Tuck Her Up Tight
Make sure your classic wheels are tucked up tightly each night in a garage or storage space that is as free from damp as possible. Metal and particularly chrome can easily become damaged or corroded if exposed to bad weather and damp. It’s worth considering a Car Capsule from carcapsule.co.uk, a clear vinyl bubble that seals your car completely from dirt, dust and condensation. Even insects and prying fingers are locked out.
Do Your Homework
Older cars need a spark, fuel and air for their engines to work. It’s worth swotting up on the main systems of combustion engines so you have a basic grasp of what’s going on under the bonnet. Introduction to Internal Combustion Engines by Richard Stone is a good place to start. After reading that you’ll be much more useful at the side of the road.
Start Me Up
It’s easy to fall into the trap of just standing back and admiring your classic car, or being too scared to take it out for a spin in the winter. Make sure you start the car up at least once every two weeks and get it up to normal running temperature. Ideally it should be driven at least a couple of miles too, just to help avoid potential problems with the clutch, hydraulics and handbrake.
Aways Wear Protection
Invest in a quality set of lotions and potions. Think of it as applying suncream. Meguiar’s products come highly recommended and are stocked all over the North East. Pick up a good quality wax, interior cleaner and tyre dressing and use them thoroughly a couple of times a year to keep the body shiny, rims protected and leather soft.
Keep Her Full Watered
Classic cars are not like modern cars which can often be driven hard without maintenance between services. Keep a close eye on levels and top up before setting out on a drive whenever they look low. Oil and water in particular, but don’t forget brake and clutch fluids too.
At Your Service
Get the car checked over and serviced at least once a year – an oil change at the very minimum. Even if the car is exempt from MOT, the steering, suspension, tyres and brakes still need checking.
Join the Club
Whether you’re a Ferrari man, a Porsche person or an Aston chap, you’ll find dozens of sites, blogs and message boards dedicated to your particular car. Subscribe to updates, advice and share dealer recommendations. There is an amazing community around classic cars so tap into it.
Take a Brake
Speaking of the handbrake, cables are prone to seizing up on older cars and can fail to release when you let the brake off. Where possible, keep the car in place by using chocks and leaving it in gear.
The Special One
Go with specialist dealers wherever possible for servicing, repairs and bodywork. They’ll know of any specific quirks the car is prone to, plus a specialist service stamp in the service book always looks good if you ever come to sell.