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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi everybody,
here is my first post that I wanted to do a long time ago, but was too shy to do. I need some advices now as I just had an accident.

First of all, my name is Vincent, I'm french and living in Vancouver BC. My story with the Spider is pretty old, it has been my dream car for a while. I'm coming from a mechanic family, my grandfather, uncle and father were all mechanics. My father had a lot of cars when I was young, he's a passionate of the citroen DS and I always have been in the garage with him. He's currently working on a Autobianchi 110 abarth.
My uncle was working in a Fiat garage, specialized in high performance italian cars. One day he came back with a Spider S2, and I totally felt in love with this car. I had seen plenty of cars before like Renault Alpines, Fiat dino, but it's the alfa I loved. I was 15 and I'm now 31.

When I landed in Vancouver I had to buy a car, and found this Spider S3 from 86 in really good shape. Lot of work has been done on it by the PO (koni shocks, new exhaust line, engine rebuilt) and when he saw how much I loved this car he decided that I was the one that deserved it, even if I had not exactly what he asked for. A dream came true, which is pretty rare in a lifetime. She runs really good since that, it's my everyday car.

That was the nice part of the story, here comes the sad one.
I had an accident coming back from work today, 3 blocks from home and it's my fault. I was on a crossroad, came to a stop sign, stopped, a car came from the left, I waited for it, then checked the right and started, and hit a car from the... right. I didn't see this car at all, even if I checked. We were not really fast, but the right front of my car hit the door of the other car, which has almost nothing. It's my first accident in almost 15 years driving...

Mine, is in a bad shape. The radiator started leaking. The front end body part is all bend, obviously the bumpers too. The hood is ok, and the drivetrain/direction too. I don't think the body structure is damaged at all, so I guess it's only body work. I will take pictures tomorrow.

I know what is the best to do, as don't know anything about bodywork on these cars. I imagine it can be bent back, but I need to find an artist to do that, or the whole front end piece can be changed. Did anybody had an accident like that before, or know enough about bodywork on an Alfa that could help me?
Do you think it worth make the fix, or sell the car in parts, because everything else is in perfect condition, I would like to keep it for sure.

I'm really sad right know, shocked and a little bit lost. I have to buy another car, and I'm not sure if I can afford all that. I don't even have a proper garage to start working on it. If anybody is around Vancouver and is willing to help me, or want to see the car to maybe buy it, or has a garage and would be ok to check the car in it and help evaluate what I should do, it would be awesome.

I don't really like asking for help, specially on a first post, but I'm such in a dead end that I ask to the community.

The good thing is that nobody is hurt, it's only metal. I guess what you say in English in this case is "**** happens".
 

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First off, welcome, sorry it had to be this way but you should have no trouble getting help here. Hopefully someone can point you to a good shop in your area. Good luck and welcome aboard!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, this forum has already been very helpful as I learnt a lot on this car. I've been one of these silent reader for too long.
And also I wanted to apologize for my English that is not perfect yet... I'm still working on it :)

v.
 

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prolo -
I too welcome you to the bb and feel badly about the collision. I'm certain there are many good body shops in the Vancouver area. I think you might want to ask a couple of your local Vancouver mates who are on the bb - Brownie93, Tubut and Subtle are all Vancouverites who are pretty active on this bulletin board - they might have some suggestions for good places to take your car for an estimate.
Good luck - I hope all turns out well, and like you say - it's very good that it is only sheet metal that was injured.
 

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I'm sorry to hear about your crash, but, as others have already said, you've found a good home here and I'm sure you'll be able to find all the help you're looking for.

You're Spider looks great in the pictures you posted! Hopefully it'll be looking like that again soon. And by the way... your written English is far better than that of many native speakers, so please don't feel any need to apologize. Welcome aboard!


Evan
 

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Discussion Starter #6
In fact I'm kinda dazed. I was driving my lovely and suddenly, no more car, which implies find a way to go to work, and then repair or buy another vehicle.
My father is coming in two month and I was so happy thinking about picking him up at the airport with the alfa.
It will be clearer after an estimation of work.

and thanks for my English, it's giving me confidence.
v.
 

