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Several years ago I picked up a 2007 Cayman S (replacing a 06 CS with tip). I posted the story of my return to Planet 9. The car seemed cursed, and I experienced numerous failures to the point that during one period it was costing me over $500 a lap for track days. In August 2013, the CS suffered the IMS failure--something that was not supposed to happen on the M97 engine. Even the law firm that handled the M96 IMS settlement wouldn't talk to me (Cue: "I'm a loser baby....").

I opted to rebuild and bore out the engine to 3.8l and do a bunch of other mods: Wavetrac LSD, racing clutch, LWFW, Tarret suspension upgrades, extra oil cooling capacity, etc. Put in $37k into the car. Vision Motorsports did the work. They were great: they even took the car to Buttonwillow for me to shake it down. The work was completed in May 2014.

This week the Cayman met its bitter end. Parked peacefully in the sun (see Street View, it was where the silver Range Rover is shown), it was T-sected by a 18yr kid in a rented Corolla--who was on his way to do community service to work off previous traffic fines.
Hit0.jpg 2015-04-07 15.07.02.jpg
It's complicated but if you look at the Street View here's what happened: The Corolla was coming east (towards the camera), and says he stopped at the stop sign. The weird thing about this intersection is that drivers going west do not have to stop before turning left (like the black SUV in the Street View). The beardless youth proceeded from the (alleged) stop, when a Mazda SUV turned left in front of him without signaling--says he. He swerved left to avoid (and he must have punched it), but alas his tender years and hence lack of both judgment and advanced car control skills were no match for the law of physics (he's heading downhill and accelerating) and the generally crappy tires and handling of said Corolla. The Cayman was felled with fatal body blow, as if delivered by The Hound himself.

The hit was so hard it pushed the car up over the curb and six feet across the sidewalk. It sheared off the support arms on the right rear side and torn off the transaxle as well. See how far the right rear wheel is displaced.
Shear1.jpg Side1.jpg

The accident site a total show stopper: people were driving by and taking lots of pics on their phones. I was thinking of charging $1 a shot, going towards the Cayman Reconstruction Fund. If you saw any of them on Instagram, Twitter or FB let me know. I bet those have gotten more views than all of my track videos combined.

The car's been taken to a premier body shop in SF and was initially inspected today; a more complete tear down is next week, but the early read is that this a total. Even if they could straighten the frame, it will never be the same, especially for track work, which is what it had been set up for.

Now the fun of subrogation begins: Allstate is going to pay my claim--the only question is how much--and then go after the other drivers. The Corolla (AAA) is going to say that the Mazda (Farmers) is liable because she did not signal and he had the right of way. Mazda is going to say she did signal and she had it. If the Corolla stopped and then entered the intersection, then the normal rules are back in play and the Mazda has to yield to oncoming traffic, since this is now just like any other two way street. Hertz, the owner of the rented Corolla, is going to ask the youth's father, "hat the f' was your recidivist son doing driving a car you rented?", and make a claim against AAA for damage to the Corolla. AAA in turn which again will seek it's own subrogation from Farmers! Fun fact: in the insurance biz apparently the Mazda is called the "phantom" because she was involved but not hit.

How much? Well, the Edmunds' value on an 07 CS with similar mileage and average condition is $24k. Totaling my receipts for the upgrades that were on the car when I bought it (Borla, Softronic, IPD etc.) and what I've added since (above, plus PSS9, GiroDisc, short shift, etc.) gets me to $76k+ (still hunting down details, so likely more). My view is that this is the value because it's my replacement cost: what would it cost me to obtain a similar car. It's not like you can get a 3.8l CS with all of upgrades on Craigslist or Ebay, and I had no intention of selling the car, so pricing for "private party sale" does not really work. Think of it this way: If you bury your car into the front living room of your neighbor's house and take out their uber-expensive Italian crocodile leather couch and coffee table hand-carved from a solid block of titanium, you pay to rebuild the house and replace the furniture--not the what the furniture would have sold for, or something "comparable" from Costco.

Allstate said in an email that they are my "ADVOCATE" (their all caps, not mine) and will work with me on the valuation, and then that's what tell go after AAA/Farmer's for. I've been an Allstate customer for 26 years for home, auto and life, so I think they'll recognize the expected future value of keeping me loyal for another 26 years. Let's hope.

There is a silver lining here. I've been in discussion with the City and they are moving forward with putting stop sign at this intersection. Too late for my beloved.

