Four Easy Things That Should Be Checked On Your
(otherwise known as Al's pet peeves)
1) Check your serial number - I am constantly amazed at how many vintage cars I look at have an incorrect serial number on the ownership. I would say it comes in at around 5%. In most cases it is an innocent typo, but still should be corrected. Find your serial number on the car, write it down and then compare it to the ownership. If there is a discrepancy, I and other members of P.A.V.E can fill out V.I.N. verification forms that are accepted at all ministry offices. If this is not feasible, check with your local MTO office to see what they need to have it corrected. Later cars with the 17 digit V.I.N. system (1981 on) are not prone to these problems as there is a "check digit" in the V.I.N. which will expose any typos. However, still check! Vehicles that were not sold in North America, or modern kit cars may have a 17 digit V.I.N. but there is no "Check Digit".
2) Tie your battery down - Again, I am amazed at how many antique cars are running around with a loose battery under the hood. If someone asked you to carry around a container of acid loose in your engine compartment, would you? Most original style battery retaining systems are available and at worst an aftermarket system could be employed. Please, no bungee cords!
3) Take a good look at your headlights - Are they straight? Securely mounted? Do they match? I see many vintage cars running one modern halogen light and one standard bulb. Original lights can be found at swap meets and are a nice touch on a restored car but they won't perform as well as modern halogens. That is an original Lucas sealed beam on my Spitfire. I've managed to round up 15 of these lights in my travels so I'm good to buy 7 more British cars!
What kind of radiator cap do you have? - OK, this may seem trivial
but, in my opinion, generic aftermarket radiator caps look horrible on a
vintage car. Though small, it is front and centre when you open your hood. OEM rad caps are available for almost every car, many directly from the dealership
still. They just look "right" and don't stick out like a sore thumb like the
aftermarket ones do. That's an OEM Unipart rad cap on my Spitfire.
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