Preparing for your first event

Here at Classic Car Adventures (CCA), we believe the maximum enjoyment is found through a sense of “Adventure”. We plan to bring you an amazing experience of adventure through our unique event formats, use of secret routes, great roads and and friendly people. At times there can be additional moments of Adventure which come from the unplanned. This side of the Adventure finds its way through changing weather, vehicle breakdowns and things which are generally out of our control. After seven years of running our classic car events, we thought we’d put together some information to help those of you who are new prepare for your first event, and eliminate some of those uncontrolled ‘adventures’. Even if you’ve been on one of our events before, you’ll probably find something new in our suggestions below.

Prepare Yourself
The first step for engaging in one of our events is to ensure you understand what you’re registering for. While we certainly know how to put together an incredible event, we do so with the understanding that our guests are self-sufficent and not expecting to have their hand’s held at every step. For example, on events where we’ve booked your hotel rooms you’ll arrive to find everything is well taken care of…but you will be the one to check in at arrival. There isn’t likely to be a CCA host waiting to greet you, well unless we happened to beat you to the hotel that evening. It’s important to understand the type of event you’re registering for, and for that we write a pretty detailed “Supplementary Regulations” document. Inside you’ll find all the information about what is included with registration, the important dates for cancellations and more. The supp-regs (as we call them) should give you everything you need to know to confirm this is the event you want to register for. If you have other questions, they’re probably included as part of our Frequently Asked Questions page. Be sure to read through the questions at least once, as we put our most general (and commonly asked) questions here. Lastly, be sure to add to your contact list. We send out “Important Information” emails to our entrants, typically about 4 weeks, 2 weeks and 1 week before an event. The mailings are sent via a service called MailChimp, and adding the info@ email to your contact list ensures we won’t be hidden in your spam folder. These emails contain very important information that you don’t want to miss.

  1. Read through the event Supp-Regs
  2. Read the CCA FAQ page
  3. Add to your contact list

Prepare Your Co-Driver
Whether you choose to travel with your significant other, a close friend or a random enthusiast you met on your club message board…it helps to prepare your co-driver for what’s coming. Certainly ensure that they’ve read the supp-regs for the event, and our CCA FAQ page. They should also add the info@ email to their contact list. But beyond that, we’ve found that entrants who go a little further with their co-driver’s seem to have a much more enjoyable time. On that note, we have the following suggestions for you. First off, define the roles in the car before the event. If you’re planning on driving the whole event, with your co-driver strictly playing navigator, it’s important to outline this before you depart. This is especially important if you’re inviting a buddy who’s always dreamed of driving your precious classic! Next, you’ll want to explore some options if your co-driver is prone to getting car sick. The navigation on our events is not intense, and there is plenty of time to enjoy the scenery, but your co-driver does need to keep an eye on the route-book. Even if they never get car-sick, packing a Gravol or similar product “just-in-case” is highly recommended.

Perhaps most important, is preparing your co-driver for your particular vehicle choice. For many of us, the unique and wonderful attributes that give our classic cars ‘character’, can be classified as ‘deplorable defects’ by a co-driver after three days and 700 miles. So with that in mind, it’s best to prepare them for what to expect. Does your vehicle have working heat? Is it a convertible that you intend to drive with the top down, regardless of weather? Does it leak in the rain, and if so where? While the sounds of your dual webers screaming through the firewall might be music to your ears, should your co-driver consider bringing some ear plugs for portions of the trip? At this time it’s probably also appropriate to discuss packing sizes and limitations for your vehicle. For many of our classics a large hard-sided suitcase simply won’t do, but packing in a couple of smaller soft-fabric ones will allow us to fit the luggage around the Lucas Electric Spares department already living in the trunk.

  1. Follow the 3 steps for the driver
  2. Define the roles each of you will play on the event
  3. Discuss the vehicle, and it’s “quirks”
  4. Plan the luggage, both in size and type which will fit

Prepare the Car
When you originally clicked on this article, you probably thought it was going to be all about preparing the car! Indeed, when we think of going on a Classic Car rally the car is usually our first thought. Preparing your car to travel three days and 1200km (700mi), plus the distance to and from the event, does require special attention. After seven years of running events we’ve come to determine that vehicle preparation for our events is an area which deserves better attention. Unanticipated vehicle breakdowns will always be a part of our events, we can’t avoid it with classic cars, but a large number of on-event breakdowns have been avoidable, or could have been easily repaired if the vehicles and driving teams has been better prepared. With that in mind we’ve prepared a Vehicle Preparation document which highlights the basic principals of preparing your car for one of our events. We’ve included a recommended spares list, which we anticipate will become mandatory equipment for 2016 events and beyond. Lastly, the document also includes a copy of the Vehicle Inspection form which will be filled out for all 3-day events from June 1st 2015 and beyond. The vehicle inspection form can be filled out by your mechanic, or by a competent individual in a home garage. The inspection form will need to be submitted on event at the registration table. We should note: Change intervals on the inspection sheet are suggestions based on our experience, and that of the restorations shops we consulted. The intervals suggested are merely ‘suggestions’, which we believe will best ensure you make the finish of our events. 

  1. Read the CCA Vehicle Preparation Document
  2. Pack Spare Parts as recommended
  3. Pack Tools as recommended, or as your skillset allows.
  4. Complete a Vehicle Inspection form within 30 days of the event start.