Classic cars are lovely in many ways—especially when you’ve spent time and money caring for that engine and keeping the paint job pristine. Unfortunately, even the most meticulously maintained audio systems on classic cars tend to fall short in terms of sound quality and tech features. Improving classic car audio with a few upgrades can help you enjoy your time behind the wheel while boosting the value of your car. However, as with most classic car projects, there are some tricky nuances to remember before you start.
1. What Have Others Done with Similar Classic Cars?
If you’re not sure where to begin, it can be helpful to get inspiration from other classic car owners—particularly those who may own the same make/model as you and who have upgraded their audio systems in the past. Reach out via online forums and antique/classic car groups, or speak with owners at the next car show you attend. This can be a great way to learn what others have done with cars like yours.
2. What Type of Source Unit Do You Need?
Next, you’ll need to decide precisely what style of source unit you’ll choose for your classic car. You’ll also need to determine how important it is to maintain the original look of your classic car’s audio system. If you don’t want to rip out the existing source unit and replace it with something modern, there are options to consider. For example, you might have a Bluetooth receiver in your dash that can be connected to your phone while remaining practically invisible. Or you might work with a fabricator to create a source unit that mimics the look and feel of the original.
3. Where Will You Install New Speakers?
Generally, if upgrading your source unit, you’ll also want to upgrade your speakers. Otherwise, you’re not going to get the most out of your sound. However, options for installing new speakers can be limited—especially in older cars where there may not be much interior space to work with.
Typically, your best bet is to use your existing factory speaker locations. If these aren’t enough, you may be able to have a factory panel replaced with a custom speaker piece that will allow you to install additional speakers—but you should expect this to cost you.
4. Will You Need to Make Electrical System Upgrades?
Depending on the age of your car and the power requirements for your new audio system, you’ll need to upgrade your car’s electrical components to handle the wattage of your new stereo. This is especially true if you plan on listening to your music at a high volume (or will need to due to a loud motor/exhaust or high road noise). Another option to save money is installing an amplifier, which can boost your sound without making any complex electrical upgrades.
5. Who Will You Trust?
Finally, take your time researching options regarding any fabricators or car audio professionals whom you’ll trust during this project. Ideally, you’ll work with somebody with specific experience working with classic cars and even the same make/model you own. A lot can go wrong with a traditional car audio project, so working with the right people is essential.
Protect Your Classic Car
Much thought and consideration are going into upgrading your car’s audio system to keep that classic look while enjoying the better quality sound and modern features. Fortunately, by taking the time to consider this list, you’ll be ready to find the right audio professional to partner with—and on your way to enjoying your favourite tunes behind the wheel of your classic car.
When it comes to protecting your classic car and getting the peace of mind you need both on and off the road. Wayfarer Insurance Group covers you with insurance options explicitly designed with antique and classic cars in mind. Reach out to start your quote today!