See the rebuild thread here.
***EDIT 6: 5/14/2013***
Got the damage estimate in today from NC Classic Restorations. They did a great job and were very thorough - highly recommend them for any in the NC area as it is a family run business and they are good people. I need to stop by their shop in Fuquay sometime this week if I get the time to bring brownies or something as an apology payment for getting a little... curt (for lack of a better polite word) with them. The estimate took longer than expected due to a computer system crash on their end so they ended up having to do it twice. I pride myself on my zen attitude and ability to keep my cool but I did get a little agitated when I thought that I wasn't going to be able to get Jane to Chas's shop before I left for Colorado for the summer. No shouting but probably ruder than I should have been. Anyways, they put the report together twice and it came out very nicely. That report has now been sent to the insurance guy who's in charge of my claim. So far so good on that end.
Since the insurance company cleared me to go ahead and move Jane, I spent a couple of hours today ripping out the entire interior for Chas. What's under the rear seat is far from fantastic and it is pretty strange to look through the trap door and see the taillight panel so close to the interior of the car. HOWEVER, the one-piece floor that Chas put in for me last summer appears to be in excellent shape with only a little dent at the back from the forces exerted on it. Should bang out fine with a body hammer. The rear seat assembly is okay but the part of the seat trim where the seat latches back is banged up - I used to have a problem with the seat coming crashing down if I braked too hard, so I readjusted the area and made a couple of changes to the latch to make it more secure and less rattley. Turns out that worked pretty well because the seat stayed up in the wreck.
It also appears that I have kind of broken my driver's seat. Frame looks a little twisted for my tastes and the seat back adjustment latch is junked. REALLY not looking forward to finding another one of those and upholstering it AGAIN... ugh. Hoping that the latch just came apart some and can be put back together and that the frame of the seat is just twisted due to the latch mechanism. Doubt it, but hopeful! When I pulled the seat the holes in the seat riser were elongated / rippled a bit so that's interesting. Very surprised I didn't break those studs on the seat tracks because I have broken one of them just looking at it wrong before.
Anyways, Jane is going to Chas's place tomorrow morning. She'll be there for the summer as I leave on Friday for Colorado without her. I leave her in good hands though and will be sure to update her rebuild thread (seen at THIS LINK)
as frequently as Chas sends me pictures. We'll see how fast insurance comes through but you all know that her rebuild will start the very second that we are cleared to go. Stay tuned.
***EDIT 5: 5/9/2013***
Well, it's been over a week and people are still crunching numbers. I got the appraisal back from NC Auto Appraisals and the number Brian put on Jane was pretty dang good. He sent me a 31 page report documenting all of the features on my car, what it looks like, and the condition of each major part. Highly recommend him if anyone in the NC area needs an appraisal!
NC Classic Restorations is working on the damage estimate and I expect to get that back either today or tomorrow. Dan is a really great guy and he has been very helpful to us. He's been swamped with work though (and understandably my estimate is not high on his list because Jane won't be going to his shop) so I'm cool with it taking a couple of extra days.
Insurance is getting antsy because they want to have this thing finished up but are pretty much leaving the ball in my court. Seems like they will be working directly with the people I've hired to come up with a reasonable offer. I appreciate that a lot.
As far as personal injuries go, still seeing the chiropractor every day to try and get my neck cranked back somewhat under control before I leave for the summer. My shoulder's been kind of junked up (muscle won't quit spasming) so we're working on that too. Otherwise, so far so good. I appear to be pretty much all in one piece
I'd like to give a shoutout to everyone who has shown support in this whole ordeal - it continues to mean a lot to me and is really helping me through. Props especially to Chris (vamustang) who has offered a rough fastback shell that has a good rear clip to me, and several others who have offered up spare parts! The estimate will come through with a list of parts needed to fix her up soon and then I will have a better idea of what I need.
***EDIT 4: 4/30/2013***
The insurance appraiser came out today. I was not able to be there because I had to go back to Wilmington to take a final exam. My mom handled him though and called later to tell me about it. She said that he brought backup - someone that he knew who knew about classic cars - because he didn't know very much about the true value of them. They were very respectful of my car, asking if they could open the doors and being very gentle with it in general. I have two binders full of pictures, receipts, parts, maintenance, etc. that they both looked through at length. They left their business cards and will be getting in touch with both the appraiser I had come out yesterday and the shop that is doing an estimate of damage tomorrow. They then expressed their condolences and left.
Like I said, so far they have been handling things promptly and without fighting. My mom was impressed with how they acted today. Might come out of this one okay with minimal muss and fuss.
Also, went to see the chiropractor today and had my neck re-X-rayed. The reverse curve that it previously had is now much more pronounced (of course). I'll be seeing them every day this week for adjustments and then will see a different chiropractor in Raleigh until I have to leave for Colorado. Unfortunately, no chiropractor in Colorado - the nearest one is 45 minutes away and only works 9-5 Monday-Friday, which is when I work. Guess I'll just have to deal with it.
***EDIT 3: 4/29/2013***
An appraiser (that I hired) came to look at Jane today. He says the damage is severe but he doesn't think that it constitutes more than 75% of the value of the car, which is the cap that MetLife puts on cars to say that they're totaled. In other words, he thinks that the car is not totaled because the rest of it is so valuable. So that is good news.
There is a guy coming to do an estimate on the damage from a different restoration shop on Wednesday. He will give me an estimate of how much he thinks it'll cost to have Jane fixed. Chas can't do an official estimate (I don't think) since he does not have a licensed shop. Nevertheless, the car will ultimately be going to him. The guy who is going to do the estimate for me asked if I had a shell to move my parts over into as it would be easier than fixing my car and I told him in no uncertain terms that I will only accept my car being fixed. I will absolutely not be abandoning Jane after all that she did for me.
