Transport and Import of Cars

CALIFORNIA TO FLORIDA (scroll down for other)

In 2006 Don, the Annexmaster, bought a car (#1239) that was in California and had it transported to Florida. I cannot BELIEVE that I did not write up that experience at the time, since it was quite traumatic. Better late than never - here is my recollection.

The car was a Roadster that had been sitting for several years and did not run. The price was reasonable ($5,000) so I bought it to work on, planning to either keep it OR my Phaeton, car #1254, when I was done. Getting the car moved turned out to be fairly easy, but not without anguish and concern on my part.

Finding a transport company was both easy AND difficult. Nobody really had a good recommended company, and after my experience, I am not really STRONGLY in favor of the company I used, although I would likely use them again.

A failed try with a "good old boy" who was recommended by someone -- he bid high and then did not return my calls after telling me how hard it was to move cars (if he had HAD a truck in the area anyhow, he might have been more interested).

Having not gotten any strong referrals from Glassic or Shay owners, . I ended up with PRIMARY AUTO TRANSPORT --  a company that Don Smith of the Shay group had used successfully.


USA: Property Broker: MC #551570: Mesa, AZ: specializing in service between Alaska, CA, WA, OR, AZ, and FL. - 9k - Cached - Similar pages

The above is the Google result for that name in 2/2008. It shows the website as not in service when I clicked it.  I am not surprised - read on.

What it appeared that Primary was, was a BROKER. Probably some guy in his spare room who would take your info and then put the specs out to transport companies who would BID on the job. (Although I HAD found good reviews on them on-line).  Primary would then make the arrangements and, likely, get a commission for making the deal.  What that means is that you really don't know WHO is actually moving your car. - as I remember, they are all part of some accredited group, however.


I told Primary Auto Transport (I am sure there are many such brokers) about the "from-to info" AND the car being a convertible, and chose open or enclosed transport, AND that the car did not run -- it WAS essential that the tires have air and that the car be able to ROLL - so they could winch it on to a truck.  They also wanted to know that they had access and could back a tractor trailer up to the car (not that it was in a garage in a narrow, winding alley). You can save some money by transporting from a depot and / or TO a depot, rather than "door to door".  I chose door to door service.

I got a quote and a quote number back in a day or so. The quote SAID for a "running vehicle", which I had said was NOT the case.  Turned out that was just sloppy typing and the quote WAS actually for non-running. $1,150  (in Sept 2006)-- That was a Los Angeles address to a Tampa Bay address.  The quote email had a page of particulars about insurance etc etc. and stated AVERAGE pickup time (1-8 days from the time of acceptance) and another 6 - 8 days of travel time for over 1500 miles.

It LOOKS like about 1 week later I gave them my credit card and paid $150 up front. That same DAY I got an email that my car was to be picked up by CCVS (Crescent City Vehicle Storage) - turned out to be a Florida company .  I guess that they had had a truck in Calif and were the low bidder with the broker. The email said "Estimated pickup date 9/26 -9/28" and delivery ESTIMATED within 7-10 days. -- a disclaimer of "not guaranteed" on the dates.

The email said to have cash, or a bank check for $1,000 for the driver upon delivery, and to check the vehicle condition when it arrived.

I don't see it in my notes, but as I recall, the driver called the seller A DAY EARLY and picked the car up -- it arrived in Florida on 10/2 -- pretty much 10 days from the time I gave my deposit.

I was out of town when the car arrived, but got a call from the DRIVER when he was close to the house. He wanted to be sure that I had CASH - I said I did NOT, but had a bank check left with a neighbor - he got all flustered by that and had to call someone - that worked out.  I had said "just put it in the driveway" and he got all flustered by THAT also - telling me how old and sickly he was and how he wasn't going to push the car around, etc. -- I told him, "Fine, leave it in the middle of the street, then."

Apparently, by the time he got to the house, he had calmed down, and my lady neighbor received the car, gave him the check, and he left it at the curb in front of the house. She said the trailer was HUGE, and he backed all the way up the street to drop it off since he was afraid he couldn't turn around when finished.   A neighbor and her husband pushed the car into the driveway that evening AND

They put the top up! -- The driver had put down the top and drove the car topless from California. He said that the wind would have blown the top to shreds.  There were not curtains on the car.  The weather had been fine, so the car was dry, but that is an issue that needs to be addressed.  I don't know the correct answer.   Someone else had said that they had towed a Glassic with the top up and the top had been ripped.  Perhaps that is for dry-old tops - my #1254 does fine on the road at 70mph when being driven. I don't know.


The following was received 2/2008 from Mike who bought car 1178 in Canada.

The 1178 p VIN was a real pain to get across the border.  I at least was smart enough to use Thorsen's Delivery (Prime car mover for RM Auctions in their Toronto shows) to get it across.   Even that delayed him for about 1 hour at the border for review.