As winter approaches, you’re probably looking forward to heading south for the winter. Whether you’re going to Florida or the deserts of the Southwest, it would sure be nice to have your classic car there to enjoy during the warm winter. But how are you going to get it there?
Winter is tough on all cars, but it can be brutal on classic cars. All that snow and ice creates rust, and the salt used on the roads corrodes your classic car’s undercarriage. Yes, you can rust-proof your car and add sealant to try to prevent corrosion — but these fixes are only temporary.
In addition, driving your classic car through snow may be particularly dangerous. Most classic cars have bias-ply tires that are smaller than modern tires, and they don’t grip well (or at all) on icy roads. If you choose to drive your classic car south during the winter, for safety you should at least swap out the tires for modern snow tires, even if it harms the look of your car for the season.
One of the biggest choices facing you as you prepare to ship your classic care south is whether to opt for an open or closed car carrier. Open car carriers are by far less expensive. However, if your classic car is rare, particularly valuable, or recently restored, you may want to go for the extra expense of a closed carrier.
A closed car carrier protects your car from the elements during transit, but it provides even more than that. Open transports typically use ramps for loading, and classic cars can suffer damage due to ramp-related incidents. If your classic car is valuable, look for an enclosed trailer with a lift-gate elevator that keeps your automobile level during the loading process.
Before you ship your car, make a call to your own car insurance company. Ask what coverage you have during shipping. Yes, your shipping company will carry its own insurance policy (and you should ask to see a copy of it before you sign any contract), but you also want your own insurance in effect. If shipping isn’t included on your policy already, ask your insurance agent for a temporary add-on rider.
Preparing your classic car for safe shipment is fairly straightforward. Remove all belongings from the trunk and from the car itself. (As a bonus, this reduces the automobile’s weight, which reduces your costs). Consider removing any extra electronics you’ve added (navigation system, audio system, etc.).
Leave your car with only a quarter-tank of gas. This also reduces the automobile’s weight, but it gives you enough to drive your car to the nearest station once it’s delivered to its destination.
In addition, document the condition of your classic car thoroughly before you turn it over to the car shipment company. Make note of every paint chip or mechanical issue. When you take possession of the car again at your destination, go over your documentation again so that you can note any damage before the car transport company drives away.
We are happy to help you with all your shipping needs, and have a long history of protecting classic cars during transport. If you’re getting ready to go south for the winter, give us a call to see how we can help.