So, I am looking at this used car. 1996 toyota corolla automatic transmission, 140k miles. The owner tells me that the engine was replaced at 113k miles because of missed oil change while commuting daily to work (~20 miles). Now, is it possible to ruin the engine so bad because of missed oil change that it had to be replaced? How bad could the rest of the car be?
That is unlikely the real reason unless he means he missed most of his oil changes. What matters is what condition the car and current engine is in. I would have it evaluated by a mechanic before purchasing. Be prepared the pay the mechanic for his time.
You are certainly not getting the full story but in a sense it really doesn’t matter. If the car is sound mechanically you may go ahead with the purchase.
Not long ago I purchased an eBay car with its second engine and evidence of being in an accident. I still have the car and it is running strong after 2.5 years of ownership. The odometer reads 245K miles, BTW.
Have this car checked out, something you are encouraged to do even if it had all its original pieces.