Classic cars are timeless works of art. They embody the style and innovation of a bygone era. For classic car enthusiasts and collectors, car shows are the ultimate showcase of their prized possessions. If you have a vehicle you want to show off to the world, these shows are the best way to do it.
Unfortunately, though, preparing for a car show can be quite stressful because ensuring your car is in the best possible condition is crucial if you want to win. In this post, we will guide you through the necessary steps to prepare your classic car for a car show and make sure it stands out from the competition. Even if you don’t win, you’ll know deep down that you had one of the best-looking vehicles there by following these steps.
Make a Plan
First things first, create an action plan for the preparation process. The last thing you want is to run out of time and rush the last few steps. That means you must begin by setting a deadline for yourself. This will help ensure you have ample time to get everything done.
Next, establish a checklist and prioritize all the necessary tasks. Determine which areas of your classic car will require the most attention and break them down into smaller tasks. Of course, we’re helping you out here by providing some points for you to add to this list, but feel free to add anything more specific to your vehicle. In the end, the more organized your plan is, the more efficient and stress-free the preparation will be.
Check for Any Imperfections
You want your classic car to shine and stand out on the show floor, but small imperfections can detract from its overall beauty. So before you begin cleaning, you need to inspect every inch of your classic car for any imperfections that you need to fix.
Look for scratches, dents, rust, and any other noticeable issues, no matter how small they might seem. Most of these competitions cover every inch of the vehicle when inspecting it, so you’ll need to do the same. Make sure to address these flaws as soon as possible to avoid any last-minute repairs.
Wash the Exterior
One of the most important steps in preparing your classic car for a car show is detail washing. Use a mild cleaner to wash the exterior, ensuring that you clean all the grime and dirt off your car. Pay particular attention to the grooves and other hard-to-reach places. After washing, thoroughly dry your car with a clean microfiber towel. This process helps ensure that every detail of your car is clean, giving it that polished and elegant look.
Clean the Undercarriage
Before you finish cleaning, check the undercarriage. This section of the car often gets overlooked, but it’s equally as important to clean. The undercarriage functions as the car’s foundation, and a filthy undercarriage can lead to multiple problems down the line. Clean the undercarriage thoroughly with a simple degreaser, paying special attention to the suspension components, driveshaft, and fuel lines. Once you’ve cleaned the undercarriage, let it dry before doing anything else with your car.
Perform a Paint Correction
Your car’s body paint is one of the most important aspects of its appearance. That means this step is where you need to put most of your effort when prepping your classic car for a car show. Even though washing should help make your vehicle look brand new, if you discovered any minor scratches or paint chips during your initial inspection, you must do something about it.
A full paint correction is the best option to remove these small scratches and swirl marks in your car’s paint, restoring it to its original luster. However, doing one of these paint corrections on your own typically isn’t the best idea. Instead, trust the pros to handle an auto detailing paint correction for you. That way, you can rest easy knowing that your paint job will look flawless for the big show.
Apply a Ceramic Coating
After getting a paint correction, the big problem you’re faced with is making sure your vehicle gets to the show without a scratch. If you own a trailer, you can simply use it to transport your vehicle to the show, but not everyone has that luxury. That’s why getting a ceramic coating is also a good idea for your classic car.
Applying a ceramic coating to your car provides the ultimate protection against dirt, pollutants, and other environmental factors that could damage the paint. In most cases, the people who did your paint correction can also apply a ceramic coating to your vehicle. Even if you can protect your vehicle in a trailer on the way to the show, a ceramic coating might still be worth it, as it offers years of protection. Plus, a ceramic coating will help your vehicle truly shine at the show.
Clear Out the Interior
Now that the exterior is sparkling, you must address the interior. If you don’t make the inside of your classic car look spotless, it will detract from its overall beauty. Start by cleaning out all the clutter and dirt while making sure the dashboard, seats, carpet, and upholstery are in pristine condition. While tedious, this process helps to show off your car’s true beauty and gives the judges a better view of the car’s interior detailing. Doing this right will help you properly portray how your vehicle looked back in its glory days.
Add Some New Accessories
Once you’ve almost finished prepping, there’s nothing wrong with upgrading your car if you have some extra time before show day. If time permits, you should consider adding new accessories to your classic car to accentuate its overall style and unique character.
Just make sure you add elements that make sense for the era the vehicle is from. For example, modern electronics have no business being inside a 1970s classic. Instead, look for some unique shift knobs, seat covers, steering wheel covers, and other small or intricate accessories.
Inspect the Car One Final Time
Once you’ve completed all the preparation, it’s important to give your car a final inspection before heading off to the show. Make sure all parts are working properly, and check for any last-minute imperfections you may have missed during the preparation process. This final step ensures your classic car will be in its best possible condition when it rolls onto the show floor.