Classic cars, just like your one-off vintage outfit or an antique piece of furniture, have a unique style and inherent character that leave trails of admirers in its wake.
Classic car enthusiasts collect, restore, drive, and maintain their antique pieces of engineering. This can be an expensive exercise. However, a well-maintained vintage car brings pleasure, maintains its value and is a truly exquisite investment.
On the other hand, to maintain the value and integrity of your classic car, it needs routine care to restore it to a level closer to its original look and charm.
Want to preserve the value of your classic car? Here are our top tips.
Understand your classic car in and out
Whether it’s your first classic car or an addition to your collection, reviewing and reading the owner’s manual helps you understand it inside and out and provides you with the theoretical knowledge on how to pinpoint a mechanical problem.
Where can you find classic car manuals? Try online, classic car clubs and other car enthusiasts.
Not having the correct knowledge may lead to lots of irreversible damage that may become expensive to repair.
Don’t allow dirt, dust or other contaminants to accumulate and build a home in your classic car. Endeavour to keep it clean, even when parked.
Dirt may impair its performance, contribute to rust, and wreak havoc on the paint. Give your car a thorough cleaning and wax regularly to protect the paintwork.
While a carwash may save effort and time, classic cars should only be hand washed and dried. Drive through machine washes may put a scratch. Our excellent cleaning tips include:
Your classic car cleaning supplies matter. Avoid using detergents with abrasive chemicals to prevent accidentally removing the paint. Instead, opt for PH balanced and non-detergent products that won’t strip away and affect the protective wax.
Use separate, clean, soft, non-abrasive wool or cotton cloths, to wash different car components. Avoid using sponges as they can scratch the car and trap dirt, thus spreading it.
Start cleaning the car under shade to prevent the sun from making the soap from evaporating and leaving spots and streaks on the paint.
Wash your car from the top to obey the fundamental laws of gravity and prevent contamination and grime from dropping onto the cleaned sections.
Don’t forget to clean the door handles, mirrors, door seals, and the trunk lip as you head over to the car wheels.
Use a toothbrush to wash the underside, spokes, and wheels thoroughly.
Thoroughly rinse your car using a steady stream of water. Avoid using excessive water to prevent pooling and causing rust damage to hidden areas.
Dry the car thoroughly using a microfiber cloth, starting from the top down.
Keep in mind; water does contain minerals that can leave marks on your paint job, ruining it. Ensure you completely dry even the hidden areas to prevent rust.
Lastly, dry your tires and wheel the last to avoid the risk of spreading even tiny amounts of grease.
After cleaning the exterior, wipe the interior to remove debris and stains on the seats and floor. Please start with the glass and windows and use a specialized automotive glass cleaner that gives a streak-free finish.
For dusting, use a microfiber cloth that attracts the dust and wipe off your dashboard and other areas. Thoroughly vacuum and brush the carpet using an upholstery cleaner, the foaming-type, or compressed air for fluff and sun-dry before using it.
Clean the leather surface and vinyl using your vacuum upholstery attachment to prevent damage and finish off by removing moisture using a dry cloth.
Use protective measures
Plan to wax your car frequently, preferably, every 6-8 weeks, to protect the paint from UV damage and environmental elements.
Use polyurea coating systems to coat and condition your wheel wells and tires, thus protect them from wear and tear.
Protect the under-the-body components and frame from rust with an oil spray but avoid touching the engine bay. A little oil goes a long way in preventing rust caused by the onslaught of road grime and salt.
Protect from scratches
Certain car areas, especially the front end, do get heavy wear and applying clear plastic guards (clear bra) may reduce the rust and damages from rock chips.
Additionally, to prevent frequent tear and wear on the car rear wheel, the rear top bumper, and the door sill, consider using a black vinyl wrap or carbon fiber tape.
To safeguard your paint and prevent grime, use mud flaps or mudguards.
Drive it regularly
Typically, most classic car collectors don’t like driving their cars. Collectors are overprotective. Less driving keeps the mileage low and the value up.
But what’s the fun of having classic cars if you can’t get an occasional spin? Besides allowing you to interact with other car lovers, driving it regularly keeps the engine running well.
However, avoid driving it in inclement conditions such as during snow drift, a rainstorm, high winds, and other harsh weather elements. Even when the weather is mild, choose smooth, paved and pothole-free roads. In case of unavoidable road hazards slow down, this prevents you from damaging tires, undercarriage, suspension, and other components.
Embrace regular checkups; keep the records
Yes, it’s obvious to perform routine repairs, checkups, and maintenance to correct any underlying problems. Doing so ensures your classic car works as designed over the time of your stewardship and into the future.
Additionally, properly keeping the records and receipts as a proven history of maintenance and repairs is proof of your diligence, love and care of your classic car.
Remember: a car with records sells faster and at a higher value.
Store it well
Before storing your classic car for the winter and summer season, perform correct maintenance. For example, service the vehicle from brake pads, tire pressure, fluid level, change the oil, and run the engine to ensure clean oil circulation.
Apply lubricants on the rusty spots to slow down the spreading of rust and prevent further corrosion. Ensure you use a fuel stabilizer and dill the tank to prevent tank rusting.
Lastly, before storing your classic car, disconnect the battery, or install a battery tender to ensure your battery remains operational even after stagnating for long periods.
Store your classic car in a clean, dark, and dry place. You don’t own a garage; rent one. And during summer, place it under a clean car cover.
These are just a few practical tips of ways to uphold your classic car’s value. As every classic car owner knows, preserving their vintage appeal and investment value is all part of the delight of owning one.