Drive it Day 2024: Classic Car Maintenance Tips

Classic motors evoke an era where cars weren’t just modes of transportation but expressions of art and technological marvels.

If you’re a proud classic car owner or enthusiast, you know that preserving a vintage vehicle is more than just maintaining its mechanical soundness.

With Drive it Day just around the corner, it’s time to ensure that your car not only runs seamlessly but also looks as fresh and stunning as it did when it first rolled off the production line. That’s why we compiled these handy tips on how to maintain your classic car’s aesthetics, helping you make the most of your vehicle’s looks.

What is Drive It Day?

Drive it Day is a national celebration organised by the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs (FBHVC). It encourages classic car enthusiasts to hit the road and showcase their beloved vehicles. This year, as we celebrate our automotive heritage, it’s the perfect opportunity to offer some top-notch tips to maintain older car’s aesthetics to keep our automotive ancestors looking as good as new.

The Foundation of Classic Car Maintenance

The aesthetics of a classic car is a blend of craftsmanship, care, and the art of restoration. Maintaining an iconic look all starts with understanding the history and heritage of the car itself. Knowing the year-specific features and the original condition of the car is vital. Restoring it back to how it looked on its debut is a labour of love, and we’re here to guide you through it.

Understanding the Heritage of Your Classic Car

Before you decide on the best way to maintain your classic car’s aesthetics, it’s important to familiarise yourself with the original specifications and features of your make and model. If you’re an inveterate vintage motor enthusiast, you might already know much of this, but less well-thought-of details might include the type of paint originally used, interior materials, and even the shapes of the badges. Don’t forget to research any emblematic changes made over the years.

Maintaining that Classic Shine

To maintain the aesthetics of your classic car, you need to be familiar with a variety of maintenance practices that keep every fine detail of your vehicle looking pristine.

Polishing Chrome and Metal Finishes

Chrome fittings are one of the most instantly recognisable features of a classic car. From classic British sports coupés, the MGB, to the resplendent American luxury of the vintage Cadillac, the glint of chrome was never far from the designers’ minds.

a classic mgb ready for detailing

Above: 1967 MGB

Credit: RetroMotor

Keeping the chrome on your classic car polished and shining is a great way to level up its aesthetics. There is a wide range of products on the market for you to do this at home, or you can book your car in with the experts as part of a holistic pampering of your vehicle’s looks.

Restoring the Authentic Paint Hue

The most famous line on the car’s colour schemes goes to Henry Ford’s (maybe apocryphal) ‘as long as it’s black’ remark about the Model T Ford. Whether or not Ford made the comment, what’s certainly true is that drab-coloured cars are not a trend that caught on.

Throughout the 20th century, there was an explosion of vibrant car paint colours. Some of these are iconic favourites – think AMC’s Wild-West-inspired Big Bad Orange or the rich, aristocratic British Racing Green that graced Jags and Triumphs up and down the UK. Others, like the BLMC beige (optimistically named ‘Harvest Gold’), we might prefer to forget.

a classic triumph car ready for detailing

Above: 1964 Triumph Spitfire 4 Mk1 in British Racing Green

Credit: UK Classic Cars

Whatever colour your classic car is, it’s a sad reality that fading and chipping are common issues in vintage vehicles. That’s why we recommend getting in touch with a professional paint restoration service, which is an excellent way to maintain your classic car’s aesthetics.

The Intricacies of Interior Restoration

The interior of your classic car is where you and your passengers will experience its heritage most directly. Upholstery, dashboards, and other interior features need specialist care to maintain their charm and comfort.

Upholstery Cleaning and Repair

In the past, we’ve spoken about the incredible effect that professional leather restoration can have on your vehicle. While you can take a punt on this as an amateur, we highly recommend leaving it to the professionals. The leather in a classic car is often decades old, meaning that expert care and equipment are the best way to maintain your classic car’s aesthetics without further damaging it.

mercedes 300sl interior detailing

Above: A Mercedes 300SL following our interior detailing service

Looking to Protect and Maintain Your Classic Car?

Showing off your car on Drive It Day isn’t just about the glory of the ride. You’re also demonstrating your commitment to preserving a stunning piece of automotive history. That’s why it’s crucial that you take the proper steps to protect and maintain your car going forward.

At Könings, we offer a wide range of detailing and restoration services. One of our specialities is interior detailing and restoration to ensure your car is the comfortable, beautiful haven that it should be.

We also provide expert protective and preventative measures, including ceramic car coating to protect your car from water and other elements, as well as Xpel paint protection film to keep your paintwork looking gleaming.

You can find out more about our services here. Or, to enquire about a quote, please get in touch today.

Further Reading

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