We wish it wasn’t true, but the sad truth is that there are criminals lurking out there for the perfect opportunity to snatch you 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 seven 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.
2. 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 monitored by police agencies nationwide. Once stolen the hidden device activates a signal that can be detected by the police.
3. 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.
4. VinShield – Most stolen vehicles that are never recovered are taken by seasoned, professional thieves. VinSheild is a great deterrent against the seasoned pros. With VinShield 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 sucker. Only downside is that some collectors argue that etching the original glass diminishes the vehicle’s originality and value.
5. The Club – 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 Club right off. Nonetheless, it is pretty inexpensive and has proved successful against young thieving joyriders.
6. 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 ed alarm all the way to an ultra sophisticated one with GPS tracking, remote start and doors you can open with your smartphone.
7. RoboVault – This isn’t meant for everyone and you better have a VERY pricey vehicle to justify this means of protection. RoboVault is the most elaborate, high-tech storage facility in the world. If you are looking for other secure storage classic car storage facilities there are less expensive versions of this company, but after watching the video below we think you will agree that this is the ultimate in protection.
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.