Summer is a great time to show off your classic vehicle at a car show. Although these shows are a lot of fun, they also offer an opportunity for classic car motorists to compete to see who has the most breathtaking and period-appropriate vehicle. If you’re interested in winning a prize in a car show, you need to take steps to ensure your vehicle is as immaculate as possible. In this blog, we share five essential steps you need to take to prepare for your next show.
Practice Caution When Removing a Car From Storage
The first step you need to take when preparing your classic car for a show is to ensure your safety when removing it from storage. If you keep your vehicle in your garage or another storage space, you need to roll it out of the space before starting it. The reason why this step is important is that your vehicle could have developed hazardous issues while in storage. If there’s a problem with its fuel lines or another component, your car could catch fire when cranking it up. Never start up your stored vehicle in an enclosed space. Otherwise, you could start a garage fire or house fire.
When starting up your car, you should also have a fire extinguisher near you in case your vehicle ignites.
Clean Exterior and Components
After removing your car from storage, you need to clean every inch of it. Car shows value perfection, and the judges want your classic car to be spotless.
Firstly, you need to wipe down your engine’s compartment and undercarriage, and you should also wipe it down cautiously to avoid getting degreaser on your windshield and fenders.
When washing your vehicle’s exterior, you need to use a cleaner that’s specifically designed for cars, and you should avoid using dish soap, which is too harsh. You should also make sure your sponge and mitt are safe for your vehicle’s finish. Additionally, you should clean your car in the shade. Soap can evaporate quickly when exposed to the sun, leaving spots and streaks on your car.
You can start cleaning your car’s exterior by beginning with the wheels. You can then wash your car roof and work your way down. Once you’re done cleaning the car, use a chamois rag or a microfiber towel to dry it.
Next, you can remove any stains that may have accumulated on your car. Some people utilize polish to remove stains while others use clay bars.
Finally, you need to wax your car to make it shine. When applying wax, use a thin coat on smaller sections of the vehicle, and make sure to use a clean towel. You should only use wax when your car is in the shade because applying wax to hot paint will result in hazing.
Clean the Car’s Interior
After you’ve completed perfecting your car’s exterior, you need to get to work on your interior. Car shows are about more than just your car’s exterior — judges will also evaluate the quality of your interior.
You can begin by vacuuming your car’s carpets and applying an automotive carpet cleaner.
Next, you can combine mild soap and warm water to wipe down plastic and vinyl throughout your car. Like with your car’s exterior, you should avoid using soaps and cleaners that are harsh as this can damage your car’s interior upholstery. If your car’s interior has leather, you can use leather conditioning and cleaner.
You should also use an automotive glass cleaner to work on your car’s windows. Never use standard household glass cleaner on your windows because they can leave smudges. In addition to an automotive cleaner, you can also use hot water.
Bring Cleaning Supplies and Other Items
You may need to re-clean your car once you arrive at the show, so you need to bring cleaning products. Make sure to bring a chamois or microfiber rag, bucket, gloves, waterless car wash, detail spray, chrome polish, and car glass cleaner.
In addition to critical cleaning supplies, you should also bring event essentials that don’t directly relate to your vehicle. You should bring water, snacks, and a chair. You’ll also likely be sitting or standing in the sun for extended periods, so you need to pack sunscreen, an umbrella, and a hat.
Finally, you should consider bringing a photo album that includes historic photos of the car as well as before-and-after photos of your restoration. The judges and other participants will enjoy seeing what your car looked like before the restoration, and this additional item could help you win an event prize.
Check Tire Pressure and Other Essentials
In addition to ensuring that your car will be spotless during the show, you also need to make sure that you’ll be able to get to and from your event without difficulty.
Before leaving, check your tire pressure, battery, and fluid levels. You need to be prepared for something to go wrong, so you should carry spare parts and tools in case you have vehicle troubles.
Having a roadside assistance membership can give you the peace of mind you need on the way to a car show. Some common roadside assistance memberships include AAA and Better World Club. You can also gain access to nationwide roadside flatbed towing by insuring your vehicle with Classic Car Insurance. Our flexible and robust plans include roadside assistance.