The World's Most Expensive Car Hauler

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
the world s most expensive car hauler

This is CVN-76, a.k.a. the Ronald Reagan. It is a true multi-role ship. Today, it hauls cars, to keep them off I-5.

The ship costs new anywhere between $4.3 billion and $6 billion (accounts differ, assume the $4.3 b are for the stripper version). Total cost of ownership is $32 billion over the carrier’s assumed service life of 50 years, or $1.75 million for the day.

The crew sets you back another $1.40 million a day, for a total daily rate of $3.15 million.

The ship traveled from its home port in San Diego up the West Coast, to 120 Dewey Street, Bremerton, WA 98314-6012, better known as the Kitsap-Bremerton Naval Base. The Ronnie will stay there for a one year maintenance and upgrade (or make that “scheduled dock-planned incremental availability maintenance”) at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard & Intermediate Maintenance Facility. The crew is coming along.

To spare the Gipper-skippers the 1,264 mile drive from San Diego to Seattle, along with the associated wear & tear, greenhouse gases etc., their cars were loaded on the flight deck. The fighter jets took the air route to an undisclosed location.

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  • David Hester David Hester on Jan 16, 2012

    I don't think anybody was being particularly snarky. I mean, the boat is going to Washington anyway. Why send it empty? I would hope that the military does this kind of thing more often with as many flights and overseas shipments as they can.

  • TJ TJ on Jan 16, 2012

    To daveainchina: To answer your question about how we got the cars up there was thast we drove them. The Navy put a ranp from the pier to the ship's elevator #3. We signed our papers on the pier and then drove our cars up this ramp into the hanger bay and then across the hanger bay to elevator #4. When the elevator was full it lifted all the cars up to the flight deck where we were each parked just like at a sporting event. Every car had two chain tie downs applied for safety and we then locked the doors and had to leave the car not to come back until off load several days later. Off load was the reverse of the onload. We drove the cars off. In the 1970 move on the Constellation the hanger bay was for the most part was empty. We set up volley ball courts asnd basket ball courts for our guests to enterain themselves and also showed movies at night. Our two galleys pretty much stayed open 24 hours a day feeding all the people. Since I was a single man back then I was "volunteered" to work extra hours to keep the ship running so that my ship mates who had their families abord could be together. As I said before it was a very pleasent experience on what was normally a very boring ship.

  • Alan In Australia only hairdressers would buy this Monaro as its known as. Real men had 4 door sedans and well hung men drive 4x4 dual cab utes with bullbars and towbars. I personally think this is butt ugly. Later iterations of the Commodore were far better looking.
  • Jeff As a few commenters on prior articles on this site about the UAW strike mentioned many of the lower tiered suppliers could go bankrupt and some could possibly go out of business if the strike is prolonged. Decades ago Ford and GM owned many of their own suppliers but as we all know over the years manufacturers have been outsourcing more parts and with just in time supply there is little room for any interruptions to production including strikes, natural disasters, and anything unforeseen that could happen. When the strike ends there will be delays in production due to parts shortages. It costs suppliers money to just keep making parts and stockpiling them especially when many parts have razor thin profit margins.
  • Lou_BC You can't go too wrong with a SBC, even a modded one. I get the vibe this has had a hard life. Kinda like the hot chick with a "property of H.A." tat on her butt.
  • El scotto Think of three vehicle assembly plants on the same road with fast food joints across the road. The fast food joints sell food to the workers from all three plants. Think of the suppliers as the fast food joints. They sell to all three plants and if the plants are idled, the suppliers have to shut down too.
  • The Oracle This is a proper muscle coupe clunker.