It’s Time for: Classic Copart Finds!

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It’s been a while since I binged on Copart finds, so I took a stroll through the online auctions to see what classics have been totaled, donated or otherwise left for dead in wrecking yards across the U.S.A. Let’s start with this oddball, a 1975 Chevy Camaro here on Copart wearing a wild body kit that incorporated a wood-paneled bed, swoopy spoiler and other aero bits to help you forget what it once was. I’ve never seen one, so I have no way of knowing who made the kit and why – do you? 

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As green is one of my favorite colors, this 1971 Ford F-250 here on Copart caught my eye. The listing says it has side damage, but I didn’t see anything so grave as to warrant totaling this work truck out. It has an automatic transmission and is a donated vehicle that looks reasonably straight. Available in Washington State, the Ford does have one bid but the seller’s reserve hasn’t been met.

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The seller’s listing claims this Lotus Elite here on Copart has only 34,000 miles. I doubt that number is original, but the fact remains this hatchback Lotus does appear to be in fine shape. The interior really impresses me, as Lotuses of this vintage can often look downright ratty inside without too much effort. It is said to run and drive, and I’m curious as to why it ended up on Copart in the first place.

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This is perhaps my favorite of hte lot: what I assume to be a Porsche Speedster replica here on Copart, given it is referred to as a Volkswagen. But boy, what a sympathetic recreation (at least to my non-Porsche expert eyes). The proportions look right, the buckets are either the real-deal or excellent re-creations, and the steel wheels are a perfect period touch. Clearly, the fiberglass body denotes this is a replica, but it’d still be fun to own.

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Despite a slight crush to the driver’s rear corner, this 1974 Plymouth Duster looks like a solid driver you can simply use and enjoy. Listed here on Copart, the Duster’s best attribute is its interior that remains in terrific condition for the year. I don’t think the backseat was ever used, and the factory striping around the exterior still looks fresh. There’s cosmetic damage elsewhere, but nothing that should scare you off. It’s located in Georgia.

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Like the Lotus above, this 1964 Volvo PV544 here on Copart looks out of place amongst burned-out hulks and roached-out Caprices. While it’s potentially been repainted, it’s also been left stock and looks like a nice driver. Maybe Dad got old and decided to donate the B18-powered family hauler after arthritis set in, or the Volvo suffers from other ailments like flood damage – it is in Long Island, where Hurricane Sandy was a factor. Which of these Copart classics would you choose and why?

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Comments

  1. Blindmarc

    I’d take the duster!

  2. RayT Member

    I’d take the Volvo, thank you. Don’t see anything horrendous, but would certainly scrub the daylights out of those unsanitary looking seats. I’ve long wanted a 544 (or 444, or Duett) and if the nut wasn’t so high — a $37K-plus “estmated value? Who are we kidding here? — I’d take a shot.

    The Lotus isn’t so tempting. I remember horror stories back in the day about their reliability, and I’d suspect the mileage is genuine: short bursts of fun followed by long periods of inactivity while waiting for parts and repairs.

    It’s on my bucket list to someday take a stab at a Copart sale. The hunt might be more fun than the trophy, but if yoiu know that going in, why not?

    • Anthony_NY

      Having owned several Lotuses of the period I can tell you these cars are great fun to own and drive IF you are prepared to take proper care of them and only have a mechanic who knows English cars work on them. It was easy for me because I used to do it for a living. The only potentially catastrophic problem was chassis rust, everything else was just normal Britcar oddness. In my experience the poor reputation was due more to poor mechanics messing with them than the cars themselves.

  3. Bill

    I bought a 76 442 with five speed from copart. I bought as inoperable got it here and it stated fight up, nice driver

  4. Rudy Richardson

    Tried to join, kept saying I had not completed form , I went over it 4 times and ??????

    • Julles

      Give your local Copart a call. They are usually pretty nice to us.

  5. Tom Bode

    Grass Root Motorsports had a good article on Copart. My experience in Fl. on a BMW Z3 with clear title was $950 for car. Then auction fees,tax tile and broker fee. another $850.

  6. Fred W.

    Why does that damage on the passenger front of the “Speedster” look like crunched metal rather than ‘glass?

    • Jeff Staff

      Threw me off too, but the damage to the rear quarter looks like fiberglass to me.

    • Julles

      It’s a volkswagen.

  7. Waldon Herdman

    That poor camaro..

