Ok, so not quite a build journal (yet) ... but more of a purchase and shipping journal. Learned to drive in my first jeep - an '85 (?) Cherokee in Texas. A little 4 cylinder engine that could barely get up to highway speeds. Got my second Jeep - a '91 YJ in California. Stock with a manual transmission and a soft top. It was great during the La Nina years of the early 90's since the top was off from March through January. Then there were the El Nino years where riding a bit higher was great to get through the flooded roads in the Bay Area and get up to Tahoe. Job in NYC meant no car at all for a couple of years, then life got in the way of another jeep (wife, kid, kid, kid) until ... now!
Living in Honolulu, chance to introduce my kids (soon to be drivers) with their first Jeep. Started shopping in January and got a bunch of offers in Oahu and in Bay Area. Was getting offers quoted as % under MSRP. I wasn't in a rush so kept looking. I got more specific over time - started with an Unlimited Rubicon. Narrowed down to Sting Gray or White - manual, body color top, and tan interior. Anyone who was here during the heatwave last summer would understand looking for lighter colors on the outside and inside.
Found this forum and the pricing threads really helped. Ended up calling a dealership and looking at cars up and down the West Coast - got some decent prices, but never the color combination I wanted. Then clicked on a link to Farrish Jeep - all the way in Virginia! Found the color combination ... but it was an automatic.
Along the way, read this thread https://www.jlwranglerforums.com/forum/threads/fire-result-of-transmission-failure.46100/ and had me wondering about the manual. By this point, it's March 6th and another posting on this forum got me information on the manual recall before anyone at the local dealership knew about it. Note in all this, I tried to buy local but it just didn't work out. The price was too high (options I didn't want and, even with cross country shipping included, I'm paying thousands less). I wavered on wether I should wait for a custom order to get the manual or take the automatic off the lot.
The price that Farrish was showing (about 10% under invoice) kept me coming back to that Rubi in Virginia. Meanwhile, Coronavirus is going crazy. Day by day, things are getting stranger with shelter in place orders, cities shutting down, and people hoarding everything from TP to every form of high % alcohol. I was going to use airline miles to take a flight out to Virginia to see the car, but ended up doing the entire transaction remotely.
Stanley and Dan from Farrish were great to work with. Started talking to Stanley on March 8th. Back and forth a bit on how the purchase would actually work with me in Honolulu. On the 13th, Stanley did a full video walk around and talked through everything inside and out.
Paperwork took the week of the 16th since overnight to Honolulu actually takes an extra day to turn around and get back to the East Coast.
And got this shot on the 20th - prepped and ready to go.
So the question is, how to ship the car to Honolulu? I'd been working on this from early March - the same time I found the car on the Farrish website.
More to follow on how long it took to find a shipper ... but the Rubicon is on the way!
So shipping a car is non-trivial. Getting a car from the West Coast to Honolulu is not too bad if you live near a big port and I had previously shipped cars to and from Honolulu to the port of Oakland.
Matson and Pasha are both big shippers to the islands and have schedules laid out, etc. Unfortunately, as of September 2019, rates have gone up from about $1000 to about $1500 to ship a car to the islands. It's still around $1000 to ship in the other direction.
Don't even get me started on shipping things to Hawaii and how many mainland companies charge an inordinate amount to get something to Hawaii. Being the most remote significant human population center on the earth means that the efficiency of the supply chain varies wildly. On the one hand, you might be able to things through Amazon Prime in less than 2 days and on the other hand, I had one site try to charge me $700 to ship a pair of $300 rock rails to Honolulu.
Anyway, getting back to shipping a car across the country. Everyone in the shipping business is a broker - the question is whether the broker you're getting is honest. Everyone is your friend when you first start negotiating - and it's all a negotiation. The odd thing is that you're negotiating with the drivers / owner operators for the most part through the broker. So when you negotiate a lower rate, the broker then has to get online to post your job and try to find a match with a driver. If multiple drivers want a job, the broker gets to pick. If you go too low, you theoretically can only get the drivers that can't get any of the higher paying offers.
In the end, I got a decent deal - in the range of what people will drive for but it took a while. The first broker I worked with theoretically got a driver assigned but he did it before I had closed on the paperwork for the car. After the paperwork came in, he couldn't get a driver to accept the bid and delayed me day after day - just give me one more day and I'll get this closed. I've got my supervisor working on this one one. I've got our entire operations team looking into this. In the end, got in contact with Luis from Coastal Auto Shipping. As you can see from Yelp, they do a lot to and from Honolulu. https://www.yelp.com/biz/coastal-auto-shipping-honolulu
Unfortunately pick up did not happen on Saturday, but Dan from Farrish went into work on a Sunday to get my car loaded onto the trailer. Those guys at Farrish are good.
But it would have required some real timing to get it to VA in time for shipment. I called MotoSafety and they were awesome. I'm not even a paying customer yet and the lady on the phone helped me understand what it would take to set up device and whether or not it would work in on the vehicle in a car carrier. She was very frank about how it would and would not work and helped me to make a quick decision. Not good for my transit, but something I would consider once the kids are driving.