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Anti theft devices for antique vehicles


ppaquet
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Morning everyone...just wondered how many owners have anti-theft protection on their pride-and-joys? Have read several accounts over this past year of cars/trucks/motorcycles, etc being stolen. Some recovered, some not. Just curious to know if you protect your investment, other than putting it in a garage, and how.

Again, Buddy is using you, the members, to do an article for our Region's newsletter. Thanks for your input.

Patt

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Other than the obvious heat and motion sensors that can be installed in your garage or enclosed car trailer, installing a keyed ignition cut-off switch is probably the best way to prevent someone from stealing your collector car. Preventing theft of hub caps etc. is a little harder. Just don't make it easy; Use RTV sealant on your hub caps and remove all the removable "jewelry" from your car when parked outside overnight.

My clubs hire parking lot security patrols for all our tours. I always encourage my clubs to contact a local Boy Scout troop and offer $100 per night for their security "campout".

Having several older scouts walking around with flashlights and walkie talkies is more effective than a single "rent-a-cop". And, there are always at least two adults with the scouts to take turns on the other end of the walkie talkies and make sure they do their jobs. The boys really enjoy it, and the troops can always use the $$.

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A lot of old cars are pretty theft proof just because of their idiosyncrasies. Turn on fuel, retard spark, set throttle, turn key, depress separate starter switch/pedal and hope smile.gif It even took me a few minutes to figure out how to start my '41 Century by depressing the throttle to the floor. But I do hear about cars inside trailers being stolen, so trailer security is critical.

However, Mark brings up a good point; I didn't think about the removable stuff. A hobbyist I know always takes the flying lady from his '29 Rolls with him when he leaves the car alone. Another fellow I know lost the window posts that go between the doors on his '36 Roadmaster convertible sedan--those are like gold and virtually impossible to find, hence some lowlife resorting to theft. I worry about stuff like that a lot more than I worry about someone stealing the entire car.

I wonder how hard it is to fence an old car?

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After our nextdoor neighbor's house was ransacked and robbed three years ago we went out the day after it happened and bought heat/motion sensitive halogen lights and installed them on every corner of the house and garage. Now if you come anywhere near our house it looks like Luna Park.

Plus the Dalmatian in my Avatar takes great exception to strangers coming around. She is a very sweet dog unless you come near our property without one of us with her. She isn't out all the time but she scared one poor man who was just walking out after dark from the trailer court that is across the fence from where we live. Residents there tend to walk down our road because there is better light to see at night. Haylee came roaring out of her dog house and hit the end of her 20' kennel like she was going to tear the door off and rip his legs and arms off. That poor guy didn't know she was out and he flatted up against the fence and just stood there until he calmed down and realized she was in her kennel and couldn't get him.

Most police will tell you that a dog of any size will deter thieves. They don't want something making noise when they come around.

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I simply keep my cars in the garage at home. Not high-tech but effective.

My daily drivers have traditionally been 30-40 year old cars.

Today I drove my 73 VW Super Beetle convertible. I'm currently at work and the top is down and it's in a parking lot. Been that way for years with me. Never had a problem.

If it was something more valuable I'd probably be more concerned... then again, it it was more valuable, it would probably only come out for shows and such.

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Plus the Dalmatian in my Avatar takes great exception to strangers coming around. She is a very sweet dog unless you come near our property without one of us with her.</div></div> The funny thing is that people think that dalmations are friendly dogs, when in fact they can be nasty. Not saying that my source was right, but back in the day, the fire departments use to put dalmations in the firehouses to be used as watch dogs. Back in the day, the fire departments always use to have the fastest horses in town. Because of the fire departments having the fastest horses in town, the thieves would try to steal the horses. The Dalmations were put in the firehouses to prevent thieves from stealing the horses.

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My "pride & joy" are the cars we take around the country for organized tours. We found that out of sight is out of mind and take a car cover to deter the opportunistic parts thief. Towing a 1930's car on an open trailer is sort of a rolling car show, so at night we close the show with a cover. Works like a garage.

Old cars are like beautiful women, they get more respect when covered up.

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I don't know that there is much a person can do, especially if he has a 6v system in his car. It's not like you can put a car alarm in it.

Mine is still under construction but I drive it from time to time. Just because it's not finished doesn't mean I don't care if people mess with it.

One day I found a man had put one of his young children behind the wheel while I was inside a state park museum.

Another time I stopped at a post office and found a man underneath the car when I came out.

I guess you could make it a habit to cover it, as previously mentioned, or have someone stay with the car at all times. Covering it is a pain in the rear though, especially if you plan on only being away a few minutes.

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I have a hidden switch with heavy wireing that goes to ground that I throw when it is parked. This will cause a jumper wire to fry in someones hands if they try to jump the coil.

I don't think that they would leave the wire on with all the sparks, as they know they were doing something wrong.

Even if they did,I would rather have a crispy car than none at all.

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: rbl2</div><div class="ubbcode-body">One day I found a man had put one of his young children behind the wheel while I was inside a state park museum.</div></div>

That makes me absolutely furious. It happens all the damned time, too. People figure that an old car isn't like a new car and it's public domain or something. We were at a convention center for the Auto Show (new cars) and had a bunch of old cars parked outside. People were climbing in and out of them as if they were the same as the new demo cars parked inside. We had more than one altercation when an owner asked someone to get out, and that person got angry about it.

I'm angry all over again just thinking about it.

