A life of cherished treasures for specialist car carrier

By: Peter Schlenk, Photography by: Peter Schlenk


Alan Norton Car Carrying 2 Alan Norton with daughter Skye take a break in Townsville. Alan Norton Car Carrying 2
Alan Norton Car Carrying Six cars can squeeze into the trailer at the back of Alan’s Scania P480. Alan Norton Car Carrying

Bored of life as a mechanic, Alan Norton turned to transporting antique and prestige cars.

 

Alan Norton and his daughter Skye were taking a break at the BP truck stop in Townsville when Owner//Driver caught up with them. It was a big weekend in the north Queensland city, with the running of the Castrol Edge Townsville 400.

Although Alan does transport race cars, his principle freight is antique and prestige vehicles.

The father and daughter team were delivering a Lamborghini from Sydney in his Scania P480, later picking up a rare Jaguar XJ 120 from Lake Eacham in the Atherton Tableland.

"The Jag is 90 per cent restored and is going to Sydney to be completed and then sold at auction," Alan explains.

"Allegedly it’s one of the five of the first aluminium ones built."

Alan and his wife Lee run Alan’s Unique Car Carriers, a fleet of three semis with a six-car fully enclosed race car transporter, as well as two three-car fully enclosed transporters.

A motor mechanic in his early years, by 1996 Alan had had enough of modern technology and computers and left his job to start his own towing service in Sydney.

"I put the tools away and started driving…and I’m still driving today," Alan says.

"I did my time on a fair few cars, learning from service stations from where I worked.

"I ended up working at BMW and the game started to change so much, it was all going electronic. I didn’t like it so I got out."

Alan tows trailers he designs himself to meet his requirements, including the 48-foot fully enclosed six-car transporter he brought to Townsville.

"I need every inch of room I can when you get to bigger cars," he says.

"The new Maserati cars have grown from 5.1m to 5.3m and a Rolls Royce can be up to 5.8m long."

Back in the office, Lee handles all the administration, bookings and the financials, of which Alan is greatly appreciative, especially when he is out on the road for long periods of time.

"Lee has been there since day one, from the towing service to now.

"There are other big companies out there but we get a lot of comments that they can never speak to the same person, whereas Lee is always available, as am I."

Alan is happy with the way things are going, adding that it beats being in a workshop from 9 to 5.

"I was just bored doing the same old thing, sticking a car on a hoist and getting dirty," he says.

"But transporting some of the world’s finest motor cars and being out on the road, everything changes and the people we meet and are dealing with appreciate our level of service."

You can read Alan’s full story in the October edition of Owner//Driver.

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