Festive survival kit: How to get your motoring fix this Christmas – Hagerty UK

Christmas can be a barren period for classic car enthusiasts. Poor weather, family commitments and too many visits to the cocktail cabinet can result in the car being left in the garage, often until the new year. It’s as though your own love of cars is put on ho-ho-hold.

This needn’t be the case. Here are six ways to get your motoring repair this Xmas , even if you’ve had too much eggnog and have overdosed on sprouts.   We’ve all been there.

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Take advantage of the quieter roads

Driving a classic car in London
Photo: Dan Senior via Unsplash

If you listen to the news, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the particular entire nation will become top in order to toe in tailbacks [ Really? We’re going there already?! Ed. ] for the entire festive period. On the contrary, Christmas will be a most wonderful time of the year to take advantage of roads blissfully free of traffic. Forget driving home  with regard to   Christmas, you could be driving  at  Christmas.

According to the AA , New Year’s Day is expected to be the quietest day, with just 26 per cent associated with motorists hitting the road. That’s a total of 8. 6 million cars, so it shouldn’t be too difficult in order to find a little peace and quiet on your favourite B-road. For context, 16. 9 million drivers (51 for each cent) will have red lights all around on Friday 23 December, when traffic will hit its peak.

If you can lay off the Christmas gin, you can wake up early upon New Year’s Day plus maybe join a few friends regarding the first drive of 2023. Grabbing a pint of milk is a good excuse to leave the house, but you’ll have to think of a reason to return via the highways of Mid Wales or the Scottish Highlands.

Start (or finish) that project you’ve been putting off

Photo: Nathan Van Egmond via Unspash

The classic car classifieds are littered with vehicles listed as ‘unfinished project’. Restoration projects that were started with the best intentions, but for whatever reason have ground to the halt. At the time of writing, we found a 1969 Jaguar E-Type for £35, 500, a 1965 Sunbeam Alpine advertised as “98 per cent complete”, the 1968 Morris Minor “dry stored since 70s! ” and a 1994 Jaguar XJS with a starting price of 99p.

If you’ve got a classic on bricks or even a sleeping beauty waiting for an alarm call, this could be your opportunity to do something about it. There are usually dozens of guides on our website , yet if you can’t find what you’re looking for, there will almost certainly end up being a solution on the particular internet. Watching somebody tackle a problem on YouTube –  or taking inspiration from Hagerty’s Redline Rebuild timelapse series – is the brand new millennium equivalent of thumbing through the pages of a Haynes manual.

Join the crowd at a classic car event

Bicester Heritage January Scramble
Photo: Bicester Heritage

The traditional car occasion season isn’t over. Upon the in contrast, there are dozens of events being held up and down the country, so if your classic isn’t registered as SORN – and you’re prepared to risk the salt – why not join other enthusiasts intended for a festive chinwag?

The particular Lakeland Motor Museum in the Lake District is hosting a Boxing Day Classic Drive and Ride In Day time from 10am until 1pm. A ‘Best of Boxing Day’ trophy will be awarded to the most impressive traditional car upon show. Unlike a Lynx gift set or a pair of socks, this is something you  will certainly   want in order to receive this Christmas.

Brooklands Museum may be hosting its annual New Year’s Day Classic Vehicle Gathering , which is displaying cars registered before 31 July 1993. Around a thousand cars are expected to attend, with the gates open at 9am. Looking further ahead, the 1st Bicester Heritage Scramble plus Haynes Breakfast Club meets of the year will be held on eight January 2023.  

Don’t forget to check out the Ace Cafe London website for a full list of festive occasions, including a Christmas Carol Service on 18 Dec, a ‘Cold Turkey’ meet on Boxing Day along with a New Year’s Eve Party on… Brand new Year’s Eve. All the particular events we’ve mentioned are subject to change or cancellation, so check the relevant websites prior to setting away.

Watch the car film or TV show

Ford Mustang in Bullitt
Photo: Warner Bros.

You might be old enough to remember the days when you’d flick through the Christmas edition of the  Radio Times   to circle the particular car films you didn’t want in order to miss over the joyful period.   The Italian Job   was a guaranteed Xmas cracker, while tuning within to watch one associated with the  Herbie   films was another treat. Hands up if you  really   fancied the Thorndyke Special from  The particular Love Bug .

Things are a little simpler in 2022. You can binge watch every episode of  The Grand Tour   on Prime, while the BBC iPlayer has two decades of  Top Gear   to get you to wade through.   Bullitt   is usually available in order to rent upon Prime, as the brilliant  Baby Driver   is free to watch if you’re signed up to Amazon’s streaming service. The playlist is worth downloading should you be planning a B-road drive over the festive time period.

Another recommendation is  The Last Overland   on Channel 4. You are able to read about the epic adventure on our website .

Dust off your own old Scalextric

Toyota Celica Scalextric
Photo: Toyota

A Scalextric set was some thing you  really   wanted to find under the particular tree upon Christmas morning. How many of us asked Father Christmas for the Mighty Metro arranged, which featured a pair of Princess Diana’s favourite small vehicle in Valvoline and Total or Esso and Navico liveries? Or maybe the evocative Le Mans 24hr set, along with Porsche 926C and Jaguar XJR9.

Scroll through the particular listing of sets on the Scalextric Collector Guide website pertaining to a trip down memory lane, then take the trip into your attic to see if your old set is still there. Other slot car racing sets were available, including Matchbox Powertrack and Tyco, but Scalextric is definitely the Xmas present we most associate with the past.

Read a book!

Man reading a book
Picture: Jilbert Ebrahimi via Unsplash

We’ve just published a list of books you might want to check away this Christmas , yet it goes without saying there are usually thousands of titles to choose from. Check out the excellent World of Books shop on eBay , where you can find 3. 3 mil affordable, pre-loved books, some of which are available for simply £1. 80.

Alternatively, drive to your local bookshop meant for inspiration. While you’re in town, pop into a charity shop and count the number of Haynes manuals around the shelves. Charity shops are where workshop manuals go to die. And you never know what gem of a rare book a person might find…

Play the board game

Dealer's Choice board game
Photo: Gavin Braithwaite-Smith

Back in 2020, Joe Lorio called Dealer’s Choice the particular used-car sales board game you have been missing . He was talking about the American version from the sport, but the rules of the UK edition are usually the same. As Lorio points out, the particular board can be little more than a fancy holder for that cards plus money, using the game following the classic wheeler-dealer approach to used vehicles. In other words, buy low and sell high.

Your author found a copy in a charity shop last Xmas and is pleased to report that his family loved it. The particular twist is that the cars are worth different amounts in order to each player, so just because an MGB is worthless to you, it might be valuable to a fellow player. There are units available upon eBay, with prices ranging from £10 to £20. Hold out there yer hand and do the deal.

Some other car-themed board games to consider include one based on circumnavigating the M25 (yes, really); Turbo ,   which was based on the Sega arcade game; Touring England; Car Capers; plus Motorway, which requires the players to answer questions in line with the Highway Code. It’s more fun than it sounds, honest.

Whatever you’re up to over the particular festive period, have a great Christmas. Here’s to a classic new 12 months.

Read more

Hagerty’s Christmas Video
Stocking fillers: 7 of the best vehicle books we’ll be reading this Christmas
Christmas 2021 sorted: the best gifts designed for car lovers

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