I found someone local-ish, a mile or so from the auction.
First I registered as an individual with CoPart (free online) to give me permission to view cars in person and then I went to the impound lot and looked at the car in person Thursday, the day before the auction, to make sure it was complete and I knew what I was bidding on. The guy who worked there gave me the name of a tow company he sees come through frequently. People told him that particular tow yard will bid on stuff for you for a fee. He gave me directions and I drove by the tow yard. Pretty sketchy looking place in the boonies. Eventually I was able to talk to the person who sometimes handles the proxy bidding and who spoke a language I could understand, and she gave me the scoop:
She told me to show up at their tow yard office before the auction starts and give her a $500 cash deposit, which I drove down today and did. She asks what my max bid was and she sits there at the her computer and bids on it live when the particular item number comes up. From what I can tell, she didn't do the Max Bid thing and let it autobid, she kept clicking when she was outbid by the $25 increment. I ended up getting the item.
This $ part is the only sketchy part that made me a little nervous.
She gave me the grand total for the auction including the fees, and said I had to pay with cashier's check or money order if I choose to go pay for it in person at the Copart Counter. She asked if I had the money with me and I said I had cash. She asked if I wanted to go pay for it now, and I said Yes. She then whipped out a bunch of random, mismatched money orders from the drawer that had $ values but otherwise not filled out. Uh, ok. I handed her the cash equivalent, and she wrote the company's buyer number and some other number on a little post it note and had me go pay at the Copart counter. She didn't have quite enough money orders but she said I could pay the last $68 in cash, but it had to be exact because they don't give change at the Copart Counter.
So I drove to Copart counter in San Diego / Otay (and you thought DMV was painfully slow!) and the actualy CoPart lady was like, I know the deal, you arent the account holder. I can't give you the title-- I can only release the title to certain people on this account-- but I can give you the receipt and the keys and let you pick up the car. Surprisingly, she didn't bat an eye at the random money orders and said the $68 in cash was fine.
Ba-da-bing ba-da-boom I got a receipt and invoice.
After paying, I drive to the remote lot where this particular salvaged/rolled car was stored. Dude who was there Thursday and who gave me the pointers before was there again (still?). Showed him the paperwork, he grabbed the car with a forklift, and dropped it straight onto my trailer. easy peasy.
I then drove back to the tow yard who did the bidding for me. I showed the lady who bid the receipt showing it was all paid, and she gave me back $400 of my $500 deposit and gave me a DMV Vehcile Transfer and Reassignment Form showing that the tow company actually sold me the car. She said I could come back Monday and pick up the title.
Really wasn't all that painful considering it was my first time.
On top of the final bid price, the fees on the CoPart receipt are
$10 HAZ MAT Compliance
$350 Buyer Fee
$89 Virtual Bid Fee
$59 Gate Fee (no clue what that is. Probably a Gambino fee)
Not sure if there is any other fee missing above because I bought a salvage wrecked car with no keys as-is. Taxes??? Dunno.
Then I paid the tow yard who bid for me that $100 ($500 deposit and $400 refunded)
And I tipped the yard guy and also the lady employee who did the bidding $20 each so they would be helpful to the next schlub I send that way for HER/HIS first time...
Hope others find this helpful. And while it is specific to the SanDiego Copart, I can't imagine it is too different for other locations. I had heard/read too many horror stories about storage fees because of the delays in money bank transfers and who does and doesn't work weekends and so on. I wanted to handle as much as I could in person in cash the same day. So this ended up working out great for me. I overspent by about $700-800 from my personal mental limit, but I heard for greater losses from other horror stories, so I'm still very satisfied to have popped my CoPart cherry for a few extra bucks.