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Hagerty Employee

The Resurrection of Zelda, Part 2: Finishing a curb override on a budget

Last week, I described how Zelda, my former car—a slightly ratty but fully functional 1999 BMW Z3 2.3, the center of “The Cult of Zelda” (women friends who borrowed it for stress-busting drives), and now owned by my dear friend and neighbor Kim—suffered a curb strike when her son drove it over a median strip in a careless moment. The right front wheel had been mashed backward into the fender well, the airbag had gone off, the front air dam was splintered, and all four wheels were bent.


Further collateral damage included the broken A/C compressor bracket, bent condenser, and partially destroyed electric fan, the missing plastic fender liners, and a variety of pulled or sheared electrical connectors. It was damage that clearly would’ve caused the insurance company to total the car. However, miraculously, no sheet metal had been bent. At least that was what I thought. And it was almost true; I later found that the tire had caught the corner of the right front fender when it got mashed under. While this was trivial, the pushed-back front wheel was not.


Although I don’t own the car anymore, it and its owner exist within my karmic orbit, so there was no question that I’d help Kim out ... Read the full column on


Advanced Driver

Nice repair.

Advanced Driver

Congratulations on the successful repair. Little equals the glow of self satisfaction from a such an accomplishment! Now, the question remains...WHO will be the final owner, and what further repairs lie in the future??? Inquiring minds need to know, LOL!! 🙂


Congratulations.  And thanks for keeping a still serviceable Bimmer out of the salvage yard.  It always pains me to see a vehicle with little (or no!) visible damage in the yards.  Unless I need a part off of it, of course.

New Driver

Did the human responsible for the collision help out with the repairs or at least offer to pay for the damage?

You learn less in life without consequences. 

Intermediate Driver

Couple of things:

1. You still have not evaluated what REALLY happened. There is no way a lower speed 'impact' with a curb did that damage. NO WAY. So the little dude was probably really, really speeding; not surprising given the zippy look of the car.

2. I agree with the other comment. The fellow should be on the hook for the money for the repairs. He did this (being a jackass, IMO) and should be responsible. As it is he's been stringing mom along, but you should have a heart-to-heart with him about responsible driving.

3. There is NO WAY you should give the car back if this lady's son will be driving it again. Otherwise, with the lying and zero consequences to him at present, he'll total the car for real again very soon. And, just to give YOU some pause in all this, he may not walk away from the next high-speed encounter with "a curb".


Never before have I cared for the distinction but when buying an airbag off eBay: "pre-owned" versus "used" are very different states.


Good point, it's kind of like expecting people to interchangeably use the terms pre-owned condom and used condom. 😝


Well done, Rob!


I agree with the others here about the young man being financially responsible for this.


And I agree about him needing a talking to.


- Jim


 There are few things that are more satisfying than fixing wrecks! We had a 1992 Range Rover which we bought had a salvage title before the next wreck! Strike 2, still it was well kept with a nice interior, just needed a front clip. 
 We found a clip from a 1983 locally which the dealer insisted would not fit. A little “ingenuity” made it work just fine and it looked and drove perfectly. So we were hobnobbing with the blue bloods on the cheap! 


Maybe the most detailed (run-on) articles you've written, and of great interest to BMW owners, but the best lesson is here:  "we left the exact matter of ownership unresolved, as one can do with a dear friend where the both of you trust each other completely.

Intermediate Driver

Great story. I love return to the road projects like this.