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Your English is fine, the pictures are great but your story is sad. We're glad nobody was hurt. Steel is easier to repair than flesh.

It will be a difficult decision to make - repair the car or replace it with another. Get a few estimates then decide if it is worth it to repair or better (financially) to find another car in as good a condition as yours was and replace it.

Keep posting and include more photos (we likes photos). Especially if you decide to have it repaired - we'd like to see before/during/after photos of that.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
some good news today:

ICBC (insurance company) called me because the other guy reported a claim. I am really surprised by that, but I have a premium insurance and my car is covered. I thought only damages on the other car were covered.

I only have to pay 300$ as a 'franchise', and then my insurance cost gonna increase by 75%. Not so bad. Meanwhile I'm waiting for a paper from my French insurance company, explaining that I had no accident on the last 8 years or more, so the cost of my insurance would decrease by 60%.

I see things in a really different way now I know that, they will even tow the car to the bodyshop. I also found an old post about a collision in vancouver and there are two addresses of good vintage bodyshops.

I also found a cheap alfa 164 that could be my daily car.

A funny quote from my father that I called today to tell him all that, just before he ended the call he told me "I love you anyway (even if you're a terrible driver and crash lovely cars)" :)

I'll take pictures of everything so you'll see the advancement of the repair.
v.
 

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Hi Vincent, sorry to hear about your accident. I'm glad ICBC is working on your behalf, that's good news. I take my cars to #1 collision in Richmond, they do wonderful work and guarantee it too. They matched the paint up on my red 77 spider when it was hit. I'm sure you'll find a good shop in Vancouver.

Good luck with it. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hi,
Do you think they would be able to change the whole front panel? I've seen the post where you mentioned this shop.
ICBC called me many times today, and I talk to a really nice guy (with an Italian name) that knew everything about alfas and european cars.

I'll probably try do do a full paint job, since the paint on the left door is not as brilliant as the other one. It will depend of what I have to pay for the repair.

v.
 

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So is the nose crushed? is this the panel you mean or the right fender?
headlight smashed? why is the radiator leaking? something from underneath push up into it?
Did you get pictures?
At least the ICBC guy knows about Italian cars. Have they done an estimate on the damage? or have you got an appt for that? sorry about all the questions I am just trying to get a handle on the damage.
It's tough to see them smashed up :(
 

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Hi,
Do you think they would be able to change the whole front panel? I've seen the post where you mentioned this shop.
ICBC called me many times today, and I talk to a really nice guy (with an Italian name) that knew everything about alfas and european cars.

I'll probably try do do a full paint job, since the paint on the left door is not as brilliant as the other one. It will depend of what I have to pay for the repair.

v.
Vincent -
I am very happy to see that you are talking with people with knowledge and that Brownie93 responded as well. It sounds as though you are in "good hands" (not Allstate!!) and there are probably a lot of people on this site who will agree with your father's assessment. ...... We'll love you just the same.... even if you are a lousy driver!;)
...and your English is good...even better than some regular posters who claim English as their first language. :rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I wanted to take pictures but came back at night again...

So I took the car from the right. The right light is smashed, and the nose is bend, so it pull the right fender and pushed the left one. My guess is that it's better to change the whole front.
I could't open the hood, since everything is bend. The radiator leaked because of the shock I guess or something hit it.

I have to choose a garage to have an estimation. The car must be towed there, but the guy called me back tomorrow to see if somebody can come estimate the damage where the car is, which would let me time to find a neat place for her. The thing is that it is not just a cosmetic fix, I guess there's a lot of work.

That's why I was asking about N1 Collision, if they would be able to do such a big operation.
v.
 

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They tend to only work on the more expensive cars, lot is full of Mercs, Beemers, etc.
But they are ICBC approved and work on Alfa's when I bring them in.
The thing to worry about is how much bondo they may use. The nose is tricky to work on, but it may come off and be banged back out. I don't know if there are any donor cars around?
Too bad the rest of the Vancouver Alfisti aren't on to help you out today. They have much more info than I do. Hopefully they will add to this thread. :)
 
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