Shipping Classic Cars from The UK to The USA with Autoshippers


When you have a classic car to ship to the USA, who can you call on to help you? That’s easy! Autoshippers are experts at classic car shipping, and with the USA being one of our main markets that’s two boxes ticked. We have export and import services to and from the USA for all of your car shipping needs. 

The Story of the Two Studebakers – Keeping it in the Family

It was back in 1988 when our customer, Gordon M, first “fell in love” with the 1913 Studebaker AA35 Tourer owned by his father’s cousin, Marj, and her husband Art in Boise Idaho. He made the easy decision to buy this classic car from them and took her home with him to England. 

Art was a long-time enthusiast of antique automobiles and member/president of the Horseless Carriage Club. After buying her and bringing her to the UK, this classic car was named “Marj” in honour of her previous owner.

Gordon visited again in 2002, and at this point decided to extend his collection of classic US automobiles. This time it was Art and Marj’s 1956 Studebaker President that made the trip back to England with Gordon. The 1956 was a ground up restoration so was in excellent condition.

The Studebaker Automobile Company

The Studebaker Automobile Company was manufacturing wagons and carriages way back in 1852, under the guise of the Studebaker Manufacturing Company, producing its first gasoline vehicles in 1904 after initially beginning the manufacture of electric vehicles 2 years previously.

In 1913 the Studebaker AA35 Tourer was top-of-the-range, and was one of the first models to be produced under the Studebaker name. This was also the year of what is thought of as the first major labour strike in the automotive industry, the 1913 Studebaker strike, which lasted for 6 days in June 1913.

Gordon’s Studebaker AA35 Tourer, Mark, was not only a much revered family artefact, she was also a film star in her own right! She appeared in a British WWI film called “Tell Them of Us” and, in Gordon’s own words he had “great fun teaching the actors to drive her”. We’ve seen the stills from the film and we can certainly confirm that the “car is the star” in this case.

By the 1920’s, with models such as the Studebaker Big Six and Special Six amongst others, the company was a top automotive brand in the USA. But during the Great Depression of 1933 the corporation found itself in receivership, luckily being rescued to continue manufacturing vehicles though World War II.

When first produced in 1926 the Studebaker President was the automobile manufacturer’s premium model, taking over from the “Big Six”. Some early models established land speed records that lasted for many years. After being discontinued in 1942, the name was reintroduced in 1955 and the following year the 1956 Studebaker President had a 4.7 litre engine offering 210 brake-horsepower with a top speed of over 100mph.

This was “the big new Studebaker” and had “craftsmanship with a flair” according to the commercials. The “President” name was discontinued again, and for the final time, in 1958.

It was late in 2021 that Gordon decided to part with his beloved pair of classic Studebaker automobiles. But he felt that selling them to a stranger, especially the 1913 AA35 Tourer which had been in the family for nearly 50 years, would not have felt right. So he made contact with Art and Marj’s son, Malcolm and asked if he wanted to take them off his hands.

A deal, very generous on Gordon’s part, was struck and Autoshippers were contacted to arrange the shipping from the UK back home to the USA.

These two Studebaker’s are now back home with Malcolm and his son, Cable. They are looking forward to many years of new adventures and Autoshippers are glad to have been a part of this wonderful story.

Shipping a Model T Bucket Hot Rod

On another occasion, we were contacted by a customer, Joe, with another classic US car to return home. No family connection this time, but this car was special to Joe in a different way.


Joe first laid eyes on the car of his dreams when he visited the Belle Vue Custom Car Show in Manchester back in 1976. The car? A Ford Model T Bucket “Hot Rod” strikingly painted in red with gleaming chrome. He told us that she was “almost too much to take in”. Built in 1971, this car was well known in the British Hot Rod and custom scene and was dubbed “Shotgun”.

Shotgun was modified from a 1923 Model T Ford Bucket with a Chevy small block 283 engine. The term “bucket” refers to the bucket-shaped body shell. The first Hod Rods appeared in the late 1930s in South California and were used for racing on the dry beds of Los Angeles.

A Recurring Vision

It was 2 years later, in 1978, that Joe saw Shotgun again. This time was at the Blackpool Custom Car show, and this time she had a “For Sale” sign on her. Unfortunately, Joe was not in a position to buy Shotgun this time around. Again, perhaps he felt he had missed his chance and would never see the car of his dreams again.

However, some years later, when living on the coast, Joe heard the loud rumbling of a souped-up engine, followed by the familiar sound of an air horn sounding out La Curcaracha. He looked out of the window to see Shotgun, actually being driven by Joe’s neighbour, who was a car dealer. He was invited out for a spin, and didn’t hesitate to hop in for a hair-raising ride he’ll never forget. Shotgun’s huge tyres scrambling for traction on sand-covered 90-degree bends are forever etched in his memory.

In the early 80’s Joe, following his love of hot rods and customs all the way to his land of their birth, decided to move with his family to the USA.

Taking Shotgun to the USA

After moving to the USA with his family, Joe continued his obsession, building and restoring Hot Rods and other classic US cars. It was when he was on a popular Hot Rod message forum that he found the current owner of Shotgun. He could not believe his luck! He had found the car of his dreams once again. Joe told us he “immediately contacted him (the owner) and told him the story of how the car is personally meaningful for me”, offering to buy Shotgun if her then owner ever decided to sell.

More years go by, with Joe asking the question once in a while until, early last year the answer was finally “Yes”

Autoshippers were once again the car shipping experts to organise the shipment of Shotgun back to her spiritual home in the USA. We were pleased to hear from Joe when she arrived at the port and was ready to collect, “There it was, this very car I rode in when I was 17 years old, right there”. 

Doesn’t that just have you thinking back to that memorable car that you owned, or coveted from afar? Never stop believing that it could be yours, and wherever in the world you stumble across the car, or motorbike, of your dreams, Autoshippers are here to help reunite you.

Autoshippers – The Car Shipping Experts

At Autoshippers, shipping cars is our speciality and the USA is one of our key markets. We have been shipping cars for both private individuals and commercial companies for 25 years, and have various options available for shipping vehicles across the globe.

We can help with all of the documentation requirements, and have a wealth of knowledge on worldwide shipping regulations and Customs formalities. For these two classic Studebaker automobiles and “Shotgun” the Hot Rod, we arranged to ship on a Ro/Ro service.

Ro/Ro is short for “Roll on / Roll off” and is a shipping service specifically for vehicles. Specially designed Ro-Ro vessels are used, and vehicles are driven on, then driven off. It is a very reliable service, and runs completely separately to commercial container shipping services to and from UK ports to ports across the world.

If you would like any further details on any of our services, then please get in contact with us. If it is a price you need, then please fill out our quotation form on our website, or give us a call on +44 117 982 8123 or 0800 389 0784. The quote is free, and you have no obligation to book with us.

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