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Re Shop Rat's dog: This is a true story, not politically correct. Costa Ricans don't like illegal immigrants from Nicaragua. Many Costa Ricans keep a vicious dog or two at their property to ward off intruders, whom they assume will be Nicaraguans even though many intruders are home-grown. They typically post a sign that says "Perros bravos", which means wild dogs (perros means dogs; adjectives follow nouns in Spanish).

One day a Nicaraguan climbed a fence to help himself to some loot, and a couple of dobermans tore him to shreds. It caused a huge international incident. But a lot of signs were suddenly changed from "perros bravos" to "Bravo, perros!"

I was in language school in Costa Rica shortly after this happened. My Costa Rican teacher told me the story, with a big grin on her face.

Gil Fitzhugh, Morristown, NJ

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Matt Harwood</div><div class="ubbcode-body">

That makes me absolutely furious. It happens all the damned time, too. People figure that an old car isn't like a new car and it's public domain or something. We were at a convention center for the Auto Show (new cars) and had a bunch of old cars parked outside. People were climbing in and out of them as if they were the same as the new demo cars parked inside. We had more than one altercation when an owner asked someone to get out, and that person got angry about it.

I'm angry all over again just thinking about it. </div></div>

Matt, that's the mindset today, pretty bad............

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This is more like recovery than anti-theft, but make sure that you photograph and document EVERYTHING about your antique car. All blemishes and dings and distinguishing features should be noted and pictured. That way, you and others can spot parts or sections as they show up at swap meets or hopefully, BEFORE. I have found two cars for people because the owners kept track of certain things on their cars that was different or special. I found my own 1970 Plymouth GTX that was stolen in San Diego because I recognized the air cleaner housing. There were certain marks that the filter left on the housing that led me to the car. It was partially stripped, but I got it back and re-restored it. Oh yeah...it was tow-barred away at midnight one night by a Mercury Bobcat Runabout! The blinking alarm light did not deter them. I even heard the scumbags drop the tow bar in the street and said to my girl "sounds like someone is getting their car towed". Man, was I ever right!

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">People were climbing in and out of them as if they were the same as the new demo cars parked inside. We had more than one altercation when an owner asked someone to get out, and that person got angry about it</div></div>The irony of it is if you walked in his house and looked around, he'd be the first guy to have you arrested.

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The funny thing is that I have never had any problem with people touching my cars, I usually walk out of the store and there is someone ooing and awwing it from about 3-5 ft. away. As for security, all I have and need is my grandma! She is the ultimate security device, she watches my cars like a hawk and that shrill scream/yelling of hers would make even the most heinous criminal run in fear for the sake of their hearing!

ps. no one can start my cars (at least the 3 older ones) except for me, it is really weird!

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I want to stress that I have had very few problems with people touching my car. Like you, it is far more common to find people oohing and aahing then anything else.

Oddly enough, in my opinion, the best people to find by my car when I return after disappearing for a short while is bikers. They never get closer than 5 feet and even then often have their hands behind their backs as they walk around the car. When I tell them to go ahead and look at it closer they act surprised and some have asked if I was sure of that. They never criticise it and some have even suggested I not paint it as they think the paint job (cheap spray paint) adds character.

I suspect they're this way because they know how much time, effort, and money they have invested in their bikes. Whatever the reason, they sure blew away a bunch of stereotypes.

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: 1948Lincoln</div><div class="ubbcode-body">ps. no one can start my cars (at least the 3 older ones) except for me, it is really weird! </div></div>

Sounds like the dad from the book <span style="font-style: italic"><span style="font-weight: bold">Cheaper By The Dozen</span></span>. No one could start his Pierce Arrow but him. When he died they had to send a tow truck to get it.

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I agree, Bill. Bikers have a bad reputation (which I suspect they foster and enjoy), but you'll rarely find a better or more generous group of guys who understand and respect our hardware. Most of them would give you the shirts off their backs to help you out of a jam.

I guess if we had kept one or two of them around at the car show, there would have been exactly 0 problems, too.

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: rbl2</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Mother in-laws can scare away the Hells Angels. shocked.gif </div></div><span style="font-weight: bold">My</span> mother in law can scare <span style="font-weight: bold">any</span> Hell's Angels mother in laws.

Ooops, did I say that?!? whistle.gif

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I think that i would have to be the luckiest guy in the world , i have most kind ,generous and careing mother in law . i have (to the same woman ) been married comeing up 45 years , and in that time have never had a cross word with my mother inlaw and she has never tried to interfare , now my father inlaw ,that was a different story ,

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: elmo39</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I think that i would have to be the luckiest guy in the world , i have most kind ,generous and careing mother in law . i have (to the same woman ) been married comeing up 45 years , and in that time have never had a cross word with my mother inlaw and she has never tried to interfare , now my father inlaw ,that was a different story , </div></div>Maybe my mother in law should meet your father in law. . . .

Aargh - there I go again trying to cause trouble!

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Shop Rat</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Moepar</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Maybe my mother in law should meet your father in law. . . .</div></div>

Your luck would be that they would get married and want to live with you. smirk.gifgrin.gif </div></div> <span style="font-weight: bold">NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!</span> cry.gif

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Usually I just keep them under lock and key. Now my father is proud of the cars so he is always bringing people around to see them but I don't think I'll ever be able to stop him from doing that. As far as going anyplace I usually just keep an eye on it and avoid certain places like stores or anyplace that it would be out of sight. I can tell you one thing though from job experience, people are bold! I would not put anything past anybody, most people know the difference between right and wrong and would not do anything but there are also the ones that dont give a s$$t.

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