Top 10 Must have safety items for classic cars

Essential important safety equipment

Classic vintage cars are a delight to own and drive, but they require special attention when it comes to safety. These cars were not designed with modern safety features in mind, and therefore it is important to equip them with the right safety gear to ensure a safe and enjoyable driving experience. So safety should be the top priority. Leaving home and getting back safely is an underrated blessing.

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Even though these cars were built to last, they may not have the same safety features as modern vehicles. Equipping your classic car with the right safety items can go a long way in ensuring your safety while driving. Here are the top 10 most important safety items you should equip your classic vintage car with. And I am going to explain why these items are the most important when it comes to safety. It’s not about technical changes to the car, such as stronger brakes, better suspension, upgraded electrical systems or a roll cage, which of course increase the safety of the vehicle. It’s more about equipment that should be in the car or things that are easy to upgrade even if you’re not a full-time and professional mechanic.

Top 10 Must have safety items

1. Seat Belt Upgrade

Seat belts are one of the most critical safety items that you should equip your classic car with. Unlike modern cars, most classic and vintage cars either don’t come with factory-installed seat belts or have outdated seat belts. Installing or upgrading seat belts is a crucial safety upgrade that can save your life in the event of an accident. Especially if you take your car to the track, make sure you have decent seat belts. I’ve upgraded my race car with a harness from Schroth, Quality Made in Germany (again!). And I’ve added an emergency rescue escape tool.

2. Tires

Tires are another critical safety item that you should invest in. Old tires can be dry-rotted and prone to blowouts. Easy to spot and easy to replace. Better invest in good tires, replace old ones with new tires that are designed for your car’s weight and size. In extensive tests, I examined tires for various purposes and chose my top 3 tires in each category.

3. Fire Extinguisher

A fire extinguisher is a vital safety item that you should always have in your classic car. Older cars are more prone to electrical fires due to worn-out wiring and old components. A fire extinguisher can help prevent a small fire from turning into a disaster. Had to use a fire extinguisher a few times, I recommend using a H3R Halon fire extinguisher for the best results. I even added a fire extinguisher stick to my race car.

4. First Aid Kit

A first aid kit is another essential safety item that you should have in your classic car. In the event of an accident, a first aid kit can help you tend to minor injuries until help arrives. The market is full, different sizes and colors and equipped differently. I might have some medical education but I asked some emergency doctors for advice from my circle of friends. 4 out of 5 recommended this first aid kit to me.

5. Emergency kit

Very useful is an emergency kit that contains the most important items such as jumper cables, a tow rope, a headlamp, window glass breaker also known as escape tool, tire pressure gauge, an emergency blanket, a reflective warning road safety triangle and a lot more. Only thing that is missing is a roadside reflector vest. After buying the first set, I bought a few more to equip all cars with. It’s like an insurance, it will let you sleep better.

6. Road safety + warning LED flare kit

Be prepared for roadside emergencies with this 4-pack LED road flares that feature a bright red/orange LED light. Was happy to have them once I was helping after an accident has happened behind a curve that cannot be seen.

7. Jump starter + power bank

If you are traveling in remote regions, a jumper cable is sometimes of little use. Then you’ll be glad if you have a jump starter with a power bank with you, which you can also use to charge your phone in an emergency. Especially with vintage cars, I recommend to have one of these in your survival box.

8. Tire pressure monitoring system

If you tend to forget to check your tire pressure – thats what you need. A tire pressure monitoring system can help you keep track of your tire pressure, which can prevent blowouts and other tire-related accidents. This system checks tire pressure and temperature and alarms you if you have a leak, high or low pressure or high or low temperature. Works with solar and usb charging. 

9. GPS tracker

Classic cars are valuable and desirable to thieves, so investing in anti-theft devices is a wise choice. A car alarm, steering wheel lock, or GPS tracker can help deter thieves and protect your investment. A GPS tracker can help locate your car, very valuable in the event that it is stolen. Subscription necessary but totally worth the money. Some insurance companies require a GPS tracker.

10. Dashcam

Speaking of insurance, a dashcam can record footage of an accident, which can be useful for insurance claims and legal purposes. I use a very small dash cam that is never in sight and doesn’t restrict my field of vision. I have had to evaluate images a few times and the quality has always amazed me. In my daily driver, I have a slightly bigger dash cam, but that car will be driven a lot more and quality of the dash cam is more important than size. 

In conclusion, equipping your classic car with the right safety items can help keep you and other road users safe. From seat belts to upgraded brakes and tires, investing in safety upgrades can make your classic car a safer and more enjoyable ride.

Niki Lauda & James Hunt

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