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Greg Smith
Greg Smith Dork
1/30/20 3:42 p.m.

In December I purchased a Competition Yellow 2009 Mazda Miata.

Two Sundays o a guy turned right from the center lane and took out my front fender and drivers side front suspension. 

With some help from Chris I negotiated to keep the salvage (because it's *totally* fixable!) but now I have to get it. 

I am in Waynesboro PA. Neat Hagerstown or Frederick, MD. 

The car is now in Culpeper VA. yard hours are 8-430 Monday to Friday. At this time, I am hoping to rent or  borrow a trailer (preferably a LOW one with ramps) to pick the car up. I do have some local possibilities, but if anyone has suitable hardware and is up to loan / rent / even haul... I'd be MOST appreciative. And we can photo-document the trip.

You can also hit me up via phone or text. Two forty. 793 ninety two 28

BoxheadTim MegaDork
1/30/20 3:46 p.m.

I'm a bit west of you and have a 16" car trailer. Not sure what my work plans for next week are yet though - I may or may not be around on Monday, and I'm not sure when I'll find out.

Trailer doesn't have a winch though, in case the Miata isn't drivable (which I suspect it isn't based on the photos I seem to remember). My trailer probably isn't low enough to easily load a car that's not drivable due to suspension damage.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
1/30/20 3:55 p.m.

I have a car trailer you could potentially borrow, it's low enough/has decent enough ramps that I have no trouble getting my lowered MR2 on and off- the problem is I'm over in Quakertown, a couple hours the wrong way.

You could always rent a uHaul trailer, and just get creative with the ramps/straps too.

Greg Smith
Greg Smith Dork
1/30/20 4:08 p.m.

In reply to ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ :


Potentially interested. I  should have access to a winch that can strap / bolt on to a hitch or trailer. 



moxnix HalfDork
1/30/20 4:31 p.m.

I have a standard open deck trailer in zip 22193 (a little over an hour from culpepper).  I might be free Wednesday afternoon.

Not sure how low you need.  My NA/NB miata's have loaded fine.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
1/30/20 4:35 p.m.

In reply to Greg Smith :

It's an Econotrailer similar to the full deck shown on this page but a slightly older model- the specs are nearly identical though.  Let me know if you don't come up with any closer options.

slowbird Dork
1/30/20 5:06 p.m.

Maybe you can find a two-car trailer and swing by North Carolina to bring me the car I still haven't picked up from there. (whoops)

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
1/30/20 5:14 p.m.

In reply to Greg Smith :

With the words Salvage and the business hours of 8:00-4:30 I wonder if the car is at an IAA location?  

Sure, enough, IAA has a Culpepper location.  

If that is the case, then IAA will bring the car out with a fork lift and then they will load it onto your trailer for you.  This means you do not need a winch for getting the car loaded.  This also means that gravity can then help you get the car off the trailer.  

IAA put this Vibe AWD onto this trailer for me>

This pic taken at IAA lot:

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
1/30/20 5:38 p.m.

Is the Miata drivable? 

Sure, an Ohio Salvage title is not supposed to be driven on, but...  When I pay for and pick up my IAA cars they give me a bill of sale and the title.  The title is stamped Salvage.  The bil of sale does not say Salvage on it anywhere.  I have driven cars home with no plate.  I have not had trouble but I figure that I end up on the side of the road speaking to an officer, I will show him the bill of sale dated today (and not show him the title.)  

Generally, you can drive home a car with sale documents the day of purchase.  Of course, this varies case by case.  

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
1/30/20 5:44 p.m.

How damaged does the Miata look?  If not radically damaged...  Bring a non expired plate (even if from another car), drive the car off IAA property and then call AAA to tow your "broken down car" back to your home.  

AAA Gold package tows 100 miles

AAA Platinum package tows up to 200 miles

Greg Smith
Greg Smith Dork
1/30/20 6:50 p.m.

The driver side front wheel and suspension are mangled beyond any ability for it to roll.

After the accident at the yard where the tow truck initially delivered my car. I was able to confirm that it would go into gear and drive forward and back and push the tire for a few in it was not something I would want to do for any length. 

Putting something with casters or wheels under the nose would be one way to move it as well

I believe it is at an IAA lot. They did describe it as moving with forklift and they could load it on my trailer. My concern is that the car is essentially (or was a week and a half ago) pristine except for the left front fender and left front suspension.

now that the car has been moved at least once using a forklift I don't know what other incidental damage may have taken place

looking at the height of that SUV, yes it could be loaded onto a trailer with a forklift and not have some sort of huge gouge on the side of the car. As low as the Miata is, I'm not sure that it would be able to come down off the forklift onto the trailer without damage. It may actually be better to have a higher trailer so that there's no clearance issues with the trailer wheels


Or use a lower trailer and winch it on


John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
1/30/20 6:58 p.m.

