7 Accessories for Vintage Cars

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7 Accessories for Vintage Cars

Vintage or classic cars hold a special place in many people's hearts. Cars with chrome and steel, bright colours, and smooth lines draw some people in. Many vintage cars are lovingly restored by their owners, some to factory condition. While other cars are restored, they may have modern or different style accessories added. Accessories can make a vintage car look exactly like it did the year it first came on the market. They can also add a bit of personal flair to a car.

When looking to purchase accessories for vintage cars, owners should keep a few things in mind. The age of the car, the style of the design, its condition, and, most importantly, the owner's taste are all relevant factors in buying an accessory for a vintage or a classic car. With all of the choices including colours, styles, and other variety to choose from, finding an accessory for a vintage car can be an involved process that relies heavily on the owner's taste.

1. Breezies

Vent window 'breezies' were designed as an aftermarket addition to the car. Classic and vintage cars had vent windows that could be opened. In the days before air conditioning, this allowed drivers and passengers to have some air without the turbulence and noise from opening the main windows. Breezies were designed to deflect the air flowing from a vent window without blocking the air from coming in. Breezies clip on to the vertical bar between the vent window and the window glass. Generally, breezies can be found in pairs. They can be found in chrome and stainless steel as well as translucent plastic in different colours. Buyers who are purchasing breezies separately should keep in mind there is a right and left side to these devices.

2. Bug Deflectors

Bug deflectors attach to the hood of a car. They are designed to prevent smashed bugs from damaging the paint or dirtying the windscreen. Bug deflectors do this by diverting air around the car, and this prevents bugs from hitting the bonnet or windshield.


Like many other vintage car accessories, bug deflectors can be found in chrome or stainless steel as well as translucent coloured plastic. Unlike breezies, bug deflectors come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Vintage car enthusiasts have many options to choose from.

Installation Type

There are bug deflectors that are designed to be installed in the centre of the car's bonnet as well as ones that wrap around the front edge of the bonnet. The latter also provide some measure of protection from rocks as well. In addition, buyers should know that there are deflectors that are designed for specific car models as well as parts manufactured for general use.

3. Exhaust Deflectors

As add-on pieces for the exhaust pipe, deflectors are meant to move exhaust fumes downward and away from the car. This keeps the car and bumper cleaner, particularly in vintage cars that do not have modern low-emissions engines. In some cases, exhaust deflectors can also affect the volume of the exhaust tone. If the exhaust deflector is on the larger side, it can make the noise from the exhaust louder than normal.

Exhaust deflectors can add some style and brighten up a vintage car. They come in many different sizes, styles, and types. The style of the car as well as the year it was made should influence the purchasing decision. Since there are so many different options, it is necessary to take care when buying a deflector so as to choose one that matches the look of the car. In addition, buyers do need to be careful to buy exhaust deflectors that fit their car's existing exhaust pipes. Deflectors are sold either based on the model of the car or its diameter and are generally either chromed or stainless steel.

4. Curb Feelers

Curb feelers are add-on pieces that are used to protect expensive tyres and hubcaps. Essentially flexible metal springs or wires that stick out from the car near the tyre, they alert drivers to the proximity of the curb. Some curb feelers stick out as far as 25 centimetres. They can be plain metal wire, spring shaped, or even have ornaments on the ends. Usually found in pairs, curb feelers are another cosmetic addition to a vintage car.

5. Bonnet Ornaments

Early classic cars had radiator caps on the outside of the bonnet. This served as a temperature indicator of the coolant. Eventually, these were replaced by ornaments. Bonnet ornaments, also known as hood ornaments or car mascots, became popular in the 1920s through 1950s. Many car manufacturers fitted their own badges, mascots, or ornaments on the bonnet; however, there were and continue to be many aftermarket options available.

Mascots come in a diverse range of materials. They can be chrome plated or plated in silver or nickel. They may be plastic, Bakelite, or glass. Occasionally, buyers may find an ornament that is lit by a light bulb. One of the most well-known glass mascot manufacturers was Lalique. An English company that produced glass mascots was Red Ashay. Buyers should keep in mind that bonnet ornaments, particularly vintage ones, are collectors' items and be ready to budget accordingly.

6. Mudflaps or Mud Guards

A mudflap, also known as a mud guard, is used to protect a car as well as other cars on the road from mud and stones thrown up by the tyres of a car. Generally, car manufacturers did not sell vintage cars with mudflaps. However, mudflaps were popular for some vintage cars as an aftermarket addition. A mudflap works together with the wing of a car. However, the advantage of adding mudflaps is to protect the car from dirt and flying objects thrown up against the body.

Mud guards are typically made from rubber or other flexible material. Since they hang so low off the body of the car, they scrape the road occasionally. The flexibility means they are not easily damaged. A mud guard can be a large piece hanging behind the tyres of a car or may be small moulded barriers in a wheel well. It is possible to find mud flaps in a range of plain black to coloured ones to branded ones and even ones with art on them.

7. Classic Picnic Sets

Depending on the age of the vintage car, it is possible that a picnic set would be an entirely appropriate accessory. Picnic sets that were specifically targeted to motorists appeared at the beginning of the 20th century. These sets were made in leather or wicker. Some cars were designed to integrate picnic sets, for example early Rolls-Royces had picnic sets fitted to the running board.

While some sets were simple boxes with the bare minimum required for a meal while out for a drive, other, larger sets tried to account for every possible need. For example, a picnic set might have milk bottles, drink bottles, a full set of dishware, and a kettle. Another set might be for cocktails and have just enough room for several flasks of alcohol, a shaker, and unbreakable tumblers. After the Second World War, wicker and leather baskets fell out of style, replaced by plastic and Bakelite sets. Vintage car enthusiasts who like to take the car out for a day trip may well be interested in finding a picnic set that suits the car.

Buying Accessories for a Vintage Car on eBay

If you do not know what type of accessories you would like to buy for a vintage or a classic car, you have several options. You can look on eBay for your particular car and see what accessories it comes with. If you are determined to restore the car as authentically as possible, you can search for the factory specifications for the particular model. On the other hand, you can also start your search by typing a relevant keyword in the search bar on the home page on eBay. For example 'vintage car accessory' returns all of the active listings with those words in them.

You can also search for more specific terms such as 'chrome breezy' or 'classic mudflaps'. Since you are searching for items that fit in vintage or classic cars, you may get a large number of used items in your search return. If you are determined to purchase only new or new-condition products, you can sort the search by selecting to view only new items. In addition, some vintage car parts can be quite heavy, meaning the delivery fee can be quite hefty. You may want to narrow down the search by sorting the listings for distance so that you can identify the items located close to your address.


Choosing an accessory for a vintage or classic car relies on several factors. The age of the car, its condition, and the preferences of the owner are all considerations. Accessories that can improve the look and feel of a vintage car include mudflaps, breezies, exhaust deflectors, and even picnic sets. If an owner is starting out to refurbish a vintage car, there may be quite a bit of room and a clear path for choosing accessories. The owner may want to replace worn or dingy curb feelers or a rusted exhaust deflector first. On the other hand, a new bonnet ornament or a picnic basket may be the perfect finishing touch to a redesign project. Researching whether or not an accessory fits in the automobile is only part of the decision. The right accessory depends entirely on the car, its age, and the whim of the owner. No matter what type of part is required, eBay offers vintage car enthusiasts a wide range of accessories to choose from.

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