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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    Cibolo, TX
    Posts
    189

    Default Just got my car back from Europe - Unbelievable Story

    I thought you all might get a good laugh out of the following story. I'm not real happy about it, but, I can see some humor in it.

    I recently moved from Germany to Albuquerque, New Mexico courtesy of the US Air Force. I had my 87 Turbo T in Germany with me, and shipped it from Amsterdam to Galveston at the end of August. On Friday the 13th of October (of all days), I flew from Albuquerque to Houston to pick my car up in Galveston to drive it my new home in Albuquerque.

    So, I get to the shippers in Galveston and the guy behind the desk asks me my name.

    I tell him, to which his reply is simply, "We have a small problem."

    So I ask, "and what would that be?"

    He responds with a question, "Did you ship a rat in your car?"

    I respond "No, why would you ask?"

    He says "When we opened your car up, the smell was so bad, we closed the car up and went and got a customs agent because we thought there was a dead body in the car."

    I believe he was starting to sense I was not too pleased with the situation. He goes on to say it's okay, as we found a dead rat or mouse, which was decomposed on your rear floor mat. We removed the remains and your car has been airing out for the last few days. You can go look at it now.

    So I go to the car, and the stench is unbelievable. They did not even bother to remove the floormat the rat had died on. Now get this, besides my new found aroma, the passenger door has been opened into something resulting in a nice size dent on the lower portion of the door (a dent in my original paint car nonetheless). But wait, there is more...I have 17 inch Simmons wheels on my car. Simmons wheels are not cheap rims by the way. Well, it appears as though some shipper decided to wrap chains between the spokes to secure the car down. Chains versus Simmons wheels - the chains did not lose by the way.

    Okay, so I had planned on a nice leasurely three day from Galveston to Albuquerque, deciding to stop and see friends along the way. Well, I get in the car to start driving, and no kidding, my eyes start to burn, then water from the stench in the car. I think...I should probably stop at Wal-Mart and get some Febreeze, but I figure the way my day is going if I stop at Wal-Mart than my car will get stolen. I stop at an autoparts store and get some citrus air spray which makes the smell a bit less.

    I figured to myself I better do this trip in a day and a half, since I could not spend three days in my car in its current state. I roll into San Antonio and stop at Randolph Air Force Base to get some Febreeze and have dinner with some old friends. I head out a bit later than planned, and then I stopped by a friend who has a GNX to see how he is doing. So anyways, I leave San Antonio a lot later than planned heading to San Angelo, Texas. Since I am running late, I decide not to be the normal speed limit abiding citizen that I normally try to be. I pass a Texas state trooper who is sitting along side the road at 85 in a 65. I keep the hammer down, figuring if he pulls me over I am going to tell him my sad story. And my other ace in the hole is my speedometer (an 85mph only speedo) does not work at speeds higher than 65 (due to a few high speed passes on the autobahn that pegged the speedo for long periods of time). I would simply blame with speedo. The cop, for whatever reason, does not pull me over. Little did I know this story would help me out a hundred miles down the road. I got off I-10 on a rural two lane road. I am still running 85 (at about 1130pm). I pop up over a crest of a hill to be greeted by flashing blue and red lights. A local sherrif pulls me over, and I recite my sad story and speedometer issues, and the guy cuts me a break. I am glad he did not notice my GPS or scanmaster set to mph readings.

    The drive from San Angelo to Albuquerque was a bit better. After literally coating all the fabric in my car with Febreeze several times, the smell is nearly gone. I got rid of the floor mats, so the funk is going away.

    My car ran great the entire trip. I still have the factory exhaust on the car. I noticed in Germany the exhaust system would need replacing when I got the car back to the states. I got two miles from the house, and the exhaust pipe let go where it goes in the muffler. Good timing on that at least.

    I had another blast of speed near Roswell New Mexico, of about 93 mph for an extended period of time. I did not realize I was going this fast until all the sudden my speedometer shot up to 85. The speedo has not registered past 65 since August 2005. At least that is something I won't have to fix.

    For you boost junkies out there, I had the interesting observation that on a long climb at 7000 feet elevation the car will hold four to five pounds of boost with no gain in acceleration.

    Okay, I have always called my Buick the "Monster Car," but I am thinking its time for a new nickname based on these recent events.

    My eight year old and me are thinking "Rat Trap," but I am open to decent suggestions.

    I purchased shipping insurance on the car. I will be working with them this week. I am thinking that besides fixing the dent/wheels, I am going to ask for new carpet and floor mats.

    Rob



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Central California
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    1,990
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    Yuck, Rob!!!

    Rats and mice, probably squirrels as well, can get into most any car through the A/C evaporator and ducting or holes in the body. Holes that you think are quite small will not be a problem for the pesky rodents. Once they're in-house (or perhaps, in-car), it's belly up without food or water and you've seen, er . . smelled, the end result.

    Very disgusting and you should do fine with the insurance claim. Ships are notorious for taking on unwanted "passengers" and unfortunately your car is where the hitchhiker chose for his final resting place. Yes, ask for carpeting, mats, detailing the interior, the dent, and the wheels. And the Febreze, too.

    Ick,
    Mary Pozzi
    mpozzi . . . '73 Camaro RS, '69 Camaro SCCA/Trans-Am vintage racer, and a 1989 R7U 1LE Players Challenge car.

    "STICK, you B*TCH!!!!!!"

    "It's not a horse. You can't train it!! "


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Los Angeles
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    5,266
    Country Flag: United States

    Default



    How about Rat-Attack?
    VaporWorx. We Give You Gas http://www.vaporworx.com
    Carl Casanova's 1968 Camaro

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Greenwood, SC
    Posts
    2,331

    Default

    man....and i thought a spilled milkshake was bad...poor guy.

