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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:36 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2014 11:44 am
Posts: 103
Hey guys,
I've moved to Seattle WA not 2 months after renting a new apartment in Providence RI. I've been here a couple months but due to shipping constraints from my new companies relocation policy I was unable to ship my Z here with me.

I'm starting to go through withdrawals from not being able to work on my car so I'd like to start looking into shipping methods to get the Z out here with me. I'd likely have some spare parts coming with it so I wanted to hear any stories or recommendations from the community to ship a car from Maine to Washington state.
Thanks!


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 1:15 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2008 5:53 pm
Posts: 12934
Location: CT
Hey Ryan,
Sorry to hear you're on the wrong coast.
See below.

_________________
1970 240Z


Last edited by Frank T on Thu Nov 08, 2018 2:33 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 1:16 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2008 5:53 pm
Posts: 12934
Location: CT
About 9 years ago I became deeply involved in researching the prospect of transporting "Lucky#13" from CT to Nashville for ZCon and back, and this is what I recall from that experience.

Shipping a classic car cross-country offers you several options, including:
1. professional carriers
2. Independent carriers
3. trains
4. individuals.

Either professional or independent car carriers can carry your car either "open" or "enclosed". I use those terms loosely.

"Enclosed" can mean either a hard-shell moving van-type of box semi-trailer (preferred), or a canvas-side "tent" tailer (more common). Your car is protected from weather, road debris, and prying eyes.

"Open" refers to the common, weather-exposed type car carrier which delivers new vehicle stock to dealerships; we see those every day. Your car is exposed to all weather (Including hail), any road debris, malicious snowballs, rocks, and all admiring eyes. Sometimes you can buy a "transport bra" to cover your car on the open trailer to protect it a little more, like we see the Germans use while delivering their new cars to the dealerships. It peels right off upon arrival.

Professional carriers will require that the car is fully roadworthy and be capable of being driven (and stopped) under its own power both onto and off of the trailer. They will require someone with authority over the car to be present upon pickup, and again upon delivery. They give you an estimate window (usually about 10hrs wide) during which the car should reach its destination, and they will require someone of authority to be physically present to receive the car at delivery, inspect it for any damage and sign off on receipt and waiver against anything you might later claim happened during shipping; whatever condition you sign for as the car gets completely off the truck is the only liability they will acknowledge. They take full photographs of every foot of the car at the start and end of the trip.

Bear in mind that your used car will be shipped with other used cars and you pay more for having yours above others; leaks (oil, coolant, brake fluid and even fuel) are a concern for the lower cars, of course. The bra or a car cover helps protect against drips from above, somewhat. Many high-class carriers have trays or pans beneath the top cars to combat this. Some "open" carriers allow your car to wear a car cover during transport; many don't (they can blow off into traffic).

Professional carriers don't want to make a cross country trip for a single car. They will plan their route along paths which take them to several waiting classic cars, gathering them as they zig-zag in the general direction yours is headed. Thus, your East Coast car might get to see the Gulf Coast on its way to the West Coast. That generally does NOT add mileage costs to your car, but it should be discussed before signing the contract.

Professional carriers are quite demanding in their criteria for shipping. Cars are allowed only a minimum bit of fuel in the tank. Some carriers require the crankcase be drained during transport. In my experience, NO professional carriers allow you to put spare parts inside the car. Bouncing around causes interior damage which their insurance won't cover, and drugs can be hidden in spare parts. Manuals and paper notes are ok, but in the interest of interstate smuggling nd interior damage the cars are required to be devoid of anything else inside. They only carry and insure your baby; shipping diapers and pablum are your problem.

Insurance for your baby is an agreed-upon (and pre-paid) amount and considers such factors as the detailed condition of your car at pickup, the likely replacement value, the route to be taken, and the seasonal weather conditions expected to be encountered. Insurance was sold in 'blocks' of $500,000 increments when I inquired. Shipping prices are per-mile and agreed upon beforehand. If the tuck deviates from that route to pick up other cars (almost guaranteed it will), that doesn't add to your cost.

Cost of professional carriers is steep ($thousands). It was going to cost so much to ship Lucky#13 from CT to ZCon in TN (and then back again), that the owner saved big bucks by having a custom enclosed (sleep-in!) trailer built for the Z and bought a new diesel pickup truck to pull it with. :shock:

Independent haulers are far more flexible and agreeable to such things as spare parts packed inside your car, fuel and oil draining, etc. They are also far cheaper and less fussy about details. I spoke with some very friendly christian family haulers who were willing to drive (free) from SC to CT to pick up #13, and only charge from CT to TN. They weren't available for transport back tho, so we didn't use them.

Trains can carry your Z "eventually" to your destination. That is almost guaranteed to take (much) longer than truck delivery, and the train doesn't go to your door (hopefully); you must either go to the train and drive your car home, or pay extra for a local car carrier to flatbed the car to your driveway once it arrives. But spare parts are no problem on the train and their insurance is very good for any damage your car might take.

Somebody licensed to drive a flatbed could rent one and be hired to load your Z and drive it port-to-port. Getting him back to Main would be your additional expense.

