For real motor-heads there can be no more exciting prospect than owning a classic car. A classic car isn’t just a run-of-the-mill purchase, it’s an investment into a lifestyle, a lifestyle that deserves regular maintenance. These are beautiful, valuable and unique machines that can be as temperamental as they are attractive and as such, taking care of these ancient beasts is almost a separate hobby in itself.
For all of you lucky classic car owners (or potential classic car owners) out there, here we’ll be examining a few top tips for giving your other great love, a long and happy life.
Whilst the majority of classic car lovers will take their babies out at least once a week or even regularly take them to specialist exhibits to show them off, some owners might just use their classic cars for decorative purposes. Whilst it’s true that they are aesthetically beautiful and can really lend your garage a sense of glamour, these are machines that were built to be driven and allowing them to sit gathering dust in your garage can and will lead to serious deterioration over time. Even if this means just taking her out for a Sunday spin once a month, it is in your best interests to make sure your classic motor is given the chance to do what it was built to do, born to do. You wouldn’t buy a masterpiece and hang it in the bathroom would you? These are machines that deserve to be seen and deserve to be driven!
Perhaps more so than modern cars (which have generally been built with last-ability more in mind), classic cars are more likely to be damaged by the elements, they will also be prime targets for criminals as anti-theft protection has only really been implemented in even top-tier cars over the last 20 years. Choosing a potential storage location for your classic car will depend very much on your circumstances. If you have access to your own secure garage you’d be a little barmy not to use it. For those of us without our own garage space though the problem becomes a little more complicated.
You could hire a third party garage or storage unit to look after your vehicle for you, but this will prove costly (though if you can afford it we strongly recommend utilizing their services) and leaving it on the street outside your house leaves it exposed to not only thieves but the elements. Storing it outside is never recommended but it you have no choice then make sure it’s covered. Your cars paint job will wear significantly over time and its interior will also suffer.
There are specific chemical compounds you can use on both to protect them but the fact of the matter is that there is no better protection than a thick tarpaulin cover. This will also ‘disguise’ your car from potential criminals. In terms of avoiding damage from other cars, try to keep your car as far away from other vehicles as possible to avoid scuffs and collisions, parking in spaces that are wide enough to accommodate at least another 50% of your car. If you decide to use a third party garage or storage unit, do your homework first. Check reviews online and make sure you compare and contrast prices and opening hours.
Next to godliness (so they say). Keeping your classic car clean often involves far more than just driving it through the local car wash every couple of months. You’ll want to wax your car at least every month so it’s paint job remains bright and shiny and cleaning the underside of your car (whilst unpleasant) will also help significantly in the long run.
There is nothing particularly exciting or ‘sexy’ about insurance but it is a legal necessity and is something you should pay even closer attention to if your car is a classic. There are numerous insurance firms that deal exclusively with classic cars and many of the larger insurance companies (such as ‘Aviva’) will also have their own specific classic car divisions. Options offered by these companies will have clauses that specifically refer to classic cars so we’d definitely recommend using them over a more conventional service.
Just because your car is older than you are and looks pretty enough to be a Playboy centerfold, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t require the same general maintenance as your other (less exotic) cars. This means changing the oil when it’s required, topping off the brake fluid, checking the tires and all of the other minor things that make being a car owner such a conflicted joy. If you fancy somebody else doing all of this unglamorous work for you of course, there are specialist garages that deal specifically with classic cars. Their rates will almost certainly reflect the exclusivity of their services though!