The Best Birthday Present Ever!

Submitted by Jackson Thomas Gray
on 03/06/18

At last, I finally found the final piece to round out my grandfather’s vintage car collection!  He has a pretty large collection of cars ranging from a 1961 Jaguar E-Type to a 1969 Boss 429 Mustang, but there was always one automobile that always intrigued him, a 1960 Volkswagen Van.  My grandfather, a car collector since he was a teenager, used to have a 1960 Volkswagen Van.  Sadly, the van was sold years ago to help pay for various expenses for the family.  As a present for his 75th birthday, my grandmother asked me to help her surprise my grandfather with a 1960 Volkswagen Van similar to the one he used to own.

I did a great deal of searching in the local area for a van, but there were no acceptable ones to be found.  I then widened my scope to the state of Virginia, but again had no luck.  I finally found a seemingly perfect deal on a 1960 Volkswagen Van in pristine condition.  It was listed for $25,000, while most others in that condition were over $30,000.  The only hitch was that the seller was located in the state of Washington, all the way across the country.  I had a cousin who lived in Seattle, so it was helpful to know that he could assist with anything that I needed done in Washington.  However, I had no idea how I would even get the van back to Virginia.  I showed my grandmother the listing and she agreed that we should purchase the van, so the two of us started looking at methods of transportation.

The first method that we thought of was to buy a plane ticket or a long distance bus ticket and then drive the van back home in Virginia.  This would add a crazy amount of money onto the price tag, not even including gas for the trip home.  The van is also considered a vintage vehicle, so we did not want to add more miles than necessary on it, and we certainly did not want to risk breaking down in the middle of the country and having to pay for repairs by the closest mechanic.  There were too many risks involved with either of these methods and my grandmother and I knew that we needed a relatively cheap and reliable service to help us acquire this van.

A coworker of my mom’s suggested that we look into auto mobile transportation companies that would ship the van to us.  After a long and tedious week of researching, I stumbled upon an auto transport company that got good reviews online.  I checked out the website and told my grandmother about it.  She then called the customer service number, where she was told that for a calculated price, they would ship the vehicle to her.  The van that she was purchasing was located in Seattle, Washington, and we were in Chesapeake, Virginia.  The distance was approximately 3,000 miles and would take 42 hours of straight driving to get it from there to here.  The quote that she got to transport the van was $1,490.  My grandmother and I spoke about the information that she had gotten from the auto transport company and we agreed with me that this was a good price, given that most of the competitors that she talked to wanted to charge almost twice as much.  The only catch was that the auto transport company could only ship the van as far as Lynchburg, Virginia, which was a few hours from our hometown.  My grandmother and I discussed the information and she made the final decision to purchase and ship the vehicle using the auto transport company.

At this point, I contacted my cousin in Seattle.  He was able to go look at the van to make sure that it was as advertised.  As soon as we heard back from him that the van was in perfect condition, my grandmother transferred the $25,000 to the seller and we began to make the shipping arrangements.  My cousin then took possession of the van until my grandmother was able to finalize the transportation.

The auto transport company picked up the van from my cousin’s house.  The driver informed my grandmother as soon as this had been done.  She was then given an estimated arrival time in Lynchburg of between two and five days, depending on how much the driver had to stop and rest.  My grandmother paid the company and eagerly awaited the arrival of my grandfather’s van.  I then set up my grandmother’s cell phone so that she could begin receiving updates from the driver.  He said that he would give her hourly updates as to his location.  On the estimated arrival date, the driver was set to arrive in Lynchburg at 4 p.m. with the van.  My grandmother and I left home at 11 a.m. so that we would be there in time to meet him at the Sam’s Club near Liberty University.  At about 4:10, the driver arrived with the van.  We flagged him down and thanked him for bringing it.  For the price of the transportation, the service was great.  My grandmother and I had no complaints whatsoever with the driver or the company.  We tipped the driver and then headed back home.

It took us about four hours to get home.  I drove the van and my grandmother followed me the whole way in her car.  My grandfather was completely surprised and very happy when we gave him the 1960 Volkswagen Van at his birthday party.  It made all of the time and effort totally worthwhile.  Had it not been for the reliable and safe services of the auto transport company, my grandmother would have had to pay much more money and the van may not have been brought to us in one piece.  This was quite a learning experience, but I am glad that I now know the ins and outs of the auto transport industry.  Now, after I graduate from college and have enough money to buy vintage cars of my own, I will know exactly how to get them across the country!

Submitted by Jackson Thomas Gray
on 03/06/18

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