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Thursday 8th February 2018

Throwback Thursday- Classic DIY Car Alarms

In the late 80's and especially the early 90's there seemed to be an epidemic of car theft and car break-ins, usually resulting in the loss of car radio/ cassettes with the accompanying broken window glass and butchered up dashboard or console.

At this stage cars didn't come with factory fitted alarms and immobilisers and so they had to either be professionally fitted, usually by car audio companies that fitted high end systems from Cobra, Clifford, Piranha, Kenwood etc or DIY fitted with kits from the likes of Selmar, Moss and Sparkrite sold by car accessory shops.

My first car alarm was from Selmar and I fitted it in 1987 to my Triumph Dolomite 1500HL. It was a simple affair that relied on voltage drop to trigger it which then set off the car's own horn. This voltage drop happened when the courtesy light lit up from someone opening a door- yes it was that sophisticated!

This was also prior to having keyfob 'blippers' and so the kit came with a lock barrel switch and you had to arm and disarm the system with a real key! I didn't want to drill a big hole in the bodywork and so mounted the lock barrel behind the grille and it was a real fiddle to get the key in and turn it.


By 1989 when I'd progressed to an Alfasud, I fitted a Sparkrite alarm system and things had moved on quite a lot. The system actually had it's own siren, ultrasonic sensors (to detect a window break in), immobilisation via a wire to the coil, and remote fob activation!

This had a sensor for the fob activation that was mounted in the windscreen and you had to point the fob directly at it from a distance of no more than 3 inches from memory! This wasn't very 'cool' at the time and it also didn't 'blip' on and off which was becoming the norm and quite fashionable at the time.


In 1992 I fitted a Moss sytem to my next car- an Alfa Romeo Sprint, and this had the ultrasonic sensors in a 'cool' dash mounted 'scanner' with flashing LED, proper remote keyfob activation, a very loud siren and it would 'blip' loudly on and off giving pub carpark kudos and the ability to upset neighbours...

30th January 2018

Valid part of UK motoring history spotted.

Spotted this Greeves Invacar parked up on someones drive today. These 3 wheeled cars used to be a fairly common site on the roads during the 70's and 80's, classified as 'invalid carriages'.

This one was registered in 1970 and carries a current MOT.

28th January 2018

Little things please little minds...

Daily driver reaches half a century (well 50 thousand miles) and shortly after it thinks it's so funny it could laugh out loud.


21st January 2018

Didn't watch much of the 1st season of 'The Grand Tour', but I'm really enjoying this second season, and it's worth subscribing to Amazon Prime and/ or buying a Fire Stick or whatever just for Jeremy Clarkson's fabulous historical piece on the Lancia 037 rally car and how Lancia took on and beat the mighty Audi quattro despite being 'only' rear wheel drive.

I love Italian cars and I think that the Lancia 037 is one of the best looking cars ever made, especially in Martini livery.

-Psst- You can click on the Amazon Prime picture and get a free trial of Prime...

15th January 2018

Blue Monday

Enjoyed New Order's Blue Monday on the Substance cassette from 1987 on my 'modern' fangled 'face off' Pioneer car radio cassette player...

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