The meaning of French épave is a ship or a car totally ruined. When looking up the etymology Dauzat explains: from Latin expavidus adjective. The meaning of expavidus is frightened or acting out of fright. I don't understand the development from fright to a ruined ship (wreck). And I'm not very convinced of Dauzat's explanation. The French CNRTL has the same. As to the form, expavidus may be a source. But it may well be the wrong source. I ask myself if there might be other possible explanations. Any ideas? I looked up 'wreck' in the Italian dictionary, but found nothing that might serve as a source.