Summer is a busy time for classic car collectors. Local show-and-shine events across the county serve as a gathering place for car buffs to admire classics and revel in the nostalgia of yesteryear. Major regional events, such as Hot August Nights in Reno, Nevada, draw collectors from across the nation who want to show off their cars or bid on new ones at auction. For these collectors, the painstaking work of preparing vehicles for shows pays off in praise from the public and accolades from show organizers.
Of course, prize-winning collector cars don’t just materialize at these events on their own. They must be carefully transported so that they are in tip-top shape and need minimal preparation before they can be put on display. Because these cars are so valuable, many owners avoid driving them on highways, freeways and busy city streets. They opt instead to load their cars onto trailers or to hire transportation companies to ship their cars to the next show location.
Five Essential Steps to Prepare Your Classic Car for Transport
Whether you’re shipping your collector car to a show or to a storage facility for the winter, it’s essential that you prepare well in advance for shipping. This means not only that you should get quotes from shipping companies and discuss their services in advance, but also that you must physically prepare the car itself for shipment. Do all of the following in the week prior to your car’s pickup date:
- Wash and clean the car’s exterior and interior.
- If possible, remove after-market items such as ground effects and spoilers.
- Disable your car’s alarm.
- Fold back mirrors and retract the antenna if possible.
- Check tire inflation, battery charge and fluid levels.
- Remove any valuables or personal items from your car.
- If you’ll be using a car cover, check to make sure that the cover is in good condition.
Pickup and Delivery Essentials
Having your car picked up and delivered should be a relatively stress-free process. Doing a few simple things during pickup and delivery can minimize your worry and ensure that your valuable car is protected. Before the transport driver arrives, you’ll need to:
- Ask your carrier about their insurance policy and secure extra coverage if necessary.
- Make a detailed inventory of any damage to your car.
- Take photos of your car from every angle.
- Write down any instructions necessary to operate your car in case the driver needs to move it during transport.
As soon as the driver arrives, you will:
- Go over the delivery destination and schedule with the driver.
- Conduct a visual inspection of the vehicle with the driver.
- Provide specific instructions about operating your car.
- Monitor the loading process and put on the car cover if necessary.
The driver who picks up your collector car will provide you with a signed inventory noting any existing damage to your car. Make sure to read this document carefully and ensure that everything on the report matches your car. On the day of delivery, you will:
- Carefully inspect the car and compare any damage to the original inventory.
- Receive finalized paperwork from your driver.
- Take photos of any damage to your car.
Remember that delivery times are generally estimates. When shipping your collector car, arrange to have your car delivered on a day when you’re free to hang around and wait. Doing so will help you avoid delivery snafus.