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8 Tips to Prevent Your Classic Car from Being Stolen

Last month we wrote an article about how a GPS tracker can be used to prevent classic car theft.  Besides a monitored GPS tracker, in that article were other helpful tips to secure your classic like replacing old door locks, parking your car in a secure place, and replacing the glass windows with high-quality security glass.

The more we researched the subject matter, the more ways we began to discover to help protect your classic car or truck from thieves.  We wish it wasn’t true, but the sad truth is that there are criminals lurking out there for the perfect opportunity to snatch your prized possessions.  After spending years if not decades restoring your classic car, it would be a real shame to have someone take it in a matter of seconds.

Here are eight prevention tips and techniques you can use to keep your classic car or truck safe and sound,

  1. Hide a kill switch – Something as simple as a hidden toggle switch can stop most amateur car thieves in their tracks.  The switch is hidden somewhere only the owner knows and it controls a relay that disconnects the starter or battery when not engaged.  Pros will often know how to bypass this type of system, but because it is so cheap to buy and install, you’d be crazy not to have one to protect yourself from the amateurs.
  1. GPS Tracking – If you are looking to secure your car with a device that also lets you recover after a theft, then buy a high-quality GPS car tracker. A GPS tracker will show the real-time location of your vehicle and will alert you in case someone is trying to tamper with your vehicle.
  1. Classic Car LoJack – This recovery system has been in use by car owners for years. Sure, it doesn’t really do its job until your ride has already been stolen, but in that unfortunate situation it has been swiped, you will be glad you made the investment to have LoJack installed. It is the only system monitored by police agencies nationwide.  Once stolen the hidden device activates a signal that can be detected by the police via radio signals.  These signals can be detected through concrete walls, something that many GPS cannot do.  Some GPS systems require a straight communication line with satellites.
  1. Ravelco – This company boasts that not one vehicle has ever been stolen when their system has been properly installed and utilized. After being installed, a 16-pin plug is removed from the female end and simply attaches to your key chain. The Steel protected wires from Ravelco can be attached to the car’s main wiring harness with over 10,000 possible combinations of anti-theft configurations.  Even the best thieves will be stumped when facing the Ravelco system.  They have a successful track record now for 37 years.
  1. VIN Etching – Most stolen vehicles that are never recovered are taken by seasoned, professional thieves. VIN etching is a great deterrent against the seasoned pros. With VIN etching the vehicle’s VIN number is etched right into the front, back and even side glass of the vehicle.  Professional car thieves look for this before boosting a ride.  Replacing all the glass on a classic car or truck is expensive and not worth the thief’s time.  They simply move on to the next one.  Only downside is that some collectors argue that etching the original glass diminishes the vehicle’s originality and value.
  1. Steering Wheel Lock – This is a pretty inexpensive way to add another level of security without having to install or alter your car. Simply lock it onto the steering wheel and criminals cannot drive away with your car. Unfortunately, many thieves, even amateurs know that freon can be used to break the lock.  As a last resort, thieves can also cut the steering wheel and slide the lock right off.  Nonetheless, it is pretty inexpensive and has proved successful against young thieving joyriders.
  1. Car Alarm – This device should certainly be in your arsenal. They come in a range of prices from very inexpensive up to thousands of dollars.   Depending on how invasive you want an alarm system to be installed in your classic car, you can get a simple motion sensor alarm all the way to an ultra-sophisticated one with GPS tracking, remote start and doors you can open with your smartphone.
  1. Collector Car Vault – This isn’t meant for everyone and you better have a VERY pricey vehicle to justify this means of this type of protection. Collector Car Vault and other high-end vehicle storage facilities are the most elaborate, high-tech storage facilities in the world. You will be able to rest at ease knowing your vehicle or vehicles are secure at a facility dedicated to classic and exotic automobile storage and management.

There is a good chance that you will employ more than one of the techniques listed above to protect your collector.  A multilevel approach to car security is really the way to go.   Quite possibly one of the greatest defenses against car thieves is using common sense and not presenting them with easy opportunities.  Don’t leave the key in the ignition, never stash a hidden spare key as criminals know all the common hiding spots and always lock the doors and windows.  Proper prevention is half the battle.

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