Upgrading Your Classic Car With Modern Touches
There’s nothing like driving a classic car. You can feel the vibration of the engine, hear the exhaust notes, smell the fumes, and just get to take a step back in time. While the nostalgia factor is high when driving a classic car, the comfort, reliability, and overall driving performance can be low.
Technology has changed the entire world – you’re reading this article in a digital format. Technology has also advanced in cars as well. Back in 1970 the biggest baddest Chevelle LS6 454 only made 450HP, reportedly. Now you can buy a car off the showroom floor with double that horsepower that will knock down 20MPG with the A/C on and never overheat!
This doesn’t mean it’s time to sell off the classic for a modern muscle car. There are lots of upgrades you can do from bumper to bumper to make your classic ride nicer, stop better, go faster, and be more comfortable.
1. Add More Power
What’s a muscle car without the muscle under the hood right? An obvious upgrade is to swap in an LS engine. These are lighter than traditional SBC and BBC’s yet can produce tons of horsepower while still remaining their street manners. Swapping in an LS is a bolt-in deal nowadays too.
Even if you just have to keep an old-school SBC or BBC under the hood, there are plenty of upgrades for it as well. We sell fuel injection systems to retrofit older applications which gives them more power and better street manners.
2. Better Handling
Back in the ’60s these cars pretty much handled terribly. They weren’t designed to hug the corners around the road – or at least do it at the speeds you’re used to nowadays. The geometry of the suspension wasn’t optimal and was designed around bias ply tires. Modern radials need different geometry to perform at their best.
Luckily for most applications, there are complete suspension kits you can bolt onto your car to get it to ride like a modern performance car. These allow you to adjust the ride height and go around corners much faster than you could in stock form for a modern upgrade.
3. Better Stopping
When you add more power and better handling, you’ll need to upgrade your stopping power as well. Most of these classics only came with four-wheel drum brakes. Sure they stop the car but if you need to panic stop they aren’t the best. Even cars equipped with factory disc brakes in the late 60s were inadequate.
Upgrading to disc brakes isn’t just a modern upgrade; it’s a necessity. You don’t want to crash your pride and joy because you couldn’t stop in time. Adding disc brakes is an easy job and at this point, you can buy a complete disc brake conversion for just about any make and model without having to piece it together yourself.
4. More Comfort
Last but just as important is overall comfort. It’s no fun to sweat away on a hot summer day because you wanted to cruise your classic. If it came with factory A/C there’s a good chance it’s not working. More than likely you’ll need to install a complete aftermarket A/C system for a much-needed modern amenity.
There are lots of other upgrades that make your ride more comfortable too. Upgrades like better sound deadening to keep the cab quieter and cooler, or a modern Bluetooth radio to keep the tunes cranked. You can even upgrade the entire seat to something with bolstering and can recline for that perfect sitting position.
If you need any help or parts for modernizing your classic, give our friendly techs a call at (203) 235-1200 or hop on SS396.com. We are ready to help you figure out the best upgrades for your classic for better cruising all around!