Without further Adieu, here are the results for the first four cars I stumbled across that were American exports. The results were more surprising than I had imagined. All cars were found at small independent used car shops in the vicinity of the Al Ghubra R/A or the Grand Mosque. Next week, Ruwi.
Car 1 is a 2000 ford mustang, with 105,000 miles on the odometer. Asked about any problems the guys assured me that it was fine, but possibly needed a new power steering pump. The Carfax report revealed the following:
- it's a 1999 make (the guys assured me it was a 2000, and insisted that the ROP had made a mistake when Issuing the Mulkia)
- It's a former corporate fleet car (rental) that was owned by the rental company for an astonishing 6 years.
- It's been in two serious accidents, the second one causing enough damage to make the vehicle a "Total Loss".
- THe second one shows a police report- Ohio Police ReportCase #20068107401 Accident Reported in Franklin County Involving a front impact Vehicle ran off the road Moderate damage reported
- It was issued a Salvage title, and sold at a salvage auction. They have no information on how it got here.
Car Two is a 2005 Chevrolet Avalanche. It's clean, pretty, and has less than 1,000 miles on it. no sign of serious damage on initial inspection. The asking Price is RO 8,500, which is just a little more than what a similar one would sell for in the states. The CarFax report sheds more light on the issue.
- It was registered originally in June 2005 in Bernice, Louisiana. Does that date and location ring any bells? Hurricane Katrina?
- It was issued a salvage title, and a NAM (not Actual Mileage) title in November of 2005
- It was exported in May of the following year from Houston to the UAE
- On my inspection, I can see slight flood damage, but you'd really have to look hard to find it.
Car Three is a 2004 Chevrolet Tahoe, From a distance it looks fantastic, but on close inspection of the dash and door panels, It's pretty obviously been in a serious front-end collision. It also looks to me like the vin# plate has been tampered with or damaged in an accident.
- Carfax reports that the vin # I submitted is incorrect. I'll go back and check it again.
Car Four is a 1995 Cadillac Seville sts. 1,500 rails asking price. I was unable to speak to any salesmen about this one. The CarFax report lists the following:
- Vehicle exported brand new from Wilmington, DE. and imported to Oman. Looks like it was a bespoke special order. I don't know what happened to it here, but carfax thinks it's ok.
Of the four cars I checked, only one had anything that looks like a clean title. The flooded Avalanche is very overpriced for a previously flooded car, but my biggest concerns lie with the Mustang and the Tahoe, which have both been in serious front end collisions. I view those as somewhat serious safety issues in the long term. These cars should not be sold without disclosing the full history as it is known, and a complete inspection at the dealership.
Out of Curiosity, I also checked one of our cars which is an American export. It came up clean, but to my surprise spent 13 years of it's previous life in NYC, arriving in Dubai in late 2004. The guy we bought it from said it had spent it's entire life here in Oman, cruising between nizwa and Salallah. He said a friend had owned it from new. I plan to kick his teeth out when I see him next.
My Carfax membership lasts for another 28 days, so I'll report again next week on what else I find. In the meantime, if any of you are out car hunting and come across an American export send me the vin# and I'll check it and report here. otheroman(at)gmail(dot)com