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Doc’s Autos

Because I need more projects in my life, I am getting more involved in one of my passions, and that is working on cars.  It’s no big secret that I’ve always had a fondness for some older vehicles, and have plans to restore them, however, I also have had a strong interest for some time in locating some ‘Run & Drive’ vehicles from auctions that may need some minor cosmetic work completed before being returned to the road.  I’m not going to deal with straightening frames, significant body repairs or paint, but focus on projects that can be completed without thousands in parts or time.


I’ve always felt that one should have pride, and take pride in their vehicle, and if taken care of, they will take care of you.  My end goal is to put these sound vehicles back on the road at a lower-than-dealer cost.


My first project below is a 2007 BMW X3.  I purchased it as a run-and-drive with a salvage title from Copart.  I’d been turned onto Copart after following Auto Auction Rebuilds on youtube for quite some time, and the resurrection of a Cadilac SUV. After doing a bit of research and digging on my own, scouted the listings and make a few trips in person to inspect the vehicles myself, I bid on a few auctions and while my pipe dream of a 2014 X3 didn’t pan out in my price range, this ’07 model came at a great price in my mind.


It was listed as a run and drive, however, the battery was dead so I was unable to get it started at the lot and perform any more than a visual inspection of things.  There was, of course, some obvious damage the passenger rear quarter panel, and the interior looked to have the remnants from the accident shoved in the car.  Having access to the VIN, I pulled the carfax on the vehicle and discovered that for the majority, all of the service/maintenance had been performed, even as recently as January of this year (just before the listed accident). Also, there were new Michelin tires put on at the same time, and after getting the vehicle home and going thru the glovebox I found a recent invoice for coils being replaced.  Mind you, the tires were nearly 1/2 the cost I paid for the vehicle, so there was a big win right off the back.

These are the stock images from the Copart auction listing I had for reference.

Here is the set of photos I took from my visit.

My end goal is to clean up the damage to the body panel in the back end and drive it around to make sure I’ve found all the gremlins that might be lurking.  From that point, I plan to sell it and work my way up to a little newer BMW.   If I’m going to sell a vehicle to someone, I’m going to be certain, and confident that it’s suitable to transport me and my family around.  I couldn’t just flip a vehicle in good faith if I had no intention of owning it myself to drive even for a short time.


I anticipate putting all of the findings here from the vehicles on here as a record of the work completed, so there can be no question about what was done or the condition of the vehicles.


More details will be following on the X3 in coming posts.