  8. Bill

    That Camaro is…. interesting. I’d drive it for the current $1000 asking price just for fun. But the “Porsche” Volvo and Ford appeal to me more. The Ford would likely be the most overall cost effective. why are they always missing Air Cleaners? Is someone out there hoarding them?

    • Anthony_NY

      I’ve been tempted to try Copart several times but haven’t yet due to the horror stories. Then some a$$hat totaled my Yamaha and the insurance co sold it to them. It was 6 weeks before they picked it up after having broken many appointments to do so wasting my time at least 4 times. It took a threatening call to both my insurance co and Copart dispatch to finally get them to show. Horrible people at the one in Newburgh.

      I’d love to see a BF article and maybe poll on Copart experiences and how to make it work if it’s possible. Anyone else?

  9. whippeteer

    Doesn’t everyone need an El Camaro? It even has a working tailgate! Get your mullet down to the big box store and stock up! Just make sure you fill it with gas before shopping…

    The Speedster needs a good fiberglass guy to do the repairs. But it would be fun to drive when fixed. Unfortunately, I DON’T know a guy.

    The Duster looks like it would be a nice daily driver. Hopefully just that rear corner. But an estimated value of $25K for a base model, slant 6, 100K mile, Duster?

    I like the Volvo. I would say restored looking at the pictures. So why didn’t they do the interior? They must have been doing meth when coming up with the estimated value.

  10. Michael V.

    The F250 was interesting to me, but too far away. I typed my zip code in and it came up with $2300 for shipping, which is more than the truck would probably bring.

    • Jeff Staff

      Just FYI, the Copart shippers are going to be higher. You can find a better price if you look for your own shipper. I’ve done two cross-country transports for under $1000 each.

      • Jubjub

        Jeff,

        Who did you we for the transport and how would you rate them? Were the vehicles transported drivable?

    • Anthony_NY

      You could fly out there and set up a load or small boat to haul back via Citizen Shipper or similar, drive it home and make money on the deal.

  11. Bob S

    I like that Duster too.

  12. nessy

    As a long time dealer and a past buyer at these salvage auctions, I will say it again and again, stay away from Copart and IAA Insurance auctions for reasons I already spoke of many times. Anything really good is put aside for the people who run the auctions, don’t forget about the unreal fees they charge and most important, parts are removed from cars before the auction starts and the way they pick the cars up and drop them with the machines is pittyful. The yards for the most part are also mud holes so the cars sit in mud, often with the windows down or broken. I dumped my last line of salvage cars a few years ago and I will never do it again. One problem after another. In the long run, you are not saving anything.

    • Lee Hartman

      And even if you get a nice car and do a good job of rebuilding it, The title is still branded and kills the resale value.

    • Julles

      You’re right. You have to know everything, especially the fees when it comes to Copart. In Georgia at least, the state is not friendly to salvage titles. The nice thing is Copart has many more cars with clean titles now then they did before and if you want a boat, jet ski or RV, you can get a really good deal.

  13. 427vette

    If I have said it once, I have said it a million times, Copart and the other similiar auctions are NOT for amateurs. You have to be quick on your feet and know what you are looking at in order to figure out how to make lemonade out of lemons. I always tell my friends that want to make a casual purchase from these type of auctions to expect themselves to be disappointed when the car arrives, so there won’t be any surprises.

  14. Julles

    I thought the 1968 Shelby GT 350, the 1941 Ford Woody, the 1961 BMW Luxus, the perfect 1970 Datsun 1600, and the 1965 European spec Mercedes 230 SL were more interesting on Copart.

    • Jeff Staff

      Julles, there are always tons of interesting cars…hard to pick the best ones. Feel free to send them into tips@barnfinds.com so we know which ones our readers like!

  15. Skip

    Talk about memories: that Volvo looks just like the one our band director drove when I was in high school. Same green color, too!

  16. brakeservo

    That Lotus was such an awful car, even when new, one would have to carefully consider whether it’s time to junk it, or refill the gas tank again . . .

  17. Jeff

    The Camaro/Elcamino thing to so ugly I love it. How can I figure out the fees it I was to take a poke at it?

  18. DrinkinGasoline

    Someone “did the blue acid at Woodstock”, then later, molested an innocent, unsuspecting Camero, due to residual flash back consequences, caused by poor drug choices earlier in life. BASD….
    (Blue Acid Stress Disorder).

  19. JLBucky

    You will get along with Copart just fine if you remember one thing. You are always wrong and they are always right.

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