With most of the mechanics checked, it was time to switch my focus to some less vital, but also necessary jobs. During the previous three editions in which I used this car I always used a pair of slightly adapted thick bath towels as covers for the leather seats. But while searching for the (still not found) spare starter motor, I came across a set of sheepskin seat covers. They actually were ordered for my first Land Rover, but when that was sold I put them away to be reused one day. Which was for the 2007 edition of the 10CR when the covers were fitted to the Bordeaux red DHC. But when that car was dismantled the covers were again stored. And this time forgotten, till a few weeks ago that is, when I stumbled upon them while searching for my spare starter motor. As they still were in good condition and are a perfect fit for the TR7 seats I decided to give them another lease of life. They should add some extra comfort on the long driving days next week;
As most driving will be done during daylight hours I didn't bother with fitting extra driving lights. And as the only driving in the dark for us (teams #56 and #57) will be the motorway section in Switzerland, I decided to also leave the Don-Barrow map-light-magnifier at home. Leaves some extra leg room for the navigator!
Remained the task of checking the emergency tool & spares kit. This was greatly helped by a list I stumbled upon while preparing the folder for the road book, the hotel reservations etc. needed for this trip. I compiled this list two years ago for a friend who participated for the first time. So this one too wasn't very time consuming.
The tools I carry around are only very basic, a few spanners, screwdrivers, small socket set and a few special tools. As for the spares, they too are limited to the usual things that might fail, like water hose repair tape, switches (headlights, brake light, oil pressure), radiator cap and thermostat to name a few. And a few cans with various consumable liquids. I hope I won't need it!
Two other vital bits to "carry" around on this trip are the Autobahn vignettes for Switzerland and Austria. Together with other tolls for some of the mountain passes, and a planned ferry crossing, this trip will probably cost well over € 100,- on toll tickets alone. Add fuel bills to the count ...
And finally it was time to say farewell to my old driving gloves, and replace them with a new pair. I bought them when the restoration of the DHC was (nearly) finished in 2010. And as is clear from the picture below, they have seen a fair amount of action, including three 10 Countries Runs, two Border Raider's, two Taith o Amgylch Cymru, several International Auto Ecosse's and two Alpine trips. They indeed were value for money!
And to finish the preparations I took the car for a short 50 mile drive to see if everything behaved as it should, and to fill the fuel tank. Found nothing wrong!. So of to a hotel north of Lille tomorrow afternoon!