5 Modern Upgrades to Make Your Classic Car Everyday Roadworthy

classic carSome people like to take their classic car out for a spin once in a while, and only in certain driving and weather conditions — which is perfectly fine. The rest of the time, their glorious vehicle lives in a garage or out on the driveway, where it can be suitably admired like the work of art it is.

But there are also some classic car owners who are looking for both prestige and practicality. That is, they want to drive their vehicle to the mall, the grocery story, the softball game (watch out for foul balls!), and even to work.

If you’re aiming to make your classic car everyday roadworthy, here are five upgrades that should be on your to-do list:

1. Electronic Ignition

There’s a good chance — like we’re talking 95% here — that your classic car has a points ignition system, which is designed to switch the coil on/off at the right times. However, over the years the contact points deteriorate. This leads to all kinds of starting and performance problems. These issues aren’t just inconvenient and costly, but also unsafe.

It’s wise to upgrade to an electronic ignition. It will give you the same reliable starting and performance as any vehicle rolling off the assembly line today. What’s more, while your vehicle’s make and model will determine the exact cost, it’s typically an affordable and fast job.

2. Disc Brakes

Another safe bet is that your classic car has drum brakes (either in the rear, or both the front and rear). The nice thing about drum brakes is that they provide plenty of surface to enhance stopping power. You can see this in action in some old movies: like when a large vehicle traveling at a fast speed comes to a rapid halt. That’s the good news.

The bad news is that drum brakes wear out quickly and need constant cleaning and adjustments. As such, it’s a good idea to upgrade to disc brakes. They’re easy to find, affordable to install, and much safer in the long run.

3. Power Steering

While you might be proud that you can navigate your classic car without the assistance of power steering, know that even the best drivers can run into trouble in tight spaces. It can prove frustrating – if not downright dangerous – to try and drive through crowded downtown streets or cluttered suburban mall parking lots without power steering. If you’ve driven through one recently, you know it’s more like the “Wild, Wild West,” than a peaceful place for shopping.

Upgrading to power steering is smart and safe. And rest assured, you’re not admitting defeat at the hands of (so-called) innovation by getting it. In fact, you’ll likely have even more fun when doing a U-turn doesn’t feel like a workout at the gym.

4. Air Conditioning

Unless you want to shed a few pounds from sweating while you drive in the summer, upgrading your classic car with modern air conditioning is a good idea. And we emphasize modern because your vehicle may indeed have what was once considered state-of-the-art AC, but is now little more than a fan that causes massive engine drag. Switching to something new will keep you cool, and give your engine a welcome break.

5. Electric Engine Fan

Mechanical fans take their on/off cues from how fast the motor is spinning. So in a traffic jam when the engine needs the most cooling, the fan takes a time-out!

Upgrading to an electric engine fan is a must — but don’t worry, it’s a fast and inexpensive project. Yes, you still may get stuck in traffic. But no, your engine won’t turn into a convection oven when that happens.

Learn More

To connect with our team of experts for recommendations and advice on how to make your classic car everyday roadworthy — inside and out — contact us toll free at 1-844-652-1966 today, or email me directly at dale@precisioncarrestoration.com. We love talking about restoring classic cars!