Transporting older, more delicate vehicles poses unique challenges compared to moving newer cars Transporting Classic and Vintage Automobiles.

This article will explore some of the key differences in auto transport for antique and vintage cars, as well as best practices and solutions for safely delivering these valuable collectors’ items to their destination.

Condition and Originality

Preserving the condition and originality of an antique or vintage car is of utmost importance to collectors and owners. Even minor dents, scratches or other cosmetic damage can significantly impact the value.

Cars from past eras also had fewer reinforcement structures and safety features than modern vehicles, making them more vulnerable during transport. Special care must be taken when loading, securing and unloading classic automobiles versus everyday commuter cars.

Open-Air Transport

Many transport carriers offer open-air transport, with vehicles secured but exposed to the elements during transit. While this allows for smaller vehicle profiles to be accommodated, it presents risks such as debris striking the vehicle, paint damage from weather or exhaust from other vehicles.

Enclosed and wrapped transport methods better protect fragile exterior and interior components important to collectors.

Transporting Classic and Vintage Automobiles – Handling and Loading/Unloading

Loading and unloading antique cars requires smooth, careful operation of ramps and lifts to avoid jostling these historically significant vehicles.

Pushing or pulling them up ramps is not recommended. Professional auto transporters will use padded slings under the chassis for extra support and have well-trained staff to gently guide wheels and manage controls without stressing original parts.


Webbing straps are commonly used but can mar paint if too tight or leave impressions on soft metals. Padded tie-down chains or straps spread pressure more gently. Cockpit and interior accessories also require protection like padded covers on knobs, levers and protrusions.

Windows should be rolled up or additionally covered to guard against cracks or chips. Secure areas likely to shift during transit, such as spare tires, radios or other removable fixtures.

Transporting Classic and Vintage Automobiles – Temperature Control

Vintage vehicles may have unique quirks, materials or components susceptible to damage from heat, cold or humidity fluctuations. Many transport carriers offer temperature-controlled trailers for transport during extreme weather conditions.

For short or medium-range trips, open carriers can still protect against elements with cab deflectors, side tarps and padded vehicle wrapping.

Long-Term Storage Considerations

Potential Issue Solution
Flat spots on tires Chock wheels or install wheel dollies to avoid flat spots forming during transit.
Interior mold/mildew Use a moisture-absorbing desiccant packet and ventilate periodically during storage.
Seals and hoses drying out Start engine and operate for 30 minutes every few weeks to keep components lubricated.

Documentation and Valuable Protections

Additionally, carriers should photograph vehicles from multiple angles prior to transport and again upon arrival to create a condition report. Serial numbers on valuable, removable parts can aid law enforcement in case of any issues during shipment.

Consider storage for valuable paperwork like titles, manuals, receipts or photo albums maintaining provenance for insurance purposes. A locked compartment or securely fastened safebox protects these important collector’s items.

Insurance Coverage

Ask transport companies about their insurance policies and limits of liability for damage to ensure vintage autos are protected at all points of their journey.

Declared value coverage over the standard 60 cents per pound may provide piece of mind for high-end collector vehicles. Private collectors insurance tailored to classic cars can also offer all-risk coverage potentially better suited to antique automobiles.

Transporting Classic and Vintage Automobiles – Choosing a Reputable Transport Company

When selecting who will transport your prized vehicle, look for carriers with extensive expertise in shipping antique and classic cars. Reputable professionals will clearly communicate policies, safeguards and processes dedicated specifically to vintage auto transport.

Asking fellow collectors, car clubs or specialized brokers for recommendations helps find transporters well-versed in addressing the special needs of older, historically significant automobiles requiring that added layer of handling care.

Parting Words:

Properly transporting antique and vintage cars demands preparations, equipment and expertise beyond routine auto shipping needs.

With temperature control, experienced personnel, comprehensive documentation and protection of vulnerable components, a reputable transporter can deliver classic vehicles safely to their destination while preserving the integrity befitting of these treasured collectibles.