In our mind, all classic cars are beautiful. The gorgeous, streamlined 1935 DeSoto Airflow SG makes our mouth water. The sleek, aerodynamic Tatra 87 is a car of our dreams. There are many more, of course, too numerous to mention.

Yet, the condition of these classics may be poor due to their age and they may not be drivable or their engine may be missing or not working.

Can you still have it transported by a transport company? Yes! Yet it’s going to take a bit more work and preparation on your part to get it ready for shipping and it’s going to be more expensive to ship that a “regular” classic or high-end car.

Here’s what you need to do to a) find a reliable classic car transport company that can ship a non-working car and b) get your classic find ready for transport. Take a look below.

  • 1. Find a transport firm that has considerable experience in shipping classic cars and let it know right away that the car is isn’t working.

    Not every car shipping company has experience transporting classic or antique cars. Your vehicle is precious and valuable, so it’s best to ensure the company you choose knows what it’s doing.

    Most classic car shippers don’t have nearly as much experience shipping vehicles that don’t run. You need to ask if they have done so in the past and – and this is important – if they have the equipment needed to handle such vehicles.

    For example, most shipping companies have an experienced driver drive the car on to the transport carrier. Even vintage/classic cars. But if the car doesn’t run, it will need to be winched into the vehicle. Does the transport company have a winch?

    Important note: companies that do specialize in classic car shipping more than likely have a winch. Which means that a company that doesn’t own a winch, probably doesn’t have that experience. Keep looking.

    Also, if your classic car doesn’t have all of its tires or any tires, the shipping company may need to load it on to its trailer via forklift.

  • 2. Understand that special equipment and handling will more than likely mean a larger transport bill.

    Aside from the extra cost for the winch/forklift, transport companies that deal with inoperable vehicles need to pay the car’s transport handlers more to actually get it into or onto its transport carrier. Not every person can operate a winch or forklift and not every winch/forklift operator has experience in using it on a classic, inoperable car.

  • 3. Just as you do if the car is runs, inspect the antique classic thoroughly prior to handing it over to the transport company.

    This is especially important if the car needs to be winched or forklifted onto its carrier. You want to take photos/video of the car before it’s collected for shipment and you especially want to do so again once it’s delivered back to you. Videotape/photograph the car top to bottom, inside and out and carefully compare its post-delivery condition to the photos/videotape you took before transport.

  • 4. Clean and wash the car thoroughly, take all movable parts from the car, and take out the battery and empty the gas tank.

    The car can’t be run, so there’s no need to keep the battery in or keep gas in the tank. Keeping your car free of movable items (roof rack, removable stereo, spare tire, etc.) helps prevent damage and keeping it empty of gas and battery means that neither battery acid nor gasoline can leak.

  • 5. Should you fix the car so that it’s operational prior to transport?

    That depends. You should ascertain how much repairs/restoration will cost compared to the additional costs associated with shipping an inoperable classic car. If the car needs new tires or if the engine isn’t working and can be fixed relatively easily, it may be less expensive to do so and then ship. But if the car needs a full restoration, chances are good the extra transport expense will be a fraction of the cost to restore it.

    However, if you absolutely need the car picked up and/or delivered by or on a certain date, a drivable car makes it easier for a transport company to set a definite pick-up and even drop-off date.

Transport your classic car with Ship A Car, Inc. We have shipped more than 35,000 vehicles of all types – including a few thousand classic/vintage cars – since we started transporting vehicles in 2012. We’ve earned an “A” rating with the Better Business Bureauas well as a five-star rating from our past customers.

Contact us by calling 866-821-4555 for additional information on transporting your inoperable classic car.