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Discussion Starter #1
Last month I flew out to California and purchased a beautiful ’05 Elise, but had no idea how I would be getting it back to the arctic tundra otherwise known as Minnesota. I had never transported a vehicle across country prior to this experience. Given the weather conditions, driving the car home was completely out of the question.

So, I set out on a quest to find a safe, secure, reliable, and affordable transportation company. I ran across a web site, in which customers reviewed a lot of the transporters (Transport Reviews.com - Ratings and Reviews of Auto Transport Companies - Your Source For Finding a Quality Auto Transporter!). In actuality, this only served to add to my confusion.

A few things that I discovered after talking to these companies on the phone were that most of them are nothing more than brokers. They simply use a database of truckers to haul your vehicle and do no hands-on. Most of my questions could not be answered: How is my vehicle tied down, what type of truck/trailer will be used, will I be frequently updated on its location, will my vehicle be transported in a covered trailer…..

The companies, which could not answer these questions, were automatically disqualified.

One day, while looking through threads at Lotustalk, I saw a small blurb about a company called Grand Turismo Motorsports (GT). So, I gave them a call (Gran Turismo Motorsports, Exotic, classic Automobile, Motorcycle Transportation, (800) 896-0008, [email protected]_ms.com).

As it turns out, they are a hands-on transport company, not brokers, run by auto enthusiasts.

Their current clients include (from their web site):
Porsche Cars North America • Automobili Lamborghini • Mercedes-Benz USA
Ferrari North America • Spyker Cars North America
Lotus Cars USA BMW North America Symbolic Motor Car Co.
Shelby Automobiles • Barrett-Jackson • R&M Auctions

They were eager to answer all of my questions and concerns.
They coordinated the pickup of the vehicle with the seller (5-7 day window with a phone call the day prior to pickup), and did a detailed documented inspection of the car before loading.

One my very few disappointments was that their web site indicates that they “……prep your car by taking steps to protect the interior”. This was not completed, and hence, the driver’s leather seat was subjected to some grease and grime. Fortunately for me, I was able to clean it up.

After the inspection, my vehicle was loaded on a hydraulic lift gate, moved into the enclosed trailer, and secured with nylon straps placed around the circumference of each tire. This type of strapping pleased me because I was concerned about potential damage to the Volk 37’s from using straps through the rims.

Their web site also indicates that “The final step is protecting your vehicle with a plastic cover”. At the time of delivery, the car was not covered. I can’t honestly say that it had, or had not prior to this.

I received multiple phone calls from GT letting me know where my vehicle was and what the projected progress would be. They were upfront with me from the beginning stating that there might be some delays due to the fact that they didn’t “get up to my neck of the woods very often”. Frankly, with 3+ Ft of snow in the driveway, I was in no hurry to take delivery.

At one point GT called me to inform me that my car was in a secured building in Las Vegas, where it would remain for a few days until being reloaded for transport. This might bother some people, but as I said previously, I was in no hurry and I was assured that my car would remain safe. The fact is that I appreciated the update.

A day before the delivery, the driver called me and we arranged a drop off time (8-9a.m.). 11 a.m. rolled around and I hadn’t heard anything from the driver, so I called him. He stated that he had gone out to his truck in the morning to find two flat tires, which had just been replaced, and that he was just about to call me. He stated that his ETA was 2.5 hours and he arrived within that time frame.

I was surprised and excited to see a 78’ semi pull up to the front of the house. How he got this rig down our street I will never know. The entire back door of the semi trailer was hinged at the bottom and functioned as the lift gate. There were two levels to the trailer, and my car was on the top level. I must say that the driver has nerves of steel because backing a car, with little rear view visibility, onto a short lift gate almost 2 stories up, would frighten me to death.

Upon carefully removing the vehicle from the trailer, the driver and I did a walk around inspection of the car and compared previously noted damage with our findings. I signed off, and the driver was on his way.

On a funny side note, there was a piece of paper taped to the dash. The paper contained step-by-step instructions on how to start the car. What’s funnier is that I had to use them myself.

Later that day I received two phone calls, one of which was from the owner of the company. They were simply calling to make sure that I was pleased with their service and that the car was in tip top shape.

Overall, I was pleased with Grand Turismo and wouldn’t hesitate to use them again. They were a little more expensive than some of the other companies I had looked at, but transporting my vehicle in a safe manner, and receiving it intact was more important to me than a few dollars.

Again, I really appreciate the constant communication. Aside from damaging your vehicle, there’s nothing worse than having delays and not being notified of them.

Give Ken a call! These guys love to talk about cars! They transport more than just cars (e.g. motorcycles).

Photos of the delivery can be seen at: Picasa Web Albums - Ben - Car delivery

Pickup date: 02/01/09
Delivery date: 02/10/09
Miles: approx 1965 miles (direct)
Cost: $1600.00
 

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^that's pretty inexpensive for what you got. My Lotus cost a good bit more (NC to WA), and it was all brokered (didn't get a call until the day before arrival). Fortunately it wasn't an out-of-pocket expense, but if I need to ship a car in the future, I know who I'm calling :clap:

thanks for the review!:coolnana:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I should also state that the interior of the trailer, and semi, were very clean. All of the tie downs were secured against the walls of the trailer.

Everyone at GT was very friendly and I don't recall ever getting an answering machine when I called.
 
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