The car business is a multi-trillion dollar international industry, and it requires companies to ship cars all over the world. Jalopnik readers know the coolest ways to move cars on rail or by sea.
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We're going to cover all kinds of ways to move cars around, be they short ferry trips, to cross-country train rides. We're also going to count military vehicles that carry other wheeled modes of transport as well as tanks because, hey, tanks are awesome.
Sadly, since we're just talking about moving cars and other wheeled vehicles around, we can't include the boat that carries other boats, which has Inception-levels of awesome.
Photo Credit: US Marines
We need to give some respect to the absolutely monstrous ships that move cars across the oceans by the thousands. Since the import boom in the ‘70s, car carriers have grown bigger and more popular. The biggest of them all is the 869 foot long MV Tønsberg is the biggest, but the 8,000 car 747-foot MV Faust (pictured above) is no slouch.
The Washington State Ferry fleet is the largest in the US, and may be the largest in the world in terms of the number of vehicles it carries. Their biggest ships, 460-foot Jumbo Mk. IIs, can carry 202 vehicles at a time.
The ferry running around Lake Michigan is pretty badass. It's coal-powered, it's got a reinforced ice-breaking hull, and it's been in service since 1953. The EPA isn't happy about how old school the ship is about pollution, since it dumps its coal ash right into the lake.
It's a huge, high-speed catamaran that can carry 200 vehicles between Taiwan and Pingtan Island, off the coast of mainland China. How badass is that?
When you take the train from Germany up to Denmark, something weird happens. Your train is barreling towards the coastline and it doesn't stop on land, it pulls right into a huge ship. Then you ride on the ship across the water, and when you get back to the other side, you get back into the train and zip off through Denmark. It's like, #whatisthissorcery?
Not everybody gets to park their car on an aircraft carrier, but if you're a navy sailor heading to base, your car could hitch a ride on something like the USS Ronald Reagan. At $4.5 billion, it's the world's most expensive parking lot.
In the early ‘90s and early 200s, you could take a freakin' massive catamaran across the English Channel, like the SeaCat. Obviously this was just too awesome and the service has been cancelled.
Even cooler than crossing the Channel in a high-speed catamaran was crossing it in a humonguous hovercraft. These Mountabatten-class crafts started running in '68 and could carry up to 60 cars by the early ‘70s. They stopped running in 2000, because the world could not handle so much win.
What's cooler than a passenger hovercraft that carries cars? A military hovercraft that carries Humvees, tanks, and other military vehicles. The world's biggest are the 187-foot Zubr-class air-cushioned landing craft built by the Russians. They can carry three main battle tanks, ten troop carriers, or 500 troops.
The coolest car carrier ever made were the "Vert-A-Pac" trains GM used to ship their then-new Chevy Vega in the ‘70s. They hung the cars up like coats in each of the rail cars, which kind of looked like a slaughterhouse. Many these cars blew up, got crushed, or rusted away, so the comparison isn't off base.
Suggested By: HiramJahoovafatJr, Photo Credit: Chevrolet