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Tips for Safely Transporting Your Classic Car


Getting ready to take your classic car to a car show, or simply transporting it from one place to another? Whether you’re working with professionals or are going to be transporting the vehicle yourself, it’s important you follow all proper safety protocols to prevent potential damage to the car. The last thing you want is for your pride and joy to sustain avoidable damage in transit!

When selecting your transportation, you can choose from open or closed methods of transportation.

Open Transportation
Closed Transportation
Two examples of transporting your car. Open method (Left). Closed method (Right) using a Race Ramps Trailer Ramp

Open transport involves trailers that are not closed to the elements. Loading tends to be simpler, but there is less protection afforded to the vehicle, which could be troublesome if you find yourself in a situation where there will be precipitation or potential airborne debris.

Closed transport is a more expensive transportation option, but it gives additional protections to the elements and potential road hazards. The additional expense is worth it when you consider how much you’ve likely invested in your vehicle to restore it and keep it looking good.

The preparation

Before you send your car away in the trailer, it’s important to take some steps to prevent potential damage and to ensure the vehicle arrives in prime condition. These steps include:

  • Remove all personal belongings: Your personal items could become damaged as they shift around during transportation. Removing these belongings also prevents any possibility of theft.
  • Remove custom products: If you have any custom or particularly valuable items in the car, you might consider removing them during transportation as well to prevent theft or damage. This could include removable emblems, audio systems or custom parts that you’d rather protect.
  • Inflate tires: Make sure the tires are inflated to the proper level so you can be ready to drive the car away when you arrive at your destination.
  • Battery maintenance: Make sure your battery is fully charged so the vehicle will start when you arrive. Replace the battery if needed.
  • Repairs and maintenance: Perform any other repairs and maintenance before transportation so you don’t have to worry about them when you arrive. This might include adding anti-freeze, checking fuel levels (try to travel with around a quarter tank, or enough to reach a nearby gas station at your destination), checking important vehicle systems, etc.
  • Check convertible tops: If you have a convertible top on your vehicle, make sure the top is secured as tightly as possible to prevent potential accidents.
  • Fold mirrors: Side view mirrors should be folded during transportation, as those are vulnerable parts that could otherwise experience damage during transit.
  • Remove antennas: Similar to side view mirrors, antennas protrude from the vehicle body and could easily sustain damage. Remove or retract the antenna to prevent it from being damaged during transportation.
  • Disable alarms: Any alarms you have on your vehicle should be disabled to prevent them from becoming a nuisance during transportation.
  • Document: Make sure you document the condition of the vehicle with descriptions and photographs so you have a basis for comparison if the vehicle arrives at your destination with damage.

Finally, make sure you work with a company you can trust to deliver your vehicle safely. There are a variety of companies that provide this service, and you should make sure the one you choose specializes in working with classic cars. These professionals will understand the special care that must be afforded to these unique and fragile vehicles, and will employ methods designed to provide the utmost in safety throughout the entire journey.

Enjoy your next car show, and make sure you get your vehicle there safely and efficiently!

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