Wednesday July 22, 2015
There is no denying it, even the diehard classic car lover will admit that modern cars do offer significant benefits in the technology department, from air conditioning to rust free panels. Reliability can also be better compared to many of the cherished classics. Due to this, there is an increasing number of companies offering to upgrade and modernise your classic to keep up with their 21st century equivalents.
Purists may not like this approach, which is understandable, as they prefer their classic car to stay true to when it rolled off the production line all those years ago. However, many also like the fact that they could have an MG B but with power steering, disc brakes, electronic ignition and a touchscreen to control their sat-nav, music and mobile phone.
The simple fact is that there is a staggering amount of classic cars that could benefit hugely from a 21st century makeover. I don’t think we can expect the new smart phone type display as seen in the new Audi TT to appear in an early 1970s Morris Minor, however if modernising a classic, for safety and reliability, is what it takes to keep more classic cars from visiting the great scrap heap in the sky, then it can only be a good thing. Certain classics were badly designed and subtle improvements could enhance them but where do you draw the line? Would you really change anything on a Jaguar E-Type, for example, or is it simply down to personal preference?
You never know, in ten years time we could have retrofitted self-driving cars. Imagine having a mark two Ford Cortina driving you around like the new Google self-drive cars, it would certainly be a topic of conversation and make you stand out from the others on the market. Hypothetically speaking, having a vehicle which is controlled by a complex algorithm should be less likely to have an accident and therefore could reduce your classic car insurance premiums.
The question is, does modern technology take away from the whole reason of owning a classic car. Yes, it could make them more reliable and easier to drive, but the point is that they’re expected to go wrong or have interesting and annoying quirks and that’s what makes them so much fun to own and drive. Do you want to go on a journey with the excitement of the challenges you may encounter on the way or simply get in to a car that does all of the work for you and could leave you with a sense of emptiness when you arrive at your destination?
Finally, ask yourself this; if classic cars were more reliable, what would you do in your garage on a rainy day or over the winter, without the need to tinker?