Were The Old Ones Really The Best?! Upgrading Your Classic Car To Be Safe

Picture: The original Benz Patent-Motorwagen

Classic cars look great, don’t they? But for all the cool points you will get in driving a classic Aston Martin Db5 or a Chevy from the 50s, the one thing you need to remember about these cars is that they were built in a different time. And so, their safety stats aren’t good, especially in comparison to the standards of today. If you want to start driving your beauty and really show off to other drivers, but it’s not compliant with the regulations of the road, there are a few basics you need in place…

Seat Belts

Purists will object to putting safety belts in classic models because they didn’t originally have them. You can purchase some shoulder belts that fit old car models now, luckily. But while you can install them yourself, it’s best to get them done professionally. The classic speedsters don’t have as secure a frame as modern cars do, so if you ended up in a crash, you’d be grateful that your seatbelts were installed!

The Tires

Lots of classic models don’t have the secure tires that we have today. Many classics are bias-ply, so they don’t have the stopping functionality, as well as the essentials like steering and traction. When it comes to picking your tires, you are best to go that are compatible with radials, which became standard on some models after 1970. But when it comes to picking the radials, wheels prior to 1975 aren’t too good with them. They can cause the wheels to crack due to the tire pressure. You may need to install brand new wheels that are suitable for radials.

Picking A New Classic

Sometimes the brand is a big issue for people who are looking for a classic car. While the classic Chrysler models look fantastic they can be unsafe, if you look at the newer ones, such as the Chrysler PT Cruiser, it had a bad track record when it came to official crash tests. However, when you’re looking at modern Chrysler dealerships, a lot of the vehicles match the classic style with the new sensibilities.

Choosing The Steering

Lots of modern cars have the standard rack and pinion power steering, and so, the lack of power assist on older cars can feel like a big sticking issue. Your one option, especially if you are looking at an older model, is to replace the entire steering mechanism, although this is costly, but it has benefits in terms of helping you control the vehicle and reducing driver fatigue. The older steering wheels require a lot of strength to swerve sharply. This is one of the big differences in terms of the feeling of a vehicle, especially when you compare older models to its modern-day counterpart.

As far as driving safely with a classic car is concerned, there are instances where it could be a death trap. But, there are ways around upgrading a classic car to be safe, but for those people who need the older model to comply with modern rules, you are looking at a lot of money.