Now let’s talk about vehicle preparation and rally equipment. By now you have already selected your car for the rally. Make sure that your vehicle has all the required equipment as described in the regulations section IX.B. Also obtain all the miscellaneous equipment. Now that your vehicle meets all the requirements, the object is to make it as reliable as possible. The last thing you need on a rally is a mechanical breakdown. If your vehicle has recently been restored or modified or has not been driven in a long time, put some miles on it. My rule of thumb is to drive the car for at least the number of miles equal to one half of the rally you plan to enter. In the case of my 1936 Packard which has recently received an overhaul of most of the mechanical bits, my goal is to drive it 500 miles before loading it on the trailer for the trip to Chattanooga.
There are only 3 basic rally instruments, a speedometer, a clock and a stopwatch. You can do the rally with the vehicles stock speedometer but you will be much happier with a special speedometer that can be calibrated. Most Great Racers use a Timewise Speedometer. Rex Gardner at VCRA (vintagecarrally.com) has a few of these for sale.
My preference for a clock is one that has a continuous moving second hand. I number the seconds around the outside of the dial so that it is very easy to note exact seconds with only a glance at the clock.
Some racers attach their stop watch to the clipboard for their instructions. My navigator (wife Carolyn) and most racers prefer to have the stop watch hung around their neck and continuously in their hand so that they can instantly start/stop it. We also prefer to use the accuracy of the stop watch for “time of day” starts during the rally. This eliminates the possible error of reading the minute hand wrong on the analog clock.
As always, refer to the regulations to make sure that your equipment is in compliance.
There are as many “lapboards” types as there are rally teams. We prefer to mount the analog clock on the center of the dash where both the driver and the navigator can use it. Our lapboard has a three ring holder for the rally instructions, a clear plastic surface that we can put calibration charts under, a cup to hold pens and pencils and a clip for other notes, etc. Our 3 ring attachment allows the instruction sheets to be flipped easily. The drawback is that we have to bring along a 3 hole punch.