2. You can’t depend on hotel security (people or cameras) because many don’t have them anyway.

3. Law enforcement cautions the vehicle owner not to try to recover the car on your own but to notify the police. You’re dealing with a criminal element who may not hesitate to physically harm you. Their advice is don’t try to be a hero. Let them do what they’re paid to do.

4. Don’t assume that your car won’t be stolen. Prepare for the worst, which brings up street rod insurance. Simply put, get some.

Back in the Feb. ’06 issue of STREET RODDER we did a story called “Guard Duty” (you can find it at www.streetrodder.com), which looked at security measures that could be taken to protect your street rod. Since that story ran there have been some remarkable improvements in anti-theft/recovery devices, and one of the most impressive we’ve seen is the ArrowTrack available from Steve Sbelgio and Eclipse Engineering. It uses the latest state-of-the-art GPS and cellular technologies to monitor your vehicle and will notify you by text and email if your vehicle is moved. That means that, unlike many systems, you don’t have to discover your car is missing before action can be taken. As soon as an alert is received you can log on to the system, click the “Locate” icon, and your car will be found, usually in a matter of seconds. And with a stolen street rod, the longer it’s gone, the less likely it is to be found.

Installing the ArrowTrack couldn’t be easier. There are four wires coming out of the unit, but only two are used, a constant power supply and a ground. The unit is then positioned with the beveled side up so it can “see out of the car” through the windows, but that doesn’t mean it has to be out in the open. The ArrowTrack can be hidden out of sight and in most cases the lower the better as that gives the unit’s internal antenna a better angle to “see” the satellites. Plastics, wood, and regular glass do not interfere with GPS signals and the tracker will operate normally if it is covered by any of these materials.

Once installed, some basic information is entered into the online ArrowTrack registration site and the device settings are established. These include contact information for the alert notifications, which include theft alert, motion, power disconnect, power reconnect, low car battery, low internal battery, and the optional Geofence and mph notifications. The price of the unit includes one year of service and 500 “traks,” or search requests for the vehicle (regular alerts, such as movement, are unlimited). After that the charge for annual service is $99, which is normally offset by reductions in premiums by most insurance companies.

We installed an ArrowTracker to see for ourselves how effectively it would find a vehicle. Not only did it notify us by text messaging and email every time the vehicle was moved, but we could determine its location in three different modes on the ArrowTracker website, even when parked in a building. Which brings up an interesting point. If a vehicle was to be parked in a structure that somehow blocked the unit’s access to the satellites, the point of entry can be pinpointed. And if the vehicle leaves the building, contact is reestablished and its location will be known.

Unfortunately, other than posting an armed guard to constantly stand watch over your street rod there’s no completely effective means to prevent it from being stolen, however the ArrowTracker is one of the best methods to get it back.

Eclipse Engineering