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Finding a good auto transporter


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I just bought a 1931 Model A Roadster from a seller in Florida. Now I have to find a reliable and competant transporter to move the car from Florida to Massachusetts. I'm looking for an enclosed transport. Can anyone suggest a company, and give me any advise or warnings in advance? Thanks

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The driver will inspect your car at the time of pick-up, and will document "IN DETAIL" every miniscule blemish with coding which does not necessarily distinguish such from major damage.

When your car is delivered, new damage may be difficult to document because of the driver's notes.

Have someone you know and trust, who has knowledge of old cars observe and participate in the driver's documentation, AND HAVE THEM PHOTOGRAPH THE NOTED ITEMS FOR YOUR COMPARISON AT DELIVERY.

If possible, you should be there to inspect at delivery, and to make your comments on the delivery sheet for your own protection in the event of any damage incurred during delivery.

I have had generally good results with the major carriers, and only one car damaged during transit. Because the shop which received one of the transported vehicles did not know that damage to the car was not pre-existing, and since I did not get to the car for a month after the fact to observe what had happened in transit, the additional damage was covered by my insurance company, rather than that of the transporter.

The Major Carriers advertise in most publications.

There are also other hobbyists who may be traveling in your direction with an available trailer - in which case you may not be paying for transport, but rather helping with their expenses in exchange for a favor between hobbyists.

Other parts of this Forum serve that purpose.

Good luck with your "new" car.

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Guest adam_knox

Ditto what Marty said.

Some places are like brokers and contract other truckers heading your direction. My pre-delivery sheet was very poor, with circled areas that had damage prior to delivery. I had the car appraised with photos before it was delivered. Despite that, I neglected to notice my grill and emblem were dented and cracked until I got home...by then it was too late. The car was rammed up against another car. I'm already out 300 bucks on grill parts, and there's two elusive parts I still need. frown.gif

So inspect carefully, re-inspect carefully, and inspect one more time before signing that release form!

BTW John, remember that front emblem medallion we had messaged about...found it on ebay...only $895! whistle.gif Sigh... and no, i didn't forget to put a decimal point after the eight! crazy.gif Needless to say, I'm still on the hunt for one! sick.gif

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Beware of the many brokers who use independent "contractors" who may or may not be any good. I used Federal Express Passport twice to move cars from Florida to Wisconsin, and had very good service both times. They do have their own special vehicles, and the drivers are employees. There are a few other reputable ones out there. My father-in-law used to use Horseless Carriage, and thought they were OK too.

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I have only hired a vehicle delivered twice.

The first time I fell for reasonable price and a quick delivery promise. Turned out to be broke and the truck was in MT and the 2 week delivery turned into almost 4 months. I was lucky the fellow I bought it from was willing to store it for free and even moved it once to get it to an easier place to be picked up. Once it was picked up it was put on the top front where low limbs scratched up the roof and cracked a side window. After turning in the insurance papers I never heard from them again. The story is a lot longer but I'll leave the phone call from the truck driver in jail and the Boss Mustang in the belly cover with so much soot that you couldn't tell what color it was suppose to be and other things out for brevity.

The second time I called 3 of the companies that I see delivering/picking up at Hershey. All were within $100 of each other in price and I went with PassPort. They picked up on time and delivered a day early. Did the whole check list thing, even ran a duster over it before giving me the keys. It again was on top but in an enclosed trailer. I was very pleased with the service.

Moral of the story: Be sure whoever you hire owns a truck.

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In all fairness, I've had a problem with THE major carrier, but would probably use them again -- certainly would not use a broker again after losing five months and the opportunity to buy another car.

The west-coast guy who bought my great-driving '63 Impala convertible waited months and months with me paying storage fees until a broker he uses could link-up with a contractor who owed him a favor "because of some parts previously "LOST" in shipping". He must have got a great price. When he finally got the car, he called me, complaining that the car was all-over-the-road and unsafe to drive -- unexpected, since I had restored the car properly, including all suspension and steering, had driven the car may many thousands of cross-country tour miles after initial restoration, safely maintained the car, and had just driven a Founders Tour the day that he called me to buy the car - it went into storage immediately until his agent picked it up.

I shared my thoughts with him, sorry that he was unable to drive straight down the road when it would do so for me without my hands on the wheel. I suggested that he check out how his transporter had tied-down the car -- he called back a short time later, and that both left- and right-side tie-rods were "bent into pretzels" and that the transport contractor who "saved" him money likely tied the car down by the tie-rods instead of an appropriate point.

Some big savings, huh? - when you consider the cost of new tie-rods. an alignment, time lost, phone calls, aggrivation.

Years ago my grandfather (who labored in the garment district of New York City's Lower East Side for years, saving to bring his family over from the Old County) many times told me: The short-term sweetness of a cheap price turns sour when you have to deal with poor quality.

I have learned to stay away from brokers and contractors who work with them. I also learned that a car may have several short-hops from one out-door storage yard to another, with several different driver/haulers, being loaded onto multiple carriers before it reaches its destination in the Broker/Contractor system.

I have strong praise for hobbyists who will offer the use of their empty trailer when dead-heading from a personal trip -- I've done that many times, and generally the guy or gal you help will insist on helping with expenses, even when you insist that you were driving anyway - this is good for the hobby, but have your own insurance in-place just in case.

If you like adventure, you just might fly to Florida, make sure your AAA is paid-up, do a Map-Quest of Non-Highways, and actually drive your new toy back home. I've done that, even with early cars, and have some of the best memories of those trips and the folks who shared my travels.

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Yup, we bought a truck while out in Colorado for the AGNM back in 2005. We hired someone to haul it back, gave us a screaming deal, gas prices went through the roof, and then they tried to back out of it. It took us 6 weeks to get something that was promised in 10 days.

I was lucky from the standpoint that Dan Binger was going to bring the truck to Hershey had the deal fallen through, but it ended up working out. In either case, pay the money and go with someone who isn't a broker. Make sure that if you want the vehicle hauled in an enclosed trailer that you're getting what you're paying for.

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Guest Gary Hearn

This may not work for everyone, but I am friends with a the owner of a less than load (LTL) trucking company based here in Richmond. I have used his company numerous times to haul many items including horse drawn vehicles, farm tractors, crawler loaders, my '52 Packard, '62 Studebaker GT Hawk and '64 Avanti.

They use enclosed trailers and the only catch is that you need a loading dock or rollback on the other end in order to load. Once it is delivered to his terminal here I take my rollback down to pick it up.

The owner has an extensive collection of restored antique tractors (100+) as well as vintage cars so his drivers are well accustomed to handling vehicles. While my cars aren't $100K examples, they are not all beaters either.

I pay by the foot for deck space and find that it is cheaper than most other options out there.

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