Owning a vintage car is more work than you think. Some naive car owners might think a vintage car is silly to own, and will never have the speed or gadgets that a new car will have. But no one has ever bought a vintage car for the convenience! True vintage car lovers know that it’s more than the capability of the car, it’s about the history and the golden age of it. They easily sacrifice the convenience and newfangled gadgets of a new car for the beautiful vintage feel.
It is also a great investment, as vintage cars that are in good shape actually appreciate rather than depreciate instantly like new cars. The key to having a vintage car that appreciates, however, is keeping the vehicle in excellent shape. Here are some of the most important tips for keeping your golden age vintage beauty in the best shape of its life.
Keep it from the elements
While this tip can go for all vehicles, it’s most important for your vintage car. Vehicle storage is the very first aspect you should look at if you’re thinking about buying a vintage car, or are wondering what to do with your current one. Simply parking it outside with a cover isn’t enough, as there is unknown damage that can occur to it by parking in various areas. For example, parking on gravel or sand on a windy day can cause the undercarriage of the car to get damaged. We highly recommend finding a place in a garage or other covered storage unit that has drainage underneath, and protects from the sun and bitter cold. Even a big garage can end up being a damp place full of mould and other damaging materials. Keeping a cool yet dry area for your car will help maintain it for longer.
Besides finding a good place to store your vehicle, you’ll also want to keep it out of the elements when actually driving it. Obviously, try and avoid taking your car out for a spin on a rainy or stormy day, but also consider sunny days as well. Even if you leave it parked to grab lunch quickly, the paint and auto upholstery can suffer quickly. Obviously you are still going to drive your car on a brilliant, blue sky and sunny day, so here are some ways to help protect your beauty from the damaging sun.
Just because you might not be using your vintage car every day doesn’t mean it doesn’t need the same regular maintenance as your everyday car. Think oil changes, cam belt replacements and fluid top ups. If you live in a cold area and aren’t taking your car out as much during the winter, make sure to pay special attention to the coolant levels. Turn it on and let it rev up about once a week during cold months as well. Also make sure to keep your fuel tank filled at all times. A top up when you return from a drive will keep condensation from forming inside the tank.
Finding a trusted automotive mechanic who knows vintage cars inside and out will be vital to keeping your car in shape. It’s also a good idea to find a mechanic who knows your particular car well, and maybe has worked with it in the past. For example, if you use a trusted mechanic for transmission repair, they’ll know the ins and outs of the repair and can help diagnose a new problem quicker than a new mechanic. They’ll also be able to know if you can put off a repair for the season, or other ways to help you save money on repairs.
Many people actually enjoy cleaning their car, and will spend hours doing so over the weekend. For those of us who aren’t super excited about an afternoon with a rag and bucket, it’s still really important for upkeeping your vehicle. Salt, sand and dirt all accumulate really quickly, and can be layered and caked on after just a few spins around the town. Any dirt that you bring into the vehicle’s interior as well is easily caked on and can be difficult to remove, the longer you wait.
We recommend a quick wipe down after every use along with a quick interior vacuum, if possible. Fully wash and clean your car often, and wax it properly afterwards. If you can, take it to a vintage car detailer once or twice a year to get it properly cleaned. Remember to have high quality materials when washing your vintage, as many regular house cleaners can do some damage. Here are some good options to look into.
Many vintage car owners consider this tip to be one of the most important for keeping your car in great condition. Vehicles aren’t meant to sit around not being used, and you certainly didn’t get the car to never have it be seen or used! More importantly, running a vehicle often will help keep everything lubricated and running smoothly. It’s recommended to get the car out and running a couple of times a month, which is a perfect excuse for a nice Sunday drive in the old beauty.
Owning a vintage car means more than just owning a good looking vehicle. You’ve joined a community of other vintage car owners that appreciate the same things you do, and appreciate the investment that you’ve made. There are even official vintage car clubs that you can join to really feel like you’re part of something. When you drive down the road, your car will stand out from all the rest as a beautiful work of art, and the love you have for your car will show! Follow these tips to ensure that not only your car stays in its best shape, but that you get to stay a part of this community for years to come.