You’ve probably spent a lot of hard-earned time and money on your car, whether it be a classic, antique, or modern custom. Do you think your car’s got what it takes to strut its stuff at the local car show or competition? It might very well be, but not if you skip these five things before you get to the show:
- Tires & Wheels – This is one of those things that might be misunderstood, after all, you’re showing off the car, not the tires, but tires give a nice contrast to that beautiful original or custom paint job. If your tires are worn out or the sidewalls are scuffed, you’re going to lose points. Better get a decent set of tires on that thing before the show, and clean and buff them. Depending on the kind of show car you’re working on, you’ll want to at least have them clean, but tire shine is optional.
- Cleaning – This should be obvious, but a full interior and exterior detailing, including the glass and engine compartment, goes a long way to show off the full beauty of your car’s lines and curves. Wax and buff your car to a shine and use a chamois to get rid of dust, fingerprints, and streaks. Under the hood, don’t forget to clean up any lingering leaks and residue.
- Pages – If you’ve just completed a lengthy restoration or customization, show off your efforts with a photo album of the build. Do you have original manuals, advertising, or sales papers for that classic car? Show off your car’s heritage with a stand of these items! Your car’s pedigree can be a very interesting addition to its restoration or customization.
- Shipping – After you’ve spent all that time cleaning, detailing and buffing, don’t ruin it by driving it to the show. The show might be five miles or five hours away, and there are a lot of road hazards on the way – road grime, trucks, wildlife, and other drivers can undo all your hard work in a heartbeat! Consider a transport company or at least a flatbed and a car cover to get your car to the show on time and safe.
- Show Kit – Once you’re at the show, your job isn’t over. You’ve parked your car in its assigned spot, set up your presentation materials, and propped open the hood, but don’t forget to keep your car clean right up until the end of the show. Bird droppings, onlooker fingerprints, and dust can all take away from the overall look of your show car, so make sure you have touch-up tools on hand to take care of it. Glass and surface cleaners, dust cloths, and a fresh chamois make a very basic kit to keep on hand to keep your car looking fresh.
You’ve put a lot of work into your show car, so let it shine by following these few tips. You’ll get the appreciation due for your hard work and beautiful restoration or customization, not only from show-goers, but maybe even from the judges!