The Lotus Cars Community banner

1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
218 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
After sitting in Bremerhaven, Germany for 2.5 weeks, they finally got it on the boat today to Tallinn. It's due to arrive at the end of this week.

My Elise is the only car in a 20-foot container. I believe they disconnected the battery and drained the fuel (standard procedure for shipping cars). Even if there is some fuel left, I assume the battery is dead from sitting unused for a month.

So the question is -- what is the best way to unload it from the container? My friend shipped some Toyota Land Cruisers this way, and they just pushed them out. However, if this method is the best, I want to be careful only to push on the correct places.

Another option is to attach the tow hook and winch it out, but I'm not yet sure if we'll have a winch available.

Any advice? The company I'm using to handle all the details once the car has arrived (single-type certification, etc) imports lots of cars, but they've never done an Elise before, so maybe their usual unloading methods would not be appropriate.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
891 Posts
My Elise is the only car in a 20-foot container. I believe they disconnected the battery and drained the fuel (standard procedure for shipping cars). Even if there is some fuel left, I assume the battery is dead from sitting unused for a month.
Unfortunatelly usually they are not disconect the battery.
I have bought 3 Lotus from US and shipped them by 20ft container each time.

Any time every car was battery failured.
They left car lights on for better view on the dark container when they were tightened the car inside ...

(sorry for my bad english)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
891 Posts
After sitting in Bremerhaven, Germany for 2.5 weeks, they finally got it on the boat today to Tallinn. It's due to arrive at the end of this week.

My Elise is the only car in a 20-foot container. I believe they disconnected the battery and drained the fuel (standard procedure for shipping cars). Even if there is some fuel left, I assume the battery is dead from sitting unused for a month.

So the question is -- what is the best way to unload it from the container? My friend shipped some Toyota Land Cruisers this way, and they just pushed them out. However, if this method is the best, I want to be careful only to push on the correct places.

Another option is to attach the tow hook and winch it out, but I'm not yet sure if we'll have a winch available.

Any advice? The company I'm using to handle all the details once the car has arrived (single-type certification, etc) imports lots of cars, but they've never done an Elise before, so maybe their usual unloading methods would not be appropriate.
If your battery is not failured you are getting in (be carefully to do not hit the door on container side wall ) and jump start.

If your battery is failured just you are pushing the car outside by hand .
It is too easy for 2 guys ...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
230 Posts
Screw the tow hook in and use it. The car weighs less than 2000 pounds if you are worries about pushing too hard. I imagine if someone pulled on the tow hook while another person lightly pushed on the rear end of the car, you could even move it up a slight incline. Congrats on the car...enjoy

Andyd
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,002 Posts
Whatever you do, do not push or pull on the windshield, or more to the point, the windshield frame. It's not meant to take that additional force and may break. It doesn't take a lot of force to get the car rolling gently on level ground. Enjoy your new ride!! :wave:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,190 Posts
Someone get in the car to steer, jack up one side of the container and let it roll out. No pushing needed.

Fill with new gas and have a fun first drive. (if the battery is working)

Kevin
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
218 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for all the advice. The ship arrives tomorrow morning, and I'll be going with a person who specializes in the single-type certification to unload the car the following morning. I have already received clearance from the shipping company to release the container to me, and tomorrow the customs broker will work out the customs details. I have also obtained temporary insurance to cover the car until the certification is obtained to register it here.

We'll be sure not to push the car on the windshield. Maybe tilting the container will work if we have the right equipment.

Regarding the battery -- it was probably disconnected for shipping. When we reconnect it, it may still be dead. If we jump the car, how long should I run it to see if the battery can hold a charge?

What I want to avoid is that I leave the port assuming the battery is OK, go to fill it up at the nearest filling station (since it has little fuel for shipping), and then can't start it again. The port it will arrive in is a bit outside of town, so I'd be stranded if I was in that situation.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,875 Posts
I don't know the laws there, but you could leave the engine running while filling up. It's not recommended but can be done in certain situations

Or you could bring a few jugs of gasoline and fill up the tank that way.

I would think running for 20-25 minutes or so would give it enough charge to start the car again
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,190 Posts
Make sure that any ramp you use to get the car out with is not to steep. You don’t want to grind the front of your car on it’s first move.

Bring a gas can or two, 8 gallons should be enough to charge the battery if it will charge. The tank is 10.5 gallons so no need to bring more then 9 gallons.

