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HomeTips & GuidesClassic Car Anti Theft: Safety Tips To Consider

Classic Car Anti Theft: Safety Tips To Consider

In the article below, we’ve covered several classic car anti-theft strategies. 

Classic vehicles are attention grabbers, and this recognition can be a good and bad thing. 

The good side is that the vehicles’ uniqueness makes you stand out and can provide talking points when interacting with new people. 

On the downside, this uniqueness and attention can make thieves interested in getting their hands on your “baby.” 

Therefore, you should invest in anti-theft strategies to safeguard your vehicle, and here are some classic vehicle anti-theft safety tips to consider.

Table of Contents

Install High-Quality Locks

Most classic vehicles, especially the popular models, have their keys readily available in the market. So a thief can get a set or already have keys for your car.

You have two options to solve this issue. The first is to install newer locks. If you are a true classic car enthusiast, this option is not ideal because these locks can interfere with your vehicle’s authenticity.

The door handle and lock of a red retro classic car

The door handle and lock of a red retro classic car

So the second option is to hire the services of an automotive locksmith to re-pin the original lock and give you another unique key.

Lock the Doors and Keep the Keys Safe

It is always easier to steal unlocked cars because the only task will be to hotwire them. And it is even easier if classic car thieves can access your keys. 

For instance, we don’t recommend driving your most valued cars to events or hotels with valet parking. You never know who will handle your keys.

A car thief tampering with the lock using a screwdriver

A car thief tampering with the lock using a screwdriver

So always drive (and park) the car yourself, and ensure you roll the windows up before exiting the driver’s seat.

Consider Parking Locations

Talking of parking, consider your stopping and parking locations on your way to your destination. Some areas are well known for being risky.

A classic car owner with his green retro whip parked near the sea

A classic car owner with his green retro whip parked near the sea

And if it is at night, always park in well-lit lots so that you can keep an eye out from afar. Thieves will find it more risky to try breaking into the vehicle where everybody can see them.

If you have an open driveway leading to a public street, you should consider parking the car in your garage. Or park your second vehicle behind the classic to lock it in.

Fit an Alarm

Don’t install any alarm system, do a loud one. Some systems can even notify you on your mobile phone if the alarm goes off.

Classic car owners might argue that the noise and flashing lights can damage the aesthetics of your classic, but that is of little concern if you consider the value, time, and money you’ve spent on your project.

A smartphone-controlled vehicle alarm system

A smartphone-controlled vehicle alarm system

And while at it, fix an alarm sticker on the body or window as a visual deterrent to any thief who has set eyes on your classic vehicle.

Install an Immobilizer

Immobilizers did not exist in the era of classic vehicles. But you can fit one with a hidden kill switch. 

The most typical type is the battery power kill switch, which cuts power to the ignition system.

Even if the would-be thieves break in and hotwire the car, it won’t start with the kill switch installed. 

The engine will only crank, but there will be no sparks to fire the cylinders. So install it and don’t reveal its location.

Car keys with an immobilizer on the hood

Car keys with an immobilizer on the hood

Other immobilizer devices cut power to the fuel pump. You can install multiple kill switches because they are cheap. One can cost as low as $10.

Install a GPS Tracker

Let’s consider the worst-case scenario. What if a determined thief gains access and manages to start your vehicle? 

Instead of your baby disappearing into the wind, a GPS tracker can help you follow the thieves and recover it before exchanging hands or getting dismantled for parts or shipping.

GPS vehicle tracking devices can be costly, but they are worth it when you consider the value of your vehicle. 

And most of these tracking units require little to no wiring.

Lock or Remove the Steering Wheel

Some might not know this fact, but steering wheel locking is a more effective theft-prevention feature than an immobilizer. 

And it is a simple built-in measure. Turn the steering wheel one way until you hear a click sound after turning off the vehicle to activate this feature.

An alternative is to get an external steering wheel lock. You can get one that cuts through the steering wheel or locks all of it.

An anti-theft vehicle steering wheel lock

An anti-theft vehicle steering wheel lock

Or you can go hardcore and remove the steering wheel. 

Although it will be another thing to walk around with a steering wheel to your date, the lack of it will make the potential thieves scratch their heads when they see the challenge ahead of them.

Fit in a Manual Transmission

If you are a manual gearbox enthusiast in the US, you would be happy to know that most drivers don’t know how to operate a stick. 

So if you can, install a stick shift in your classic. There is a high probability the would-be thief falls into this category. 

So the most they can do is steal the valuables in your vehicle if they gain access.

Etch Car Identification Details on the Windows

Consider etching the unique car details, such as VIN, to your classic vehicle’s windshield and door windows as additional deterrents to a potential thief. 

The logic behind this action is to make it hard for the thief to sell the car, making it not worth stealing.

Buyers collaborating with the thief will not want the risk of having a traceable VIN on display. 

The perpetrator can change the windshield and car windows, but it would be expensive and can make it easy for cops to trace the purchases related to the vehicle if it is unique in that area.

Hire a Qualified and Trustworthy Shipper

If you want to display your classic vehicle in motor shows or transport it to other locations without driving it, hire a trustworthy and qualified shipper. 

This company should insure the car when in transit, cover it when on the truck, and implement various security features to safeguard your property.

A car carrier trailer on the road

A car carrier trailer on the road

And if the destination is far, ensure the truck or trailer stops at safe, designated points, with the door facing another vehicle, building, or fence.

Hide Your Valuables

Valuable items like cell phones, laptops, jewelry, money, tablets, etc., can attract a would-be thief to try to get in. 

So don’t leave these items on the car seats. Hide them in the glove box, trunk, or somewhere they cannot be seen.

Insure the Vehicle Fully

If all the tips above don’t work and the thief drives away with your car, it would help if you have an insurance policy to protect your investment. 

Even if the vehicle gets stolen, at least you’ll get your money back to invest in another project.

An MG MGA Mark II classic car

An MG MGA Mark II classic car

Wrap Up

Classic cars differ broadly from modern vehicles, especially in the vehicle security area. 

So it is necessary to install an effective classic-car security system in your old vehicle safe. 

And we recommend considering more than one of the tips above. The more, the better. That’s it for now. Have a good one!

I am Lillian Yang, having been a sales manager for over 10 years.

I have received many positive reviews from customers. They have praised our excellent service, on-time delivery, and high-quality cable assemblies.

For your projects, please provide cable assembly files/images/smples, etc., so that I can send you a quotation within 24 hours.

Contact me now and let’s get started on building your wire harnesses!

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