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What is the oldest vehicle you have driven to the alps in?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
What is the oldest, highest mileage vehicle you have ever attempted to drive from the UK to the Alps?

I am interested as I may try in a very old van with £300k on the odometer.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I drove my 1987 Land Rover 110 ( year before it was called a Defender ) out here 14 years ago.
It is now registered on black French plates as a vintage car, and gets a lot of use every winter.
Often use it to winch much newer vehicles out of snowdrifts.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Quote:

£300k on the odometer

That's a lot of cash to leave on the dash Wink

Mine's about 15 years old I think, with about 150k km on the clock. Driven to the alps in summer and winter lots.
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17 year old peugeot diesel estate, 180,000, miles that is not them wimpy km things, on the clock, couple of return trips a year, gets left on someones driveway or in airport car park between trips. Did have one breakdown we could not fix, snapped spring, but the labour rates in peugeot dealers are so much less than the UK I was not really that upset. Only thing I would say is, but you probably already know this, if it's diesel and it struggles to start at all, or is down on compression it will struggle a lot more at altitude and -20c. But if you are not too attached to it just feed it some easystart to give it the initial bang.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
My friend uses his 1963 Bentley.

The annual Alps trip is a bit of a cop-out for that car...he has driven it to and from Beijing!
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15 year old Audi with 220,000miles on it no worries. Regularly drive minibuses with way over 300k miles on them for work at home. If it starts and goes reliably at home don't worry about it - maybe just check your glowplugs are OK as this only shows up when it is cold.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
We have driven our 1960 MGA to Austria, Italy , Slovenia and Croatia the last 4 years.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
We drove a 25 year old VW Camper Van down through the Alps to Turkey and back in 1996, 9000 mile round trip. Engine seized in Belgium after a long run on a motorway, was fine after it cooled down. Not sure what the mileage was. snowHead


Last edited by After all it is free Go on u know u want to! on Wed 7-11-18 18:24; edited 1 time in total
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A friend has a Vauxhall Calibra Turbo 4x4 with over 500000 miles on the clock. He lives in Val d'Isere but drives it a fair distance in France.

Rancho's Rancho must be pretty old too.
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rjs wrote:


Rancho's Rancho must be pretty old too.


Last ones were made in 84. The design team quit after Peugeot took over, decamped to Renault and thought up the Espace. (Some useless information there Laughing )
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
A 1971 BSA A65
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@johnE, That's on, not in!
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
1999 Porsche 911 with 125K miles. Worse part is no cruise control.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Jonny996 wrote:
1999 Porsche 911 with 125K miles. Worse part is no cruise control.


The sole peril of buying an early car before fly by wire!

I think mine would be the first time I drove, five up in a twenty year old Triumph 2.5 estate. Driving up to Alpe D'Huez with the windows open and heater on full to try and keep it cool - happy memories.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
16 year old bmw e39, performed like a champ!
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
TurdyMcFlude regularly makes a summer trip to Italy via the Alps in his 1938 MG TA
Albeit with a slightly newer engine from a Midget, and a Ford Sierra 5 speed gearbox
, not so sure he'd be keen to try it in winter though.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
O/H's father has done it in twice from the UK (February) in a 1960's Morgan 4/4 Supersports.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
1992 405, the partially clogged radiator only became apparent when we started to climb the mountain on heavily snowy roads with chains on, the heater motor also failed so the only way to keep cool was to stop at every opportunity (not enough!) and pack the engine with snow, the doors froze open at a fuel stop and mice stowed away in the firewood and chewed the seats, this was after 500 miles on sheet ice roads, oh yea, we almost got hit by a snow plough too Shocked Shocked Shocked
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I954 Citroen Big 6 the British built 'traction avant' It was just after a major restoration including an engine rebuild with hand scraped white metal bearings on the crankshaft. We ran it in on the way to the alps. It never missed a beat.

I have an abiding memory of hitting really cold conditions around Geneva and finishing of the trip to Avoriaz wearing all our ski gear. It was a fabulous bit of very advanced French engineering design [ circa 1933 ] but the heater was not up to the alps.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
1989 Mercedes w201 (190E) about 4 years ago (so 25 years old at the time) drove it to les carroz, roof box on the roof, got a bit warm and was rather slow going up the hill to les carroz, apart from that it was superb, if a little slow as I didn't really want to push it. Only just sold it to a collector as it was very original, didn't really want to but it needed to live in the garage and don't have the room now.
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This is an interesting thread..
1961 VW Beatle RHD Trip was in 1973
1200cc of Horizontally opposed Nazi power
6 Volt Toc H dazzlers.
The heater tubes were exhausted.
Always easy to start with that 6 Volt Battery .... just a few people pushing on the ice.
The windscreen washers, which worked of compressed air from the spare wheel froze.
We had to resort to squirting from a fairy liquid bottle onto the screen.
Destination Damüls.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
A very battered minibus that was probably 15 years old. Normally used for driving people from one side of a field to the other (taking skydivers to aeroplane loading point).

