The old saying "Horses for courses " is relevant on this issue. Being a frequent loiterer at damaged vehicle auctions,I have seen cars relatively unscathed been written off as some ins.policies have a 'new for old' provision.
Two cars come to mind that may illustrate the dilemma of 'gotta have but got no sav(vy)' one was an '88 328gts hit hard in the front, subframe took the shock and transmitted it throughout the car, evidenced by gaps and misaligned doors etc. BUT!! because it was a Ferrari, every person bidding saw a red supercar... went for 50K, market value in Oz is 75-85K major work to get it repaired, had 2 priors before this so god knows what sort life it had led! bad car (sadly) /ludicrous price!
Another was a '08 Merc 350SLK cab, immaculate, 13,000Km cream leather dark blue. written off in a hailstorm last year, the damage comprised no more than 10 small indents on the horizontal panels, no marks on the paint. Book value was 98-107K fix the dents with dry ice, no paint required. I gave the bidding away @ 52K went for 54K.nice car untouched, but written off as salvage.good car/good price.
In the eyes of the beholder, it can appear a pig or a prize, depending on a trained eye and knowing what to look for. I'm no expert but I cringe still over the cars I have bought thinking they were fixable (maybe so, but not by me at that time)