Until I get a replacement, I still have a fully track prepped E36 M3, so I'm not entirely without salvation. (Odd fact: I was doomed, Final Destination-like, to be loser that day. If the young man had not swerved but instead plowed into the Mazda, then they would have likely nailed my M3 which was parked across the street from the Porsche. Lesson learned: never park near a T intersection (and similarly, never fly on the same plane as your spouse).

What's next? GT4? 997.2 GT3? Or....Alfa 4C? I don't know just yet. Your input appreciated.

Sign me: Blue-Blasted
 

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That really sucks. I had a similar fate to my beloved 72 Camero back in 1981 and to make it worse I was overseas at the time and the car was parked on the street in front of my buddies house. A 15 year old kid took his dads car for a joy ride and lost control into my car. In this case the insurance company let me keep the wreck and I sold off all the upgrades.

Just a thought, if the car is considered totaled, ask if you can keep it or buy it back from the insurance company. My guess is they will get estimates from salvage yards and would only charge you what they would pay. Then remove all your goodies and either sell them yourself, have someone do it for you on consignment, or put them into your next Cayman. At least this way you would probably more than recoup your financial loss.
 

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What a terrible sad experience!

Sorry to see it end this way, but I'm happy that you and your loved ones were safe from all of this. I think the 18 years old got shaken by the accident and it may affect him for sometime.

On the bright side, it's a tough call between the 997 GT3 and GT4. Since you're a track bunny, you'll be a better judge. But in my case, I'd choose the GT4 for the sake it's newer and still has its glamour on the street and track.

Best of luck
 

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Sorry to hear about the loss of your cayman. For your next vehicle, I'd personally go with the GT4. I think it's probably the best value for the money assuming you're not paying $10k+ markup. :)

Good luck!
-Moto
 

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Why not look for a Cayman S roller? It may take a bit of time, but they're certainly out there. Then transfer all your special bits and you're off to the races (pun intended).
 
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How much? Well, the Edmunds' value on an 07 CS with similar mileage and average condition is $24k. Totaling my receipts for the upgrades that were on the car when I bought it (Borlaicon, Softronicicon, IPD etc.) and what I've added since (above, plus PSS9, GiroDisc, short shift, etc.) gets me to $76k+ (still hunting down details, so likely more). My view is that this is the value because it's my replacement cost: what would it cost me to obtain a similar car. It's not like you can get a 3.8l CS with all of upgrades on Craigslist or Ebay, and I had no intention of selling the car, so pricing for "private party sale" does not really work. Think of it this way: If you bury your car into the front living room of your neighbor's house and take out their uber-expensive Italian crocodile leather couch and coffee table hand-carved from a solid block of titanium, you pay to rebuild the house and replace the furniture--not the what the furniture would have sold for, or something "comparable" from Costco.

Your analogy is on target, but there is one caveat. The house in your analogy or your Cayman must be insured for their actual value which must be identified before the loss and not after the loss. I expect that the Insurance premiums that you paid were based on the value of a typical Cayman and not a highly modified one.
 

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Back when my Base Cayman had gotten wrecked and it was deemed not my fault I presented receipts to the insurance company for the TPC stage 3+ suspension, ClearBra and after market stereo and I got it all back prorated plus the value of the car. I had State Farm at the time. Sorry to hear about your accident.
 

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Sorry to hear of your CS troubles and here's hoping it gets resolved quickly and fairly (for you).

Also, please post how Allstate treats you payment. I cannot wait to see how they treat a 26 year customer.

Good luck,

Eddie
 

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Sorry to hear about your loss very sad indeed. I am an insurance agent in FL and I would expect Allstate to pay the actual cash value of your car plus the depreciated value of your mods based on how old they are. (This assumes the responsible parties have enough coverage to subrogate against). I would also ask for the cost to rent a car while you are down a vehicle. ( wether you rent a car or not)

Homes and contents coverage are based on replacement cost basis while vehicles are based on actual cash value. Word to the wise if you had wrapped this car around a tree by yourself Allstate would of not paid for any of the mods to the car unless you insure the car for a stated amount or agreed value. Since another party was at fault they are required to make you whole financially assuming they have high enough limits.

Allstate has reputation of being not generous with claim settlements unless pushed. PM me anytime if I can help.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for the condolences and the suggestions re insurance. I agree that if I was the cause of the accident, then the valuation is entirely different as stated. We'll see how much of an advocate for me Allstate really is.

I'm not included to buy a roller and start over. I essentially did that the last time, when the engine failed. I could have sold the car for salvage (I was offered 10k sight unseen) and bought another one and fixed it up. I'm done with that route.

