Vintage Air versus Classic Auto Air

I think I would go with Vintage Air. They have been around a long time. Classic Air has changed over the years but they have provided me with OEM parts when needed.


Isn’t the biggest thing the type of refrigerant you can use using aftermarket system vrs OEM?
Can get R-34 all over the place, but here in WI I don’t see anyone selling R-12 for just anyone to use. Maybe I’m not looking hard enough :slight_smile:

R-12 is available and isn’t much more than 134-a now in our area. Metro Atlanta, GA Maybe I am the exception as alot of our local mechanics hoarded R-12 when the the changes occurred.


I would say the real question is which system is more efficient? That should be the final decider of which way to go.

It’s been said and I somewhat agree to an extent that the most efficient system is what the car originally came with. But when you think how those systems are now 50 years old and how technology has changed and how the aftermarket has changed the hobby, how much sense does it make to stick with 50 year old technology and equipment… unless of course, yours is working as well as it did when new?

How many people can say theirs does anymore. I’ll wager, not many.

Which is why I opted to swap out my entire factory air system in my car and retrofit the Vintage Air system to blow through the stock vents. The defrost and AC vents are ALL that I retained from the original system.

Two '69 Cyclones and 1 '69 Cougar, all 3 factory air cars on R-12 with the Sanden compressors. All 3 blow so cold I damn near have to turn them off and that’s going down the highway when it’s 100ish degrees .I’d have no reason to say otherwise.
I went round and round with the 134. Everything I could get new and all my best used parts. Nothing was overlooked. The 134 would get cool only after going down the highway but not cold.Put correct R12 fittings on, all else proper and the A/C works great.
I found a really good A/C tech. He stated the evaporator’s orifice size was designed for R12 and that makes sense to me.No 2 or 3 cars are going to be the same.All I know is that in the real world where I live my program’s working.

So I finally pulled the trigger, I ordered the Classic Auto Air system for my '69 XR7 Convertible.
My car has never had air but it does have “Comfort Stream Ventilation” which means it has the center vent.
I purchased an A/C lower dashboard and vents from a fellow member, so I’m getting the kit that works with a car that has A/C.
According to the sales rep, I’ll need a new belt, that will drive the compressor (not included) but the 351 does not require any pully changes.
I’ll keep people informed of the install as I proceed over the winter.
Delivery takes two weeks and is not included in the price.

I pulled the trigger on Vintage Air on Friday. I’ll attempt to document the install.

I used Classic Auto Air to replace all of the engine compartment A/C components and some in-dash items for the factory air on my '70. I did all the work myself, the instruction were good, everything fit, customer service was great, and it’s still tight and cooling two years later. I don’t have any experience with Vintage Air so I can’t comment on them. I had the heater box out, rebuilt, and reinstalled prior to deciding to replace the rest of the system. While it was out, I air tested the evaporator to 150 psi (bubble tested submerged in water). It was tight so I didn’t take it back out when the rest of the system was changed.

Hi jayco59,
How is the progress on the classic auto air system. I also am thinking about buying their system. I heard that some cougar owners will find an original center vent for the dash. I think some one has come up with a reproduction.

It’s done, but it was a lot of work!
I swapped out the lower front dash with an A/C car so I didn’t have to drill in side vent holes, thought that would not look authentic.
Like I mentioned before my car already had the center vents.
Anyway, issue i had were numerous.

  1. The hole in firewall in my car didn’t match the hole they expect in a Mustang so that requires welding of a metal plate in one spot. I’m not a great welder but I have a setup and get by when I have to.
  2. The old heater plenum was easy to remove and the new unit itself goes in ok, but my install was probably easier than others since I had removed my lower dash. Figuring out the placement for the firewall holes for the attaching bolt and the waste water was hit and miss as the template was hard to work with IMO.
  3. The plumbing in the engine compartment isn’t too bad. But the wiring had an issue, the wiring diagram and instructions forget to tell you to wire in the high pressure switch!). The installation of all the mechanical pieces required some minimum fab and rework efforts as some of the brackets they supplied didn’t quite fit or required a different hole pattern. Not a huge deal but added to the frustration (or fun).
  4. The directions for charging the system with Freon assumes you are taking it to an A/C shop that will use a machine to charge it, I bought a pressure gauge set and did it myself. This required several calls to the help line to clear up the appropriate procedure. With that said, the support guys are for the most part friendly and helpful.
  5. The glove box will require to be modified or replaced with an A/C glove box, I bought a new after market A/C glove box as I don’t like to cut up original parts if I can help it.
  6. The center vent interface that they supply also was not quite correctly sized and required some “rigging” to get it to stay connected. Also the vent hoses for behind the dash are a tight fit to say the least.
  7. One last issue was that the output when in Heat Mode (Floor) seems to favor the drivers side much more than the passenger side, again I rigged a baffling system to help with that issue. The support guys blamed my carpet, but it’s there design, IMHO. They have a mustang design and they hope it fits a cougar.

As they say, “all’s well that ends well” (I guess). I do have a working A/C and heat in the car and it seems to blow nice and cold.
Oh I also upgraded my radiator to be the Big Block upgrade (I had the typical 20" radiator that comes with an none A/C 351), so that was another $600 or so that added to the total cost of the project.

Hope I’m not scaring you off of upgrading, just want to let you know it’s one of the harder jobs I’ve done on the car, but then again I’m not a mechanic just a “wanna be”.

I hope the Vintage kit goes in better than that. I’ve been piddling with different parts of the install and haven’t gotten serious about getting it done. However, it’s getting hot here fast, so it’s gaining priority daily.