one of these like the proverbial "Little Ole Lady from Pasadena"? The sellers attitude sounds a bit snooty but that has only a minor bearing on the car. If your looking for a pristine car then I'd say pass....There is another one out there that was taken care of and didn't need to be touched up when traded in. Or bite the big bullet and get one that has your name on it from the factory.
My vote.....your not crazy!
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Old 04-30-2007, 04:32 PM
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i'm curious why it matters if a car has been repainted. sure, it can be an indicator of other things like accident repair, but if that is proven to not be the case, why should it affect the value of the car?

i agree that ppi's are critical, and that this seller seems to have a terrible attitude.
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Old 04-30-2007, 04:37 PM
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Re: Lesson Reinforced: Always get a PrePurchase Inspection!

Quote:
Originally posted by Wayne at Pelican Parts
..........Maybe I need calibrating, is it normal for cars this new to have extensive bodywork and paintwork?

-Wayne
Nope, not in my opinion. The paint on newer cars...pretty much all of them, CAN be pristine after only 7 or 8 years if they've been properly taken care.

As for cars that are generally considered "premium" like Porsches, BMW's, Corvettes, etc? My experience is they tend to come in two flavors:

1. Someone buys them either on a whim and don't really have the money to keep them up properly or if they DO have the money they may not have the inclination to keep them up properly (cosmetically or mechanically)

2. They are someone's long time dream and they cherish them so when they finally acquire them, they take over-the-top excellent care of them.

Obviously, look for the latter. I agree that a premium price for a truly premium car is reasonable if it's a car you truly want. As for hte car dealer? I'd say steer people far, far away from a guy like that.
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Old 04-30-2007, 04:43 PM
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Let me just echo that it doesn't matter to me if a car has been repainted or not. I actually think it's a plus, when there's the full story behind it. But what about a car at a used car dealership, with no records, no history, and a fresh repaint that has a few fisheyes in it (did I forget to mention that?). Add to that, the fact that this car is being billed as a one-owner pristine Porsche with a premium attached. I would personally prefer to hear from the one-owner why this car was repainted.

Also, for a Porsche, it seems odd that the car would require an extensive repaint in the very early years of it's life (it's about 8 years old). If you're like me, you keep your Porsche garaged, safe, away from dents, kids, animals, meteors, bird poop, falling satellite parts, and anything else that you think might damage it!

-Wayne
Old 04-30-2007, 04:44 PM
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Wayne, I have run into 2 people recently that have gotten older 996's for around 20K. No, they wern't silver or perfect, but the seats weren't all ripped up and the rest of the car trashed, either. Both Tiptronics, FWIW. For what your 308 must be worth, you should be able to buy a real nice car.

Obviously, this one wasn't. I think the seller is way off mark, but what do you expect from a car dealer? BTW, I obtained a CA car saleperson's license in '99 and worked a lot for all of 6 weeks. The business stinks from one end to the other. I didn't run into one person I would want over for dinner for fear they might steal the silverware.

(A note: I hate contractor bashing, yet I'm making a generalization here just as bad. What can I say? )
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Old 04-30-2007, 04:45 PM
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and get a PPI from someone willing to stand behind their job.

I had a horrible experience of a car with a good ppi which turned out to be a POS. When I contacted the PPI shop I was told that their responsibility was limited to the amount I paid for the PPI (and one of the attys I contacted seemed to agree that, that was the most I would get back...).

Buyer beware.......
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Old 04-30-2007, 04:46 PM
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That is ridiculous to have paint work done on that car if it is is pristine condition and then have parts missing as well. I sold a fellow my 98 M3 and when he arrived to pick up the car he was very pleased with what he saw. He then drove the car cross country and had no problems. I didn't think he would since the car was pristine and well maintained.

Len was on the way to screwing you. Good you caught him in the act.
Old 04-30-2007, 04:47 PM
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I have to agree Wayne. I would avoid buying any car sight unseen. I was very close to pulling the gun on a 2004 545. A member here, Pete Brown, was nice enough to stop buy and give me his opinion. The picture he sent me didn't lie. These are from their website:

http://stoddard.autorevo.com/webtemplate.aspx?iid=69020



These are what Pete sent:



After seeing the pictures he sent, I passed. If your lucky enough to have someone do this for you and it still checks out, maybe I would consider it.
Old 04-30-2007, 04:49 PM
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Re: Lesson Reinforced: Always get a PrePurchase Inspection!

Pelican Parts patronized Park Place Porsche for a Pre-Purchase Perusal?
Old 04-30-2007, 04:51 PM
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I've never bought a car from a dealer and never will. Always from a private party that has owned the car for 5+ years...
I don't trust dealers - they know all the little dirty tricks.
Old 04-30-2007, 04:59 PM
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That's a lotta 'lliteration.
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Old 04-30-2007, 05:04 PM
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If the car needed that much paint work on it, than who know's how the car was driven or maintained. I agree. PASS ON IT FOR SURE!
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Old 04-30-2007, 05:14 PM
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I've been burned in the past on this also. You did the right thing. Better to have a frustrated person you didn't buy from then ending up with the wrong car and having to live with it. I am amazed at the number of people that sell cars who have little care of concern about integrity. very sad indeed.
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Old 04-30-2007, 05:34 PM
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Even if the paint was flawless, the coating is a little on the thick side. OEM paint should be on the order of 4-5 mils (.004-.005"). 6 mils (0.016") is 3-4x the thickness and leads me to believe they primered over and/or laid the top coat on top of damaged original finish - perhaps a "pre-sale" paint job. Masking rather than removing door handles, emblems, window trim, etc. would reinforce that theory.

Most paint guys believe thick paint isn't durable, can lead to cracking.

Good thing your PPI shop caught that.

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Old 04-30-2007, 05:37 PM
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Why consider a car that has no history?

No books, no records, no spare keys, no radio code means no buy.

Unless there is a very good reason. Sometimes there is.
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Old 04-30-2007, 05:47 PM
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Got a PPI on a car today...spent a couple of hours with the car last week, but when it got on a hoist at the shop today, they found it rotten throughout the front suspension and front clip...never, ever buy a car without a PPI.
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Old 04-30-2007, 05:52 PM
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One of my coworkers worked for a porsche dealer in their body shop in the early 80s. He said they often toatlly repainted brand new cars if they had shipping damage or whatever. There facility was state of the art and everything was carefully moniterd. The paint booths were kept at percisely the right temperature and the paint was baked on. Just babbling but wondering if maby thats the case here. Silver is a hard color to get perfect
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Old 04-30-2007, 05:58 PM
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Good idea passing on this car . Within the past two years I've bought two cars that I initially located over the internet. I had a PPI done. With my 993, I flew down to look at the car in person, checked it out then left a deposit. I prepared a contract that stated I would get the deposit fully refunded if the PPI was not acceptable. Any reputable seller should be willing to do this. I figured the price of a plane ticket was a small price to pay even if I had to walk away. Following the PPI, I had to fly back the following week to pick the ar up.

The phone conversations I had with the owner gave me a good feeling upfront. He was not only a car guy but was willing to describe the problems he knew about as well.

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Old 04-30-2007, 06:10 PM
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