Archive for March, 2009

Shipping your GTO – how to do it right – guest article by Ben Leffler

Saturday, March 28th, 2009

Comprehensive Automotive Shipping

auto shipping pic #1Whether you have purchased an everyday vehicle remotely or are sending it across the country for a competition, the condition upon arrival is always a concern. Nothing is worse than damage to your car that you didn’t even cause. It’s true that professional shippers are experienced and reliable most of the time, but accidents do happen and therefore anything you can do to minimize your risk is a good idea. The following will discuss important options to consider when choosing a transporter, as well as outline some simple steps to help reduce the chances of your vehicle being damaged while in transport.

When beginning the process of choosing a moving company for your vehicle, it is important to explore which kind of trailer is your best option. While tractor trailers that are capable of moving several vehicles at once are usually the cheapest option, it tends to take longer than single car transport. Also, due to the large size of these trucks you may have to meet your driver in a parking lot. Single car transporters can usually pick the vehicle up and drop it off in a residential area and may be able to get all the way to your front door. Your time frame and budget should be considered when weighing these two options.

auto shipping image #2Enclosed versus open trailer transport is another thing to consider. Once again, this should be discussed with your service provider to determine the best option for you. Closed trailers protect a vehicle from the elements at all times, but they can be twice as expensive as the open-air variety. For shorter distances in mild weather an open trailer may be best, but if you’re heading northeast during winter it may not, it just depends on the circumstances.

With so many shipping companies to choose from, finding one that services your area should not be a problem. However, before you hand over the keys you should make sure that the carrier is registered with the Department of Transportation. To do so, visit and look up the company to make sure they are licensed to ship vehicles. From the same site you will also be able to check the company’s insurance information and compare it with the information that the company provides you when they quote you a price. Make sure that the policy is valid and that the coverage is sufficient before moving on. If you feel that the minimum policy provided to be lacking in any way, feel free to inquire about additional coverage.

Once you have determined that a shipping company is legal and insured, inquire about customer references. These provide proof of the shipper’s experience and competence, so they should be eager to share these with you. Also, be sure that at least some of the references are specific to vehicles similar to yours. You can also look up the company with Better Business Bureau for additional information on their history and records. Many companies are starting to offer free shipment tracking which allows you to go online and check the exact location of your vehicle at any time, so this is something you may want to inquire about.

Once you have chosen a carrier, it is time to prepare your vehicle to be transported. Keep in mind that different companies may require additional steps to be taken, especially if your vehicle is rare or extremely customized, but this should get you started.

Clean it out

auto shipping image #3The first step is to clean out the vehicle’s interior and the trunk. This not only ensures that your personal items will not be lost, but it also helps protect the auto’s inside. Loose stuff left in a vehicle on a trailer can bounce around and ding up seats and upholstery, as well as be damaged itself. Worst of all, a carrier’s insurance will not be liable. If there is something you prefer to keep in the vehicle, be sure that it is secured in a compartment or the glove box. At this point you should make sure that any aftermarket speakers are firmly held in place and stereo faceplates are removed.

Clean it off

Now that the inside is prepped, your vehicle’s exterior is the focus. Carefully wash and inspect for any existing damage. While this step applies less for a clunker than a new ride, it’s always better to know what shape the auto is in. Photograph all sides of the car and give a dated, written assessment. If you are dealing with insurance issues after damage, this step will make the process a lot easier.

auto shipping image #4Once the exterior has been cleaned and examined, all removable exterior parts that can possibly be broken while on the trailer should be secured or removed. Fold in the mirrors to the vehicle’s sides, lower the antenna and raise the windows. Convertible tops should be securely closed, and tool boxes shut and latched.

Check it out

Even though an automobile will only be driven off and on to a trailer during the shipping process, it is necessary to make sure that it is in operable condition beforehand.

auto shipping image #5While in-depth automotive knowledge is not necessary to check the battery, the tire pressure and fluid levels, your neighborhood service station or dealership can help out if needed. Alert the mover if you have been experiencing any particular problems, and make sure that they are aware of any leaks that could drip onto another vehicle. You should also disable the car’s alarm and make sure there is sufficient fuel in the tank. You want to keep the gas tank at around an eighth to a quarter full. There needs to be some, but more than that is just extra weight.

Finally, if you are unsure about anything throughout the process, feel free to ask your carrier questions.

Written by Ben Leffler of, an online marketplace for Vehicle Shipping.

Police blotter – Ex-wife steals GTO, is on the run

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

(from a press release)

MONDAY, MARCH 23, 2009





RESIDES: Northeast-El Paso, TX

DOB: 06-08-67

HEIGHT: 5’07″

WEIGHT: 180 lbs.

HAIR: Black

EYES: Brown


Denver, Colorado


Scars on face / Right Shoulder / Back

The Manhunt is on for ALVINA LISA BELFORD.

BELFORD is wanted for the OFFENSE of:


FEBRUARY 2009- BELFORD took her ex-husbands 2006 Pontiac GTO without his consent while he was out of town. The couple had not been together for several years. BELFORD took the vehicle while visiting her daughter who lives with her father (BELFORD’s ex-husband). As the daughter went to another room & returned a short time later, BELFORD & the vehicle were gone.

A few days later, EPPD Officers patrolling the 8600 block of Lawson located BELFORD & the stolen vehicle in a parking lot. As EPPD officers approached, BELFORD attempted to start the ignition of the stolen vehicle in a desperate attempt to flee. BELFORD was arrested for UNAUTHORIZED USE OF VEHICLE & an outstanding criminal warrant for THEFT. BELFORD bonded out of jail late February 2009.

MARCH 2009- Due to her recent arrest, BELFORD has violated the terms of her Probation & is now wanted for PROBATION VIOLATION / UNAUTHORIZED USE OF VEHICLE.

BELFORD knows she is wanted and remains on the run eluding capture from Law Enforcement. Information received indicates BELFORD remains in the El Paso area.

BELFORD is the 2nd female ever to be featured on MANHUNT MONDAY.

Anyone who knows the whereabouts or has seen ALVINA LISA BELFORD or other fugitives featured on “MANHUNT MONDAY” is urged to call Crime Stoppers of El Paso at 915-566-TIPS (8477). Callers will remain anonymous & may be eligible for a reward if the information provided leads to the apprehension of the individuals featured.

David Permut steers DeLorean biopic

Thursday, March 5th, 2009
Filmmaker teams with Steve Lee Jones on film
John DeLorean
David Permut is getting into gear for a biopic of maverick auto exec John Z. DeLorean, with Steve Lee Jones also producing through his Bee Holder Prods.
Jones has secured life rights from the late DeLorean’s longtime attorney, Mayer Morganroth.
The film will chronicle DeLorean’s rise and fall, starting with his work as a young exec VP at General Motors, where he developed the Pontiac GTO and Firebird, and the creation of his own company and the DeLorean DMC-12 car — later featured in the “Back to the Future” films. DeLorean’s downfall came when was arrested in 1982 on charges of drug trafficking to help his faltering auto company. He was freed two years later after a court ruled he was a victim of government entrapment.
Permut Presentations VP Steve Longi will co-produce.
Permut is in post-production on “Youth in Revolt” for Dimension. He also produced documentary “The Boys,” which Disney is releasing this year.
Jones is in post-production with Foundation Films on director Matthew Galkin’s doc “Kevorkian,” about Dr. Jack Kevorkian’s bid for a congressional seat.