Classic cars are fun to drive. The classics are a link to the past with character and history, but most were not built to be as safe as modern cars. Airbags weren’t a thing, and seatbelts were not a standard part of the car. To keep yourself and your passengers safe in a classic car, there are some safety measures you should take.
Seatbelts Are Important
Did you know that seatbelts weren’t standardized until after 1968? That means if you own a classic car that is older than 1968, three-point seatbelts are probably not installed. If your vehicle doesn’t have seatbelts, you can install them yourself pretty easily.
You’ll find tutorials on YouTube to help you get it installed with a little bit of work, but if you’re not comfortable, you can also look for a professional that can help you install a proper seatbelt. Before anything else, if you don’t have seatbelts, this needs to be your first safety improvement for your classic car.
As a tip, if you don’t have a professional near you that will take care of your classic car locally, you can always opt to ship it with a car shipping company. They’re safe, efficient, and can get your car to where it needs to be to get your safety upgrades taken care of quickly.
Modernize the Brakes
Back in the day, cars used drum brakes. Most classic cars still have these installed, but they’re not as effective as modern brake systems. You need to upgrade your brakes to reflect modern braking technology for a car that you want to use as a daily driver.
You can do the brakes yourself because they’re not that complicated when you’re talking about a classic car. You will need to plan for a day or two to get it done if you’re inexperienced. Look into the tools you might need, and you might be able to rent or borrow tools, too.
If you are uncomfortable with doing this yourself, you need to contact a professional for help. Brakes are something you don’t want to mess up or install incorrectly. Thankfully, there are plenty of well-versed professionals in classic car upgrades, so a quick Google search should turn up several different options for you.
The Ignition System
Ignition systems in classic cars are notoriously easy to manipulate for car thieves. Think about your modern vehicles. They have key fobs with alarm systems and various other security features. In movies with classic cars, you’ve probably even seen them get started with something as simple as a screwdriver.
The truth is that older key and ignition systems are just that easy to turn and start the classic car’s engine. If you want to keep your vehicle safe, you need to replace the entire ignition system. You can keep the keys for nostalgia’s sake, but upgrading the system is better for you and your car.
When working with electrical systems in classic cars, you may want to seek out a professional instead of doing this modification independently. Depending on your classic, the system may be simple, or it may be a little more complicated. While sometimes you may be able to do light work on your own, it’s always better to seek out a pro for this type of change.
Look at the Headlights
Headlights on cars from yesteryear were built entirely differently. They are dimmer than more modern counterparts like halogen or LEDs that are around today. While classic headlights are generally easy to find through any auto part store, if you want to improve your field of visibility, you want to upgrade your headlights.
Something else to think about is whether this classic car is going to be a daily driver. If it is, you’re going to encounter rain, darkness, fog, and other things that reduce your visibility while driving. Having strong headlights results in people seeing your car on the road even under challenging conditions, and you’ll feel safer driving knowing you can see further ahead, too.
Modifying the headlights isn’t difficult, either. You can do it yourself after watching a tutorial. Older cars were much less complicated than today’s modern cars, so most things are easy for you to do on your own. At the same time, if you’re not sure or lack the confidence to DIY it, always reach out to an experienced professional.
A Few Last Words on Safety Tips for Classic Cars
Before making any other adjustments, always do the safety belts first, as they are the most critical safety modification to make. Your second priority should be getting the brakes replaced with a more modern braking system. Once those things are done, you’ll want to focus on getting the ignition system changed to protect your car, along with the headlights to improve overall visibility. After you get everything taken care of, you will be ready to hit the road in your classic car with all the safety features you need to keep you and your passengers safe.