How To Maintain the Value of Your Vintage Car

February 11, 2022

How To Maintain the Value of Your Vintage Car

Most cars depreciate over time. But classic cars are an exception to that rule—generally, well-maintained vintages gain value as they age. That isn't to say that all vintages will appreciate in value the longer you keep them, however. To maintain or increase the value of your vintage car, it's crucial to keep it clean, scuff-free, and functional, because shipshape vehicles are notably more appealing to buyers than ones that are run-down and dirty.

Want to know how to maintain the value of your vintage car and potentially even make a hefty profit in the future? Here are seven classic car maintenance tips for vintage car collectors.

Keep It Clean

You should strive to keep your car as clean as possible. Even if you don't drive it or take it to auto shows on the regular, keeping dust and grime away is crucial. Dirt and other contaminants can sneak inside the engine and cause mechanical issues or damage the exterior paint of your vehicle.

Always exercise caution when washing your vintage vehicle. Using the wrong tools or cleaning products could damage the exterior. Sheep skin or cotton chenille cloths are recommended because they're convenient to use, soft, and won't leave behind residue. And avoid using inexpensive and low-quality soaps—look for non-abrasive products that are specially designed for use on classic and vintage vehicles.

Ideally, you should wash your car every other week. You may also want to consider waxing your car every other month. Waxing gives your car a shiny, sleek appearance and protects its exterior paint from the elements.

Develop a Maintenance Routine

If you don't already have a concrete maintenance plan in place for your vintage vehicle, consider creating one. Even if your car is only for show, keeping the engine and other crucial parts in good condition will only increase its value.

Routine oil and fluid changes are a must, as are frequent oil and air filter changes and the occasional tire rotation. Performing these simple maintenance tasks will keep your car in top shape both inside and out.

Keep Mods to a Minimum

A major reason why vintage vehicles are so sought after is their unique and classy appearance. If you mod your vintage car excessively, it can negate its classic charm, making it less valuable in the eyes of collectors.

While there's nothing wrong with making minor mods for your own personal satisfaction and enjoyment, if you plan to sell your vintage car in the future, try to keep both cosmetic and functional mods to a minimum.

If an internal part breaks down, repair it or replace it with a stock part as opposed to outfitting your car with new, modern parts. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule. You may need to upgrade certain parts for health or safety reasons. Old exhausts, for example, may not meet today's strict emission standards.

If you must make cosmetic adjustments to your car, try to keep the appearance as true to the original as possible. When painting a vintage vehicle, choose one of the original colors your car came in or pick another color that was common during the time your car was manufactured. If you need to replace something like the seats or steering wheel, choose replacements that are made from the same or similar material.

... But Don't Scoff at Restoration

But just because you should keep mods to a minimum doesn't mean you should avoid making alterations to your car entirely. If your vintage vehicle isn't in the best condition, restoring it can boost its value significantly.

There are four levels of classic car restoration—driving, street show, show car, and concours. A street show level restoration is recommended for most classic car collectors as it addresses both functional and cosmetic concerns.

Get Car Insurance

The next way to maintain the value of your vintage car is to purchase car insurance.

In the unfortunate case your vintage car breaks down or sustains damage, insurance can be a lifesaver. With car insurance, you're covered under a variety of situations. Need roadside assistance? You're covered. Need spare parts? Covered. If your car is damaged at a car show, insurance has your back.

One drawback to vintage car insurance is that it tends to favor those who keep their car mainly for show. Many insurance policies limit the number of miles you can drive per month to remain eligible. That said, if you can cut down on driving time or find an insurance company that doesn't impose a monthly mileage limit, insurance is an invaluable thing to have.

Store It Properly

When you're not taking your vintage car for a joy ride, store it properly in a dark, clean, and dry place. A garage or carport is ideal, but if you don't have one (or don't have room inside), you can rent a car storage room for relatively cheap. Some car storage rooms cost as low as $20 per month, and most won’t run you more than a hundred monthly.

And while it isn't a necessity, you may want to also cover your car with a cover. This protects it against dents, dings, dirt, discoloration, and more, which is especially valuable if you're storing it outside under a carport.

You should also take extra precautions when storing your car during wintertime. Cold weather is harsh on vehicles, and too much exposure to brumal temperatures can result in corrosion, rust, and a dead battery. To avoid this, change your car's oil, fill the tank, add a fuel stabilizer, and disconnect the battery prior to stowing it away.

Drive Carefully

This may seem obvious, but when you’re driving your vintage vehicle, go the speed limit and follow the rules of the road. Aggressive driving isn't just dangerous, but it also puts your car at risk. Risky driving can cause scuffs and nicks and wear down the internal parts of your car. All in all, driving aggressively is bad for you and your car's health and safety—so don't do it!

Looking for a new vintage beaut to add to your collection? For custom vintage cars for sale, visit Ideal Classic Car's online showroom. From coupes to corvettes, we have a variety of cars that will appeal to any collector.

How To Maintain the Value of Your Vintage Car