Unfortunately, we live in a world where men are willing to steal cars from other men. John Travolta said it best as Vincent Vega in Pulp Fiction: You don’t [mess] with another man’s vehicle. Unfortunately, that’s not the way of the world, and although most of us think stealing a car is a despicable thing to do, all of the ideology in the world can’t prevent your car from being stolen. Luckily, there are plenty of things you can do to keep your car safe and secure:
What Can You Do?
Even if your classic car’s locks still function like the day it came off the assembly line, they are still exploitable and since vintage cars didn’t come with built in alarm systems, thieves are more than capable of quickly bypassing a lock undetected. Unless you plan on installing an expensive security system, along with ugly decals that warn potential thieves the alarm is present, you run the risk of theft. So, how can you protect your beloved investment?
Obviously, the best thing to do is keep your car completely out of sight. Keeping your vintage car locked in a well secured garage is great, if you have that luxury. Make sure that any doors into the garage are well secured, and that the exterior is well lit to deter criminals. A surveillance system is great, not only can the sight of video cameras prevent criminal activity, but they can also help bring the culprit to justice in the unfortunate event of a theft. Of course, these systems can be pricey, but depending on how much you’ve invested, it might be worth it. Additionally, if your classic car is very valuable, it may help reduce your insurance costs if you can prove the car is very well secured.
If you’re on more of a budget, there are some more wallet friendly steps you can take. For example, you can pick up “beware of dog” signs at any local hardware store for just a few dollars. This won’t deter all criminals, but it may prevent teenaged vandals and the like from taking a look inside the garage to begin with.
If you have to leave your car unattended on the side of a road, due to breakdown or any other reason, make sure you get back to the vehicle as soon as possible. Even if a car thief doesn’t tow it away, law enforcement may decide to do so if they deem it a hazard to others. If you’re going to leave the car unattended on the road, it’s probably a good idea to contact the police and at least let them know of your plans so they don’t tow it. Apart from towing fees, the town company most likely won’t take the same precautions to move the vehicle as you would.
Car Alarms and Security
We mentioned security systems, and it certainly is a great idea to install one in your classic car. Be aware, however, that many vintage cars don’t use the standard 12-volt batteries of today’s vehicles, and some modifications will probably be required. Make sure to find out the polarity of your car to avoid damaging the battery or anything else.
Another tip we sometimes recommend is to make the car immobile when you’re not using it. On some older cars, you can literally remove the rotor arm. Most thieves probably don’t carry those around with them. Ignition switch can be wired with a hidden kill switch as well. Of course, these tactics can be great at preventing theft, but if the thief is experienced and motivated enough, this probably won’t stop them completely. The best course of action is to combine as many as these tips as possible to hedge your bets so to speak.
In recent years, some companies have been making products that send an electric shock through the vehicle, giving a bit of a shock to the potential thief. Until the legality of these systems gets sorted out in the courts, we don’t recommend these. It’s not worth going to jail to protect your car, and believe it or not, under current legislation, you may be liable for electrocuting someone trying to steal your car. What a country, huh?
There are also a number of apps being released lately that can help you locate your car in the even that it is stolen. Most of these integrate a small box with GPS technology, which transmits data to your smartphone. You can set the app up to alert you if the car leaves your property, and track its route. An example is the UbiSafe box and App for android. Don’t take our word for it; do some research and find the best product for your device and situation. Read reviews on the app and products before deciding what will work best for your needs.
It’s every classic car owner’s worst nightmare to imagine their beloved automobile is stolen, but if you take the right precautions you can really decrease the chances of it happening to you!