Who Says You Can’t Teach An Old Car New Tricks?

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Cars often get compared to people. Like people, they wear out over time, and eventually they die. But, in truth, cars are more like dogs. They only live for about fifteen years at the most, and if you happen to have a racing thoroughbred, you’re lucky if you get ten.

But there’s one crucial difference between cars and organisms based on a biological substrate: cars can be fixed up. Fixed up good!

We’d all like to own a dream car. But life and finances often get in the way of that. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make the most of what you’ve got parked on your driveway already. Who says you can’t teach an old car new tricks?

Sort Out The Aesthetics

Older cars that have been restored and modified often take on a new lease of life. Retro cars look so different from cars today that they actually make a rather impressive statement when you take them out on the road.

If you don’t believe me, think back to the 1990s when you used to see vintage cars on the road. Everybody turned their heads to get a better look as they drove along, simply because they were so striking.

The same is true of older cars, especially those that have had a bit of a makeover. The first thing you’re going to want to sort out is the paint work. Sites like ReliantFinishingSystems.com suggest that car owners get older vehicles powder coated. Rusting rims and peeling paint is a big no-no and makes a car look dated. If you’re going for a new paint job, it’s often a nice idea to paint an older car in a striking color. Many owners of Ford Cosworths have ditched the plain white that was popular back in the 1980s and have instead chosen to go with electric blue, rather like the color frequently sported by the ultra-modern BMW i8. Of course, you can also make other modifications to the paint job, like including racing stripes or other decals. But it’s important to make sure that these additions actually suit the car itself. Racing stripes will look terrible on an old Jaguar.

The next change you could make is to swap out the old incandescent light bulbs. You know – the ones that burn out every winter, just when you need them the most. Most modern cars these days come with LED lights that are designed to outlive the vehicle itself and rarely if ever, need replacing. LED lights produce a whiter, more beautiful beam, helping you see at night and making your car look better.

You might also want to put a spoiler on the back. Spoilers have come a long way over the last few years. The best spoilers aren’t made from metal. They’re made from fiberglass or a special type of plastic and are designed to suit the design language of your vehicle. If you’ve got an old hatchback, a spoiler can be a great addition. However, if you’re looking to upgrade an old GT, like an SL, be very careful with your choice. GTs and spoilers have a long history of making the other look terrible.

Install A Smaller Steering Wheel

That’s enough about the outside of the car. Sure, it’s what the rest of the world sees, but very little you do to the car’s exterior aesthetics will affect the driving experience, once you’re sat in the cockpit. One thing that will change your experience, however, is swapping out the steering wheel for something smaller.

Professional racing drivers use smaller steering wheels because it enables them to move the car more precisely. Smaller steering wheels make cars easier to steer, especially if you happen to live in an area with lots of small country lanes. A smaller steering wheel will make your older car feel nimbler and immediately more exciting. It’ll be more responsive, and you’ll be able to switch direction more easily. No more palming the steering wheel around and around. A quick flick of the wrist will do the trick.

Grab A Shorter Stick

If your car is a manual, then you might want to grab a shorter stick. Like a smaller steering wheel, a shorter stick helps to make a car feel more responsive according to uk.askmen.com. With larger sticks, you’re forever waiting for the gear to change and for the stick to “clunk” into the right position.

If you’ve not got the money to pay for somebody to install a new stick, you can do it yourself. Grab a saw and cut off part of the gear stick you don’t want. Then take the knob and screw it back onto the newly fashioned gear stick stub and off you go.

Sports Belts

With a new steering wheel and gear stick, your car is going to feel a lot more nimble. If you’re going to be throwing your car hard into corners, it might be worth investing in sports belts. Sports belts, unlike regular belts, helps to secure your body and are specifically designed for people who want to drive at high speeds. If you plan on taking your souped-up car to a race day, sports belts are a must.

Low Profile Tyres

If you’re going to be cornering at speed, it’s a good idea to get low profile tyres. Not only are they usually made from grippier compounds, but they also help to keep the car’s center of gravity close to the road. What’s more, low profile tyres are also believed to help with a car’s acceleration and fuel consumption, which is good news if you’re going to be ragging it.

A Nitrous Oxide System

Nitrous oxide sounds like something out of the Fast And The Furious movies. And that’s because it is. But it’s not just a movie prop: it’s something that you can get installed on your actual car. Nitrous oxide helps to increase the energy availability in the car’s engine, allowing it to develop more horsepower on command. A nitrous oxide system is a great idea for cars which have lost a lot of horsepower since the left the factory. Does your car need a boost?