It’s more than just a car. I said those words to over half a dozen shippers and only one of them listened.
As an Air Force “brat” and then the wife of a USAF F-15 fighter pilot/test pilot, I’ve moved all over the world. That means I’ve dealt with dozens of moving companies and shippers—some acceptable, some frightfully terrible, but only one that earned my praise. That is, until now.
The challenge in shipping household goods has always been one of getting the shippers to care on an emotional level. To them, it’s just a rocking chair. To me it’s that hand-painted one-of-a-kind gift from my late husband—the one I rocked my daughters to sleep in. We all have those precious things that we want handled with care, even reverence. Who cares about tv’s and pots and pans? Those can be replaced. But grandma’s antique vase? It that’s broken, it’s a loss to the whole family. The car was like that.
My husband Eric died 36 days after a plane crash during an experimental flight test, while keeping all of us safe. Less than two years before that fateful day, on his 40th birthday, I’d bought him the sportscar he’d always wanted—a 1997 limited edition Mazda Miata “M” convertible. That’s the one with the pop-up headlights in the limited British racing green color. Twenty-one years later, I still have the car, which has been lovingly cared for. I frequently get notes on the windscreen, left by someone asking to buy the car. It isn’t for sale. Eric loved that car, and I’m fond of saying that if we could take one possession with us when we die, he’d have taken that car, which he competed with in autocross races. It means everything to our two daughters, now adults, and that’s where this story is going.
One of our daughters was finally in a home with a garage, in sunny Florida, and wanted daddy’s car. I agreed to send it to her and began the long process of finding a shipper to take the car from Arizona to Florida.
A friend of a friend steered me toward Cruise Control Auto Transport and an eventual conversation with Andrew Stall. He seemed genuinely interested in finding the best transport option available for the Miata, but I was skeptical. I got loads of bids and spoke to many shippers. I read online reviews. I checked prices. In the end, I decided to go with Cruise Control. Their price was not the absolute lowest, but it was reasonable and extremely competitive, and I’ve learned that sometimes you get what you pay for. Another company was $100 cheaper, but to them it was just business and their reviews were poor. Andrew understood from the start that it was more than just a car, and his company’s reviews were impressive.
Andrew sent me a contract and we talked logistics. He assured me the car would be put on the top of the carrier so oil from other cars wouldn’t drip down onto the soft top. Because the car was being shipped during the holidays, we talked about timing and pickup. Andrew made the whole process as stress-free as possible. He personally spoke to me at length on the phone about 5 or 6 times. He was never curt, never condescending, never impatient. I genuinely enjoyed talking to such a nice person; I didn’t think that sort of customer service existed anymore. Andrew called the freight company and stressed the emotional value of “Eric’s car.” He followed up with more phone calls. He gave me clear instructions about the shipping. The car was picked up the evening of Friday Dec 27, 2019.
The Miata was delivered to my daughter yesterday, December 30, in mint condition. Her daddy’s car now sits in her garage, and it’s her turn to lovingly fuss over it. In a couple years, when my other daughter gets a garage, it will be time to call Andrew again to have it shipped to her. Why would I bother calling any other shipper when I found the best one out there?
My entire family would like to thank Andrew Stall and Cruise Control Auto Transport for their excellence, their kindness, and for understanding that it’s more than just a car.
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