Munich. Perhaps a long way from the technical state of the art, but such a stylish way to travel – this is the passion driving classic car fans that take their beloved vehicle on holiday. But is that even possible? Definitely, say the experts at TÜV SÜD ClassiC – provided the right preparations are made. Here are five tips for a successful holiday with a classic car.
An important watchword is that classic or even vintage cars simply cannot meet the standards we demand of cars today. “If it’s too much trouble to stop for an engine check every few hundred kilometres, best reconsider your holiday plans”, warns classic car expert Matthias Gerst from TÜV SÜD.
1. Fuel: Make sure to take a stock of lead additive for cars that run on leaded petrol only; this is now almost impossible to find at petrol stations.
2. Oil: Modern oils and lubricants contain a host of additives that may attack or even destroy older bearings and gaskets. Ensure you have a sufficient supply of the right kind of oil – single-grade oils are often the answer, but these are hard to find at garages and auto supply stores. Don’t skimp on these supplies; oil consumption may well rise as your car groans under the weight of holiday luggage, fast driving, mountain roads or Mediterranean heat.
3. Spare parts: While it is usually over the top to take along a whole shopful of spare parts, an emergency kit is certainly advisable. Depending on the car model, it should contain spark plugs and ignition contacts, carburettor gaskets, head cover gasket, water pump, fuel pump if necessary, fuel filter, fan belt and a range of bulbs for headlights and other lights. The latter are particularly important if the vehicle electrics still operate on 6V, and in this case a spare ignition coil with the correct voltage is a good idea. Older vehicles may have exotic fuse systems for which it is vital to take spare parts. A container of radiator anti-freeze avoids the need to top up with water, which is not good for the cooling system.“ Spare parts are also useful even if they can’t be installed by the driver”, says the TÜV SÜD ClassiC expert. An assistant or breakdown service can use them to get the car going again.
4. Tyres: The spare wheel of a classic car must not be regarded as a decorative extra; in the case of a breakdown, tyres for classic cars, which may have dimensions no longer common today, will be hard to find. In fact, tyres should be a special focus of attention, particularly if they have a few years behind them. As with modern cars, the tyre pressure must be adjusted to cope with the increased payload.
5. Tools:The extent of the tool kit naturally depends on how talented the driver is at performing repairs; however, a small selection of tools is a must in the boot to accompany the car jack and wheel wrench. But keep an eye on the quality! Those stylish tool kits in attractive leather rolls may be more suitable as decorative features than as actual repair equipment for your classic car.
TÜV SÜD ClassiC provides a comprehensive suite of services ranging from qualified expert reports on classic and vintage cars in line with Section 23 of the German Road Vehicle Registration Regulation (StVZO) – the precondition for “H” (historic) category registration – and expert reports covering whole vehicles or modification works, to valuations and restoration certificates for classic and modern classic cars. The experts at TÜV SÜD ClassiC also operate a unique archive of data sheets supplying the relevant manufacturing data and facts on restoration and reconstruction for almost all car models.