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Doinmybest

Parking a classic car

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So I am completely new to the world of classic cars, having just won one in a raffle!!  What a joy, what fun we are having learning to take good care of our new friend.  Among the many questions we have, and one that I'm having a harder time tracking down an answer to, is about what to do with it if we go somewhere!  Whether just taking a stop at a restaurant, or taking a longer roadtrip with overnight stays, what's the best guidance on where and how to leave the baby?

 

Thanks!!

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Congratulations on your win. It would help to know what the car is. If it is just a good driver and not a very valuable car, then just treat it much like any other vehicle and keep up the maintainance . Use it and enjoy it and have a safe area to keep it in when not in use. A secure closed garage would be preferable. If it is a rare or valuable car then extra care to protect it would be advisable. 

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I park my 1931 DB wherever I need to, but I also try to keep it in view or at least remove my nice radiator cap when I am not near the car.

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Park it like you would a brand new car. People give old cars a lot more respect than new cars. If I go someplace busy I tend to park out away from other cars. If I go to the parts store or lunch I park right in front. If I am staying overnight in a hotel I park near my room or where I can look out and see my car. Depending on where I am the coil wire may come into my hotel room for the night. But drive and enjoy your new old car.

 

P.S. What did you win? 

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Whatever it is, it's just a car. The public tends to be pretty respectful of old cars--they aren't typically targets. There's often nothing of value to a genuine thief. Everyone worries about "kids making trouble" but when was the last time you saw kids opening parked cars and screwing with them? That's a scary thought that's not backed by much reality--there aren't many roving bands of bored kids anymore simply because they all have phones which are far more interesting than whatever is in or around an old car. It's my personal choice to leave the cars unlocked--if someone wants in, they're going in one way or the other. Letting them open a door is far less damaging then having them go through a window or a convertible top or simply trying to get in by breaking an irreplaceable door handle or gouging up the paint with a screwdriver. Don't leave anything valuable or visible in the car and you'll be fine.

 

I've been playing with cars for nearly 50 years and with two notable exceptions, I've never experienced anyone messing with an old car and in both situations it was a crime of opportunity. Case #1 was someone stealing the sidemount covers and removable door posts on a 1936 Buick Roadmaster convertible sedan at the Flint national meet in 1978--a crime obviously committed by someone with a similar car who knew those parts were unobtainium. Case #2 was the theft of a hood ornament during an overnight stay at a show--again, a crime likely committed by someone who needed that specific part rather than some kids looking for kicks.

 

Again, very, very few people mess with old cars.We take ours out to dinner, to the movies, on vacation, whatever, and have not had any incidents. Don't lose any sleep over it. It's just a car--it's OK to treat it like one.

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Welcome to our hobby.  While you didn't say what your new "classic car" was, we'll try to share what we do.  Our "classics" are primarily Pre WWII cars and we travel often with them either driving or trailering them.  Leaving them unattended is always a concern.   We avoid restaurants that are primarily drinking establishments, we avoid dark parking lots, we try to sit where we can watch the parking lot.  End spots are safer because your car generally can only be  bothered from one side.

Expensive radiator caps can be removed and replaced with the low buck plane one when parked.

At motels or hotels I seek a well lighted space visible from my room, cover the car, and leave my sign on the cover,  "If you can read this, you are in range".   Sleep comes hard.   Some times if you ask, you can leave it in the porticoche..

Good Luck, and send us a picture of your "classic".

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I am forward thinking - we never go in reverse (most of the cars I have you cannot see a thing out of looking rearward).  

 

Otherwise, I really do not care what it is or how much it is worth, it is just a car and the only reason we have them is because I enjoy them (art goes on the walls and cars go on the street).

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11 minutes ago, Brass is Best said:

People give old cars a lot more respect than new cars.

 

That may be the funniest thing I've ever read.  I don't know where you live, but here in the mid-Atlantic, NO ONE gives a rip about anyone else but themselves. Expect door dings at best. I park at the far ends of shopping center parking lots so I can have a buffer zone without inconveniencing regular shoppers, and I've STILL had a hit and run on one of my my older cars. At the end of the day, door dings and stone chips are preferable to not driving the car.  To the OP, drive it and enjoy it. 

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You have to have a fairly nice "classic car" to worry about parking it, most new 2018 model are worth more. Bob 

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26 minutes ago, keiser31 said:

I park my 1931 DB wherever I need to, but I also try to keep it in view or at least remove my nice radiator cap when I am not near the car.

With the 20's & 30's cars usually drive with a reproduction cap verses a holy grail - also the cap tends to be hot as ... from driving when you park the car, so I give it some thought ahead of time as to which ornament is on the car as I do not want to wait for it to cool off. 

 

My RR Cap for driving - A Desmo Scotty IMG_0094.thumb.JPG.5f4e4e36e59e174d4fac653895497cc2.JPG

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32 minutes ago, joe_padavano said:

 

That may be the funniest thing I've ever read.  I don't know where you live, but here in the mid-Atlantic, NO ONE gives a rip about anyone else but themselves. Expect door dings at best. I park at the far ends of shopping center parking lots so I can have a buffer zone without inconveniencing regular shoppers, and I've STILL had a hit and run on one of my my older cars. At the end of the day, door dings and stone chips are preferable to not driving the car.  To the OP, drive it and enjoy it. 

 

If things are that bad where you live you should move. 

