We’re all familiar with the concept of the “unsung hero”. A good hearted, heroic soul who makes selfless sacrifices for the betterment of the story, all the while remaining in relative obscurity without recognition or thanks. To be an unsung hero is, perhaps, the most difficult position a character can find themselves in, but also the most noble. There’s no question that the most lovable of heroes are the ones who seek neither fame nor recognition for their actions. From Cyrano de Bergerac to Alan Turing, everybody loves an unsung hero. As it turns out, the automotive universe has its own invisible force keeping the wheels of collectors and auction houses rolling; they’re called Intercity Lines Inc.
Based out of Warren, MA, Intercity Lines has been providing transportation for the most valuable, unique and collectable cars in the United States since 1980. They represent the pinnacle of pampering, safety, and attention to detail in coast-to-coast automotive shipping. Whether it’s a priceless collectable, an invaluable racecar, or a custom build for SEMA, Intercity Lines transports between 500-1000 of the most prestigious automobiles in existence every month. If a car needs to be moved a significant distance without adding mileage, Intercity Lines is the insider’s go-to company.
What sets Intercity Lines apart from the pack and makes them the most exclusive name in enclosed vehicle transportation is the level of care and attention that each individual vehicle receives while being transported. To put it bluntly, vehicles shipped on Intercity Lines are treated better than most people are (they’re certainly worth more than most of us). Intercity Lines currently consists of 27 state-of-the-art, fully-enclosed vehicle transporters that cost between $400,000-$500,000 a pop. Each transport trailer consists of 2 levels that can fit 3 cars on each. The 10,000lb hydraulic lift gate ensures that the vehicle is completely level throughout the entire loading process, so that even the smallest amount of ground-clearance poses no threat of scraping. Before being loaded, each vehicle is wrapped in two layers of material; one of cloth and one of plastic as well as seat covers, floor mats and steering-wheel covers to protect every surface possible during the transportation process. After being loaded onto their highway yacht, each car is secured firmly with nylon wheel tie downs. Each trip is done in one straight shot with no loading or unloading of vehicles in between. If a load of cars is going to Chicago, they won’t be moved or unloaded until they arrive in Chicago. The whole transportation process is fully insured, and Intercity Lines uses an on-board satellite tracking system to keep customers informed of each step of their vehicles journey.
The reasons that cars are shipped on Intercity Lines are diverse. Some cars are going to new homes after purchase, some are destined for life in a museum, some are finding their way to an auction like Pebble Beach, Amelia Island, Scottsdale, (Intercity Lines is exclusive to all Gooding and Company auctions) while others are being shipped to specialty repair shops across the country because their exclusivity. The thing that binds almost all of these cars together, though, is that they are all very expensive. A quick browsing of their website (intercitylines.com) will quickly give you some examples of vehicles that get transported on Intercity lines, and the resume is impressive. From less expensive American classics like Corvettes and Mustangs to pre-war beauties and Italian, German and British legends, every vehicle shipped on Intercity Lines holds a degree of prestige and exclusiveness seen few other places. Cars with price tags well above one million dollars aren’t hard to find on these trailers. I asked the current sales manager, Roy, what the most expensive vehicle he had ever personally transported was, and his answer did not disappoint.
“I would have to say that a 1966 Ferrari 365 P Berlinetta Speciale (1 of 2 ever made) takes that cake” he tells me. That particular Ferrari is currently valued at between 30 and 40 million dollars. That’s the caliber of vehicle that customers only trust in the hands of Intercity Lines.
Almost as impressive as the list of vehicles that Intercity Lines has shipped is the list of customers they’ve shipped them for. With cars as expensive and collectible as the ones loaded on Intercity Lines’ trailers, it’s no surprise that the names found on the registration of those cars are equally attention grabbing. Shops such as Gas Monkey Garage and Graveyard Cars appear frequently, as well as automobile collecting royalty like Wayne Carini and Don Williams of Black Hawk Collections. Celebrities like Guy Fierri, Brad Paisly, Billy Gibbons and Kid Rock bring some musical and television prowess to the previous customer’s club. Topping them all though, is one of Intercity Line’s most notorious, loyal and fervent customers; the great Jay Leno himself. Intercity Lines is the transportation service of choice for Mr. Leno and his world-famous collection of automotive history.
The automotive industry is a broad and diverse one with many factions. As enthusiasts, it’s so easy to get caught up in the vehicles and manufacturers themselves that we often forget to appreciate the less noted but equally interesting gems of automotive culture. It’s worth taking the time to learn about the less thought of angles of the car world. Appreciate the science of detailing, learn about the rubber compounds used to make your favorite tires, and definitely take the time to learn how some of the most beautiful cars in the world get shipped across the country. It’s easy to keep up with which car sold where and for how much, and often times the unsung heroes of the automotive world, like Intercity Lines Inc., go unappreciated; and that’s a shame.