What will come as absolutely no surprise to anyone, our mk2 restoration has resulted in a car that’s beautiful, period-correct, nearly-original in terms of mechanical reliability, and yet still not in the top 1,000 list of ideal road trip vehicles. With our annual 2,000-mile fall road trip to H2o looming, we turned to the Volkswagen Accessories catalog for what vintage car owners will agree are must-have options.

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Because we upgraded our stopping power with larger rotors & calipers, the factory original wheels—and, therefore, the factory spare tire—will no longer clear the brakes. And since an extra custom-built BBS RS isn’t in the budget, we decided that the VW Accessory Air Compressor (combined with an off-the-shelf tire plug kit) is by far the best option to have in case the GTI gets a flat on the road. About 6” x 5” x 2” in size, it sits just fine at the bottom of our the now-superfluous spare tire well.

 

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Next to the Air Compressor (it turns out that removing a 13” OE spare wheel leaves a convenient, and pretty decent-sized storage bin) we fitted the VW Accessory Roadside Assistance Kit. With contents that include a warning triangle, jumper cables, LED flashlight, a multi-tool, and—most importantly—a bag of cable ties, it should cover just about anything that the highways can throw at us. No bar of soap to wash our mouths out with, after we will invariably bust open some knuckles while under the hood, but it does include a few bandages.

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If those few bandages turn out to be insufficient, the last bit of “just in case” gear we were able to fit is the First Aid Kit. Besides the typical packet of bandages and sterile wipes, it also includes larger gauze wraps and tapes—and even a sling—for when we really injure ourselves on the road. And, just like the Roadside Assistance Kit, the carrying case is backed in Velcro. So if your spare tire well is taken up with a Fender Subwoofer (or, you know—an actual spare tire), the kits can fit right into the corners of the trunk, and stay securely attached to the carpeting.

All of these accessories can be found at  www.parts.vw.com  or through your local dealer parts counter.