Usually Paul regales us with older car transporters but here’s a newer one I came across recently. I was somewhat surprised to see this one sitting outside a hotel near the Tesla Supercharger in Sidney, Nebraska a few weeks ago as I had never realized that day cab transporters would be used to carry cars long distances, or at least long enough distances to necessitate an overnight stop. Usually there’d just be a sleeper cab involved, at least for normal cargo.
Increasing my interest of course was the load of eight covered Corvettes and a solitary very high-spec Camaro perched atop the tail. Bowling Green, Kentucky, from where Corvettes stem, is over 1,000 miles from Sidney and that doesn’t account for the detour to wherever the Camaro joined the party.
The driving force here is what looks to be either a 2006 or 2007 Sterling LT9500 by my best estimation and lots of peering at google photos. Sterling being a brand of Mercedes it likely carries the 12.8liter Mercedes MBE-4000 6-cylinder engine producing 450 horsepower, made more probable by the small Mercedes badge on the cab door below the Sterling badge.
This one is run by Jack Cooper Transport Company, a long-time Corvette carrier apparently, that operates a very large trucking fleet. The most notable thing about this particular truck itself was that the front grille’s plastichrome seems to be wrinkling like that of a 2004 Nissan Murano. Still, if used ones that I came across are any indication, this truck has likely already seen at least 700,000 miles under its wheels and seems poised to continue in that vein for the foreseeable future.
It isn’t often that the cargo items on a car carrier each have more power than the truck doing the pulling. But in this case making it all worthy of the CC salute in the foreground there are eight 2021 Corvettes on their way to presumably excited owners-to-be anxious to squeeze out every one of the 495 horses chomping to be let loose from each one. The one on the bottom level just behind the cab as well as the last one on the top deck around the bend each has a set of the optional wheels on it while the others all carry the standard item but in Carbon Flash coloring (also an option). Beyond that it’s hard to tell what exactly is under the covers.
As exciting as Corvettes are to many people, it’s possible that each of the eight actually carry a lower sticker price than the yellow Camaro that’s fully exposed here. And they are quite a bit less powerful too. That’s due to this one being the top dog in the Camaro lineup, the ZL-1 with its 6.2liter Supercharged V8 engine producing 650hp as well as 650lb-ft of torque through either a 6-speed manual or 10-speed automatic transmission. Starting price? $64,195, some $3,200 more than the base price of the Corvette. If my time with the Dodge Challenger Hellcat Redeye last year is any indication, this is an overwhelmingly powerful machine for the street.
This particular Camaro ZL-1 though carries at least two options that I can see – the yellow paint for $395 and more significantly the $7,500 Extreme Track Performance Package as evidenced by the wheels (19″ instead of the stock 20″), summer only track-ready Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar 3R tires, and the absolutely massive Visible Weave Carbon Fiber Rear Spoiler that as a stand-alone option without the other stuff in the package costs $5,495 just by itself. The package also includes a highly user-adjustable suspension and some other goodies as well. Suffice to say, anyone ordering this car is likely a serious fan and if you see it at a light, don’t mess with it, it may not end well.
But for now the cars are just slumbering, and the driver of this rig is presumably getting a good night’s rest him or herself in order to continue the journey to somewhere North and/or West of here.
Sidney, Nebraska, June 18, 2021, 2:26 a.m.