Classic Cars

A couple of movers criss-crosses the continent

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Getting classic cars and supercars from place to place grew out of their first date

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Christina Kelbert and Michael Bar get around in their big truck carrying some of the continent’s most expensive classic cars and supercars. In eight months, they traveled back and forth between Vancouver, Halifax and Florida, covering 220,000 breathtaking miles of transportation. They estimate to have visited 720 cities in two countries. The couple are co-drivers and haul new and used cars from dealerships to new owners as well as classic and collectible cars from seller to buyer.

“The best thing about this job is the cars and learning their stories,” says Michael Bar. “Some people get very emotional when their classic cars are driven into the trailer. For shoppers, we’re like Santa bringing everyone their Christmas present. Often the whole neighborhood comes out to see how the cars are being unloaded.

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Bar claims that more than 90% of the cars transported are Ferraris, Lamborghinis or Porsches. The Toronto transportation company he drives with Christina for has a contract with Porsche Canada. But they’ve picked up and delivered special interest cars to enthusiasts who have massive collections, like a Vancouver man who has a warehouse full of nearly every classic Porsche made and an Alberta collector with a stable of 45 classics. Their 2022 Freightliner and high-tech double-deck trailer is 80 feet long and weighs 80,000 lbs (36,287 kg) when fully loaded with six vehicles. The tailgate and interior ramps are operated by a sophisticated electric hydraulic system.

“It was thirty below zero in Regina, which caused the hydraulic fluid to freeze, when we tried to unload a Chevrolet Malibu that we brought in from Toronto for a lady,” Bar says of some of the challenges.

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Kelbert is a night owl and typically drives his 10 a.m. shifts starting at four in the afternoon, while Bar takes over at 4 a.m. and drives all day. Their driving time is limited by an electronic logbook and they are only allowed to work 70 hours a week. Then they have to do a 36-hour hard reset.

“Most of the time we stay in the truck. But we try to plan our resets for interesting places and stay in a motel,” says Bar.

Michael Bar and Christina Kelbert teamed up to ship classic cars coast-to-coast in Canada and the United States after meeting at a car slalom event in Toronto.
Michael Bar and Christina Kelbert teamed up to ship classic cars coast-to-coast in Canada and the United States after meeting at a car slalom event in Toronto. Photo by Alyn Edwards

During one of these stops, the couple rented a convertible and drove to the beach in Florida. Kelbert and Bar met at a car slalom event in Toronto two years ago. Kelbert worked part-time for the company organizing the event.

“I heard her talking about her motorcycle and I wanted to be next to her,” Bar recalled. “His dream was to own a small bungalow with a large garage. It was also my dream. We clicked right away. »

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On their first date, Michael had to stop at the truck depot to get something out of his rig. Christina had never seen the inside of a long-haul truck with cabinets, a microwave, and a bedroom—a house on wheels.

“Christina was fascinated by this and said, ‘Maybe I should do this. I’ll drive with you,’” recalls Michael.

Kelbert quit her full-time job as a children’s show host and signed up for driving school to complete 103 hours in a truck in order to get her Class 1 license which allows her to drive big trucks . Safe Auto Vehicle Transport was looking for team drivers to manage their domestic and international car transport and the couple signed on last July.

We have valuable cargo. Literally two million dollars worth of cars.

“Christina learned to drive the truck very quickly. It’s natural,” says Michael.

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The couple say the worst thing about the job is deteriorating driving habits with daily close calls.

“People step in at the last minute, not giving us enough room to stop. Slowing down in front causing our brakes to overheat when descending mountains. We have valuable cargo. Literally two million dollars worth of cars,” Kelbert says.

It’s a busy life for the young couple. “Go, go, go,” Michael says of their coast-to-coast deliveries in Canada and the United States.
They put down roots in Calgary with the purchase of a house. “There is an extra long double garage. Exactly what we both wanted for our bikes and cars that we want to build,” says Michael.

Alyn Edwards is a vintage car enthusiast and partner of Peak Communicators, a Vancouver-based PR firm. [email protected]

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