Driving old British sports cars on a regular, almost daily, basis is much the same as driving an old Chevy or Plymouth. As long as its mechanicals are maintained properly, there’s no reason why any old car can’t be driven daily. After all, isn’t that the purpose of owning old cars – to enjoy their unique and entertaining driving experience as frequently as possible?
Well, old British cars aren’t any different than those cars that were built in America. Despite the opinion that domestic electronics built by Delco, Mopar and Motorcraft are superior and more reliable, the Lucas electrics can be just as reliable, they only require more maintenance. Regarding suspensions, brakes and engines, I’d say they are equal in terms of durability.
Quite often when I drive my original 1967 Triumph GT6 MKI, my neighbors are amazed that I’m driving a car that old, and that often. They always have this strange look on their faces when they see me driving down the block. But when I tell them that old cars, regardless of make or model, were once used and driven every day back when they were new, and that just because they are now 40-plus years old doesn’t mean that they aren’t up for the same task, their faces go blank. They just don’t understand.
Back in the mid-’90s when my daily driver was a 1964 Pontiac Le Mans, a car that I drove five days a week from Brooklyn, through Manhattan, and into northern New Jersey where I worked, the uninformed thought I was insane. Not surprisingly, to me at least, not once did that old Pontiac ever break down or leave me stranded. Mechanical parts are not like people; they don’t know how old they are. All they require is vigilant upkeep and the proper adjustments and lubrication, and all will be well.
Now that my GT6 is my only old car that’s registered and insured, I always make sure that the various fluids are topped up, the hoses and belts are tight and don’t have any cracks, the filters are clean and all the electrical connections are tight and free of corrosion. It’s the same care and attention that owners of old Dodges and Buicks will give, too. Safeguarding cars against premature failure of components may require more attention the older the car is, but the process really isn’t much different or any more difficult than if that “old” car was a 2003 Cadillac or Lincoln. What’s more, the more often old cars are driven, the better they perform, because all their bearings, seals and other mechanical components are kept well lubricated. Like the saying goes, use it or lose it