How to Protect an Antique Car

When it comes to antique vehicles, car protection is about more than just using a car cover and a garage. Properly maintaining your vehicle and insuring it are also important. A well-cleaned car can even increase in value. Try these tips to protect an antique car.


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    Buy insurance for your classic car. Hagerty is one such company that sells insurance for antique cars. If you already have regular car insurance, ask your insurance company whether they offer collector car insurance as well.
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    Store your vehicle if not using it for some time.
    • Try to leave the car indoors in a storage garage. Use a high-quality indoor car cover that is soft, form-fitting and breathable to protect the car.
    • Inflate the tires in excess of 2 to 5 PSI to allow for air loss over time.
    • Set the classic car on wheel chocks and do not leave the parking brake on. Jack stands may be used to take the car's weight if storing the car for up to 1 year or more.
    • Change the car's oil, fluids and fuel supply to ensure their freshness. Run the car's engine long enough to allow the new liquids and fuel to circulate through the car.
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    Clean the collector car's interior. Test any cleaning product or method on an inconspicuous area of the car to check that it is safe to use.
    • Act quickly when cleaning interior stains. For general stain removal, rub a small amount of household cleaner inward from the stain's edges. Dip a cloth in warm water and wring out the excess water. Rub the damp cloth over the cleaned area.
    • Dry the cleaned interior area quickly and completely with a hair dryer, air hose or heat lamp. Be careful not to burn the upholstery. Clean the upholstery panel again if a ring forms after drying.
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    Wash the car's exterior while it is cool to the touch. Work in the garage or under shade.
    • Use a wash mitt and soapy cleaner with a neutral pH to wash your classic car. Work from the top of the car down. As you go, rinse the car and the mitt often.
    • Make sure your wash mitt has nothing on it that could scratch or dirty the car while you clean. Save the back and lower areas of the car for cleaning last because they accumulate the most dirt.
    • Soak a hardened stain on a car's exterior with soapy water to soften it. Wipe or gently scrape away the stain with a soft cloth or soft plastic dish scrubber. A wadded up nylon sock may also be used.


  • Scrub vinyl upholstery with a soft brush and then wipe it with a damp washcloth.
  • Regularly polish leather upholstery with a cream made of linseed oil and vinegar in a 2 to 1 ratio. This can prevent the leather from cracking.


  • Do not use a waterproof car cover as car protection. Moisture can get trapped between the cover and the car, damaging the car's paint.
  • Never oil vinyl upholstery. Doing so will make the vinyl lose its softness.
  • Do not harshly rub or scrape a hardened exterior stain. This could damage the car's finish.
  • Never use a scrubbing pad to clean a car's exterior. Its rough surface could damage the paint or scratch the glass.
  • Acids from insect guts could damage a car's paint if not removed as soon as possible.

Things You'll Need

  • Collector car insurance
  • Garage
  • Car cover
  • Wheel chocks
  • Jack stands
  • Oil
  • Car fluids
  • Fuel
  • Household liquid cleaning products
  • Soft cloth
  • Water
  • Hair dryer
  • Wash mitt
  • Neutral pH soap cleaner

Article Info

Categories: Cars