Classic Car Road Trips

You’re waited so long and you’re finally ready to take your dream drive…a classic car road trip. You picture yourself meandering down a picturesque two-lane road, sunglasses on, windows down, music playing in your gorgeous classic ride. Adventure, romance, nature’s beauty, gorgeous weather, all await you on your cruise. Classic car road tours can be some of the best memories you’ll create in your lifetime! 

Nothing could spoil this absolutely perfect scene except a sputtering engine. Don’t smoke out this gorgeous vision! Set yourself up for success on your classic road trip with simple car prep for road trip tips from classic car experts at The Vault.

Easy Steps to Prepare for a Road Trip

Take a few tips from The Vault classic car pros on how to prepare for a classic car road trip. While you may not have the most comfortable car for long trips, or the best vehicle for cross country road trips, you will most likely have the best looking car on the road! Ensure what’s under the hood is just as pristine as the outside.

taking a road trip with a classic car

Visit Your Mechanic

The best chance of avoiding an early end to your road trip is to start with a trip to your local classic car mechanic. Experts such as ours at The Vault can ensure your car is in prime condition to handle hundreds (or thousands) of miles on this adventure. Perhaps replace a part, change the oil, inspect the brakes; a few minor preventive measures may make the difference between the drive of your dreams versus a nightmare! 

The key elements your mechanic will most likely want to check out include:

  • Oil and filter change.
  • Check the plugs, and look for any suspicious carbon or oil deposits on them which may indicate a bigger problem. 
  • Assessing for clogged air filters and problems with the fuel system.
  • Brake inspection to top off fluid levels in the braking system and checking the master cylinder for debris, contaminants, or other issues. They should also be checking the parking brake, brake drums, brake pedal, and brake lights. 
  • Cooling system check. This is a vital element, as overheating can occur quickly and often! A fantastic mechanic will inspect the fins, hoses, and belts, and flush out any clogs. They may fully flush out the system and refill with new coolant, as well as test the thermostat and radiator cap. 
  • Examine the frame and chassis to check for rust, loose, bent, or missing parts. 
  • Wheel and tire inspection to evaluate tread, cracks, checking, cuts, and inflation. Make sure you have a good-quality spare!
  • Overall check for proper functioning of lights, hoses, windshield wipers, electrical, mirrors, battery, and all connections. 

A solid overall check by a qualified nearby classic car mechanic will be the best choice you’ve made, apart from the trip itself! This is also crucial because along your route, you may not encounter mechanics who are equipped with the know-how or parts to handle classic car repair. 

Prepare for a Classic Car Road Trip

Learning some minor mechanical maintenance and carrying a solid set of tools in your car are helpful elements when on a road trip with a classic car. You may want to check that you have tools such as a LifeHammer, reliable multi-drive wrench, tow-strap (rated at or above the weight of your vehicle), jump starting booster pack, and a Leatherman multi-tool.

Get Car & Trip Insurance

Many classic car insurance plans aren’t made for covering longer trips. Check your current plan out and be sure it covers anything you may face on your trek, the actual distance you’ll be covering (some plans have limited mileage associated), and specialized roadside assistance. 

Trip insurance may be a good idea if you’ve planned out a route and are going to prepay for any of your stops. It’s just a good idea to have a way out if you need a sudden stop that changes your schedule. 

classic car trips

Technology on Classic Car Road Trip

Although you’re enjoying a step back in time with your classic beauty, you may want to use the modern conveniences of apps and route planners. These can alert you to upcoming problems on the road, accidents, poor road conditions, speed limits, road closures, poor weather conditions, and so much more! 

While there are other things you can do to ensure road-trip success, these ideas will get you well on your way with information on how to prepare for a road trip with your classic car. The question remains: do you have the best vehicle for road trips? We certainly hope that with these few tips from The Vault, you’ll be well-prepared for smooth sailing down that two-lane road! 


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Over the past several years, the Vault has become the Souths premier classic car dealer. Since 2018 we have delivered more than 1,000 cars to happy customers. Our 100,000 sq.ft. showroom and restoration shop holds more than 50 of the highest quality classics . The Vault is dedicated to delivering your dream to your garage and brining you the full value of your classic when it’s time to sell.