Shipping vehicles is a pain in the ass, there really is no other way to put it. In the continuing saga of my F100, I got quotes from $600 to $2000 to get it from California back to Maryland. Unfortunately, I had no idea who was good, who was bad, or if i was even dealing with the actual shipping company, as half of them were brokers. I finally settled on a company out of Florida who promised me my newly purchased F100 would be at my door in two weeks for $800. I didn’t get to spend much more time with the truck during my stay in CA, It sat in the driveway quietly claiming its new territory with an ever growing spot of oil. Thankfully my girlfriends parents, and her grandmother in particular, fell in love with it just like I did—which was great since I needed them to store it for me for a week or so. We flew home two days later. Leaving my new beloved truck in CA was hard, and I couldn’t wait to get it home and start the restoration. What i didn’t know then is I wouldn’t see her again for almost two months.
In the 1960’s there was a mutual hatred between Ford and Ferrari. Legend has it that it’s because Enzo Ferrari almost sold his company to Henry Ford but then they pulled out of the deal in the last hour; Ford’s response was to develop the GT40 and dominate Ferrari at LeMans. In 1966 Ford succeeded at dominating not only Ferrari, but everyone else by taking first, second and third place. I like to think a little bit of that spirit is in my truck because when the shipper finally showed up to pick up the truck, they had to move a 458 Italia due to my truck attempting to piss oil all over it (it did succeed,at least a little bit). It’s good to know the hate lives on, and the rivalry still exists. Even in its old age the F100 could turn some heads, while they shuffled the car’s on the truck around, two kids came off the and street, expressed a deep love of the F100, and attempted to buy the truck. They were turned down and they left, never even giving a look to the bright orange 458 Ferrari sitting on on the truck.
I guess I should explain how we got to this point, with my truck finally on, well another truck. And why my $3500 folly was traveling in the same company as exotics worth 100 times its price tag. When I arranged the shipping I had spoken at length with the same kid on the phone, he seemed knowledgeable, generally answered my questions, and promised to call me as soon as there was a date the driver could pick up the truck. It was only after 3 weeks of me pining for my baby to arrive that I realized something wasn’t quite right. I got every excuse in the book from “the truck broke down”, to “they tried to pick it up”, to “your family in CA is not picking up their phones”. These excuses really killed me, since my family in CA had done everything from leave a funeral early to meet the shippers, to watching their phones like a hawk in case the shipper called to coordinate. Each excuse just pushed the pickup date further and further out. Calling and complaining had little effect, they already had half my money and at the end of the day I just wanted the truck shipped. When it finally looked like the F100 was going to make it on a truck, the shipping company fired my rep. POOF, gone. No reason at all, he was just gone. I never did get the reason, I just called his number one day and got the owner of the company and more run around.
At this point it had been a solid month, and I just wanted my truck, I already had brand new parts waiting in my garage for it. After all of this back and forth, I had enough. I was going to work bitching about how awful the company ways into my daily routine . All of my friends and coworkers were practically screaming at me to call another company, but i was terrified I would have to go through the whole experience again. About week 5 of the shipping fiasco, I reached my breaking point I called the company, worked my way to the dispatcher and gave him an ultimatum, either they had my truck on a truck that night or I was going elsewhere. In retrospect I should have done this sooner but it’s really not my nature to make threats to get what I want. After several frantic calls back and forth between me, dispatch, and various drivers, he found me a truck! Trouble was it was a fully enclosed truck and twice the cost. I flatly refused to pay that, and after some negotiation we settled on $1200. Way more than I wanted, and another $400 than my original estimate, but after over a month of bullshit I was happy to get anything at all.
I was pretty gun shy about the new arrangement, however it turned out I had nothing to worry about. It seems the drivers of the truck were sub contractors and Romanian, same as my girlfriend’s family. Once the drivers realized the connection, my beat to shit, paint peeling, dry rotted, oil leaking death trap got better care than the exotics they were used to hauling. Its trip across the country was uneventful and about 10 days later it finally arrived, over a month later than it was supposed to. The drivers were courteous and seemed to really appreciate the truck. They carefully unloaded it, and handed me the paperwork. Anyone who has shipped a car knows that they check it before it leaves for marks, dings, dents, scratches, or anything else cosmetically wrong with the vehicle. Then it is checked on the other side to ensure no damage was done in transport. When I received my sheet, it looked like they had subcontracted this bit of the job to an art class full of toddlers. There were so many, scribbles, marks, and circles over the example vehicle on the paperwork, that it was impossible to see anything at all. I didn’t care though, I was so happy to have the truck home that I drove her up my driveway, parked her, and started to plot her restoration.
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