Shipping Via Enclosed Truck
Finding a transport company
I have personally used Passport, InterCity (http://www.intercitylines.com/) and Reliable Carriers (http://www.reliable-carriers.com). All were excellent. Passport and InterCity were about the same price, while Reliable is considerably cheaper. In the future I plan to use Reliable. FedEx Custom Critical is reportedly also offering this service now.
http://www.movecars.com is a nationwide directory of car transport companies
http://www.shipvehicles.com is a service that matches people looking to ship a vehicle with carriers looking to fill a truck.
[MCA – 2002/3/5] I used RELIABLE Carriers to ship my NSX from Chicago to Fort Lauderdale last year, and used them again in February to bring my car home. Cost of one-way ship via enclosed transport was $893. This is "standby pickup" (leave your car at a dealer and they get it at their convenience). Fully enclosed semi, lift elevators, etc — these guys are specialists. Am pretty happy with their work and would not hesitate to use/recommend them again.
[GM, BD] I shipped my car from Chicago from Cleveland in ’93 and from Cleveland to Atlanta in ’96. Car was shipped in a closed truck, and the cost was about $400 going to Cleveland and about $650 for the longer trip to Atlanta. Note that I received estimates up to $900 for the most recent trip. The car was treated royally, there was no damage whatsoever. The drivers were courteous in the extreme. Cars ride in double-decker format with a moving tailgate to allow access. The company I used was Intercity Lines Inc. I believe the owner is Ray, and I spoke to a service rep named Rachel who was very helpful.
1. Son shipped Miata Honda Passport @ $800 each San Diego (Carlsbad) to Nashville. He got the name from the yellow pages in Carlsbad and from word of mouth from fellow Marines at Pendleton. Don’t know the name. They arrived okay except they were filthy dirty and the driver kept called en route saying he would be an extra day. This happened twice. Open shipment.
2. Shipped Ferrari 355 from Ocala to Nashville with Passport. $650. They took a credit card over the phone. First rate service in enclosed van. Passport advertises in Dupont Magazine, Hemmings, etc. Passport very, very professional.
3. Have shipped my 355 twice from Nashville to Atlanta at $1.50 a mile. They were recommended by Ferrari of Atlanta and come get your vehicle on an open truck bed. Cost about $500 each time. Had it serviced and then drove it back. Very professional except they had quoted me $1.25 a mile over the telephone and later denied that. Ferrari of Atlanta made it good. (They also added $25 service fee for use of a credit card and gave me a quote of $350 for the trip. Later they denied that also)(Ferrari of Atlanta gave me a $150 credit that I used on miscellaneous purchases (clothes, etc.) from them.
4. Shipped ’91 Jag convertible from Nashville to Los Angeles for $600. Yellow page ad. Took the cheapest one. Open truck. Loaded with lots of other cars. My car arrived filthy dirty with speedometer broken. Can’t for sure blame that on shipping company.
The big ones are Intercity, Passport and Horseless Carriage. All have 800 numbers and are very, very good at shipping high end cars in an enclosed van. Their quote Nashville to LA was $1100.
[?] I used Intercity Lines to ship my car from San Diego to Boston. Excellent job. Closed transport, fully insured, on time etc. etc. 800-221-3936 Intercity has a very informative web site also. http://www.intercitylines.com
[MBA – 2000/11/14] When we were planning our NSXPO trip, we called all around and the best deal was Pilot Transport Co. They charged us about 800. per car for 2100 miles in an enclosed transport. They were real nice, and most important they were very competent and the trip was damage free.
More experiences here: http://www.nsxprime.com/forums/showthread.php?t=148016
Shipping via Open Truck
[A/H] Keep in mind that unless your car is on the bottom/front of the open car transporter a car cover is going to flap somewhere on the car. Being the paint guy for American Honda I have seen a lot of paint wear through because of something rubbing on it. (Side note: Did you know that the Ink on pop cans is to lubricate the cans when they rub together in transport? PPG does the ink here in Torrance.)
If I were going to ship a car on an open transporter and I could request a position it would be front bottom with no cover on it. It would be ideal be to get the white stuff that the factories use to cover the paint while on the trucks. It is very much like shelf paper that will protect from sand blasting. The other alternative is to use the new acrylic stuff that you roll (paint) on and it dries like elmers glue when you were in 2nd grade. It also peels off fairly easily.
Proper Tie Down
[A/H – 98/12/21] The boats and truckers that transport the NSX on it’s way to the dealer are only allowed to use the square holes in the side sills (rocker panels) to tie down an NSX. The holes are just behind the front tire and just in front of the rear tire. This is the strongest part of the car. If you use the front bumper tie downs and tie to the center of the car you will bend the tie down. The rear tie downs are usually difficult to use because of the exhaust..
The square holes require a special "J" hook on the end of the chain but it is with out a doubt the best place to tie. You can go forward from the rear tires and backwards from the front tires. If it is done right you don’t need to use the park brake.
If you are using the same trailer all the time, you could get some sort of turn buckle with a "J" hook on one end and some sort of fastener for the trailer on the other. Make sure you know how to use the "J" hook, it has to go into the hole and then be twisted 180 deg to put down pressure on the hook (inside the hole) and up pressure on the little pad that rests against the side sill. Trailer supply or tow truck supply should be able to set you up.
[BLE – 2000/2/17] Beware when shipping a car on an open trailer. Many times paint eating fluids from cars on the above level will trickle down on top of the cars below. If your going to ship open make sure your car is on the upper deck.