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Retitling a salvage is not a walk in the park
You know trouble is ahead when you see zip ties behind the grille during the inspection of a car that you are thinking of buying. Several months ago, I found a 1998 Toyota Tacoma regular-cab four-wheel-drive with a four-cylinder and five-speed stick. Not exotic, not collectible, but compact in the way trucks aren’t compact anymore, and ridiculously useful. There was other evidence of crash damage, but the repairs were good, the frame welds all looked factory, and the price was skinny enough. So I handed the guy a stack of hundreds and drove off, trying to ignore the faint waft of antifreeze coming from the vents.
At the DMV, they informed me that the truck’s apparently clean title was in fact earmarked in the computer as “bound over for salvage.” Meaning that an insurance company had totaled out the truck but the state had yet to reissue a new salvage title. Gah!
Sweet truck. My sister had that model in black with the 4 cylinder 5 speed, but the extended cab (not double cab). The frame rusted out and she failed inspection and was too late for the frame replacement.
There are some interesting deals on these in the Northeast US, frame replacement Tacomas appearing on quite a few used car lots... I'd love to pick up a double cab 4x4.