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In 2004, Jalopnik asked its readers, if they had $1 million to spend on cool cars, what would they buy? In 2005, the founders of Classic Car Club Manhattan contacted Jalopnik editors…they were going to do it. For real. But these cars weren’t show queens. Hundreds of club members would be hooning around in them. They’d have to keep the cars running…without going bankrupt.
Here are some top tips from the behind-the-scenes mechanics on how to drive a classic car every day:
If you take a trophy, show-winning car and you drive it ten miles, it breaks down. Everything’s dried up and not working properly. You need to drive them regularly to keep all the parts working.
Feel the car
You need to feel the car and sympathize with it, know what you’re doing. Every time you step on the gas pedal, there are thousands of compatible parts working together. You have to appreciate it. Feel how much the car can handle and don’t push it too far.
Go through everything. Try to break it and see what else is on its way out so you can fix it.
Add modern equipment to an old car
Power brakes, disc brakes, exhausts, iPod docking: people are used to modern technology, so it’s got to be added. Cooling systems are renowned for being terrible on old cars and so you need to update the technology in the car and make it run like people think it’s going to run.
Have a fire extinguisher
It’s surprising how often an old car can catch fire.
Keep it in a garage
A parking space isn’t enough. You need space and tools to keep up with the maintenance.
I think this one speaks for itself.
It’s more enjoyable. Take your time to see the sights and soak in the surroundings.