Whether you own a souped-up Toyota Land Cruiser, restored Aston Martin, or a collection of classic muscle cars, a passion for unique and historic cars is something that never goes away – and often grows with the number of cars you own. Make sure you protect your classic cars from damage or additional wear and tear, so you can proudly show them off for years to come.
Here are a few tips to help you protect your car, truck, or other classic vehicle:
1. Find the right storage facility.
The best location is a clean garage with room for your car – and no hazards close by, like lawn equipment, power tools, or kids’ toys. You may want a power source, so you can hook up a battery trickle charger. And, if your garage is linked to your home’s fire detection system and is climate controlled to maintain stable temperature and humidity levels, you’ll be all set.
2. Keep all important documents.
The original manuals and historic photos, as well as your car’s repair history, will help you appreciate your investment and might even increase its value.
3. Research the history of your marque and model.
Find catalogs, books, vintage magazines, parts catalogs, and other memorabilia that include your car. Doing the research can be fun, but also can help you verify the originality of parts and confirm proper installation of everything from gauges to engine components and bumper guards.
4. Take photos.
Do you treat your car like a member of the family? Many of us do. Taking pictures of your “baby” each year can help you notice small deteriorations in condition and can be important to future owners.
5. Do the maintenance.
Find a reliable mechanic who specializes in your marque and address any problems promptly. Keeping up on maintenance will speak volumes to prospective future owners.
6. Take her out for a ride.
Drive your car at least every few weeks, so you can maintain proper lubrication and identify any maintenance needs. Even if you want to keep the mileage down, a couple dozen miles each month won’t hurt the car’s value.
7. Prepare for extended storage periods.
If you have no choice but to keep your car in storage for long periods of time, drain or treat the fuel and take steps to prevent rodent infestations. Contact your local car club for other ideas.
8. Properly insure your classic car.
Not all insurers are alike. Find one that doesn’t limit your mileage, offers Agreed Value, and allows you to choose the most qualified repair shop. If your car is damaged, you’ll want it to be repaired to its original specifications with the highest quality parts, so you can protect your investment.
9. Consider getting an appraisal.
A valuation is essential when you are looking to buy, sell, or insure your classic car investment. You will need to know details such as body type, engine size, history of work or restoration, and more.