If you’ve got a classic car, you may well have considered participating in a rally. Classic car tour rallies can be heaps of fun. Motoring along routes specially selected by professional rally organisers (with mechanics available when you need them), luxury accommodation, and sublime cuisine, all in the company of fellow car enthusiasts just like you.
Whether you decide to take on a British or a European rally, you’ll need to prepare yourself and your car for the trip. Here’s what you need to know:
You’ll be expected to be self-sufficient, so make sure you understand what you’re getting yourself and your car into. That means you’ll need to know what to do when you get to the end of each day, how to get help if you need it, and what routes to follow. All this information should be readily available ahead of time, so you’ll just need to do a bit of homework to ensure you know it back-to-front.
Decide what you’ll do and what your co-driver will do. Will you each drive part of the time? Or will one of you drive the whole time and the other navigate? Ensuring both of you are happy with arrangements at the outset will make a big difference to your tour’s success.
You or your mechanic should be sure to check the following:
If you’re used to taking your car out for short Sunday drives only, you’ll want to make sure it’s ready for a much longer and perhaps more gruelling adventure. After all, putting 1,000 hard miles on a car over three or four consecutive days will make your car behave differently than it would over a short stint. You may want to take it for a longer test drive at least a few weeks before the main event to make sure you can adjust and repair as needed.
If you can carry a few spare parts, do so. Things like a water or fuel pump, generator, some fan belts, hoses, oil and an oil filter may be useful. Your mechanic can also advise you on common parts on your particular model that could be prone to failure. By bringing spares, the rally mechanics will be better able to address any problems that may arise. Make sure you familiarise yourself with local driving regulations and are carrying all required documentation and equipment, such as traffic cones and high visibility jackets.
Many classic car policies apply stringent mileage limitations or require you to report your odometer readings annually. The right classic car policy will not limit your ability to drive your car for hobby purposes, nor will it restrict you from using a hotel parking lot for the duration of the rally. Furthermore, verify that your insurance company provides you with towing coverage in the event of a breakdown. You should also check your overseas cover and Green Card requirements, for example some policies will have 30 days overseas limits.