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NSX Totaled! Your opinions on what's next, please

3 May 2010
Dallas area
It is with great sadness that I have to make this post. Nearly 6 weeks ago, and uninsured asshat T-boned my beautiful 2002. He was in a great hurry to visit the vape store before going to work :mad: I was totally blindsided and had no time to react. The fortunate part is that other than a couple of bruises and muscle soreness, no one was injured. The tragic news is that my baby is no more. The insurance agency had threatened to total it twice before but I managed to talk them off the ledge because they had little idea of the actual value of the car. As the body shop (Stuarts Paint and Body in Dallas) began removing damaged pieces, they kept finding more damaged pieces. The final nail in the coffin was when they discovered the drivers side frame rail was damaged. The supplemental estimate put the repairs at over 80% of the value and that means "totaled" to them. Today, I got that dreaded call. Now, decisions have to be made. They have given me a settlement figure of $75K, clear after deductible. I have asked for a "buy back" amount and they are going to have that for me tomorrow. So, I am asking you guys what you think is best to do. Let her go and start over on another NSX with a clean history or buy her back, make the repairs and have a care with a salvage title. FWIW, I had never intended to sell her anyway, I will talk to the body shop tomorrow to see if it is truly unrepairable (as was stated) or if it is not repairable because the insurance company closed the purse strings. If it is unrepairable, the decision is made for me. If it is repairable, things get tougher. Here are a few shots of the damage from the scene of the accident. The force of the impact ran my car up on the curb but it was there was a wheelchair ramp at the entrance to the strip mall (where asshat was going to the vape store) so the NSX went up smoothly and the passenger side seems damage free. The main impact was on the driver side front wheel and the momentum of my car dragged his forward and down my driver side door. The door was effectively welded shut. No damage to the rear quarter panel at all.




Photo #6.jpg

If I let her go, I have gotten the OK from the insurance company to remove all of my upgrades and replace them with the OEM parts that I have stored in my attic. Lots of work for sure but it will be worth it.

UPDATE March 23: I spoke with my insurance agent and he said that if I buy the car back and restore it, it will have a salvage title, which I already knew. It will be insurable but only from a liability standpoint. He explained it as "insurance is not going to pay you twice". That makes me inclined to not buy it back. He also explained that my policy does not guarantee that the settlement value will be sufficient to get me back into a comparable car. I have not received a buy back price yet but should hear something today. Thanks to everyone for their comments and sympathy.

UPDATE March 28: I have decided to save the NSX! I managed to get the insurance company (State Farm) to back off on the "Total Loss" thing and cut me a check for a bit over $50K to bring her back to her original glory. After speaking at length with Joe Lamarillo (pbassjo) at Vincent's Auto Body Works, I've decided that he is the surgeon with the skills! Now all I have to do is find a way to ship the car to him in NY and the project can begin. Thanks, everyone, for the suggestion, tips and references :smile:
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I hope there is a way to save this car :(
Man this sucks something awful! Can't they just get a new front clip?
This sucks man. I am glad you are okay. I am in a somewhat same type of situation with a blown motor. Too many options to set my mind on. Even wondering if I just scrap it and move on to a newer toy. I would try to buy it back but if you do not keep it forever it will never be worth much an a salvaged title. But it is extremely hard to find an 02 rio. There is a red 2004 with 8k miles though listed for 99k on eBay now. I think the 75k value is a bit low. Unless you have high miles.
Yeah, I've been scouring the web and there are very few '02+ cars for sale and all but the automatics are above $75k. I have about 58K miles on the clock. I haven't agreed to anything yet so i am going to try for more.
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That just sucks. My heart goes out to you. You have options but....

1) Depending upon the buy back number, if you know of a shop that can work with aluminum and the frame damage is not that off...
2) If the frame damage is too far gone, remove the mods and move along. Save those nice bits for your next NSX
3) If you do move along, watch for a nice 02+ in Black or Rio. Why Black? you can wrap the car for 1/3rd the price and the black will be a nice accent.
4) You could bite the bullet and go early NA2 or really go to the dark side and NA1. To be honest, I have enjoyed my (new to me NA1 much more than my '97)

It feels bad but luckily no one was injured badly and the insurance should make you whole again. It's nice to have options and you do. Keep us posted and best of luck.
All i have to say is...this car must not go to some hack that is gonna to tape it back together and wash the title, then sell it with a crappy repair.
Please do the right thing and give it a proper repair.
Been a shitty year so far in 2017.....

If $75k is their first offer I would ask them to reconsider their evaluation, obviously never accept their first offer.

Good luck and keep us updated
OMG, I feel horrible even reading this. Wade, I also say PM Pbassjo and ask his opinion what it would take to bring your car back to its former glory.

If you're comfortable with the salvage title if you buy it back, I say go for it. Otherwise, just move on and hope to find another for sale in the future.
I rebuilt my 91 after a (not as bad but very similar) hit. Getting a good front clip was very HARD! I ended up not needing it and sold it to recoup some $s. I have a expert paint/body guy that works on the side for me for a real value...but it took about a year.
I ended up adding carbon fiber, skirts, CTSC, etc...and LOVE the final product BUT I am an "operator/driver" NOT a collector.
1. Sorry for your loss but glad it wasn't worse

2. It will never drive the same after that kind of repair. Alignment alone will be difficult and chances are the chassis is weakened for a 2nd impact down the line.

3. They are undervaluing your car. Never take the first offer. You can easily prove this by scouring historical auction or NSX Prime, Facebook, etc. Just build your case.
If the value is $75k and the repairs were 80% that makes the repair about 60K?
That they came up with 60k worth of damage is a surprise to me.
Sorry to hear about this.

I was rear-ended in my Civic at the beginning of the year and was heartbroken, so I can only imagine the heartache you're dealing with (knock on wood).
I know the situation is completely different for you, but the offender's insurance ended up paying me 75% of the value and not totaling out my car (which was the best scenario for me, as I don't want to deal with a salvage title, but I also plan to re-build/build the car from ground up and keep it forever).
Either way, it's never fun to have to deal with these scenarios.

Best of luck with whatever happens. Hopefully you can bring her back to her former glory.
A local friend of mine use to be an insurance adjuster. He now owns his own brokerage. He's gotten the unfortunate people in our local car community top dollar for their insurance claims. This is the primary reason I don't carry a stated coverage policy. Should the time come when i'll also be heartbroken and my car is totaled the owner (me) needs to put in the legwork to argue the value of the car. It works. It even works on modified cars, though having receipts is the easiest in this scenario.

Best of luck to you. It's a crappy situation but at the end of the day it's only a car and you're safe.
PM pbassjo

I'll second this.

Joe is THE guy when it comes to NSX repairs. I've visited his shop on numerous occasions and he has the knowledge and tools to fix any NSX. More specifically to your situation, he has a machine designed specifically to repair aluminum frames within factory spec.

It might cost some extra $$$ to ship your car to him in NY, but IMO it'll be worth it. Good luck and really sorry this happened to you.