As a final resort, a private driver can deliver your car in person, which takes "about" 5 days for a lone driver and you pay for motels and chow. Then you have to pay his way back to ME somehow. In this season the direct northern route would not be available until the spring melt; your Z would have to be driven down the Southern route, thru Texas and up the West Coast, adding about 6,000 miles to your odometer. Your Z would have to be very roadworthy and dependable for that. Zs get stored for winter anyway, so you might save money by shipping it directly along the northern route in the spring.

Probably your best all-around proposition is to find a local Maine racer who has parked his race car for the season. His empty race trailer can make him some Christmas money and transport your Z in reasonable safety. Plenty of racers are looking to make their empty trailer pay for itself. Insurance for your car would have to be determined; yours, theirs, a special short-term policy or combination?

I dealt with about 8 professional carriers and the very top of the line I spoke with was Horseless Carriage [ http://www.horselesscarriage.com ]. They were very cooperative and professional and realized we were discussing a one-only important car (HLS30-00013). They couldn't guarantee delivery in time for ZCon (more my fault than theirs) and the owner himself would have to be already there to receive the car, or they wouldn't let it out of the trailer, so we didn't use them. They were the most-expensive anyway. The owner went with an investment rather than an expense; he still has the excellent custom trailer/camper and the big diesel pickup truck to use, so he saved money overall.

Professional carriers will require all paperwork to match your ID by the way; car thieves are not smart but they are clever, so carriers have learned hard lessons by paying for erroneously delivering classic cars to the wrong hands.

If you don't care how long it takes and you can secure your spare partz to be sure they don't harm your car, you can also consider a single padded roll-off shipping container for your car and parts. Cars get lashed down in them all the time, they are weather proof and cheaper to transport across-country. You would talk to a common freight shipping company (not a car carrier) to rent a padded container and have your box transported to you by rail and truck. Takes longer, less glamorous, far cheaper, still insured. :wink:

Frank T

PS: If you think you can quit this Club simply by moving to another coast, you're wrong. You're still one of us. You can't quit a free Club. 8)

_________________
1970 240Z


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2018 10:10 am 
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Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2012 2:36 pm
Posts: 90
Location: Boston MA - Fairfield CT
I used these guys when I moved to San Fransisco -

http://goldenkeyexpress.com/auto-transport/

They were one of the few companies where they only ship using their trucks, and the car stays on the same truck the whole way. Price was pretty reasonable - $1300 from CT to CA. Their only catch is they will NOT ship cars that are NOT running... but if your car is running its all good.

The driver I worked with was great when I shipped my 510, being an old car it was bound to be finicky. The driver was nice enough to back the car up on the trailer right behind the cab, and left it there the whole trip. Even let me pull the car off the trailer when it arrived in Cali. Technically they do not allow additional items in the car... but they let me slide with a set of wheels in the "backseat" strapped to the roll bar and a few differentials and spare parts in the truck-- all strapped down--- but I wouldnt count on being able to ship anything in the car. Also it is very likely that anything in the car will move and shift during transport and could damage those parts or the car.

Took about 8 days to get the car from CT to CA.

I would absolutely work with Golden Key again.

-----

As for shipping the 510 back to CT again when I moved back, I lucked out, I didn't have a choice in company as my wife's job paid to relocate us so they paid to ship the car. The car bounced between 3 trucks and took about 3 weeks to get across the country. Only damage was to my very low hanging exhaust... but that was going to be replaced anyway.

-----

The biggest thing I can stress for shipping cars is to find a carrier that will keep the car on the same truck the whole way with the same driver. Ive heard to many horror stories of cars getting stuck or damaged in storage lots waiting for their next truck.

-----

Heres a photo of my 510 on the Golden Key truck-

ImageIMG_4546 by Devon Mitchell, on Flickr

Made it to Cali safe and sound -

Image1394457_2395309597318_2724108417296057206_n by Devon Mitchell, on Flickr

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'71 4Dr 510


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2018 1:38 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2008 5:53 pm
Posts: 12934
Location: CT
Did they require you to remove the side mirrors, or were you just wiZe enough to do that on your own? Any drips on your car from above?

Why does that driver have 4 feet? :shock:
Is that so he can "double clutch" easier?

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1970 240Z


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2018 3:35 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2012 2:36 pm
Posts: 90
Location: Boston MA - Fairfield CT
Frank T wrote:
Did they require you to remove the side mirrors, or were you just wiZe enough to do that on your own? Any drips on your car from above?


Nope; I just didnt have side mirrors on the car at the time. The biggest issue with our cars is actually that they are so narrow they barely fit in the trailers. The tracks are so wide my tires were over hanging on the inside on both sides :shock: :shock: :shock: But the driver strapped it down tight and promised it would all be allright.

Frank T wrote:
Why does that driver have 4 feet? :shock:
Is that so he can "double clutch" easier?


4 feet would be great! But really only need three... clutch brake and gas... i dont think Im coordinated enough for that though...

_________________
'71 4Dr 510


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