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Reader: Classic drivers are safer

2013-01-18 08:50

CLASSIC CARS MAKE FOR SAFER DRIVERS: Reader Leon Van Zyl believes that classic car owners are safer drivers. Above shows his 1971 Suzuki Fronte 500 currently undergoing restoration.

LEON VAN ZYL

CAPE TOWN - It may seem obvious but it is now official. The owners of cherished and classic cars in Germany are the safest drivers in the country, according to a survey by Dresden University for the VDA car industry federation.

The figures show that the owners of older cars, many of which have been lovingly restored, drive more carefully than the average driver. Vehicles older than 30 years make up just 0.9% of the cars on German roads but are involved in only 0.1% of accidents.

'WE ARE MORE MATURE'

Reader LEON VAN ZYL shares his thoughts on classic car owners:

"Are classic car owners better drivers? You bet! Normally we are more mature and less hurried. Most of us grew up with the classic models that we now drive, thus automatically compensating for the lack of power assisted disc brakes, power steering, low profile tyres, mag rims etc.

Classic car owners also tend to drive very defensively, because we are passionate about and very protective towards our vehicles. Although insured, it can be very difficult/expensive to restore an older model.

Most drivers of modern day plastics show a healthy respect, because none of them have massive chrome bumpers attached to 1/4inch steel chassis!

VAN ZYL'S CLASSIC CARS

"The car in my comparison between old and new, is a 1968 Jaguar XJ6 Series 1. It's chocolate brown in colour thus the nickname Mrs Cadbury. It has the well known 4.2 straight six cylinder engine with two SU carburetors and an auto transmission.

It has since been sold to make way for a 1998 Jaguar XK8 4.0 V8 drophead coupe, that goes by the name of Thundercat.

The image attached to this article is a little 1971 Suzuki Fronte 500 three-cylinder 475cc two stroke microcar, currently under restoration. The Suzuki is currently under restoration. We are having a set of piston rings made up and are trying to source original side repeater indicator lights and original wing mirrors from classic car restorers in Japan.

The Suzy shares a garage with my totally 1961 VW Beetle 1200cc.

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