Classic Wheels

Do you smile when you think of what is under the tarp in your garage? Do you make that trip out to the shed just to run your fingers over the glossy paint? Long for it to be summer cruising season?

Putting your classic ride on layup for the winter may strike a sad chord but knowing it will be there next year I hope leaves you with a sense anticipation and drive to get through the upcoming season of cabin fever.

Prepping for winter brings a few quick tips that many of you know, but they are worth the reminder:

  1. Give your baby a thorough cleaning, inside and out. Removing any dirt, road grime, crumbs or other debris is a must prior to putting the cover on your car for the winter. A good scrubbing and vacuuming keeps away any unwanted pests who may want to scavenge for food inside your car … and lessens the likelihood you will find furry friends in your car come spring. Stuff a sock or spare rag in the exhaust to keep the furries out of the exhaust pipes. Pulling the cover off in the spring to a clean car is the best feeling!
  2. Check your tire pressure. If it is low/average inflate the tires to a higher air pressure prior to storing it. The PSI will drop 1 PSI on average per 10 degrees of air temperature. If you have a manual or a car with an emergency brake leave the brake disengaged. This will keep the brake from locking in place over the storage period.
  3. Most ethanol blended fuel sold at stations has an estimated shelf life of about three months. Fuel stabilizer should be added to your tank to help prevent any corrosion in the lines and tank over the winter. Either drain your tank or leave it topped off for the winter months.
  4. Lets face it, batteries and cold do not get along! If you live in a colder part of the country disconnect your battery and store it in a warmer environment or hook it up to a trickle charger with an automatic shutoff feature so the battery doesn’t overcharge.
  5. Buy a quality cover. Odds are your car is stored in your garage. How many times might you bump up against it or something in the garage accidentally hit the car? Bikes, kids, balls, and everything stored in your garage can cause accidental damage to the car under the cover. Covers with built in padding can not only protect from those small dents and dings but can provide an additional layer of warmth from the elements and also sit smoothly over the freshly waxed paint. Have an extra set of hands handy when you put the cover on and take it off … this lessens the likelihood of scratches and the cover hitting the garage floor as you take it off possibly picking up dirt and debris from the ground and making it’s way to your car next storage season.


If you are like me your thoughts are already looking to the spring/summer. By taking the time now to protect what you hope will last your lifetime you won’t have to worry come spring that your collector will be ready to take the road again, pristinely clean and engine growling.


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