No sooner does one season finish, than the next one begins. Basic equipment

Time to look back on the season that has just finished and get your classic car ready for the next.

Thanks to the great weather, the driving conditions last year were ideal for venturing forth in your classic car. Not much rain, wonderful temperatures.  No worries about being caught in a summer downpour. Even though it was drier than normal, many classic car drivers were delighted with the driving conditions. Unfortunately, the hot temperatures were also directly responsible for a number of breakdowns. ADAC, the German automobile club, visited our premises regularly last summer to drop these unfortunate vehicles off in our yard.

Overheating is a common problem. We all know that these vehicles were not designed to stand for ages in traffic jams and unfortunately there were a lot of roadworks again last year. We even experienced traffic jams and construction site holdups in the Dolomites.

So we got to see a whole range of overheating problems in our workshop: broken regulators, defective alternators, rough-running engines, overheated systems, etc.

Of course, there are some things that can help to prevent your engine from overheating in the first place: an additional thermostatically controlled electric fan, heat-resistant tape on the exhaust manifold or even a high-performance radiator. Not only will these components reduce potential problems but they will also protect the engine ancillaries and thus help maintain the vehicle’s value.

A car equipped with these components is much better able to deal with hot weather. However, it is never a bad idea to have one or two of the extras listed below any time you are on the move. Now is the best time to prepare for the new season, so that you’ll be ready to go as soon as the first rays of sunshine appear.

We’d like to offer some suggestions for a small kit of basic equipment, based on our experience of classic car rallies and of the problems we see with our customers’ vehicles in the workshop.

  • Towels

We recommend you always keep several towels with you, in the passenger compartment and in the boot. They have so many potential uses – and not just to dry off after a rain shower.

  • Spare bulbs

Never a bad idea when you plan to drive at night at the weekend. Bilux lamps for your headlights are not something you’ll find at most filling stations.

  • Spark plug spanner

If you need to change your spark plugs because they are fouled, you can easily do it yourself without having to call a breakdown service.

  • Spare set of four spark plugs

We have had good experience with the NGK BP6ES on the 190 SL.

  • Water

Having a few bottles of water in the car is never a bad idea! Good when you’re thirsty, if you’ve carried out a repair and need to wash your hands, or if you have to cool an overheating vehicle.

  • 2x 17mm open-end spanners

You may need these to open the carburettor fuel lines on the 190SL to check if fuel is getting to the carburettor and to tighten the adjusters on the carburettor cover.

  • Cable ties

We don’t have to tell you that there are lots of things you can do with these. It’s a good idea to carry several different sizes with you on your travels.

  • Fuses

If a fuse blows, you can replace it immediately.

  • V-belt

If it snaps, you are ready with a replacement. Recommended: AVX 10 x 825

  • Insulating tape

Better to have a heat-resistant type, as it can be very hot in the engine compartment.

  • Carpet knife / scissors

Always handy for shortening cable ties, cutting insulating tape, etc.

  • Torch

When you need more light.

  • Gloves

To protect yourself from oil and dirt when carrying out repairs and to avoid getting black stains on your ivory colour steering wheel.

  • Caramba Magic Wonder Spray

If you don’t have time for a complete car wash but want to get rid of greasy finger marks and flies, this is your perfect dry cleaning option.

  • Microfibre cloths

For dry cleaning with Magic Wonder, but also highly recommended for many other jobs.

These useful aids will help you tackle all kinds of small emergencies, and even if you do need to summon outside assistance, mechanics will always be pleased to see that you have the right tools with you. There is, of course, nothing to stop you putting a few more tools in the boot. We believe these items belong in your classic car’s basic toolkit. If you want to be particularly stylish, you will of course settle for nothing less than an original, vintage tool bag in your boot. We still have a few in stock.

If you have any questions about the products mentioned in this article, you are welcome to contact us by phone or email.

Keep up the good work!

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