Safety First!

Safety First with Andy Bernbaum

One of the biggest developments over the past few decades in the automotive industry has been safety. Cars are now designed to completely protect the passengers with improved crumple zones, seat belts, and air bags. Cars in the 1940’s and 1950’s were designed with a different idea in mind, style. They were designed to be stylish, functional, or both. Yet, there are many things that owners can do to ensure our safety while driving these beautiful relics of a past era.

            One of the most important components of keeping you classic Dodge, DeSoto, Chrysler or Plymouth as safe as possible is obviously the braking system. There’s a large variety of things that can be done to improve the safety on your car’s braking systems, and we’ve got all the parts you’ll need to do it. You can choose to fastidiously maintain your stock braking system with brand new brake shoe and lining assemblies, complete assembled brake wheel cylinders, complete master cylinder, new flexible brake hoses, new brake return springs etc. Or you can choose to upgrade and improve what came from the Chrysler factory. Bernbaum’s has  front disc brake conversion kits for most classic MoPar cars that give you the stopping power of modern disc brakes, plus the extra safety of a dual circuit master cylinder and brake lines. Whatever way you go, the most important thing on brakes is to fix what needs fixing and to do it right the first time. Don’t fall into the “magical thinking” trap! If the master cylinder lost half of it’s fluid once, it’s going to lose it again! As much as we would like to believe otherwise cars don’t heal themselves, even old Chrysler products!

            Some other obvious areas that are common areas to check would be obviously the engine, gas tank, and electrical system. A “pre-flight checklist” of sorts at the beginning of the classic car season is always a good idea.  I’ll always walk around my car to ensure that the gas tank is not visibly leaking, the engine is running smoothly, and that all lights that should work do in fact work. This ensures that I’ll find out any problems in my garage instead of on the road. However, as we know with these old beauties; sometimes stuff just gives out whenever it sees fit. We’ve got replacement gas tanks,  tune up kits, plug wire cable sets, everything you need to keep the car safe and running smoothly.

            When things fail on the road, it can be a lifesaver to have a few important spare parts and tools. A few obvious ones would be a good set of tools, some extra fuses, a couple extra sets of points. There are also those items that you might carry only after having experience to know that you should carry them. You might keep some clothes pins in the glove box in case you start to experience vapor lock. Your car might have a rather unique problematic area that you want to be prepared to service. These areas are ones that someone driving a modern car would certainly have no reason to worry about, but knowledge of your classic will be the reason that you know to carry these parts.

What is it that you prefer to do on your classics? Do you immediately rebuild the stock brakes? Or do you run out and get yourself a dual chamber master cylinder? Perhaps all of your classics immediately get a front disc brake conversion done? What parts do you carry in case of failure on the road? Is there anything that your father taught you to always have in the car? Fluid Drive owners, is there something specific that you carry for your car? Are there specific fuses or tools that you keep on hand just in case?


Let us know how we can help keep you and your family safe in your vintage Chrysler, Dodge, DeSoto or Plymouth!