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How Do You Turn a Classic Car into a Daily Driver?

I think we’ve all dreamed of driving a classic car on the open road. While most collectors prefer to restore classic cars to their original condition for collections and shows, it’s not unusual for classic car owners to fix them up for daily driving. However, it takes more than a simple tune-up to make a classic car roadworthy. So, what do you need to do to turn your classic car into a daily driver? 

Choose the Right Car

Not every classic car is suitable for daily driving, either because of the car itself or because of state or insurance restrictions. Before you begin the work of modifying your classic car, make sure it will meet vehicle requirements for your state and that you can get proper insurance. You should also have a professional look over the vehicle to ensure you can make the proper modifications and receive regular service later. 

Prepare for Modern Upgrades

Once you know your classic car can be modified for daily road use, you’ll need to plan the maintenance and upgrades. Some modifications are obvious – many older vehicles don’t have power steering or air conditioning, for example. However, because safety standards have changed drastically over the decades, the list of upgrades for classic cars is typically much larger. 

While specific upgrades will depend on your specific vehicle and its age, some of the most common things you’ll need to look at include, 

  • Disc brakes – Many older vehicles used drum brakes, so you’ll want to upgrade at least your front brakes to modern disc brakes (which will require an overhaul of the brake system). 
  • Power Steering – Power steering is a modern marvel of driving and one you want to ensure your modified classic has. 
  • Electrical systems – Most likely, you’ll need to upgrade your alternator and change the battery for your vehicle. You’ll also want to check the overall electrical system to ensure you don’t have loose or corroded wiring. 
  • Suspension upgrades – You may need to change out and upgrade your shocks, bushings, and other parts of the suspension system. 
  • Windshield Wipers – Yes … the wipers. Depending on the age of the vehicle, you may not have electric wipers. 
  • Transmission – Overhauling your transmission and ensuring you have overdrive can be costly, but you’ll be rewarded with better gas mileage and less engine wear, so it’s a good investment. 
  • Lighting – Step up your headlights to halogen headlights and make sure to upgrade rear lights to LEDs. It will make for safer night driving and will be among the least expensive of the upgrades you make to your vehicle. 

Upgrading your classic car is a project, but one you’ll love to take on. Driving a classic car gives you a connection to history and just stands out on the road. Contact us today if you’re looking to upgrade your classic car to a daily driver. We’ll help get you on the road.  

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