From time to time, a damaged 911 appears for sale and, at first sight, they can look very tempting. Take a look at this one, for instance.
£13,500 for a very low-mileage 2003 996 sounds a great deal, doesn’t it? Now, it’s impossible to assess fully the damage but I can see it needs a couple of front wings, bonnet, front bumper, at least one front light, front panel, while the inner wings and body structure are probably distorted, too. Looking at the puddle of coolant under the car, I’d bet it’ll need a new radiator and probably air-conditioning bits, too.
Add to that the fact the whole front end will need repainting in the original metallic paint, both front airbags have gone pop, and there may be damage/distortion to the suspension, then this won’t be a cheap car to repair. Yes, you may be able to source secondhand panels but the main cost is going to be in labour. I’ll lick my finger and stick it in the air and guess you could easily get through £6000 sorting this out.
If the work was done properly – and there’s no point doing it otherwise – then you’d end up with a very nice car but it’s always going to be registered as an insurance write-off and, as such, will be worth less than an equivalent unmolested example. I’d value this at £20,000 maximum once fixed.
If you own a bodyshop and can do the work yourself then it’s worth considering. If you’ll have to pay someone else, then think carefully. If you want a cheap 911, then buy an insurance write-off that’s already been repaired by someone else.