Classic Car Care
Professional tips for success!

Most people consider classic car care as a specialized area of  auto detailing and traditional car care.

While classic cars do represent unique challenges due to the age of most classic cars, much of the same products and techniques used on traditional cars still apply for use on your vintage or classic car.

Classic Car Care:
Unique requirements

Modern day paint finishes, vintage car leather interiors, and older vinyls do represent some major differences on these older beauties we refer to as classics.

I will lay out my recommendations when it comes to car care tips you can use on your classic car that will be adjusted to accommodate the unique requirements of cars that are decades old, versus daily drivers that are years old.

1959 Corvette classic car

Most classic car owners do not use their classic cars as daily drivers. The traditional heavy layers of dirt that daily drivers attract is not generally the same type of dirt or the same levels of dirt your garage baby accumulates.

Most classics are garage kept and the type of dirt you are dealing with might be nothing more than light to heavy layers of dirt.

Modern day advances in chemical engineering have developed products that are perfect for your classic that doesn't require the same car washing products and techniques daily drivers need for cleaning.

Aero Cosmetics Wash Wax All

If you are not familiar with what is called waterless washing, then you are in for a treat with the Aero Cosmetics wash and wax kit below.

Aero Cosmetics Wet or Waterless Car Wash Wax Kit 144 Ounces. Aircraft Quality for Your Car, RV, Boat, Motorcycle. The Best Wash Wax. Anywhere, Anytime, Home, Office, School, Garage, Parking Lots.

  • Forget the traditional car washing kits
  • Clean your car as it sits in your garage or at the local car show
  • Simply spray product directly onto dusty surface and wipe to perfection
  • Unique chemistry allows you to clean your car safely while also adding a layer of protection in the form of wax
  • perfect way to maintain your car while also extending the life of any traditional coats of car wax
  • Comes with micro-fiber cloths (micro-fiber cloths are the softest, most absorbent and lint free cloths you can use on your car. Throw away those baby diapers if you are still suing those!)

Classic Car Care

detailing clay for classic car care

If you are purely a classic car guy and not necessarily a car enthusiast when it comes to your daily drivers, you may not be familiar with the process of decontaminating your car paint.

You may have heard of the clay bar or detailing clay, but you may have dismissed this due to the age of your car. Detailing clay is not just for daily drivers, but any car regardless of its age.

If you feel any kind of "texture" on your car paint, you can be certain you have some form of pollutants stuck to your car paint that you may have noticed that washing and even waxing does not remove.

These bonded pollutants become a permanent fixture on your car paint and need to be address with a specific "tool" of the industry called detailing clay or the clay bar.

Classic Car Care
Clay Bar Kit

Mothers 07240 California Gold Clay Bar System

  • I love kits!
  • Everything you need to decontaminate your cars paint and glass
  • Comes with two clay bars
  • Comes with clay lube (This clay lube is really just Mothers Detail Spray that you can also use as a touch-up spray to remove light dust)
  • Your paint should feel silky smooth after you have washed and waxed (if you feel any texture, you know it is time to clay your classic car)

Classic Car Care
Dedicated car waxes

red classic car care

While the waterless wash and wax kit at the top of this page is an excellent way to simultaneously clean your car while adding a small amount of protection, any classic car care routine will require the use of a dedicated car wax.

As a professional I am asked very frequently what the best car wax is. To this I maintain a very simple answer:

"The best car wax is the car wax that makes it onto your car as often as possible"

Many people in their pursuit of the best car wax forget about this thing called the user experience. Even if you are willing to shell-out lots of many for the best rated car wax doesn't mean that wax comes with a great user experience.

Next thing you realize is that that wax never makes it onto your car on a regular basis due to its poor user experience; hard to apply, hard to remove. leaves chalky residue, etc., etc.

CSI Q-7 Wax 16oz 62-204-P

  • My "go-to" car wax for over 15 years!
  • regardless of paint type, paint color, or year of your car, this is my choice as best car wax
  • Non-staining formulation (won't stain black trim and could be used directly on a vinyl convertible top like the one on the pictured Mustang)
  • Can also be used on your classic cars interior parts (vinyl dashboard, vinyl door panels, vinyl seating, hard plastics, rubber door gaskets, etc.)
  • Use on your paint, chrome, window gaskets
  • Can be used in direct sunlight on hot paint
  • Won't chalk-up or leave chalky residue in panel seams and crevices

Classic Car Care Summary

black classic car care

At this point if you have made it this far down the page, you should be equipped with not just new information, but new product recommendations that should make your life easier and deliver better results than you are currently getting in your efforts to care for your classic car regardless of its age!


Darren Priest

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