Most of the fun of owning classic cars comes from getting out and driving them. But hitting the road in an old machine that isn’t used daily can be a gamble. Will it really get you to where you’re going without an issue? If something happens out on the road, will you be ready to take care of it?
With such questions in mind, I’ve come up with a list of five things every classic car owner should have in their old car at all times. Consider these separate from the tire gauge, insurance information, registration, and map EVERY car should have. Beyond those, these are the kinds of things that can get you out of a jam and don’t take up much space — they won’t get in your way, and at some point, you’ll be really glad you have them. So in no particular order, here we go:
1. A decent screwdriver
You’d be surprised how many things you can fix with just a good screwdriver, and I’m surprised how many old car owners don’t have one packed away in the glove box. Everything from carburetor adjustments to loose hose clamps can be quickly handled using nothing more than a screwdriver, saving you a tow. They’re small, so carry two: a flat blade and a Phillips head.
2. A small flashlight
A million uses here, from fixing your own car to checking casting numbers on another car you’re thinking about buying. You shouldn’t leave home without one, either in your classic or your everyday driver.
3. A camera
Say someone sideswipes your Chevelle out on the road. You need a camera to document the damage and the surroundings. Alternatively, say you run across a Mustang for sale that would be perfect for your friend. Most smartphones have cameras these days, but if yours doesn’t, go get a cheapie point-and-shoot and a few batteries and toss it in the glovebox.
4. Three wrenches
Toss in a 3/8-, a 1/2-, and a 9/16-inch wrench. If you’ve ever done any engine work, you’ve probably found that 80% of the fastneners under the hood of American muscle cars are these sizes. You could go one step further and get a complete tool kit, but that’ll take up more space. These are the three I carry for loose bolts. If you want to carry four, toss in a 7/16 as well.
It IS called the glovebox, right? But not driving gloves. Here you should have a good pair of heavy duty work gloves – the kind that are functional over stylish. Think about what you’d want to wear when changing a tire, pushing a dead car, or dealing with an overheated radiator. Protecting your hands in these situations is just the smart thing to do.
What would be on your list? Let us know in the comments below.