For some, a garage is nothing special: a rarely visited netherworld where junk (and squirrels) gather. But for classic car lovers, the garage is more like home itself. To aid gearheads in their collector glory, we've compiled classic car storage tips for improving your oil-cased oasis and giving your rare vehicles some good care.
why your classic car garage matters
Ask anyone who's scraped ice off their windshield at 7 a.m. — garages rule! And they take on extra importance when protecting classic cars, which tend to have antique parts, expensive modifications, or delicate exteriors.
Your car's shelter matters to your insurer, too. After all, quality storage helps reduce the risk of accidental damage, vandalism, and theft. For these reasons, in fact, it's often impossible to purchase classic car insurance without having a garage (or other enclosure).
For the best peace of mind, and insurance policy, it's best to think inside the box … and make sure your classic car storage is up to snuff.
classic car storage tips: the basics
If you're looking to make simple improvements to your classic car garage, you're in luck. There are tons of easy options that can pay off big time.
Think of your classic car as a bad hip: it just does better when warm. The first step to keeping out the cold is to insulate your garage. Basic fiberglass batt insulation will do the trick; just make sure it's properly fitted — not so long that the strips lie on the floor, and not stuffed in or hanging loose.
You can also add weather stripping around the edges of the garage door. These rubber flaps will do wonders for keeping out the frosty air.
Hanging your tools, rakes, brooms, bicycles, and more on a pegboard can help de-clutter your classic car garage and keep your ride safe from needless dings.
Framed pictures, neon car signs, or other automobilia should also be secured to the wall.
Invest in your work bench (and vise)
This is one piece of depot decor you don't want to skimp on. Classic car owners typically spend (and relish) a lot of time making restorations, which means that work bench better be good. Put some time into buying or building the right one for you.
And while you're at it, make the first stunning tool adorning your bench a high-quality vise. Poorly constructed or cheap models won't have the long-term holding power you'll need.
Install overhead lights
Even one basic fluorescent light fixture is enough to infinitely improve visibility, and hopefully decrease the likelihood of errant scratches and dents. Ceiling-mounted or hanging models will do nicely; just make sure to secure hanging lights with safety straps.
Stock good products
Your special cars need special products to match. Waterless coolant, which won't corrode or overheat your sensitive classic, and manual transmission lubricant, which reduces friction on the gears, are a couple of good options specifically for vintage car drivers.
For more ideas, you can always check with a qualified mechanic or auto supply shop.
Think about safety
Fire alarms, extinguishers, and sprinklers should be standard additions to your classic car garage.
classic car storage tips: for true car nuts
Looking for more advanced classic car storage tips? Here are a few ways you can really spoil your paint-and-chrome kiddies.
Secure the door
Entry doors should have at least 3 hinges and a deadbolt lock at least one-inch long. Head and foot bolts are also recommended (one-inch long for each) to help keep out intruders. You can also install braces on the main door and strengthen the tracks to help keep out wind and water.
In some cases, it's cheaper to simply replace the garage door than make repairs. If you go that route, steel or thick wood are the safest bets.
Spruce up the floor
Interlocking rubber or composite tiles are gentle on dropped parts or tools and stay drier than your old concrete floor, so your tires can last longer. Plus, they just plain look terrific!
Amplify the power
Many garages lack the electrical oomph of the rest of the house. If you're serious about working on your cars, consider removing existing sheetrock from the walls and creating much-needed space for electrical wiring and even a new circuit breaker panel. That way, you can power the heavy-duty tools — such as an air compressor or arc welder — used on your classic. Remember, in most cases it's best to leave electrical jobs to professionals.
Improve the plumbing
A proper washbasin is incredibly handy in the grimy garage atmosphere. You could also put in a new drainage system under the floor to help ensure your collector cars stay safe and dry.
To really show your rides some love (and make visitors' jaws drop), you can go all out and get 4-post lifts installed, like you might find in a mechanic's shop. These let you work on your ride in comfort — no more crouching down or lying flat under the car — and provide easy storage.
start your classic car insurance quote through esurance
We know how much time classic car lovers spend under the hood. That's why a classic car insurance policy through Esurance provides innovative coverage inside the garage as well as out.
Protection like spare parts and automotive tools coverage helps you protect the intricate instruments you use on your cars. And a vehicle under construction endorsement allows you to adjust your insurance limits as your classic rides gain value through your painstaking restoration (you've earned it, after all).
Start your free classic car quote today to see how good life in the garage can really get.
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