What Do I Carry?

A little while ago I was going to make a post about what I carry in my car’s trunk after I was asked at a previous car show. This got me thinking that I should do my own post and help other future classic car owners. I started to prepare for it but didn’t post until now.

It seems as though great minds think alike as I was beaten to the post by a fellow blogger and friend of mine Dennis from https://customsclassics.wordpress.com/  who had already asked the question from his readers, it’s well worth a look at his diverse and interesting Blog.

I was also very interested in what other people carry with them for emergencies or in their “skeleton” tool kit as I tend to refer to mine as. But, I am very much under the impression that if you need heavy-duty tools then it’s not going to be a quick fix by the side of the road anyway, don’t even try, just get it transported back home and do it properly.

So just what do I carry?


Spanners; this is a Snap-On set of seven imperial spanners in a tool roll. The tool roll also has a standard pair of pliers and a Stanley Knife. The zip section holds a couple of heavy weave cloth rags and some latex gloves.

Small socket & screwdriver set with 1/4″ drive; this is a metric and imperial set of sockets with a ratchet screw driver style handle. These sockets go up to 13mm and 1/2″ respectively. Obviously these small sockets are not for any real load bearing fasteners. The handle also has a set of bits for the screwdriver all housed in a neat case.

Socket set; this is a larger set of metric with a pretty  average ratchet handle for 3/8ths drive. The set also has a set of long-nosed pliers, an adjustable spanner, a pair of mole grips, a pair of wire cutters and a small set of small metric Allen keys. This is not Snap-On quality set like the stuff I have at home, but this is more like the weekend mechanic set that will last some grief, to get you out the tight spot in order to get you home, all held in a nice blow moulded case. Within this case I have added a 14mm spark plug socket, ideally I need a thin-walled version with a universal joint at the top for those awkward 3,4,6 and 7 cylinders. A length of coiled wire could always be useful if you have a break in a wire and some electrical tape.

There is a Snap-On on magnetic torch with multi LEDs or a spot beam, a quick access knife from Craftsman.

As my car has now been upgraded with regards to the wire look I carry a selection of modern blade fuses with a couple of extras for the more loaded fuses.

All these items are held secure in a Mustang tote bag that sits on the left side drop off point in the trunk. Thanks to Adam at Mustang Maniac who gifted that and some other goodies for a rather big birthday milestone! Let’s just leave that one there shall we?

As the car is an automatic you can’t bump start the car, so you need power to start it. So I carry this portable charger that not only starts the car but also charges other devices such as mobiles etc. I reviewed the kit previously, click here for the link. It has to be one of my favorite gadgets to be honest.

I carry a kneeling pad just in case the ground is stony and/or to protect any decent clothing I could be wearing. Can anybody guess what year I purchased this pad?

To give you a clue, I was at that amazing F1 circuit before it all changed, where Nigel Mansell won the race, the legendary Ayrton Senna was second, and the future seven time world champion Michael Schumacher was third. What an amazing race and a perfect podium line up for me. All my heroes on one awesome podium.

I also carry a car seat cover in case I get dirty, that will protect the seats until I get home or changed into something clean again. The cover which rolls up quite small, is a rather nice Limited Edition in blue with white stripes, that was given to me by my friendly Snap-On rep. I had a little bit of spending spree with him after a great haul of Snap-On credit vouchers I had been given for gifts over the year. I also sold a kidney, left arm and left leg for the other stuff I wanted, after all I still need the right leg for the gas, and the right arm for the gear shift so I couldn’t sell those! Only joking – it was both kidneys and my liver! But hey, it was worth it.

The spare wheel has modern scissor jack underneath it and a wheel brace with an extendable handle.


The fluids are very important in old cars and need to be checked regularly, so I carry a litre of Kendal 20 – 50W oil, some lead replacement additive for the fuel and a two litres of plain water for the radiator or the water washers. I make sure that I always check my levels before every single trip I make.

Fuel. If I am going on a long(ish) journey I will take a spare one gallon can of fuel. I didn’t post a pic of it as everybody knows what a plastic fuel can looks like. Mine is a nice new silver one. Although it has fuel in it I won’t leave it in there for a long time, I use it up after a few months then replace it just to make sure the fuel doesn’t go off!


When travelling to car shows I always take a small selection of essential cleaning products. That is a case with the top up cleaners.

If I turn up and the car is dirty I can waterless wash the car very carefully with the Meguiar’s Wash & Wax Anywhere, (review to come). But before I do that I will dust the car down with a genuine California Duster to get all the dust and debris of the car. If the car is clean I will just do a quick mop over with the Meguiar’s Ultimate Detailer, review to come.

