It’s no secret that Hurricane Sandy left in its wake, devastation to property and life. One that you don’t hear much about is what happened to the vehicles that were submerged in salty ocean water. What did they do with those damaged vehicles? Do they all go to a junkyard or are they bought out by an Auction company that does very little to prepare a vehicle for sale. While people on the east coast understands this better than anyone, it’s the people in the Midwest to the Pacific that don’t consider the damage done to a car because of a hurricane. This was especially a problem when Hurricane Katrina caused the same damage to New Orleans vehicles. These vehicles from both hurricane’s were wrought with a horrible stench that can only come from flooding. Interior upholstery from leather to vinyl is now puckered and all metal fixtures are rusted.
In New Jersey, hundreds of these damaged vehicles showed up on the Auction Block for sale. All have the tell tale signs of Sandy from odor, to interior puckering, and headlight sweating. Buyers from all over the country and nationally come to examine these vehicles for resale at their lots. Upon investigating the buyers thoughts, I found one that came from Nigeria. His purpose and mission was to find totaled vehicles to export to Nigeria, where they are fixed up and resold. Much to his disappointment, these vehicles that suffered the destruction of Hurricane Sandy, were too far gone. The concern of course is that saltwater destroys cars, even when rebuilt they are unsafe.
In spite of the obvious damage, these cars that are earmarked as flood cars, sold hand over fist for prices $2,000 up to $6,000 each. The fate of the vehicles differ greatly from one buyer to another. Some will dismantle the vehicles and attain salvageable parts such as wheels, fenders and more, while others would be melted down for their rubber and steel. Still, there are others that were to be restored, as much as was possible, for resell.