rickjames New Reader
2/22/21 9:00 p.m.

So it looks like the wife and I are moving to France in the next year. I've never been a big fan of modern French cars, so I'm going to take my two project cars along. They're both pretty small: a 67 Volvo P1800 and a 93 Honda Del-Sol-ish thingy that might not be worth taking, but I've wasted far too many hours of my life on to abandon. We don't have much stuff to ship. All our furniture falls in the category of 'it'd be cheaper to sell and re-buy than ship'.  Which means we could fit all our stuff in a 20ft container.

Now, if I get a 40 footer, that leaves at least a car length left over. And seeing as both of these cars are really small, I should be able to stack them. For all my searches on how to do that, I've been able to find a lot of images of cars up on 4x4 beams, but no actual instructions on how to raise the car to that height. I do see a lot of videos for these 'trans-rack' systems, which I'm guessing are going to be pricey (typically when they make you request a quote, it's because it's too expensive to list the price).  If there's a reasonable way to get the car raised, I'm fairly confident I could build something strong enough to hold it.

Anyone done this? Anyone bought the trans-rack system and just recommends buying it?

WillG80 Reader
2/22/21 9:38 p.m.

I can't help with the rack, but stacking cars is fairly common. When we moved from South Africa they build a rack inside the container to put a 1980s Alfa Spider on. Underneath was packed full of boxes. 

Wally (Forum Supporter)
Wally (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
2/22/21 9:46 p.m.

Call a mover that does international shipping. I've seen it done so there may be an existing system that's easier and safer for a reasonable price. 

stuart in mn
stuart in mn MegaDork
2/22/21 10:08 p.m.

Considering the rough handling a shipping container will get (not to mention rough seas on the journey) I think I'd buy a proven system rather than trying to estimate how to build one.

bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter)
bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
2/22/21 11:20 p.m.

Have a container delivered to your driveway and take your time loading it. That or load it at a shipping company with long forks that can grab a car from the end. Like they rack boats. 

Rons HalfDork
2/23/21 1:45 a.m.

In reply to stuart in mn :

The voyage can get so rough that containers are lost overboard. I just read an article reporting that Maersk Line has lost 3000 containers in the last year.

chandler UltimaDork
2/23/21 6:21 a.m.

I saw this in a thread yesterday on ratsun, imports from Japan. Not how I would do it but a del sol doesn't weigh much more.

BoxheadTim (Forum Supporter)
BoxheadTim (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
2/23/21 7:22 a.m.

One other thing to keep in mind is that you really, really need to verify first that you can get the container set down on the ground at both ends. When I got my stuff - are more importantly, the motorcycles - over from the UK I found out a day or two before the delivery that I either needed access to a loading dock or a ramp to get the bikes out of the container, because it remained on the truck. I ended up having to build a ramp in a hurry.

On a different note, I assume you've had a look at the requirements to register a non-EU vehicle in France? I'm not really up to speed with French laws on this, but I do know that if you're trying to do this in Germany, you may find that you'll have to do a fair amount of modifications to get the vehicle legal. The Volvo should be easier, but for the Del Sol I would not be surprised if you have to change all the lights for E marked ones if they aren't already, may have to change the wheels if they're not OEM or have OEM equivalent certification, probably need new tyres...

One other thought - if the rest of your belongings don't fill a 20' container I'd also look at doing a partial load via an international mover/shipper and a do RoRo for the cars if they're running. Oh, and make sure you insure the container. 

BionicTigerShark (Forum Supporter)
BionicTigerShark (Forum Supporter) New Reader
2/23/21 7:49 a.m.

If you get a 40' container wouldn't  it be easier to put the cars on the bottom and build  a shelf above the cars for everything else?

pontiacstogo Reader
2/23/21 9:36 a.m.

We are going through this process now with our move to New Zealand (40ft container).  We are now just taking one car and a motorcycle but when I was considering taking the Camaro as well, the shipping company told me they would manage two no problem by tilting one up in the container, building a frame and slotting the other car below it.  They told me they do it all the time.

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