Owning a classic car is not only a fun hobby but also a valuable investment. And while cars can be a unique kind of usable collectible that gets "out and about" more often than most investments, you should always take steps to properly protect them. Here are four ways to do just that.
Drive it Carefully. Cars are designed to be driven and enjoyed, so you should absolutely do both with yours. However, be sure you're choosing how to do so correctly. Take it out for a spin during favorable weather and on well-maintained roads only. Reconsider driving it on winter roads to avoid ice melt debris. Follow the rules of the road so that you aren't putting your investment in unnecessary risk. And don't park it in areas with a high theft rate or park it too closely to other careless drivers and passersby.
Maintain it Well. Proper maintenance is key to a long life for any kind of car, but it's doubly important for investment cars. Older cars were obviously not designed to modern durability standards, so keep a sharper eye out for signs you need regular maintenance and signs of deterioration. Change the oil regularly (preferably with a high mileage or synthetic oil), change the coolant and spark plugs, and use high quality materials when doing maintenance work.
Clean it Thoroughly. Don't let debris and dust accumulate on antique chrome and paint jobs, which also don't usually hold up as well as modern variations. Wash the car by hand with microfiber cloths and a good car wash soap, and then dry it thoroughly. If you see leftover debris, use a detailing lubricant and detailing clay bar to work it off easier. And be sure to wax the vehicle and condition the tires regularly. Cleaning is also a good time to assess the car's condition and note any minor repairs needed before they become major.
Store it Indoors. For the best protection from the elements, use an interior, climate-controlled car storage location and be sure to cover the vehicle whenever it's not in use. Why is indoors better? Not only does it protect an expensive car from theft and accidental damage, but it also protects older, more delicate construction materials from natural deterioration (such as UV damage on uncoated surfaces).
By taking the time to protect your antique car investment with these four methods, you can enjoy it longer and worry about your money less.