Like a tow dolly, a full size uhaul trailer primarily holds your car to the trailer with straps over the front wheels.  If the front wheel of the Miata is so mangled, it might not be a good way to secure the car to the trailer.  


Greg Smith
Greg Smith Dork
1/30/20 7:09 p.m.

In reply to John Welsh :

The tow hooks are (or were!) Already installed in the bumpers and I have access to suitable straps. But *very* good to know. 

Access to doesn't mean I would necessarily have it with me

Greg Smith
Greg Smith Dork
1/30/20 7:40 p.m.

In reply to John Welsh :

I completely missed that this is something that using the forklift from behind the vehicle rather than from the side. So much better and less likelihood of damage.

So that looks more like I would just need a trailer that is as lightweight as possible but has really good tie down points for the tow hooks

irish44j MegaDork
1/30/20 7:55 p.m.

Damn, too bad it has to be a weekday. I am actually heading to Culpeper this weekend and have a trailer.  If none of the other offers work out, let me know and we can work something out (I'm in Fairfax area). I have to take the trailer to Frederick and haul a racecar to Germantown for a friend soon as well, lol....

Greg Smith
Greg Smith Dork
1/31/20 7:22 a.m.

AWSX1686 has a trailer (it's a larger one, but "it'll do" just fine!) and we will be able to borrow a truck for Monday. 

Photos to follow. I'm hoping the salvage yard hasn't done additional harm to the undercarriage. But we shall see!

AWSX1686 UltraDork
1/31/20 8:39 a.m.

Yup. My phone wasn't working yesterday, so I was delayed in getting lined up for this. Borrowing my buddy's truck because I don't want to tow with mine till the new clutch is broken in. Hopefully it should be a fairly painless trip. 

dherr HalfDork
1/31/20 8:44 a.m.

Sorry to hear about this, I sold my trailer last year, or I would offer to help. That really sucks, that was a nice NC2. I would see if you can avoid the forkllift, will damage the exhaust and perhaps the frame rails. So your insurance settled and you bought it back from them?

volvoclearinghouse PowerDork
1/31/20 9:04 a.m.

I'm in Westminster, and have a 20' car hauler with a wood deck and a winch.  As an option for you.

JesseWolfe Reader
1/31/20 9:31 a.m.

If people are meeting in Culpeper and happen to need a hand, I'm available this weekend.  I live about 4 miles from this IAA lot, but sadly I haven't a trailer, just two free hands.

Greg Smith
Greg Smith Dork
2/2/20 2:18 p.m.

I don't think I'm going to be able to avoid the forklift. The car is already in that lot which means it has been offloaded and moved at least once. Hopefully only once. 

we will be heading down there tomorrow morning to pick up the car and I'll make sure to bring a little bit of cash to tip the forklift driver if he can be very gentle. I am hoping that there will be minimal damage because the car is so light.

BoxheadTim MegaDork
2/2/20 2:21 p.m.

In reply to Greg Smith :

Good luck, fingers crossed it all works out.

amg_rx7 SuperDork
2/2/20 10:44 p.m.

Uhaul rents car trailers at a pretty reasonable price fwiw...

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
2/3/20 9:13 a.m.

In reply to Greg Smith :

My experience with IAA...there will not be an option to tip the forklift driver.

Here is the process that I experience in Cleveland, OH:  

  • I go into office with payment or proof of payment
  • The office processes me and asks what my tow rig looks like
  • The office the uploads to tablet in the fork lift to pull out stock number X to white Ford F250 w/ tow dolly
  • I then wait near my truck and fork driver brings it out and drops it down on the dolly or trailer.  I use hand motions to guide the for operator in loading but I do not think I have ever actually spoke to one of their fork operators.  Certainly never spoke to them before the go pick up the car and bring it out.  

I've had some damage that seems like "yard damage" but generally, it is surprisingly little "yard damage."  

AWSX1686 UltraDork
2/4/20 11:06 a.m.

We picked it up yesterday. 

Drove up, saw the car, looked it over.

Went inside, signed in or whatever to pickup the car. (Max 5 minutes inside.)

Walked outside to move the truck closer and the guy already had it on the forklift. He motioned to me to make sure it was going with me and then we talked about the best way to get it loaded up. He was very friendly and knew what he was doing. I didn't have to move the truck at all, he just drive right over and set it on gently. We were able to thank him after he set it down. 


It does seem that somewhere along the way it sustained more damage than the initial accident. Likely from moving it and the wheel flopping in a bad way that crunched stuff when it got set down. Overall not too bad, but it does need a headlight and possibly a bumper cover.


Some pics:

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