Since I was a kid I have always been scared of crashed and or damaged cars or bikes. I thought that they were death traps to be avoided at all costs mainly I guess because I had never had anything to do with repairs of any kind except some very simple mechanical stuff.
Well over the last four years I have totally revised my opinion since I have been working part time for an amazing car repair genius in Ravello. Mr Cioffi has been working in his wonderful premises for almost 50 years and still works 10 hours per day 6 days a week, he is the most amazing worker I have ever met. Tireless is an understatement and he is also a total perfectionist. I have seen him repair many many cars and indeed I have also purchased one, and I challenge anyone to tell that the repaired car was ever damaged.
Indeed, in Italy when a car has been involved in an accident and suffered heavy damage sometimes the State Police will issue a special notice that a car must pass a special test before it can go back on the road. I took one of these repaired cars to the large Govt structure in Naples and passed the papers to the Chief. He asked me after a few minutes “er please, where was this car damaged??” in other words they could not find where the car had suffered the damage so he asked me!!! Amazing.
Our man follows two major lines of business: one is repairing customer cars (and during the summer months we often have rental cars requiring a quick repair and touch up) the other is purchasing damaged cars and then repairing and selling them, he generally has about 15 to 20 small cars on his books. I say small because the Amalfi coast is very space limited to most local customers look for a car that they can park easily so up to a Golf size is really his market but Polo/Punto/Panda even more.
And you say is a repaired car really safe? From my experience YES and indeed sometimes he makes them stronger than before, recently we had two Suzukis that had rolled over (this can happen as they are quite tall and they have a very narrow track width) and on both chassis he welded some extra lugs to strengthen the repaired chassis.
Some photos follow.