I’m sure most of us classic car enthusiasts are fully aware, that our beloved old cars will regularly require a little more maintenance and tlc than a newer car will. Only a fool wouldn’t acknowledge this. Well, maybe I’m a fool…
Yesterday I was meant to participate in the annual Munkebjerg Hillclimb in Denmark. I also took part last year with my “Green Devil” – a ’72 BMW 2002 – and rather unceremoniously parked up my little racer with a mate of mine after the hillclimb. I did treat her to an oil change first, but that was really it. Then last Saturday – after a year in storage – I checked all fluids, connected the battery and started her up. Everything seemed good, and a 40-odd mile drive further confirmed this. I felt pretty smug about it all, so proceeded to give my Green Devil a good clean and a quick polish. I was well and truly excited and really looking forward to another blast up the hill at Munkebjerg. At 11pm I decided it would be wise to fill her up and check the tyre pressures, so I wouldn’t have to do it early in the morning. It was only a 10-minute roundtrip, but a light smell of hot oil was soon accompanied by a flicker of the yellow oil pressure light!
I immediately killed the ignition and coasted to a halt at the side of the road. The left side of the engine bay was thoroughly covered in oil, however there sadly wasn’t a drop of oil on the dipstick. While further investigation is no doubt required, I believe the issue might be a cracked housing for the spin-on oil filter, which is also where the oil pipes for the oil cooler connect. With no lubrication inside the engine, it was painfully clear that I would not be taking part in the hillclimb early the next morning. It was too late to attempt a fix.
What’s the moral? I’m not totally sure. But it does confirm that our classic cars definitely prefer to be driven and used. Long-term storage won’t do them any good. Not only am I devastated that it lead to me missing out on Munkebjerg Hillclimb, but I’m now also rather nervous about what we’ll find when we open up the engine. Have I caused internal damage? I sure hope not. Regardless, once I have her back on the road again, I’ll make a point of driving her more often, and perhaps even treating her to a little preventive maintenance every so often…ADVERTISEMENTS