There is nothing worse for the image of the classic car than one stranded at the roadside, with its dejected occupants, hands in pockets, doing the ‘stand of shame’, scowling at the owner as they wait for the recovery service to rescue them from their ridiculous predicament.
So, to avoid being the scowlee that the scowlers are scowling at, here are a few tips for things to carry in your classic’s boot or glovebox.
Locking wheel nut adapter and wheel brace – Much of the time, it’s a puncture that halts proceedings.
Jack and axle stand – If it’s necessary to remove a wheel, you’ll need these after you’ve cracked those wheel nuts.
Spare wheel, with tyre inflated – There’s nothing worse than a flat spare.
Foot pump – For when you find that the spare’s deflated.
Jump starter pack – This needn’t be a massive, bulky item. There are now neat little booster packs that will happily fit into a seat back pocket.
Torch – It always happens at night.
Spark plug socket and wrench – Misfires and oiled up plugs can be a common occurrence with classic cars. Being able to diagnose these faults at the roadside can help have you quickly on your way.
Concise mechanic’s tool kit – A variety of suitably sized spanners, screwdrivers, pliers and grips is a must.
Water dispersant – I prefer ‘XCP One’ or ‘XCP Green One’
Spare parts stock – Carry a set of spark plugs, points, a condenser, bulbs, spark plug leads, a length of low tension wire, insulation tape, gaffer tape and cable ties. This little lot should get you home, or provide for interesting times at the roadside.
Workshop manual – There’s nothing like having an appropriate workshop manual to hand for those head scratching moments.
Smartphone – Perhaps the best tool of the modern age is the smartphone, useful for rapid troubleshooting and calling the breakdown service.