If you own a classic car such as a Jaguar MKII, Triumph Spitfire, or Austin Healey 3000, then it’s likely that this car is your pride and joy and something that you only drive on special occasions. During the periods in which your classic car isn’t being driven, it’s still imperative that you look after your car to preserve its life and its value. There are several ways that you can keep your classic car in tip-top condition for as long as possible:
Have it serviced regularly – It’s a good idea to find a respected garage that specialise in the servicing and repair of classic cars as they were manufactured differently to modern vehicles and require a mechanic that knows what they’re doing. If your classic car needs any replacement parts they’re usually incredibly hard to come by as they’re no longer being produced. However, if your mechanic knows what they’re doing then they’ll be able to fit something like a reconditioned gearbox that will inject new life into your classic car and keep it running for longer.
Don’t drive it for long distances – Driving your classic car for long distances puts a lot of miles on the clock which will decrease its future resale value. Your classic car will also be subject to much more wear and tear with long distance driving. Even modern vehicles can suffer from broken radiators and overheated engines through long distance journeys, the only difference with classic cars is it’s much harder to repair them. If you’re moving house or attending a classic car show that’s quite some distance away then it’s recommended that you use a can transporter service to prevent driving the car.
Keep it clean – In winter many towns grit the roads with salt to prevent snow and ice, however if this salt gets into the undercarriage of your classic car it can start to erode the components. It’s important to wash your classic car regularly, by hand is best as the chemicals used in car washes may not be the best thing to look after its old body. Preserve the paintwork by using a specialist wax regularly.
Short-term storage – If you have a garage attached to your house then make use of it. The weather and the environment are not always kind to older vehicles so it’s best to keep it somewhere under cover. For very short-term storage a car cover sheet should suffice. If your car will be sitting un-driven for a couple of weeks or months, then it’s recommended that you drain the brake fluid and replace it; lubricate and grease the steering and suspension; and drain and replace the oil before storing your car.
Long-term storage – If you’re planning on storing your car for more than 6 months, i.e. over the winter, then store it in your garage or rent space in a storage garage to keep it protected from the elements. Before it goes into storage drain the fuel from the tank and then start the engine to clear the pipes; fuel left in the vehicle for 6 months of storage could clog the valves and car burettor. Drain the coolant too, and allow the radiator to air. Remove the car’s battery, clean it and store it somewhere safe and dry. Lastly, vacuum the interior of your classic car to ensure you get rid of any crumbs that could attract critters; also leave the windows open and place a couple of open tubs of bicarbonate of soda in the vehicle to absorb moisture in the air, this will prevent the formation of mould and mildew.