After selling my 88' M3 a few years ago, I have been itching to purchase another, only this time to be used as a dedicated track car rather than a daily driver. This weekend, I am going to be heading up to look at an fully running 89' with a salvage (accident) title for what seems to be a pretty good price.
The seller has been completely upfront about his knowledge of the car's history (kudos to him for being such a stand-up guy), and says that while he has no idea exactly what happened in the accident to result in the car being given a "salvage" title, he is aware that the damage occured to front driver's side, due to the signs of repair (he noted that it was obvious that the driver's side A-pillar was "pulled back into alignment"). Structurally, eveything else (core support, etc.) seemed to have been repaired well. For peace of mind, he took it to a frame shop where it was determined that it was a little out of spec and they proceeded to tweak it a bit and now it is completely correct. Other than that, he said that he drove it on the street for over a year with no problems.
So here are my concerns/questions:
1. Needing to pull an A-pillar back into alignment seems to be the result of a major impact. Has anyone ever had to have this done after an accident with their own car and repaired it? If so, was your shop able to get the car back to within factory tolerances? Is this a common thing to happen?
2. What specifically should I look for when I check out the car to determine the quality of the rebuild/potential structural integrety issues?
3. How capable are good body shops at getting a chassis completely back to within factory tolerances? How expensive is this (generally speaking of course)?
4. The salvage title was issued in 1990, only a year after the car was sold. I know now that the BB value of the M3 has dropped significantly, most accidents will result in a salvage title. However, being given a salvage title in 90', when the car had a much higher market value has me a bit worried as to extent of the damage that occured.
I will be completely stripping the car down to the shell to cage, reinforce and repaint. So if I need to take it to a body shop for some minor tweaking, its not problem. My biggest concern is all of the pick-up points for the suspension, subframes, etc.
Thanks in advance!