One thing you should know is older cars don’t necessarily have all the creature comforts you might expect in this modern era. When renting a classic car, the challenge begins with figuring out how old it actually is. The only way this question is answered is by asking, because there’s no global consensus on what ‘classic car’ actually means. The umbrella definition is ‘an older car with enough historical interest to be collectable and worth preserving or restoring rather than scrapping’ but that could mean almost anything.
The Antique Automobile Club of America defines classic cars as ‘motorized vehicles, 25 years old or older, built in factories, specifically designed and manufactured for transportation use on public roadways and highways.’ To qualify for registration, such vehicles must also have ‘been restored to the same state as the dealer could have prepared the vehicle for delivery to the customer.’ These classic cars are unlike the cars which you drive on a daily basis and so it is important to keep some things in mind.
Be Aware Of Your Steering Wheel
The first American car with power steering was a 1951 Chrysler Imperial. General Motors added the technology a year later to its Cadillac. Family favorites like Ford and Dodge took a while longer to follow. Spinning the wheel when parking, is not the same thing as steering with both hands.
Temperatures May Vary
The earliest autos like Model T Fords had wooden floorboards that leaked heat to the driver’s feet. For Aircon, they removed the side windows in summer. The first cars that came with HVAC standard were 1939 Packards. As recently as the 1970’s heating was an optional extra in family sedans. Best find out first before renting a classic car for an event.
Plan For A Relaxing Drive
Early American cars used a system of rods connecting the brake pedal with the wheels. These need a fair amount of strength to operate in an emergency. While Duesenberg invented hydraulic braking for his racing cars in 1914, the technology only became commercially available in the 1930’s. The moral of the story is, take it easy when self-driving a rented classic car.
Renting a classic car for a motoring holiday is a super way of adding a superior touch, and you may even get a classy reception when you arrive at your accommodation. Know that some American classics have a rumble dickie seat that limits space for luggage. Some European sports cars have hardly any space for rear seat passengers unless they are pre high school children.
Don’t Forget A Map
Finally, do remember to take your sat nav with you and hope and pray there is a socket for plugging in the charger. When the Antique Automobile Club of America defines classic cars as in their original state it means every word of it, and digital auto sat nav is quite a recent event. If you are dressing period-style, borrow a roadmap from the library so you really look the part.
Renting a classic car for a birthday celebration, wedding, or other event is a superb experience once you know what to expect, and can prepare. Few things can compare with riding in style in a retro vehicle, and you are sure to end up in more than a few photos.