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Classic Car Storage: Five Things To Keep In Mind

By Martin Alva - March 6, 2019

Classic Car Storage: Five Things To Keep In Mind

classic car storage thecollectorsworkshop

Often times, in the pure thrill of collecting classic and vintage cars, one might get a little carried away and end up with a couple or three cars too many than his parking or storage can accommodate. It is not wrong to go overboard when it comes to automobiles. As for impulsive purchases that might not fit in your available real estate, it’s a simple matter of finding the right storage space for your classic.

Nowadays there are a lot of storage companies that take in your automobiles and prep them for a (potentially) long hibernation for a fee. A lot of garages and workshops also provide storage space for prized possessions, both seasonal and long-term. While you might not be particularly pleased at the prospect of one of your cars spending a lot of time under lock and key (possibly disintegrating under its own weight), a few pointers in preparing the classic for a long sleep can help in preserving it. Here they are in no particular order.

Fill up the fuel tank completely

The more fuel is in the tank, the less of its inside surface will be exposed to moisture build-up. Some amount of fuel stabilizer poured in the tank will also prevent fuel from hardening or gunking up. Prior to storing, drive the car around for some distance to allow the fuel stabilizer to work its way through the system. Top the tank off following this and you can now store your classic car.

Along with fresh fuel, make sure the car also gets new engine oil and oil filter. Old oil left for long periods in a car can result in staining and rusting the engine’s internals prematurely. Again, drive the car for a few miles before bringing it in for storage.

Get the car detailed

It may seem counter-productive to clean a car before storing it, but the opposite holds true here. A clean, detailed car does not attract unwanted insects or pests. A car with some dirt or crumbs inside or on its body is liable to attract scratches on its bodywork or develop undesirable odours. Before putting the car to a long sleep, clean it thoroughly inside out and follow it up with a protective wax finish.

Note: The devil is in the details. Here are a few things to check off your pre-storage preparation list:

  • Add a box of baking soda in the car’s cabin to absorb unwanted smells.
  • Block off the exhaust pipes with steel wool or aluminium foil to deter any pests from nesting in the system.
  • Lubricate door and hood hinges to prevent them from jamming up.
  • Use a breathable cloth car cover instead of plastic. Plastic offers no ventilation and may trap any smells developing underneath, affecting the car as well. It can also lock in condensation and end up rusting your car.

Fill up tyres, jack up the car

If you are storing your classic for a long duration, fill up its tyres with air at the maximum recommended pressure. Store the car on jacks. This takes weight off the rubber and suspension, minimizing the risk of these components collapsing under long-term weight strain. If you are storing the car on a dirt or stone surface, insert some plywood or similar hard surface underneath the tyres. This can help prevent ground rot from damaging precious rubber.

Battery/Fluid check

It goes without saying that you need to detach the car’s battery before sending it in for storage. Store the battery off ground in a cool, dry place for maximum longevity. Make sure that all fluids- transmission, brake, antifreeze, coolant, etc- are topped off before putting the wraps on.

Choose the right storage location

Ideally, a classic car storage should be cool, dark, dry, and clean. Storing it in a barn will eat into the car’s softer components like rubber hoses and gaskets, fluids, and upholstery. Similarly, keeping it in a garage attached to your place which you frequently access is also not advised. Constant exposure to light and the elements can affect the car’s paint and finish.

The Collectors’ Workshop deals in seasonal and long-term car storage. If you have got your hands full with too many classic cars, none of which you want to let go, let us help you. Bring in your prized possession and we will see how we can store it for you in the best way possible. Rest assured the classic will come out of our storage none the worse for wear, since we are equally passionate about automobiles and don’t want to see any cars in our possession fall prey to the elements.


Martin Alva - March 6, 2019

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