To own an old car is to work on and maintain an old car, as such, you’re going to need to lift it up from time to time in order to carry out work. And of course, the car usually comes with a jack for exactly that reason. Sadly though, manufacturer jacks are more for sudden, emergency use than proper workshop use. They’re not all that stable, you really don’t want to be relying on them. Happily though, there is a world of lifting kit out there that you can have on hand to take your classic higher.
One thing we must stress, however, is that we’re just talking about the means to lift a car here. You should never, ever keep a car on a jack for prolonged amounts of time. Instead, always make sure you have axle stands on which to rest the car, and wheel chocks to keep the wheels on the ground from rolling. Safety first!
Just click the pictures if you want to add these lifting heroes to your garage.
The jack from Wolf is the perfect bit of kit. It’s got a low profile so it can get under even the most sporty cars. The castors serve to make it nice and manoeuvrable. And, unlike other trolley jacks, this one has a tall handle so you can use it while standing up. No more being on your knees while doing it. The big selling point, however, is the fact that the handle itself can turn 90 degrees either way, meaning the pump action doesn’t have to be in line with the jack itself. This means you can use it in a tight space. Very handy indeed. And all for just fifty quid.
You can’t go wrong with a good bottle jack. These are perfect for carrying in your car, but they’re much more capable and efficient than whatever the manufacturer sent the car with. And being hydraulic, they’re also a lot stronger and much less prone to sudden failure than, say, a traditional scissor jack. This little blue beauty from Silverline will set you back just a tenner, which is astounding value for money from a name you can trust. Buy it, stick it in your boot, never face the fear of using a scissor jack on the side of the A14 again.
Got a compressor in your garage? Then, you can make use of this clever bit of kit. It’s an air jack that lifts the car thanks to a rubber airbag mounted between two metal plates. Never underestimate the power of air – this little beast of a machine will keenly lift up to three tons, which is highly impressive. It’s also incredibly compact, meaning it can be used in the most confined of garages. The lifting plate also features a rubber foot, which not only serves to offer grip, it means that the machine won’t damage the car in any way. And all for a mere £105.
While we have been quite dismissive of the scissor jacks supplied from the factory, we’re willing to make an exception when it comes to this take on the tried and tested design. Made by Rogtz, there are two reasons why we like it. One – it’s a sturdy bit of design and features a sprocket engagement style design while also sitting on a large foot. This means it’s less likely to fall over, unlike the factory kit. Two – it’s electric. Plug this into the 12V socket in your classic, and with the supplied remote, you can lift or lower the car. No kneeling, no messing, no risk, no effort.
We’ve all used a set of metal ramps instead of a jack. And why wouldn’t we? For jobs where we don’t need to take the wheels off, they’re perfect. Drive up, change the oil, drive off. Perfect and simple. What if, though, those ramps had hydraulic bottle jacks built into them so we could get the car higher? Well, it’s not a hypothetical because that’s exactly what these beauties from Red Star offer. They’re perfect for doing bigger jobs at home like an exhaust, or under floor repairs. And because they have a resting height of 250mm, the car can’t physically come down on you. The ramps will keep you safe.