    Good luck on the claim!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    The Netherlands
    Posts
    1,377
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    Default

    Rob....come on....you made this all up...this can't be real

    seriously though...that is a case of bad luck....like Mary said, claim it all on the shipper, just tell them you are 100% positive there was no rat in your car when you delivered it at the shipping company.

    Good luck and I hope it all works out,
    Martin
    1st 2nd
    Pro-Touring outside the USA !
    Martin's Camaro Page

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    England
    Posts
    1,081

    Default

    At least you can honestly say you've owned a rat motor

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Lenoir City, Tennessee
    Posts
    1,185
    Country Flag: United States

    Default

    Yuck!!!!

    You're at Kirtland, yes? My father-in-law works there. He's Air Force retired, but works for a contractor now.

    Good luck with your claim!

    Shiny Side Up!
    Bill
    '72 442 "Inamorata"
    www.fquick.com/ProTouring442
    Bill Kistner
    Check out my blog and the latest installment of my current project "In the Company of Devils" at: www.WilliamKElliott.com.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Lawrenceville Ga
    Posts
    229

    Default

    I feel your pain when I shipped my car from RAF Lakenheath, I had polished aluminum wheels on it and I'm guessing the salt air from the ride over etched the wheels and they never would fully polish out. I also got no help from the airforce on the matter.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    218

    Default

    That rat prolly got tired of German food and figured to hitch a ride to the States.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Cibolo, TX
    Posts
    189

    Default

    Thanks for the thoughts everybody. I was just out in the garage and figured out the rat died underneath the passenger seat. I need to go clean it, but cannot build up the courage quite yet. The shippers got the carcuss/remnants out, now I just need to scrub good.

    I am going to ask the shipping insurance to replace the carpet, floormats, seat upholstery, and headliner. This really sucks, as the interior in the car is like new. I'll let you all know what the insurance company thinks of my plan. I am using the hantivirus angle as leverage to replace everything.

    The smell has almost disappeared, but there is a slight lingering aroma yet.

    Rob

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    San Jose, CA
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    4,143
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    ...hang a tree from the mirror so the car won't smell...



    Sorry to hear about your shipping nightmare. Good luck with the insurance. I hope they don't take the angle of they don't have control of the rat. A dent and wheels is understandable. I used to survey shipping damage.

    Have you pulled the seat to find a possible second rat? How did the rat get in your car in the first place? Did they leave a window down? Do you have holes in your car they could have climbed through? Shippers usually poison rodents in shipping containers and such to keep things under control. I've heard of them using airborne gasses as well as rat bait. Shippers are typically supposed to ship with windows and vents closed.

    Tony Huntimer
    RaceHome.com
    Last edited by TonyHuntimerRaceHome; 10-17-2006 at 08:36 PM.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Cibolo, TX
    Posts
    189

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TonyHuntimerRaceHome
    ...hang a tree from the mirror so the car won't smell...



    Sorry to hear about your shipping nightmare. Good luck with the insurance. I hope they don't take the angle of they don't have control of the rat. A dent and wheels is understandable. I used to survey shipping damage.

    Have you pulled the seat to find a possible second rat? How did the rat get in your car in the first place? Did they leave a window down? Do you have holes in your car they could have climbed through? Shippers usually poison rodents in shipping containers and such to keep things under control. I've heard of them using airborne gasses as well as rat bait. Shippers are typically supposed to ship with windows and vents closed.

    Tony Huntimer
    RaceHome.com
    Tony,

    Thanks. I have no idea how the rat got into my car, as there are no holes it could have climbed through. Here is my theory...the dent is in the passenger door. I think somebody opened the door quickly (bumping it into something) and tossed the rat in. Probably some disgruntled employee or something. Truth is I'll never know for sure. I pulled the back seat out tonite and it was clean under there. I built up the courage to clean the mess out I found...it took a lot of carpet shampoo and a brass bristle brush (nothing softer would work) to clean all the "gunk" out of the carpet. I'll go sniff the car in a few hours and see if that helped.

    Oh yea, an interesting side note for you Tony. I have finally attained a rank high enough in the military where I have my own office. Most folks of my rank have leadership books or the like in their offices. Placed proudly between my visitor's chairs on my coffee table is your GM Pro-touring book and a Buick muscle car book. The books start more conversations than any leadership books would!

    Also, I will be getting a tree or something to place in the car for a while.

    Rob

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    San Jose, CA
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    4,143
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    Default

    Nice to know there weren't more dead rats.

    Thanks for the placement of my book. That's cool.


    Tony Huntimer

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    17
    Country Flag: Canada

    Default Rats Are FAmous In History

    They sat that the lonely rat was the cause of the Black Plaque. Maybe you rat decided to repeat history but on a different continent!!

    It is always sad when our toys get broken or maimed. I have a wilder story. I was given a rare Honda 750 motor bike, I do not know the model as it was all in parts in a crate, all I can remember was that the motor would go 30,000 RPM, that is not a typo. I was given this to see if I could put it back together and get it running. I was working in Thailand at the time so I told the guy to just ship it to me after I got all the paper work done. Okay, it took a month to arrive, customs phoned and said your crate is ready for pick up. I opened the crate to discover that the customs guys had SAWED the frame in two because that model was not allowed in the country. So what I did from that point on was to check all the laws of any country before shipping anything. We turned the whole thing into a wild looking coffee table. Never even worked on the engine.
    Surround yourself with people of like mind and you will do great things. Surround yourself with all the toys you need to attract people of like mind, only then will you be happy and living your passion.



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