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Park far away from the crowd.  You'll feel better about leaving your car unattended and you'll enjoy the exercise.  It goes without saying that the worst thing you can do is take up two spaces with your classic.  That's a guaranteed way to get it keyed.  

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1 hour ago, Brass is Best said:

 

If things are that bad where you live you should move. 

 

My decision on where to live includes far more important factors than whether or not my car gets door dings.

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Yeah, the world is full of a lot of different people - some people look at my old car when I drive by, some people ignore it, others just want me to get out of the way so they can get where they're going. I don't begrudge anyone for not having the same passions I do.

 

As far as parking and security goes, I'm generally not so worried about theft of a really old car; my impression is that most thieves want a less conspicuous vehicle to steal (and faster, like a 4 door Charger.) OTOH, it can be easier to break into and steal old cars. A hidden battery disconnect switch with a removable key switch can make it a whole lot harder for dumb thieves. Or maybe a hidden starter switch. Congrats on your windfall!

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Thieves dont want old cars because their hard to dump. No matter how easy to steal they have no value to a real thief. Toyota Camrys are what they want because lots of people need parts. 

 

Plus old cars are naturally hard to steal. Hard to start if you dont know how and how many people still know how to drive stick shift? Lol

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Roger Frazee said:

Park far away from the crowd.  You'll feel better about leaving your car unattended and you'll enjoy the exercise.  It goes without saying that the worst thing you can do is take up two spaces with your classic.  That's a guaranteed way to get it keyed.  

With that being said, what is the best way to park a longer car? I haven’t had the chance to take my Cadillac out but it’s just about 20’ long. Do I park to the line and stick out into the driving lane or do I park flush to the driving lane and push into the parking spot in front of me? I’m not sure of the eticate for that one. My Dodge is only 17’ so there is no problem there. 

Edited by Meadowfleet (see edit history)

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Get a car cover, and put the cover on when you park it.  It will blend into the background and people won't pay attention to it.  

 

If it's a big car, park away from other cars so you'll have room to get in and out.

 

I agree to get a battery cut off switch and turn the switch off, both to avoid draining the battery while you're away (if you left something on or there is a short somewhere) and to keep people from driving away with it.

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45 minutes ago, Meadowfleet said:

Do I park to the line and stick out into the driving lane or do I park flush to the driving lane and push into the parking spot in front of me?

 

IMHO split the difference.

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Posted (edited)

Here is my parking. The full size car was in the shop..

 

I ask to unload my car from my truck.. The looks they give me is priceless..

 

I took it to Dallas last  year.. I ask the hotel to help me unload it to park it in my room..   I got a lot of ????

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Edited by nick8086 (see edit history)
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When I park my Stanley, I lock the throttle and shut off the main fuel.  If I can't keep an eye on the car, I shut off the pilot fuel, too.  There are at most 300 people in the country who would know how to steal it, and none of those 300 would do so.

 

On the other hand, I avoid places that only allow valet parking.

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Posted (edited)
19 hours ago, Doinmybest said:

Whether just taking a stop at a restaurant, or taking a longer road trip with overnight stays, what's the best guidance on where and how to leave the baby?

 

We might be able to give more specific advice

once we know what car you have.  It's likely from

the 1950's to the 1970's, and a car like that is

very different from the earlier cars some people mention.

 

Nevertheless, your car is undoubtedly decades old.

Take it to a good independent mechanic who

knows older cars, and have it checked out

thoroughly, because even beautiful show-quality cars

may need to have a few mechanical things addressed.

MAYBE the organization who had the raffle had the

car checked out first;  but they may not have addressed

everything. 

 

At first, I would enjoy it locally and on short jaunts

of an hour--taking nice scenic drives on sunny days--
until you know how reliable it is.    Be sure to drive your car

occasionally, maybe 200 miles or more a year, even after

the novelty has worn off.  Also, use non-ethanol gasoline,

or put some ethanol treatment in the gasoline that keeps

ethanol-laced gas from breaking down into damaging acid.

 

Once you have become more comfortable about your

car's reliability, THEN take it on the overnight trip you mention.

 

Join AACA and one of its local "regions," if one is near you.

That will greatly enhance your enjoyment of the car, because

you'll be with like-minded people, can learn from them, and

can attend local tours where everyone drives an older car.

With realistic expectations, you and your family can

make many happy memories with your car.

 

 

Edited by John_S_in_Penna (see edit history)
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16 hours ago, Matt Harwood said:

It's my personal choice to leave the cars unlocked--if someone wants in, they're going in one way or the other. Letting them open a door is far less damaging then having them go through a window or a convertible top or simply trying to get in by breaking an irreplaceable door handle or gouging up the paint with a screwdriver. Don't leave anything valuable or visible in the car and you'll be fine.

 I never lock any of my cars for the above reason.

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 When I park in a shopping mall, I always park as far away as I can and take up 4 parking spaces in the very end row in an empty area.

 I have has people park near me when I do. Not crowding, but in the next space. Never had any problems.

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5 minutes ago, Roger Walling said:

 When I park in a shopping mall, I always park as far away as I can and take up 4 parking spaces in the very end row in an empty area.

 I have has people park near me when I do. Not crowding, but in the next space. Never had any problems.

 

What Roger's car might look like when parked at a mall:

 

21-Car-Parking-Affects-Everyone.jpg

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My  1927 Pierce Arrow Model  36  Limo,  I  do  not  park it  and  leave it  untended. It  is a  museum piece. 

Limo Dilivered 024.JPG

Limo Dilivered 035.JPG

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