Unsurprisingly it broke down in the middle of nowhere on the way home.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Toyota avensis estate, 2.2 L diesel, over 200k miles on the clock at the time, several trips to the alps and 9 years old when last driven to the alps and Landgraff.

Love it, the car owes me nothing and still going great with 215k on it
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Teletart wrote:
We have driven our 1960 MGA to Austria, Italy , Slovenia and Croatia the last 4 years.


Blimey -- where do you put your skis !!
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1990 Diesel VW Golf GTD with mahooosive intercooler. Weirdly as fast as a GTI but laid down a particulate smokescreen if you tried to floor it. One of the first mk2 diesels in the uk. Odometer just kept going round and round and the car just went along tick tick tick. With winters on we did many high villages in 30cms of fresh, no chains - Arolla, Zinal, Nendaz, les Rosiers at Anzere. Just tick tick tick. And then 2002 back through France on deep fresh at night, that winter when the whole of France got a thick blanket. It got to the point where I was doing 70 mph on deep fresh snow, no other cars moving anywhere. Extraordinary car.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Personal car 1987 Citroen BX diesel. But that was in mid 90's so probably doesn't count. Occasionally I drive a friends 1967 Landrover. Current car is a 1997 Delica that makes the annual pilgrimage to the UK for MOT.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
I drove a 2CV out to the Alps in 1995 - was probably 15 years old. Worked like a dream, although I was nervous as hell driving it up Alpe d'Huez in wet sleet on the first day.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
18 year old ford galaxy about to head out for its second season. As it is an OAP now (and I really don’t want to dig out another car ever again!) I will be treating it to indoor parking this year!
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Every year I drive my 2001 Audi S4 to Austria, currently 167000 miles on the clock. Not the oldest on here or highest mileage but still not bad.

The worst part is trying to get European Breakdown cover for a reasonable price. If anyone has found a good solution to this please post here.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Volvo P1800S through petit St. Bernard pass to Florence and Venice .... a while ago now but planning a repeat for cars 50th birthday next year !
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@jw83113, My Dad used ADAC for his ancient Mercedes travels around Europe
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Not the Alps but drove to the Cairngorms in my Dad's 1930 green label. Never known cold like it.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@legue, thanks for the info. I have heard other people mention ADAC too but also that they won't accept customers from the UK any longer. I'll definitely give them a try next time and see if they will provide cover.
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@jw83113, we've a 2000yr Audi that's been out for ski trip last two season.

It's part of insurance interpretation that up to about 15yrs old they seem to be classified as "current " and after 20yrs they seem to be "classic/vintage" whatever, all of which fall into some type of classification that offers reasonable cover. It's that bit in between they seem to fall through the gaps.

We took breakdown cover through normal insurance broker that we had the car with initially but as it was mid term when we bought breakdown they seemed suspicious of motives in buying cover for an old car. We've since let that annual policy run on renewal now as the cost was reasonable. Main insurance has moved though. You wouldn't think you'd have to jump through hoops but no record of non claims seem to exist, so you have no representation of your risk.

Another route of interest maybe vwaudiforum for all the cars of the group, insurers advertising on there have more specific interest in you as a customer, along with experience of the poster's in recommending for you from their experiences.
Like this one, it's a good forum for its specific focus.

Hope that helps.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
When i bought my landy out here it was 18, I struggled to get breakdown cover, but the AA call centre guy was amazing.
They did Annual cover for old vehicles, but not short term ( I needed it for 3-4 days until I got the car French-registered, on French plates and put on French insurance, which includes breakdown).
The guy explained that the annual policy was covered by distance selling regulations, which allow a 14 day cooling off period.
He told me to take it out the day before I left, and if I did not use it, to phone up and cancel it within the 14 days, just saying I'd changed my mind.
I cancelled it after 5 days - and was refunded in full.
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4000 miles, 4 months old with brand new winter tyres, and a set of chains. I am risk averse snowHead
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X5 4.8iS just turned 100k Miles 2005 vintage. Has survived 8 ski trips to Samoens. It also tows the race car to Spa and the Nurburgring twice a year. Has not missed a beat.

Also remember buying a 120k kilometres (80k miles) Toyota Hi-Lux unseen on eBay for £1,023, collecting it from Winchester, coming back to Greenwich, loading the gear and three mates and driving down to Ischgl non-stop. No issues. Did that trip three times. Also moved a mate back from Geneva to London with it. Towed our wakeboarding boat on the lower reaches of the Thames with it too. Sold it to a bunch of Bulgarians via eBay for £1200 four years later. Only issue - had to replace the diesel pump with a refurbished unit for £250...
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