The Dangers of Working with Classic Cars


Although classic cars are highly sought after, there are some dangers that exist with them. Much of it has to do with the regulations and how things have changed. Many manufacturers have stopped using certain parts. Even the way in which cars are assembled has changed – and therein lies the dangers.

One of the problems with classic cars is that there’s a higher likelihood of encountering asbestos. Although some car parts are still sold in the U.S. with asbestos in them, it was more common decades ago. This means that some of the classic 1950s and 1960s-era cars may have a number of hidden asbestos treasures in them. By working on them, you can stir up the asbestos, inhale, and end up with mesothelioma. While it’s still relatively rare, the Mesothelioma Cancer Network covers what can be done about a diagnosis.

Another problem that you might face is that some parts are no longer sold. While you may be able to find aftermarket parts to make a repair or handle a renovation, it’s not going to be an exact match. This leads to having to make do with a part that isn’t going to fit perfectly or look quite the same. When you’re replacing parts under the hood, you also run the risk of the parts not allowing for the same functionality – and if the engine overheats or there’s a leak, it could be expensive to get the problem taken care of.

Think about how things have changed on the highways. Modern traffic is a lot different than it was in the 1960s. The cars may not have the means of doing the same speed limits – and a stick shift can make it difficult when you’re faced with stop and go traffic. If you insist on going on the highway anyway, you could end up in an accident because you’re incapable of maintaining a safe speed. Although you might want to show off a classic car to anyone and everyone, it may be better for everyone if you stick to the backroads.

You’ll also want to consider the type of fuel used in the classic car. Many of the older engines were designed to run on higher octane. Additionally, many cannot deal with ethanol, the corn-based additive. It may damage delicate parts of your classic car, leading to fuel leaks, engine corrosion, and a long list of other problems. Even if you can find the right fuel, it may end up costing you a small fortune to fill the tank.

There are still plenty of reasons to buy a classic car. It may be something you’re passionate about. It may also provide you with hours of tinkering in your garage as you work to restore it. Whatever the reason for buying one, it’s simply important to be aware of the many dangers. If you can protect yourself from asbestos and ensure that you can find the right parts and fuel, you may be able to enjoy a classic car on and off the road for years to come.