Date Published: 2024/01/09

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Top Upgrades You Can Order During the Winter for Your Collector Car

A close up image of a stunning blue collector car with a focus on the double headlight. A man in a plaid shirt, a hat, and denim can be seen working on the gorgeous car in the background

Now that snow is blanketing your front yard, you might be missing driving your classic car around town. But you can still plan for upgrades for your collector car to be completed during those long winter hours or as soon as the garage thaws in the spring. Let's check out some of the most popular projects for antique rides that help their owners thoroughly enjoy the drive.

Heating Your Classic Sedan for Year-Round Fun

You are staring out the window on a rare sunny January day in Alberta and wish the heat in your 1950s Chevrolet still worked. Now is the time to either replace the failed heater core or look at aftermarket upgrades for rides that never had sufficient heat. You will need to look for room in the engine compartment and study where the ducts and vents will fit under the dash. New kits run around $1,000 to $1,500.

Electronic Ignition Saves Future Frustration

How often have you spent hours trying to find the perfect dwell point under the distributor cap? Replacing the points with an electronic ignition conversion kit will run you between $300 and $400 and will improve performance while reducing future maintenance needs. Some kits hide the conversion inside the distributor cap, so you can still pop the hood at shows.

Upgrading the Radio for the 21st Century

Do you miss listening to your podcasts during road trips in your vintage convertible? Now you can add a modern infotainment system to your dash that mimics the look of a classic car interior. Hide the touchscreen and USB ports behind a sliding panel. Use Bluetooth to stream playlists to new speakers. It is even possible to install a rearview camera for safer parking at crowded car shows.

A Secret Audio system conceals the modern stereo components behind the dash and will use a remote or wired control panel stashed in the glove compartment.

An Instrument Cluster that Really Works

When was the last time that your tach in your 1970s MG functioned? If you haven't had any luck finding a direct replacement, you might want to consider upgrading the instrument cluster. Go digital and you can choose what information you want to see. It's your choice whether you want to retain the look of your classic car interior or give it a 21st-century update.

Look-alike kits can run as low as $250 and can often be installed over a long weekend.

Heated Seats? Researching a Serious Upgrade

Heated seats may be the best modern convenience added to daily drivers in the past 30 years. Wouldn't you love for your classic pickup to keep your entire body toasty warm on those brisk drives in April? A quick upgrade can be as easy as a plug-in heated seat cover. Other slide-in kits fit under your upholstery and are wired directly into your machine. The kits are not the major investment as you may need to work with an upholstery expert to maintain the look of the original cloth or vinyl bench seat.

Still, a heated seat can take the sting out of driving your classic car down Main Street during the Christmas Parade. Now you can look forward to participating in the celebration!

LED Head and Taillights for Safer Cruising

One upgrade for your collector car that is very affordable and will not change its exterior look is switching out those old bulbs for LED head and tail lights. The new technology provides the added lumens needed to meet modern safety standards for braking and night driving, while maintaining the shape and style of the vintage lenses. Depending on the decade of your ride, the kit may simply switch out the wiring under the hood. Others require investing in new housing. Either way, other drivers will be able to see you better during those summer night cruises, so you can avoid unexpected fender benders.

Protect Those New Upgrades with Updated Insurance

Once you have a new heated seat, a fancy Bluetooth radio, and a suspension that helps you hug the curves, you will want to be driving your classic car all year round. Make sure that you can continue to do so by updating your collector car insurance policy from Orbit Insurance Services. Give us a click or call to review your coverage before heading out to Motorama this year.