Well, after about 3 years of legal and so forth, it looks like I’ll get to restore my brother’s ‘78 Datsun 280Z. Backstory here: https://oppositelock.kinja.com/not-what-id-planned-1715106743 if you really want to know.

Here’s where I need some help from Oppo. That Z hasn’t run in 3 years (and that wasn’t great), and the tags haven’t been legal for longer than that. It’s in Seattle and I need to get it to CO so I can work on it. So, it’s an Inoperable Vehicle transport. Easy enough, right? Happens all the time, just check Bring A Trailer. That’s where things get interesting.


Seattle is a very steep, crowded, overbuilt, and booming city. It makes San Francisco look like Wichita in a lot of ways. They’re trying hard, but infrastructure there is a total goat rodeo. The Z is on a steep driveway off of a very steep and narrow street where UPS and USPS trucks get towed out of when it rains because the pavement is so steep. The usual transport companies do not want to deal with getting the car from that spot, and it cannot be driven on demand to a pickup rendezvous. Again: Inoperable Vehicle. So, my options are: 1) find a transport company that will coordinate both a transporter and tow operator to get it done, 2) get it towed to a shop that will let me remotely pay storage for some 2-3-week window for transport pickup or 3) fly there this fall and one-way rent a truck and trailer to drag it back to CO myself.

Complications: Seattle is such a ridiculous boom town that no shop has any room to store a car for transfer for a week or two. Even the best shops are having to park repairs on the street, and a 6-years-expired tag isn’t going to cut it for that (major tickets, very quickly). Transport requires someone to sign the bill of lading for transport, but they can’t give an appointment at even the precision of a day or two, which won’t work for a widow with two kids in school or a remote brother who can’t take PTO for two weeks to wait for a transport out of town.


I need to either 1) find a transport that can coordinate the extraction and loading as a defined appointment or 2) find an intermediary in north Seattle who can receive an extraction tow, store for an okay rate for a week or 3, and sign for transport or 3) find a cheap ticket, tow vehicle and trailer rental. I’m prepared to spend the money, that’s not the problem. The issue is I can’t seem to find vendors who are willing to commit to getting shit done. The transport that we used when I sold my truck was great, but that was a running vehicle in an accessible location, which is a totally different situation and they can’t seem to figure this one out.

Any recommendations? Fun extra bit: there are two extra transmissions, a spare engine, some fiberglass body panels, tools, and other bits I’ll need to transport, too. If I go the fly-rent-drive route, I could get all those in one shot, otherwise it’s PODS or some other mover-solution for the extra bits. I was there last week and got to check things out, and the car is in better shape than I hoped in many ways, but has the expected level of work involved. No obvious animals or scurrying noises when I uncovered it and opened it, at least. So it begins.

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