There’s nothing quite like a car that simply oozes nostalgia. That sense of character that’s unique to days gone by is why so many collector car owners love their vintage auto so much.
But sometimes, you simply want the air conditioning to actually cool you off. Perhaps you’d prefer disc brakes that add safety and longevity to your ride. Or maybe you simply miss the ease of power steering.
While of course you don’t want to modernize every inch of your collector car, certain upgrades can really up the convenience, comfort and safety factors…especially if you use your car as a daily driver. Here are a few modern upgrades for your classic car that’ll make your next drive even more enjoyable without overriding your car’s style.
If your classic car is more than 30 years old, it likely has drum brakes. You may have two on the back, or on all four wheels.
Decades ago, factory-line tires were narrower, so extreme clamping force just didn’t make sense. Drum brakes also allow for quick stopping. But they also wear out quickly and require lots of maintenance.
Plus, when tires are updated, that extra braking ability becomes a must-have. Replacing the drum brakes with a disc brake kit is one of those classic car upgrades that increases safety and decreases maintenance needs.
As anyone who’s ever driven a pre-1951 car can attest, driving without power steering can sometimes feel like a chore. Let’s face it: Cranking that wheel is a lot of work! Whether you’re crushing through narrow streets, trying to parallel park, or attempting to make sharp turns, there are times when power steering just makes driving easier and more fun.
But classic car upgrades to power steering aren’t just for convenience. Safety is key, and power steering allows you to manoeuvre quickly and change direction when you need it. Power steering also cuts fuel consumption, helping you save a little at the pump.
Some modern upgrades for your classic car are all about comfort. Air conditioning can make any summer drive better. If you live in a region with hot summers, air conditioning is a must.
Many vintage air conditioning systems have long lost what little chilling power they once had. Some classic cars don’t have air conditioning at all.
Adding an air conditioner involves the following components, often available in a kit specifically made for installation in classic cars:
- Expansion valve
Installing an air conditioner in your classic car represents an investment, but it’s well worth it. After all, if you increase comfort levels, you’ll be more likely to want to drive your car.
Electronic ignition systems may have been around since the mid-1970s, but most pre-1980s cars had points ignition. This type of system worked by turning ignition coils off and on. The points wore down with use, leading to ignition problems and rough idling.
In contrast, electronic ignition systems have fewer moving parts… and that means fewer parts to fail, repair and replace. Electronic ignitions offer stronger, more efficient sparks, without any points to foul spark plugs. You’ll enjoy better fuel economy and smoother idling, too.
When you’re considering modern upgrades, keep comfort, convenience and safety in mind. Best of all, classic car upgrades can make your car more enjoyable to drive while still maintaining the unique style and character that you love.