Bit of Ivory

Bit of Ivory random header image

“Mind you, I quite like hope. Hope’s a good emotion. And here it comes… “

January 2nd, 2008 · No Comments

So. On Friday, Allstate finally got an adjuster out to see Lizzy. The results were not encouraging. They wanted to total her. The cost of the parts was more than they were willing to pay. But, they’d give us a lower figure if we wanted to get it fixed. About $4800 for totalling, about $3900 for just a settlement. We asked for time to think it over, and asked the body shop (at Mark Miller, the dealership we originally bought the car from) to do an estimate on how much it’d actually cost to get it repaired. If it was only a thousand or so more, Mom and Dad would consider doing it. After all, the main part of the car was undamaged, you know, the really important stuff like the engine. Anyway, it was a blow to hear that. I cried.

And then on Monday, Mark Miller called. Turns out that since Allstate decided the car was a total loss, the car would be declared a salvage car, and they wouldn’t even touch it. They said some places might take it on, but we were on our own. Crap. I cried some more.

Luckily, we had a bit of an ace in the hole. You see, before my mom and dad met, my mom had bought a brand-new Corolla. A ’77. And then, in 1983, when I was just a wee thing, some lady who was driving with a kid ON HER LAP and wasn’t paying attention to, you know, driving, slammed into Alex (the Corolla– you see my family has a long history of naming our cars) while it was parked in front of our house. Smashed up the whole trunk, not just the side of it like happened to Lizzy. And, of course, the insurance wanted to total it. But mom and dad were incredibly poor at the time (dad still in school, mom not working, 4 kids age 4 and under), and couldn’t have bought a comparable car for the money they were offering. Plus, Alex was my mom’s car, her first car. She loved that car. So they did something rather drastic. They found a body shop that would cut the back of Alex off and weld the back of another car to it. And what do you know, it worked. Of course, from then on the trunk said it was a 5-speed when it was actually a 4-speed. But they drove that car for another 15 years before it got hit again (this time in a parking lot, by a car whose driver hadn’t put on his parking brake, who had then driven off. Luckily, a bystander had written down his license # and he had the cops show up at his door. And yes, all of our major car accidents have been entirely the other person’s fault) and we finally donated it to the Utah Kidney Foundation (and yes, Mom cried when he got towed away, and still has his key on her keyring).

So, prior experience had taught us that the impossible-to-fix was– not quite so impossible. And dad remembered the name of the body shop who’d fixed Alex– The Other Body Shop. So he called them up. And it was even the same guy, Randy, although of course he didn’t remember having fixed a car back in 1983. :P Randy listened to the story and said that he thought it’d probably be fixable, but that he’d have to look it over to be sure. He and dad made an appointment for today.

The end of my lunchbreak rolls around, and I get a call from dad. Randy thinks Lizzy is definitely fixable. He can’t be sure until he gets it apart, but he doesn’t think the frame is bent. Dad asks him for a full bid, including a full paint job (which we were going to do in the spring anyway– there were some worrisome rust spots on Lizzy’s roof where the paint had chipped away–and which probably would have cost us $1500). Randy says he’ll have one later today.

Half an hour later, the bid comes in. Fully restored, full paint job– $4500. He’s already found the necessary parts from a Corolla DX that had front-end damage. They can get here in 3-4 days. Work could start next week.

It would still mean that Lizzy is a salvage car, which means that we couldn’t sell it to anyone else, really. And we won’t be able to have comprehensive on her anymore, just collision, which means that if Lizzy gets hit again ever, she’s toast. OTOH, the rates would go down. And I fully plan on driving Lizzy into the ground, and sending her away to join Alex when there’s no hope for her.

So, yeah. Mom and Dad haven’t decided for sure yet, but it’s looking hopeful that I might get my Lizzy back after all. Despite all indicators to the contrary.

Tags: Life

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