Being a proud owner of a classic car can often mirror the trials of parenthood. You might don it with its own name, or even a personality trait or two. Just like kids, classic cars require can and attention if they are going to behave how you want them to.
Ultimately, how you care for and nurture your four-wheeled companion will determine what value in life it will one day possess.
Here are some tips on how to best look after your classic, so that ownership becomes investment in something that will gain in value over time.
Storing your classic car
While it’s impossible to completely shield your car from precipitation on our often-rainy roads, your stationary classic should always be parked in an enclosed garage space, that’s both waterproof and not exposed to the elements. This is particularly true if you are staying in one of the coastal areas, where the corrosive effects of salt-rich drizzles and humidity can eat away at your car’s paintwork and coachwork.
Direct sunlight exposure is just as bad, causing both flaking paint and cracked interior leather. A portable windshield sun cover is a must, for those times when parking in direct sunlight is required. To keep your leather seats clean and subtle, a set of cleaning and moisturising products can be applied, a trusted range of which you can find on our website.
Classic Car Care and Maintenance
For most car enthusiasts, a classic car is not their everyday vehicle. It’s often simply not practical to drive a very old car in the rush hour or take a classic convertible to work on a windy winter’s day.
But what happens to the car when it is not in use? Maintaining a vintage car in top condition requires consistent care. Here are a few tried and tested methods:
- If your car has lube fittings, remember to grease up your universal joints. Clean grease on suspension and steering fixtures will keep key parts flexible.
- If you’re storing your classic car for over 6 months, remember to drain the fuel tank, as well as to refill it when it’s time to use your car again. For shorter periods of storage, a dose of fuel stabiliser would do the trick.
- When in storage, take out the battery and store it in a dry place, after treating any corrosion with baking soda paste, rinsing thoroughly with water and drying with a soft cloth.
- If possible, suspend your car and remove the tyres, storing them away in tyre protector covers.
- Should you possess a convertible, remember to store it with the soft top up, to prevent shrinkage or creasing.
Best Car Wash for Classic Cars
There’s a lot that goes into maintaining glittering paintwork and regular cleaning is a must, especially to rid the car surface of contaminants and pollutants that are found in everyday air.
Whatever your cleaning preferences, these three classic car care tips are your basic guide to a great finish:
- Wash from the top down. It may seem obvious, but don’t be tempted to start with the wheels. Wash the top of the car first and let gravity do its thing.
- Get the right cleaning product for your car. Never be tempted to stint on cleaning products. You might think a one-off with washing up liquid won’t do any harm, but some cleaners possess tiny particles that can generate scratch marks on your paintwork. Always use professional cleaning aids that are gentle on the paint and buff up with wax to add further protection.
- Don’t neglect your tyres. Most of the grime and dirt will of course accumulate around the wheels and underside of the car. A specialised tyre cleaner will ensure your tyres always look great, whatever the weather conditions.
How often should you take your classic car for a drive
Owning a classic car is all about the experience and enjoyment of driving. You want to make sure that when you do have plans to go for a drive, you can rely on your car to be ready.
Running a car periodically is important, especially if that car is over 10 years old. As a rule of thumb, a half-an-hour spin once a month should keep its knacks in order. Getting the fluids underneath the bonnet circulating is important, and even more so when the temperatures dip to extreme lows over the winter months. And, if your vehicle is kept outside during the colder spells, a weekly run might be necessary, to keep everything ticking over.
Investing time and care in your classic car, with the right products, is the only way to guarantee the sheer driving pleasure every true motoring enthusiast craves. Caring for anything precious is a huge part of the pleasure of ownership. And ensuring your car remains in top condition means you’ll reap the rewards of your investment when it comes time to sell.