Tips for Classic Car Care

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Posted on 20th January 2023

You haven’t invested in a classic car to watch it slowly fall apart under a tarp in the garden. Ongoing love and care are necessary to maintain a classic car you can be proud of as you cruise New Zealand’s roads. However, more goes into classic car care than your everyday vehicle. You’ll need to pay special attention to your cleaning, maintenance, and storage to keep your hot rod driving and looking its best.


Please continue reading to learn our top tips for classic car care.


Tips for cleaning your classic car

Cleaning your classic car is about more than just appearances.


New Zealand’s harsh UV rays can be hard on your classic car, wearing through aging polish and cracking vinyl roofs and interiors.


Wash your car and apply polish regularly

Handwash your classic car using abrasive-free soaps. Consider a clay bar to remove impurities in the polish, like embedded dust or gravel and water spots. Wet the car with warm water before using your clay bar.


A regular polish is also important to prevent rust and protect your paint from UV damage.


Protect your classic car’s vinyl

Vinyl roofs are popular on classic cars, but New Zealand’s harsh rays can dry them out, causing fading and cracking. Regularly apply silicon vinyl treatment to your vinyl roof and interior vinyl. Store your car away from direct sunlight, either indoors or with a cover. Consider a window screen when out and about to keep your vinyl interior looking sharp.


Note that interior leather requires careful attention as well. Don’t wait for cracks to form in your leather seats before applying a quality automotive leather conditioner.


Tips for maintaining your classic car

Your classic car requires the same servicing and maintenance as any other vehicle. Still, the rarity of many parts can drive up the cost of neglect.


  • Check fluid levels
  • Apply grease to all grease zerks
  • Inspect all brake pads/shoes and rotors/drums, as well as parking brakes
  • Check all exterior lights
  • Check tyre pressure and tread depth
  • Replace engine oil and filter annually


Tips for storing your classic car

Classic cars will spend more time idle than their younger garage-mates, so their storage environment is a larger consideration. Managing exposure to extreme temperatures, direct sunlight, and moisture is crucial. Drastic temperature shifts can lead to condensation, causing mould and decay. A quality car cover and indoor environment are ideal for off-season storage.


Avoid stagnation by cracking your classic car’s windows to ensure the interior remains well-ventilated. Also, unhook your battery to avoid leaching it flat. A trickle charger is a great way to sustain your battery’s peak performance.


Caring for your classic car

Keeping a classic car in mint condition is a significant but meaningful investment. Fortunately, time and effort count for a lot in classic car care. We should know!


At Cars2NZ, we work closely with some of New Zealand’s most passionate classic car collectors. We help Kiwis import cars to New Zealand every day. We understand how much work goes into sourcing classic cars and how precious they are to their owners. Get a free shipping quote today from Cars2NZ to see how we can help you expand your classic car collection.

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