The insurance appraiser is coming tomorrow. He will be writing us a check for the amount that I want for repairs on the car. Either we can do it the easy way (he writes me the check and leaves me alone to do what I need to do) or we will be doing it the hard way (my attorney goes after the insurance company for the full cost of the car, emotional damage, physical damage, plus cost of labor for building the car in the first place). It is in their best interests to cut me a check and leave me alone and hopefully they will understand that fairly quickly so I can get a move on with this thing.
In the meantime, they have gotten me a rental car since I technically have nothing to drive. It's a Toyota Corolla and it's pretty awful. I have no idea how people see out of these new cars because there's so many pillars and headrests and what have you in the way of the windows. No wonder people hit each other all the time now, the only way you CAN see is forward! I ripped out all of the additional headrests (not mine) and what have you and it's a little better but the windows are still weeny. The insurance company will ALSO be paying for my rental in Colorado, as I was going to be driving Jane out there for the summer. If they try to push me then that rental will be a brand new Mustang GT instead of some econobox.
So far the company has been very accommodating but I am done freaking out and am ready to get down to business. They will not be screwing around with me because my car needs to be back on the road right now, not right "whenever they feel like it". So far they have been very prompt about things. It may become more complicated once it becomes apparent that more money is involved, but I won't push until they push because I think that it's unfair for either party to take advantage of the other.
Additionally - Chas was up in PA at Carlisle selling a car when he got the news. He bought a new rotisserie while up there with my car in mind. I do not deserve to have such good friends but I am very glad to have them.
Here is a link to a post from my Dad on page 12 of the thread.
Chas has seen pictures but has not seen the car in person. He says the car will need to be clipped. He has a donor car.
The appraiser who was supposed to come look at Jane next Monday has been called. He is still going to do an appraisal but now it will be a "prior to loss" appraisal.
Thanks to all who are concerned for me. My inbox was full (it's always at 98% anyways because I hoard messages with useful information in them) but it has now been emptied so if anyone needs to contact me privately you are welcome to do so. Apologies for that.
With regard to my neck, yes, I am going to keep an eye on it. My neck is not in good shape to begin with (xrays show that it is bent into a configuration backwards of what it should be) so I know when things are not right. Luckily, I frequent a lot of heavy metal concerts so my neck muscles are pretty strong
I will be going to the doctor later today or tomorrow but so far the pain is not too bad. Just feels like I've been at a metal festival, I guess.
***BEGIN ORIGINAL POST***
Well, I was driving to go to pick my advisor up for lunch today at 12:45PM and slowed down for someone to turn into the gas station. The 83-year-old man behind me somehow failed to see me slow down (or even see me at all somehow) and thus he continued on his trajectory. I saw him about 1.5 seconds before he slammed into the back end of Jane at approximately 45-50mph - floored the gas when I saw him coming but it was simply not possible to get up to speed before he got Jane up to speed for me. I was going about 10mph. Results are not good.
I am unhurt. Ms. Jane took really good care of me and aside from getting smacked in the face with the dozens of pennies in the ash tray as the ash tray was forcibly ejected from the dash, there is nothing wrong with me. Probably have a little whiplash but it's not bad and my neck is not stiff as of right now.
Jane is another story. She is completely trashed. I killed the engine and put it in neutral as soon as the guy was done destroyed her with the front end of his car so that the drivetrain wouldn't get messed up any further than it already is. I believe that it is okay but not sure and haven't tried to start it up since out of fear of a misaligned driveshaft and/or driveshaft shoved into transmission. The body is bad off though. Quarters are crumpled, taillight panel / valence are obviously trashed, rear frame rails are crumpled, doors are tweaked because they got shoved forward by the quarters, decklid is dented in, etc. Inner quarter trim is shattered to some degree. The enormous spare tire I keep in the trunk (205x70x14) I think helped me a LOT. Hubcap popped off of it so I assume that when the guy plowed into me the tire took up some of the force and bounced it right back at him, preventing it from being transmitted to me / as much of the rest of the car. Anyways, pictures are posted below:
To reflect upon this, there are several lessons to be learned here.
1) Being rearended will not, in fact, cause you to explode in a fireball. My gas tank is crumpled but not leaking and not on fire.
2) Being rearended will not, in fact, cause you to become impaled on the '65-'66 Spear-o-Matic steering column. In fact, you will not even hit it. 3-point seatbelts had a lot to do with this - highly recommend.
3) Driving in a classic car and then getting in a wreck will not, in fact, cause you to end up dead due to lesser safety standards of the '60s. I am not feeling very dead yet, at least.
4) You should not drive a vintage car in an area known to be frequented by retired old people. I am aware that many people on this board label themselves as "old" but I would assume that you are all aware that there will be a point in time in which you are no longer suitable to drive a car. Please do NOT pass this point and continue driving, or you may destroy someone's hopes and dreams on the road.
To conclude, Ms. Jane has been loaded onto a rollback and is currently on her way to Raleigh where an insurance appraiser will come and do his worst. I will then fight with that appraiser, hopefully for not a long time, and then she will be sent off to Chas's. The plan is to rebuild her - he has a shell sitting out in his backyard that may need to become a back end donor. No idea how hard I'll get screwed by insurance but I will find the money somewhere to bring her back to where she was before.
Some of you know this, but I was somewhat keeping it a secret because I wasn't sure if she would be ready - the plan was to drive her to Colorado Springs for my summer job in 3 weeks to use as my daily driver as an extended trial run for the summer. That is obviously no longer the plan.
It was a beautiful day for driving today. I saw a lot of classics out. Hope that you all were able to enjoy your cars as I enjoyed mine.