The Cult of Cars, Racing and Everything That Moves You.
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PSA: You Can't Just Strap Shit To Your Roof With One Rope

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I just want to be clear that I’m not against strapping big things to the roofs of little cars to move them. I’ve done it myself. But, if you’re going to do this kind of risky thing, you have to do it right. A huge, wind-catching aluminum box held to a curved roof with no roof rack and just one rope is absolutely not doing anything right.

I’m making this public service announcement because of this tweet from an officer with the D.C. police—not the D.C. that has the Air and Space Museum and, I believe, the residence of America’s Prime Minister, I want to say? This D.C. is Devon-Cornwall, in the U.K. I’m told there is not actually a wall of corn there.


Anyway, just a few days ago, Sgt Olly Tayler stopped this Honda Civic driver carrying what appears to be a small aluminum garden shed on their roof, secured with a solitary rope. That’s it.


No roof rack, no bungee cords, nothing else.

This, of course, is a recipe for trouble, especially with something that will catch wind as effectively as a tall, light-ish metal box.

This person is lucky they were stopped when they were, really.

Once, I had an armchair re-upholstered for my then-girlfriend, and we were taking it home, on a Los Angeles highway, with the chair upright on the roof rack of my Beetle, strapped very securely to the rack with bungee cords.


It was a disaster.

Sure, I strapped the chair very well to the roof rack, but the chair caught so much air it ripped the rack right off the roof of the car and flew off, onto the road.


The rack actually absorbed most of the impact, so the chair was, incredibly, okay.

Until the semi truck hit it.

Use your head when carrying big things on the roof of your car, like I didn’t and this guy didn’t. Be better than us. It’s a pretty low bar.