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Perspective ..I have a lot of hauing experience with IAA and COPART , even though the auction declaration states " Run n Drive " it's usually not the case and was super rare to have one that actually ran ...Absolutely everything needs to be disassembled, the sub frame will need to be internally cleaned of salt and or rust sealed and most everything cannot be salvaged. Then begin a total restoration, running quick numbers $35,000 - $40,000 plus ...not including the high bidder and associated COPART fees. I would pass.....

Last edited by Alan Merklin

A salt water immersion is certain death. Worse is to not understand how it all goes down, and when the water recedes you try to start it.  I Did not see it but I got an eye-witness account of a fellow who tried just that down on the Outer Banks.  Out there most houses are up on pilings to avoid the flooding that routinely happens.  The space under the house is a very convenient, and pretty much free carport.  So the guy who tried to start his ocean-soaked car after the water went down not only burned up his car, but his house too.  The fire departmenst out there on the Banks can be very far away.

and I just left there last Friday. What I see is someone who had an opportunity to declare on a car they didn't drive.

I've lived on the water most of my life and have been flooded many. The tell tale signs of salt intrusion I do not see in the photos, which are just photos but the storm was back in October so some drying would have taken place and salt residue would be present. Even if you rinse the car down, every time moisture is present any moisture in the air will activate any salt residue and it reappears, as salt is a desiccant.

There is some pitting on the spedo bezel but any car will get that if not in a climate controlled environment. The engine would certainly be effected as the alternator and AC compressor are aluminum.

My neighbor had a Cadillac and water came up to the wheel rims and they totaled it because it was in a flooded area. During Florence I had 9 foot of water in my garage but had moved my Speedy and 911 to a friends garage in the same area, his house was dry yet six houses down from him  had water in their houses.

If I had moved my cars back to my flooded garage it would have been a photo op.

I am in the middle of refurbishing a salt water hurricane flood for a client of mine.  Water "only" made it up to the gauges and for a very short period of time, and we knew pretty well what we were getting into from the start. However, we did find several surprising things that I'll share.

There is no saving the engine or transaxle.  The salt water did things tot he engine case and trans case that I've never seen before.  Literally ate them form the inside out, despite draining fluids and trying to preserve those components very quickly.  I, literally, can stick my fingers through the side of the trans case.  I removed the oil sump plate from the engine without unbolting it and most of the engine intervals are mush.  I didn't bother trying to plot the case and check the crank, at this point I figured it wasn't worth the risk of trying to reuse and we'll do a fresh new engine build.

Wiring looked OK overall, but we cut back wire coating to double check and the corrosion has traveled up wires by several feet.

Aluminum parts polished right up, but chrome parts only appeared to polish up and after sitting amy of them are starting to puff up and flake/peel.

So, in short, my suggestion for anyone considering this would be to look at it as buying a body and if you can salvage anything additional then it's a bonus.  Just my $0.02

@imperial posted:

Does the salt water hurt the fiberglass ?
Where the holes are drilled and it’s raw fiberglass can it delaminate ?

and if it’s a VW floor pan car , how do you clean out the inside of the tunnel ?

thanks for the info

Short answer, yes.

Water can soak into any exposed edge or smashed area where the surface seal has been compromised.  This can be lessened with higher quality resins, but we see it the worst in the high volume production resins common in chopper gun bodies and a lot of mass produced (older) boats.

I have not restored a submerged bely pan, however there are internal frame coatings marketed as rust "converters" that, in theory, will lock in rust and prevent it from continuing and they make spray equipment with long hoses and a nozzle on the end in order to insert it into one pipes/frame and coat the insides for this purpose.

Because I was tempted, I ordered an inspection.

Engine is shot.  Submerged to about 18", mud and rust everywhere.  Transmission and engine are total losses.  Top's pretty bad too, several punctures.  Looks like they didn't even try to hose off the salt before letting her sit, so it's pretty ugly.  Smells something awful too, they left all that to fester in the sun.

What a shame.

Last edited by Mark Jensen

Someone talk sense to me.  Keep in mind I bought a 1920's boat that has somehow avoided destruction for 100 years - and don't mind living on it with my 6 year old.  I'm immune to most common sense.

Ok, I need to swap out the wiring, engine, transmission, engine.  Honestly except for the top I'd have to do that with a used care anyway based on 5 months watching on sales - lots of underpowered cars out there.

Ok, so ... pull transmission, engine, swap for new type 4 and matching transmission, pull wiring and replace.  What, about 40k.  Carpet, swap wiring, hire someone to convert/seal rust on frame.... what am I missing?

Last edited by Mark Jensen


Yes.   Rust bucket.  Tell me more about standard parts not fitting.  That actually is really  useful.

From photos, even the clutch/brake.gas pedals are shot.  

Exhaust through the bumper is interesting/perplexing.  Rust more so.

Man if I'd seen a modern IM for sale in last 4 months this would be such an easier decision.


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Last edited by Mark Jensen
@WOLFGANG posted:

I thought by 2013 all IM Convertible D had moved from VW pans to custom tube chassis?  If so they also have a fiberglass floor. Recall they used Porsche 914/911 torsion bar front ends - and not the VW H beam.

Image result for porsche 914 front suspension

Not for all of the cars it depends on what was ordered.  In any case the frame would still be exposed to the salt and corrosion, I hope whoever gets it is forced to declare it as a salt water bath rebuild.  In any case if it does have the 914 suspension they would be all corroded inside. Anyway IMO I would stay away !

The one with towel hangers sold on 10 Feb - last bid I saw was $10,400 but that was a couple days before auction ended.  Curious if someone here bought it.  Would be interesting to see what work is needed to get it back on the road.  Hopefully to someone with a little higher elevation than South Florida.

Louis Vitone one also sold.


Last edited by WOLFGANG

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