I may just take the cash and fix up the M3 a bit, and wait a while for the GT4 and 4Cs to mature in the marketplace and then decide in a year.
 

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Sorry for this awful experience. Unfortunately, generally your damages will be limited to the fair market value of your car as modified. Not your cost, not the replacement cost of the used car with mods at retail, but fair market value, i.e., what a willing buyer would have paid for it in its pre-collision condition. Since there are few comparable sales and those few won't be too good for you, expect the damages to be contested, unless you're very lucky which doesn't seem to go with the car. And don't expect Allstate to be much of an advocate for you. You should plan to advocate for yourself or hire an attorney although that will erode your recovery. I really hope you have a better experience than I predict.

Getting the salvage (if the engine is undamaged) as suggested above is something to seriously consider.


Dan
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Sorry for this awful experience. Unfortunately, generally your damages will be limited to the fair market value of your car as modified. Not your cost, not the replacement cost of the used car with mods at retail, but fair market value, i.e., what a willing buyer would have paid for it in its pre-collision condition. Since there are few comparable sales and those few won't be too good for you, expect the damages to be contested, unless you're very lucky which doesn't seem to go with the car. And don't expect Allstate to be much of an advocate for you. You should plan to advocate for yourself or hire an attorney although that will erode your recovery. I really hope you have a better experience than I predict.

Getting the salvage (if the engine is undamaged) as suggested above is something to seriously consider.


Dan
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I expect that a lawyer will be required to recover damages over the "fair market value" for the Cayman without mods. Unfortunately, I doubt that any attorney will take a case like this on a contingency basis; it will almost certainly be on a fee basis. Generally, the winner of a lawsuit isn't the one who has the better case. It's the one with the most money. You can't just win. You have to fight and win. And that costs money. LOTS of money. Especially when your lawyer is charging you $300 an hour, and you are fighting an Insurance company with deep pockets.
 

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Don't hire a lawyer--you don't really need one, and it won't make economic sense, and will likely actually hurt you. Present Allstate with all the receipts for the work done. Don't start out confrontational--just act like you expect them to make you whole. That's what insurance is for.

They'll balk. That's when you start to become more insistent. Point out to them that they have full subrogation rights, so they have an avenue of recovery. Stick to your guns--you should not be in any hurry. Insurance companies will always try to make it a game of attrition, and if you mention you have a lawyer, they'll just drag it out longer to bleed you dry.

If things get ugly, as they might well, use a few magic phrases, like "report Allstate to the insurance commissioner" and "bad faith." Insurance companies hate that. If you keep cool and talk the lingo, they might conclude that you are a lawyer yourself. (Obviously, don't mislead them--just stay at a Holiday Inn Express.) If the adjuster is unwilling to cooperate, ask to speak to his/her supervisor. Keep bumping things up. Ask them for permission to record your conversations, like they do. They really hate that.

DO NOT cash any check for less than the full agreed amount, as this may well constitute what is called an accord and satisfaction, which can release them from further liability.

They are not your advocate, you are not in good hands, and they are not just like a good neighbor. They are in the business of making money and reducing claims costs. If you make it clear that you will not simply go quietly (or quickly, or cheaply), they hopefully will decide to pay you to go away and screw the next guy.

Terry
 

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Unless you notified your carrier of the mods and paid the appropriate difference in premiums to cover them, am afraid this will not turn out good. Probably covered in your policy's fine print. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
If you keep cool and talk the lingo, they might conclude that you are a lawyer yourself. (Obviously, don't mislead them--just stay at a Holiday Inn Express.) Terry
Well, I am a lawyer, and they probably know that already. That said, insurance law is not my gig.

Good points Terry re some tactics to make use of if need be. Thus far, Allstate has been cooperative, but that's no assurance they will continue. Economically, i could see that they would at most offer what they think they can get back from Farmers and AAA. AAA and Farmers will say that is f(FMV), and so Allstate may take that position as well.
 

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Hey sorry to hear about your loss. If you decide to part out any of the upgrades. Let me know.

thx
 

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Very sad news! Others have good posts discussing the insurance issues. I hope it works they cover the value of the mods!

I'm curious what the insurance company buy-back value is. If I'd bet someone on here would love to have a chance to purchase it.
 

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sad news, hope you can get a speedy resolution to the issue.
however, glad you're ok and were not in harm's way.

I'm sure the items would be useful to another cayman out there.
Hope the parts find good homes if you choose to sell them on.
 
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