I just bought an old car - a 1988 Mercedes Benz 300E. It may not be much, but it is the only car I have. So, what can I do to prevent theft? I was told that the wiring will not support an ignition-kill device. Other than the Club, what can I do?
Are you really sure you want something like that. They tend to cause more problems that auto thieves.
You cold try a club device or add a simple mechanical fuel shut off and you will just need to turn the fuel switch on or off. Your mechanic should be able to set it up so you can switch it from the driver’s seat.
I’d use a Club. It will send the casual thief on his way. He can steal the car in the next parking spot without the Club. Nothing you can buy will deter a professional thief. But I doubt a professional will want your car. Actually, I doubt any thief wants your car.
Actually, and I don’t want to be discouraging to the OP, but cars like this are the main targets for for-profit car thieves. Most cars that get stolen get stolen for parts and people who buy used parts are people with older cars like this, and so something like an older Benz is a prime target because they’re all over the world, the parts are very expensive and plus the older ones are easy to steal. Not to mention their popularity amongst the world’s small-time wanna be gangsters.
It’s really probably only a problem if he lives in a major port city, but if he does a fuel pump cut off switch might not be a bad idea in addition to the club. But there’s not really anything that’s going to stop someone with a flatbed (other than maybe a garage).
Keep it locked and the inside clear of valuables. Have you ever noticed that anytime a car alarm goes off nobody does anything? People ignore alarms except when they are locating their cars in a large parking lot.
During 2006 there were less than 50 1988 300Es stolen in the USA. While there weren’t a lot made, that’s still a low rate. The sweet spot for the Accord is the early 90s; every year Camry is popular. The Pontiac Aztek theft rate is Really Low (steal my Aztek, PLEASE!). Have some fun and look it up yourself:
Wow, that is a fun little tool.
Although, if I may be the skeptic, if they’re only dividing the number stolen by the number originally produced, wouldn’t that make cars that are more likely to still be on the road have artificially high theft rates? Ya know, cars like Accords and Camrys? I’m suspecting that’s why the 80’s European cars seem to have very low theft rates.
EDIT: Hmm… looking at it some more, those must be cumulative numbers. I have a hard time believing there were 764 1984 AMC AlliancesRenault Encores on the road in 2006, let alone that that many were stolen!