Based purely on my experience with CL and cars looking like that and sadly.... in that region, I would say it was in a wreck at some point. It did not come with those lights or wheels.
Ask the owner for the VIN# and do as much checking as you can - while Carfax might be deemed waste of time, it sometimes provides accident history, so you never know. VIN number would also tell you what the car originally was from the factory and possibly where it was first sold and how many owners it has had.
Until you actually see the car and go over it with a fine tooth comb, you don't really know what you are dealing with. Personally, I would walk away from such a car. There are too many Red flags for me. To answer your first question.... it is certainly not work $17K