March 30th, 2010

Archie was totaled in a rear end collision...for the second time in 20 years! Yes, that's right...Archie was first totaled about 20 years ago when he was hit by a Jeep. 20 years ago, the other guy's insurance company gave me $700 and my car. This time, they gave me $2100 and my car! After a little prying, hammering, welding and swearing, Archie is once again about as road worthy as he's been since the previous time he was totaled.

But just for grins, here's the inspection report which says the car can't be fixed!

Here's the initial crash report.

And here's the valuation report on Archie. Note that they deducted $816 because he has 380,000 miles. That's more than I even paid for the car! Also, they added $81 for A/C, even though right after I bought the car 20+ years ago, I threw all the A/C parts in a dumpster!

I there some record for the amount of times a car has been totaled and is still driving down the road? If it happens one more time, I would have to be in the running for such a record.

After the most recent totaling, and before I could get the car fixed, the other guy's insurance company paid for a rental car for me. See the Cannonball page for photos showing how I decorated the car, as well as video of me doing a few stunts in it!

In case you're wondering how the accident happened...
I was driving northbound on the 303, a 50 mph highway in Glendale, AZ. The vehicle in front of me came to a complete stop while they waited for traffic to clear so they could turn left onto Bethany Home Rd. I was slowing down to stop behind the vehicle and just as I was almost stopped, maybe at 10-15 mph, I saw a pickup truck coming directly at me very quickly from behind. It was apparent not only that the driver of this truck was trying very hard to stop his car before hitting me, but also that there was no chance he could stop in time. I made a split second decision to accelerate out of his way as hard as I could while steering to the right of the vehicle in front of me to avoid hitting it. Even though I sped up to about 20-30 mph, I was still struck with a great amount of force, pushing me a little further down the road before I was able to stop my car safely. I immediately called 911 and reported the accident, because it was not a small collision by any means and I wasn't even sure if the other driver was ok. I assumed he had perished because he just ran into a big old hunk of American iron in his Toyota pickup. By the time the dispatcher asked if anyone was injured, I saw the driver of the truck exit his vehicle to inspect his damage. They said an officer would be sent to the scene. I hung up the phone and went to tell the other driver that the police would be coming. Before I got a chance, he immediately volunteered "I don't know what happened...I looked up and saw your brake lights and it was too late". I wondered why was he looking down to begin with. Next he said "We don't need to call the police. I was in an accident not too long ago and they said as long as we exchanged insurance information, they did not need to be called." I informed him that I already called and they were on their way. It seemed clear that he knew he was at fault and wanted to avoid police involvement. Any impact of that magnitude was worthy of a call to the police. His truck was banged up pretty good; the radiator was leaking antifreeze onto the ground and his windshield was cracked in several places. My bumper was pushed in about 3 inches, my trunk popped open and would not shut, my fuel tank fill tube was pushed so far forward that I could no longer remove the gas cap to put in more fuel, there was damage to the ends of my quarter panels and the frame rails buckled. After the policeman gave me a copy of the preliminary report, he said I was free to go, while the other driver needed to stick around, I assume to receive a citation for failing to stop in time to avoid hitting me. I told the guy to get in touch with me through my website because I'd give him $20 for a photo of the damage to his truck, but I never heard back from him. So you'll just have to imagine!

My new trunk fastening system!!!
Gas cap won't come off anymore!
This cable used to hold the bumper on. It used to be tight!

Be sure to see the Cannonball Run I took Archie on just one month after he was totaled!

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