A lot of the classic car industry focuses on restoring a car to its original state. This includes things like factory original parts, finding matching VIN numbers, or at the very least commissioning custom parts that look like the original ones. However, there is another side to the market. Some people like to modernize their old cars, breathing new life into a classic. This includes adding aftermarket parts, custom paint jobs, or even things as simple as adding amenities that were not available when the card was manufactured.
Updating a Classic- For Safety
Major safety elements were absent from a lot of early cars. These include things like 3-point seatbelts, airbags, or reliable crumple zones. Many purists consider these unauthentic and take offense at the notion of including them. When modernizing a classic vehicle many enthusiasts will try to keep as true to the original design while still making it safe. Power steering, improved shocks, modern wheels, and antilock brakes other popular additions that allow a car to be street legal. Many times these things are done more for comfort and functionality than looks, safety, or to comply with local laws.
Updating a Classic- For Style
The retro body shape of a lot of old cars catch the eye of many collectors but their goal isn’t simply to restore it. They want to use that retro look to make something unique that has their own personal flair to it. Many will do vinyl wraps that have artistic designs that could only be done with the precision of a computer. Sleep gradient and chromatic paint schemes are popular- using techniques and tools that were unavailable to artists of the day. Often times these classic beauties get an interior overhaul with rich leather or even more glamorous accent. Other popular stylistic modification include unique doors like gull-wing or suicide doors that add a degree of mechanical complexity and almost space-age style to the overall aesthetic.
A “lowrider” is a retro or campy older looking car with modern guts and low ground clearance. The often put hydraulic suspension inside to allow them to bounce and lift at the whim of the driver. The cars used for lowriders are often older, classic, exotic-looking, cars and can cost a pretty penny to make. They often install gaudy interiors and excessively loud speaker systems but it is all part of the charm of these classic cars.
So, whether you are in it for safety or style, you can always consider modifying and updating your beautiful classic car. There are a whole world of options and stylistic choices you can make to make your custom classic truly yours.