Friday April 22, 2016
Don’t Miss Drive It Day – April 24th 2016
On a spring day in 1900, sixty four cars lined up in London to begin the arduous task of completing 1,000 miles of motoring on British roads which were, even by today’s pot-hole strewn routes, a bit on the rough side.
Images of Monte Carlo or Bust or Whacky Races spring immediately to mind, and of the 64 cars that left London on April 23rd, 46 actually completed the 1,000 mile round trip to Scotland, taking in Bristol, Birmingham & Manchester on their way.
Today we celebrate these motoring pioneers with Drive It Day – the date in the classic car calendar that is the equivalent of the first day of grouse shooting or the start of the football season.
Drive It Day is the day we get our cars out of the garage, take off the tarps, blow off the cobwebs and cast an eagle eye over the bodywork for any winter deterioration before we get out on the road in our classic & vintage cars.
Country roads the length and breadth of Britain will be mobbed by MGs, awash with Alfas and even bursting with Bristols – but like the eighteen intrepid adventurers who didn’t make it back to London in 1900, some will need the odd bit of roadside attention or even a tow home!
Avoid the Tow Truck
There are quite a few things you can do to avoid being towed home on the back of a breakdown truck, starting with preparation – so make sure you don’t leave it ‘til the 24th to get the car out.
To be sure of a good Drive It Day make sure you get into the garage a week or so before to give the old girl some attention before you get behind the wheel.
Is anything seized or sticking? Any leaks?
Winter can be hard on mechanical parts, with fuel & brake fluid pipes often bearing the brunt of the bad weather, as the minor expanding & shrinking caused by temperature changes can put a strain on fixings.
Your battery, bulbs, wipers & heater are always good pre-drive checks – and don’t forget to check your MOT & insurance are both current. You might well find your local testing stations are busy at this peak time of the driving calendar, and you certainly wouldn’t want to drive uninsured.
Don’t be a Spare Part on Drive It Day
Being left behind on a run can be a real pain – quite apart from the embarrassment of the breakdown itself, the journey home can feel as longs as the original RAC 1,000 mile run if you’re unlucky enough to get stuck.
Carrying a spare Ignition coil, fan belt (Or tights at a push) points, plugs, bulbs, and fuses is always recommended, but even more so in the first week of the season. Some oil is always a worthwhile bet too!
Are You Covered?
It’s also worth considering that most Classic Car insurance policies don’t come with breakdown cover as standard, and that some classics may not be covered on your regular AA / RAC membership.
If you’re in any doubt, Lancaster Insurance can arrange cover for a comprehensive classic car policy with breakdown cover included, and existing Lancaster customers can add classic breakdown cover to a current policy at any time for as little as £39.95 a year*.
Whatever you’re doing this Drive It Day, if you put in a little preparation before you get out on the road you’ll enjoy your classic safely, and make sure you get home on time too.
* Policy benefits, features and discounts offered may vary between insurance policies and are subject to underwriting criteria.