Heading to a classic car show? Don’t go unprepared! Here are six things to know to make sure you’re ready to go, from before you leave to after you park.
#1: Getting Your Car Ready Is More Than Just a Wash
Classic car shows are about exhibitions for vehicles, which means you need to give your vehicle more than just a wash. Most people know they need to detail their vehicle before a classic car show, but what does that mean? For starters, you need to thoroughly clean the exterior and interior, from the engine to the wheels. Experts often suggest starting the process by cleaning the engine and then moving to the wheels before doing the rest of the exterior. Don’t take your classic car through a carwash; instead, hand wash it carefully using the right products, always in the shade to avoid streaks from drying too quickly.
The interior is important too; use automotive-specific products rather than regular cleaning supplies. Make sure you don’t neglect the trunk, either, because nothing’s more jarring than seeing a perfectly clean car inside and outside except for the dirty trunk. Really, every detail is important for detailing: you’ll want to go as far as using Q-tips to clean the air vents and cleaning off stains from the ceiling fabric.
#2: Transportation Methods Are Really Important
It does no good if you get your car all clean and then it gets dirty in transportation to the classic car show. Proper delivery to the car show location is critical. Finding a classic car transporter for vintage automobiles has to be part of your preparation process. You’ll want to ensure you take a heightened level of care when transporting your car from its regular storage location to its spot at the show and back again.
After safe delivery of the car to the show, use basic cleaning supplies you bring along to add the finishing touches to your car’s look directly at the location. This includes shining the tires after you have your car parked in its spot for the show.
#3: You Need to Know About Your Car (And Display That Information To Others)
Part of the classic car show is showing your car to others, and that means you really need to know about your car in order to display the information to others. You’ve done the work, now show it off. We recommend making a modification poster detailing the specs before and after to clearly display what work has been put into the car. Especially if you are buying a classic car after some modifications are already made, you need to make sure you have all the information available and accessible that any curious show attendees or judges may want to see.
Typically, classic car shows will split vehicles into classes for identification purposes. So, make sure you know not just what the class of your vehicle is but also why your car deserves that identification. Note that classic car auctions are operating differently during the COVID-19 pandemic than they have in the past, which can affect class designations for attending vehicles. Also, different shows have different entry and registration processes. Some shows only have pre-registration in a specified window, while others allow last-minute additions. And some actively facilitate purchases of classic cars seen in the show.
#4: Keeping Your Car In Its Class Requires Long Term Maintenance, Not Just Care Right Before the Show
Knowing your vehicle’s class isn’t enough; you also need to maintain it. While it is important to meticulously detail your classic car right before the show and then transport it safely, you also need to engage in long-term maintenance. Direct sunlight is typically not ideal for classic cars when not in use; however, it’s best to take the car out for a drive, or at least start the engine, once a month or so to prevent corrosion in the engine.
The paint on a car also requires long-term care. It’s often best to invest in the more expensive but long-lasting and reliable sealant to keep the car looking shiny for longer. Different types of vehicles will need various types of care, so you’ll want to be sure that you’re providing the proper level of maintenance for your classic car.
#5: Custom License Plates Add a Nice Touch To Your Show Day Presentation
Every part of the look of a vehicle is important at a classic car show. Don’t underestimate the power of the right license plate to bring your show day presentation together. A vintage plate that matches the aesthetic of your car can push your vehicle over the top in terms of presentation and style. On the other hand, a regular contemporary license plate can be all it takes to destroy the classic image you’ve worked so hard to cultivate with your car.
#6: Open the Windows
You’ve put so much time into every aspect of your car, so don’t make it hard to see that! Roll your windows down so people can easily see the beautiful interior of your vehicle at the classic car show. If you’re worried about people’s fingerprints, you can keep a close eye on them when they’re inspecting the vehicle. Plus, keeping the windows open means people may touch your car less, because they can already see what they want to see inside.
Get Classic Car Show Ready
Now that you know about detailing your car, making information about your car accessible, long-term maintenance for your car, using a custom license plate on show day, and rolling down the windows for your presentation, you should be all set for the big day as long as you can get the vehicle from Point A to Point B.