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First Experience Visiting Copart Lot

My friend, Sasha, told me about Copart.com recently. They purchase used, wrecked, and salvage vehicles and sell them through an auction process. After visiting their web site, I found exactly what I was looking for... a wrecked 2006 Subaru Impreza WRX STi. I needed its 300 HP engine for my 2001 Subaru Impreza 2.5 RS. And this rolled-over STi seems to be perfect. I wanted to see it first, of course.

Copart has lots all over the United States. And this wrecked STi car is just in the next city over. What luck!? They are only open Monday through Friday.

So early Monday morning, I drove down to the Copart lot. It was out in an industrial area (obviously), so traffic was light. It had plenty of parking space, allowing me to pick a shady tree spot.

Walking into it's office, I noticed how spacious it is with plenty of cubicles, but few personnel to fill them. I stood at the counter for a minute or so, while two ladies typed away at their computers in their cubicles. It wasn't clear that anyone was going to help me. But I stood my ground.

Finally, one of the two ladies stood up and walked over. First thing she wanted was my member number. I didn't write that down, so she looked for it. Then she wanted a copy of my driver license, which I handed her. She saw my OBD2 scanner and said I can't use it. But then much later on, she said she checked with with her manager and the OBD2 scanner is fine. When that's squared away, I showed her the wreck plus two other flooded vehicles I wanted to look at (to add value to my visit).

She seemed to be more willing to help after squaring away the membership details. She wrote down the vehicle locations on the lot and even mentioned that the wreck starts, but obviously doesn't drive. One of the flooded vehicles also start but doesn't drive. The other one doesn't even start. They had all three keys in the office, but she was only able to find the key for the wreck. She signed out the key to me. Then she handed me a yellow vest and sent me on my way to the lot.

First thing I noticed out on the lot is that there is a huge forklift driving around. It wasn't a tiny that you'd see moving pallets, but one that was about two story tall with two really long arms. It was massive. It was moving cars around.

The car on the lot was arranged in orderly fashion. Designators were painted on the ground, so was relatively easy to find the wreck.

The wreck was exactly as pictured on the web site. So was the other two cars that I came into visit, but I'm getting ahead of myself here. I lifted the hood and the engine looked just like it did in the photo. It was in good shape. I opened the door, plugged in the OBD2 scanner, and crank the engine. Nothing. The battery had no charge. They had mentioned jump starting the car, but I was short on time.

I went to look at the flood damaged vehicles. They are also as photoed. Unfortunately, the doors were lock and without the keys. When I was done, I returned the keys.

Overall, the experience was pleasant. And it didn't feel like scavenging through a pick a part junk yard. It was not a place to buy your first car or to buy a car that was drivable. After all, if the car is in good, sellable shape, why would it be on a Copart lot?But if you were in the business of restoring cars or parting out cars, it might just be the perfect place.

Chieh Cheng
Wed, 19 Jun 2013 04:50:29 +0400

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