compiled by Wally Swift and Tom Ehrhart (as relayed thru Bobbl Woerth) in the April 1989 RootesReview

Going on a car trip. Those words have made many an adult cringe in stark terror and turned strong hearted souls into sniveling wimps. We might analyze the causes for negative reactions to motoring vacations.

Being an adult and listening to “How much longer?” and “He’s on my side of the seat” and “Make her stop it” can make the jumbo economy size bottle of aspirin disappear in short order. Being a child strapped in a car with nothing really fun to do except drive the adults up the wall can be a bore after a while. Sorry, we can’t help you with those problems (except to suggest you bone up on some of the “travel tips to maintain your sanity” type books and articles or leave the kids with some poor sucker back home).

Our main concern is getting the automobile to your destination and back under its own power (or you can trailer or ship it and not read this article).

First, we suggest you travel with another vehicle (believe me, there is safety in numbers and sharing misery can make it somewhat of an adventure) because if something happens, driving is better than walking on an Interstate. Even a two mile hike to the gas pumps can be magnified in the summer. Also laughing at the speeding tickets showered on the low flyers out in front can lighten up any trip.

There are certain parts that might need to be replaced on a trip. Local parts emporiums might think Sunbeams are small kitchen appliances and Rootes was a successful TV miniseries several years back, so pick and choose your back ups. (If there are three or four traveling together, maybe you could split up the list and pool the availability with each car paying for what it uses).

For Tigers:

  • Generator,
  • regulator,
  • coil,
  • headlight,
  • bulbs,
  • fuses and
  • points & condensers

are some necessities.

For Alpines:

  • Alternator,
  • regulator,
  • starter,
  • coil,
  • points & condensers,
  • Webber carb back-up stuff

are the bare necessities.

Some hydraulic parts that might come in handy for all would be:

  • brake fluids,
  • power servo line bypass and
  • clutch/brake cylinder rebuild kits (if you haven’t taken care of that lately).

You might also need:

  • wheel bearings,
  • rear axle seals,
  • extra lug nuts ( in case you drop one in a storm drain while changing a flat in the hail and severe thunder showers).

And then you might find the following useful:

  • Flares;
  • fire extinguisher;
  • extra hoses;
  • jacks;
  • tape (electrical is nice but good duct tape can handle almost any job—including taping mouths shut);
  • knife (can be used to put the car or owner out of misery);
  • tie straps aka bungie cords;
  • clamps/hangers;
  • several cans of Quickie tire fix;
  • extra oil (you be the judge as to quantity–100 mpg?);
  • extra fuel pump;
  • maps;
  • TE/AE membership book;
  • flashlights that work plus batteries;
  • car covers;
  • rain cloth;
  • towels;
  • rags;
  • hand cleaner;
  • tools such as pliers; screw drivers–phillips head and regular; adjustable wrench; hammer; the ever handy coat hanger (not plastic ones, wire as it comes in handy for all sorts of miscellaneous jobs);
  • electrical wire;
  • plastic bags (large and small); and
  • tin foil (for those restaurants w/o the amenity of doggie bags}.

Now, all the above would be ideal. Have someone follow in the family station wagon (Ed note: now minivan) with all the above inside, luggage carrier on the roof, kids In the back seat and you and your main squeeze can truly enjoy the drive. Or realistically, put your vehicle in top repair during the next month and take a reasonable amount of spares from the list, leave plenty of time to travel and enjoy the drive. Safe trip and see you in Colorado (or other parts!)

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