Classic Car Storage
Owning a sleek and stylish vintage car is a great source of pride and splendor for any car enthusiast. A vintage car is any car that was built during the era between 1919 and 1925 (the end of World War I) for American-made cars and 1930 for European-made cars. These magnificent cars were built with highly polished chrome and brass detailing in both the interior and exterior of the car.
Many vintage car owners drive their cars for leisure and display them in auto shows, parades and wedding processions. Vintage cars serve as a nostalgic reminder of the past. Owning one is a mark of both wealth and social status. Purchasing a vintage car can cost anywhere from $25,000 to $50,000 and beyond, depending on the make and condition of the car. Restoring a vintage car to its original mint condition, repairing and maintaining the vehicle can be just as costly. Replacement parts are often hard to find. Proper care and storage of vintage cars can save thousands of dollars in repair costs.
Vintage cars are seldom driven for everyday use. That's a luxury reserved for the most elite car owner.
Benefits of a Climate Controlled Self Storage Unit
A climate controlled self storage unit can serve as a great place to store your vehicle. Long term storage of a vehicle can cause damage unless the vehicle is properly prepped for storage.
- Protects your vintage car from moisture caused by rain and humiditythat can cause your car to rust. Keeps your car safe from corrosion and damage that can occur as the result of hot and cold temperatures as well as ice, hail and snow.
- Protects your car from dirt and dust.
- Helps to ensure that your car will not be struck by another vehicle.
- Deters insects, mice and rodents from infesting your car causing damage to the interior and mechanical parts.
- Allows space in your home's garage to be used for your everyday vehicles.
Before you Begin
Before you can begin preparing your car for long term self storage, you will need to make a list of items you will need. Gather together all of your supplies and keep them handy. Some of the items you will need to have handy are quality glass and upholstery cleaners, and protectants. Other needed items are a tire gauge, plastic drop cloth and fuel stabilizer. You will also need several cotton cloth rags, air freshener, WD40, mothballs, mouse traps, and jack stands. You may also need a large wooden block to set the battery on during storage.
- Wash the car's exterior. For maximum results, have the exterior cleaning and detailing professionally done, whenever possible. A professional will pay careful attention to all the details giving your cars exterior a sparkling finish.
- Use a high-powered buffer over the entire surface of the car. This will buff out all dings, scratches and other imperfections giving your car a smooth, glossy-looking finish.
- Apply two coats of wax. A good waxing will help protect the exterior surface of the car from deterioration.
- Wipe the mirrors and chrome detailing clean with a good glass cleaner to give these surfaces a shiny finish. Dirt and grime left to sit on glass and chrome will cause streaking which can lead to rust and corrosion.
- If your car is a convertible, it should be stored with the top up. Leaving a convertible top rolled down will cause large creases to form in the material. The convertible top should be treated with a silicone spray or similar lubricant designed for this purpose. Another measure for protecting the car's convertible top is to place desiccant sacs on the interior floorboard. Desiccant sacs will reduce moisture caused by humidity which can damage the convertible top.
- Maintain the tires by slightly over inflating them. Use a tire gauge to check the tire pressure. This will deter flat spots from forming. Do not use products on the tires that increase shine, as these products can dry out the rubber in the tires and cause dry rot. Inspect the tires for possible leaks and have them repaired or replaced.
- Roll up the windows of the car to keep pests and rodents from getting inside.
- Remove the windshield wiper blades and place soft white cotton cloth beneath the arms of the windshield wipers to keep them from scratching the windshield.
- Remove all trash from inside the car. Remember to remove all items from the trunk of the car.
- Vacuum the carpet and upholstery.
- Use a spot cleaner to remove stains in the carpet and upholstery. Be sure to maintain the trunk area as well.
- Wash the windows and rear view mirror and all chrome detailing with a good glass cleaner.
- Wipe off the steering wheel, dashboard and all leather surfaces.
- Use a leather conditioner on the seat and all leather surfaces to keep them lubricated.
- Use an air freshener with a deodorizer to neutralize any odors.
Car Engine Care
- Before placing your vintage car into storage, take the car to a reputable mechanic who specializes in the repairs of vintage cars. Have the car's engine and mechanical parts thoroughly inspected for wear and tear. Have any needed repairs done before placing the vehicle in your self storage unit. Repairs left undone can result in further deterioration to the damaged parts during long-term storage. Delaying these repairs can end up costing you significantly more money down the road, as replacement parts for vintage cars are hard to find.
- Have your mechanic change the oil and filter. Used engine oil contains combustion byproducts, dirt, grease and acids. These harmful agents can cause deterioration to the engine when your car sits in long term storage.
- When changing the oil yourself, be sure to use a motor oil that is specially formulated for classic and vintage cars. Car engines made during the vintage era were made from cast iron and differed significantly from today's modern car engines. Specially formulated motor oil will contain the proper amount of Zinc to protect the valve train components.
- After you have had the oil changed, drive the car around for at least 10 miles to allow the oil to fully circulate throughout the entire engine of the car.
- Check the engine coolant. Replace the engine coolant if necessary.
- Prevent rust damage to the inside of the spark plug cylinders by pulling the spark plugs and add about a teaspoon of engine oil to each cylinder.
- Use absorbent, white cotton cloth to seal off all engine openings and the exhaust pipe. This will protect your vintage car from moisture, insects and rodents from getting inside the engine of the car and causing damage. Be sure to remove the cotton when taking the car out of storage.
- Use WD40 to spray the exposed engine surfaces. This will help prevent the engine from rusting. It will also keep the moveable parts of the engine lubricated so they do not lock up from the car sitting in storage for long periods.
- Inspect rubber hoses for cracks and bubbles. Replace hoses as needed. Use a good lubricant on rubber hoses to prevent them from hardening and cracking.
- Remove the car battery and store on a large wooden block.
- Keep the car off of the cement floor. Park the car on jacks or on a clear plastic sheet.
- Make sure that the hand break is not set in park to prevent it from sticking.
- Cover the car with a cotton sheet or tarp to protect it from dust.
- Set mouse traps and moth balls on the floor outside the car to deter pests.
- Check on your car at least once a month. Open the windows to air out the car. Recharge the battery. Remove cotton cloth from all openings. Take the car for a quick drive to keep the car's parts running smoothly. After driving it, wash the car to clean off any dust and residue. Top off all fluids.
- Condition the leather seats and wax the car as needed.
- Proper care and maintenance of your vintage car will keep it running smoothly and looking sleek and stylish for many years. Following these tips can save you the repair costs.
The advice on this website is provided as a courtesy for informational purposes only. “Storage Tips” are offered as-is and no warranty is expressed or implied. For more information, see StorageFront’s Terms and Conditions.