Journal: What Modern Tech Do You Wish Your Classic Was Equipped With?

What Modern Tech Do You Wish Your Classic Was Equipped With?

Avatar By Yoav Gilad
February 20, 2014
13 comments

A 1964 Pontiac Catalina Four-door hardtop embodied my first foray into classic motoring. I installed an air-ride suspension that, when emptied, would lower the frame rails onto the ground. It looked longer than a supertanker. Not quite tasteful, but I’d like to think it made a statement.

Regardless, it had a single four-barrel Rochester carburetor that made me long for fuel injection. Not because it was poorly tuned or returned meager fuel economy (eight miles-per-gallon, as I recall). Rather, because the choke mechanism had a broken thermostat that I couldn’t be bothered to replace, “it’s no big deal!” Thus, it would remain open after you cranked the engine allowing too much air in on subsequent cranks. So on colder mornings the process for starting the car went like this: I’d go out, pop the hood, remove the air cleaner assembly, close the choke on the carb, get in the car, and crank the engine.

Now, it wouldn’t usually start on the first or even tenth try. So I’d have to get out, reclose the choke (that had now reopened as I pumped the gas pedal to the floor while turning the key) and repeat the starting process. Once in a while, when the engine would finally cough to life, I’d get to see a volcano-esque eruption of lit fuel shooting out of the carburetor through the narrow slit between the base of the windshield and open hood.

If a friend was helping, he’d stand by and re-close the choke when I gestured. Once, the Vesuvius impression nearly cost my friend, Dan, his hair as he was leaning over the carb when I cranked the engine and it decided to fire (pardon the pun).

We laughed about it afterwards, but I remember thinking that my daily driver never tried to immolate my friends. And yes, I could have fixed the thermostat for a couple of dollars but elected to keep messing with it instead. But at the time, I really wished the car was fuel injected. Ironically, now I long for flamethrowers (I know, still not very tasteful). So how about you—what’s one modern technology or convenience you wish your classic car had?

Image Sources: oldcarbrochures.com, oldcarmanualproject.com

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Hayden
Hayden

Maybe a more quality sound system, or at least 1 airbag for the passenger… everything else is added weight in my 1989 MR2.
But what’s the point of modern luxuries in an old car? I wouldn’t want anything to compromise my driving experience. And when you only have ~100bhp, any sprung weight is going to make a difference.

Jake Williams
Jake Williams

Honestly, the only modern thing I’d want in my Triumph is better wiring and electrics. Fuel injection’s great and all, but carbs are fun and sound great.
Also, maybe more modern air conditioning and suspension. Other than that, classics are just better. 🙂

Scott Smith
Scott Smith

Jake – I rewired my ’72 TR6 with a kit from Advance Auto Wire (http://www.advanceautowire.com/) and upgraded to Pertonix electronic ignition, and it has been wonderfully reliable ever since. I would highly recommend this upgrade. It took quite a while to rewire it, and it was a learning experience that required great reserves of patience, but well worth it. The cost is maybe slightly more than a stock wiring harness, but the quality is far superior and there is great online support. Now I need to get a decent radio in there!

Gary Groce
Gary Groce

On my 73′ BMW 2002tii, I’ve installed a pin jack input connector to the Becker Europa radio. It’s hidden where it can’t be seen. That way, if I want, I can listen to digital music through the Becker. That’s something I do about twice a year. I’d rather listen to AM talk radio or better yet….the exhaust. That’s all I want.

Ben Bishop
Ben Bishop

I’d love a decent demister in my 66 GT Veloce – getting caught in Brisbane summer storms on the way home is pretty sucky.

Fred Talmadge
Fred Talmadge

I have a Lotus Elan and I’d like a better heater and rain protection so I’d be a bit more comfortable in winter weather. Actually it’s been a problem in all the British sport cars I’ve had. Except maybe for the cars that had roll up windows and good tops like the MGB and TR6

Benjamin Shahrabani
Benjamin Shahrabani

Nothing. I can get GPS on my smartphone. The Porsche 993 has everything a car needs, and nothing it doesn’t. OK, I don’t wish the hell it is in sitting in the back seats, so just a couple more inches of legroom would have been nice.

Dustin Rittle
Dustin Rittle

I would say a modern climate control system would make these old cars abit more bearable during any weather season. A modern electrical system Im sure would make life a bit easier on some of the old classics as well.

JB21
JB21

Just one stupid little thing that I’d ask for: A properly working heater and A/C.

Tom Hughes
Tom Hughes

Since so many of us want to keep our classics looking as the factory built them, I would take your question and add that the improvement should be hidden. So, I, too, would love to have fuel injection on my ’68 Corvair, but I’d want to utilize the stock carbs as the throttle bodies and hide the rest of the system.

Johnny B
Johnny B

Nothing, that’s why I drive a classic in the first place … … 🙂

Matthew Lange
Matthew Lange

I would never want to trade my six weber carbs for fuel injection even if the Daytona can be a b***er to start sometimes. I might however fit a modern electonic ignition system as some point. The US spec Daytonas had the early dinoplex system (as seen in the Fiat Dino video of a few weeks back) but this wasn’t fitted to the European versions.

I wouldn’t say no to modern anti corrosion measures so I would be less worried about driving it in the winter as well, and maybe ABS brakes.