Can you drive it as soon as you get it? Or do you need to wait for paper work to go through?

I hope you get the car out EZ and have a long and fun drive home.

Kevin
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
218 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
take pictures, and post the process here
Will do. I actually plan to write up a post we can sticky with the exact details (part numbers and all) of how to get an Federal Elise certified in the EU. Given the weak US$, I think this will be a popular option.

Still waiting for customs to send me a tax bill today. Fingers crossed that they will agree with the value based on my purchase invoice (from Criswell Lotus). Apparently sometimes for rare cars they take the price on the German market, but it's still much higher than in the US.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
218 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Can you drive it as soon as you get it? Or do you need to wait for paper work to go through?
Assuming they weren't stripped off when it was shipped, the car still has Maryland temp tags on it. I got special insurance (known as border insurance) for 1 month so I can drive it while the certification process takes place.

The guy going with me (who is doing the certification also) says he'll bring along a spare set of dealer plates so I can use those if needed.

Over here we have the "foreigner excuse" where if the police stop you, you just speak in English and plead ignorance. It usually works quite well, since all foreigners here tend to be in business and are well-connected, so they are careful about whose feet they step on. The best so far I've managed is getting out of a 130 (kph) in a 90 when my German friend was driving a brand new Golf with German temporary number plates. We said we just came from the autobahn (partly true) and assumed the limit was 130 on the highways in Estonia :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,981 Posts
If the floor of the container is level, the car will roll VERY easily with slight pushing. I can push mine in the garage with only slight pressure anywhere.

xtn
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
218 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Sorry for the delay in reporting back -- it was a 4-day weekend here (Midsummer's Day) and I was enjoying taking the car out for a drive. It certainly turns heads since there are less than 5 Elises/Exiges in the country. I have to get used to how people come up just to take photos of the car.

Getting it out of the container wasn't too hard. The car is quite small so there was ample room to maneuver around inside the container and remove the wheel chocks. We just removed the chocks, and used some boards to build a small ramp at the lip of the container. Then I got in it while the other person slowly pushed it out. I helped to move two Ford F-150s that were stuffed into a 40-foot container, and there is no room to move. The guy had to jump in the rear cargo area and then slide in through the windows Dukes of Hazzard style. I was able to open the door on my Elise and slide in.

Once we had it out, I was able to start it up. The battery actually worked even after sitting in a shipping container for 3 weeks. There was also enough fuel to drive it to the nearest gas station for a fill-up.

I attached some photos to this post. The third photo (with stacks of containers in the background) is the car waiting to get clearance from Customs to leave the port area. The photo was taken in Muuga Container Terminal near Tallinn, Estonia.

The fourth photo is the car sitting in its usual parking space, which is a private 2-car garage (the garage door is up) within a larger parking garage. The garage has a power outlet so I can plug in a battery tender if necessary.

The last photo is the obligatory "hot chick with car" photo. That's my friend Liis, and in the background you can get a glimpse of a typical Soviet-era apartment building.

I live in a new building which is in the old part of town ("old" as in from medieval times.. it's a UNESCO world heritage site actually) so all the roads are cobblestone. Teeth-chattering -- you feel every bit of the road. Luckily I park it in an area without cobblestones so it's not too bad.

Tomorrow the car gets final import approval from Customs, and then we start the single-type certification process. Lotus of Tallinn will look at the car to determine exactly which parts are needed to add the rear fog light, change speedo to kph, and change turn signals to yellow. In about 2 weeks a guy from Germany (from TÜV) will come to do the emissions test certification. I expect the whole process will be complete in about a month's time, and in the meantime I'll drive on the Maryland temp tags since I have purchased local insurance which allows this.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,240 Posts
erm...your hot friend is coverd by the car...she should be infront of the car :D


btw...beautiful car. haha i see the maryland tags on it :) very nice. I hope you have plenty of fun with your car and drive safe!!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
344 Posts
Looks like a SweetDaddy sticker on the front....

Very nice car, I'm sure you'll enjoy it thouroughly. Stay off those cobblestones (although I almost wish we'd get some on Wilshire in front of my office, it would be an improvement!)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,190 Posts
Glad to hear (read) your enjoying the Elise.

She looks quit nice. The car looks good too. Got more picks of her (not the car)?

Have fun, looks like you are.
And yes the car does attract attention wherever it goes. Get used to it.

Kevin
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Top