Under the hood is the Meguiar’s Engine Dressing (review to come), and the tyres are also catered for with the Meguiar’s Endurance Tire Gel (review to come).

Glass is looked after by the pretty awesome DoDo Juice Clearly Menthal (review here), and I carry a little pot of DoDo Juice Future Armour (review to come) for that extra sealer if required.

The essential part I will never travel without is the Gibbs Brand Lubricant. (Review here). The only thing to remain is the handful of latex gloves to keep clean, not that i use them for detailing the car.

In case it rains I carry a Chemical Guys Wooly Mammoth drying towel (review to come), and a selection of micro fibre cloths for those wipe on and buff off products. At a push they can also be used for cleaning. Last but not least is a roll of blue paper towel.

I’m not sure what could happen, but I try to cater for most eventualities. The micro fibre cloths are for cleaning but could be used for cleaning if I had to of course.

The last non essential thing is my show board. I am in the process of making my own stand for it.

What do you carry, or recommend for me to have in my little skeleton kit, did I miss anything?

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25 thoughts on “What Do I Carry?

    1. I totally agree with you about the scissor jack. Axle stands are the only safe option. I have a couple of sets wouldn’t be a bad idea for those longer trips. Thanks for the tip. 👍

  1. I wrote the same post not too long ago, however, my focus was on tools I carry in the case of a breakdown on the trail. I’ll be adding some tools to my kit after reading this. Thanks for sharing it. This is something that a lot of people never think about until it is too late.

    1. Thanks Tobias. It seems as though this is a popular subject, but not much talked about. The best thing about blogs is that we can all share this information around. 👍☺️

  2. Well done article. Thanks for the shout out, always appreciated. I am going to go back and edit my original article to link back to yours, as I feel that a lot of guys could be helped by reading it.

  3. Hey Mart!!! We are such twinsies! I love all of it… especially the carrying cases. Over here across the pond Triple A will come free of charge if anything mechanical happens. Then it must be transported on flatbed to my dealer receiving the a proper milk and cookies treatment. But we are so much alike in the cleaning department. Meguiar’s all the way. Love love love to use the endurance gel. I keep all of their products in smaller bottles for on-the-go spot cleaning. I use the wash and wax right after its weekly bath. There is one interesting thing that I have in my trunk… I created a questionnaire just in case I run into someone I might like to interview for the blog. Much respect and heart from across the pond! PS Hopefully my blog will be up and running very soon.

    1. Hi ya Debbie, good to hear from you, and lookin forward to you blogging again. As for the on the spot cleaning, that is just the car show top up stuff. Like you say, you just can’t go wrong with the Meguiars range. Nice idea for the questionnaire too. Much hearts and respect from this little ol’ island from the wrong side of the pond.

  4. That’s quite a load of stuff. I keep a set of wrenches, a bag of carpenter and plumbing tools, jumper cables, at least two quarts of oil (rotary engines burn oil), a compressor (no spare tire), first aid kit, rain gear (hardly ever rains but when it does), and a complete studio flash set up (too many instances where I’m asked to do photos because everyone is available, and I need a flash set up) in my trunk. I’m always prepared to photograph car shows.

    1. Thanks Timothy, all that stuff gets bundled up so doesn’t take up to much room. The first aid kit is a good idea for the glove box though. As for the camera I need some of awesome photographic skills on my car. 👍

  5. Nice article,lots of good info.
    I will go for the engine detailer and the Gibbs brand spray.
    How big is your trunk!

    1. Good suggestions Nigel, the red triangle I will add to my list as well as a reflective vest while I am at it, common sense and safety items. I never drink when I am out in the Mustang as I need to concentrate on the nutters around me doing stupid things. The bulbs are a good idea, but they are LED’s all round so they should all be fine, the front headlights are the only bulbs as such, which are standard 7″ sealed beam H4s, spares would mean carrying two one for each side for the directional lenses. I carry a copy of the insurance doc in the glove box, my wallet has everything else, except copious amounts of money. 🤣

  6. I am highly impressed at what you carry in your car. I been to many car shows and I notice guys only carry car cleaning products. I haven’t see the things you mention in your post. If I could share this with my local group this will turn some heads and really have guys stocking up at car shows and rally’s.

    I believe you covered everything here, maybe a cell phone charger is what’s missing or is that a given?

    1. Thanks, by all means share this with your group. The cell charger is covered by my jump starter pack which also has USB ports for charging, there is an adaptor lead that will charge virtually all smart phones and adaptors, it was good shout though. ☺️👍

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