How to Prep for a Car Show

How to Prep for a Car Show

Summertime is car show time! But if you’ve never entered a car in a show, you might be wondering how to go about preparation. In many cases, car owners doing first-time show entries are unlikely to walk away with a prize. This is because they aren’t familiar with how to properly prepare their vehicles. Let’s be honest though, if you’re planning to enter a car into a show for the first time, chances are you’ve already put a substantial amount of effort into preparing your car. You want to know you did your best, and that your car stands a chance to win a prize.

Know Your Show

Before getting into the specifics of what you can do to prepare your car for a show, it’s worth mentioning that different shows have different standards. Before entering your car into a specific car show, have a look at what your car will be judged on. This will help you focus the most effort during your preparation on the things judges at the show will place more emphasis on, meaning you’ll improve your chances of entering a winner just by doing the necessary research beforehand.

Generally though, most classic car shows will judge by things like originality, condition and cleanliness.

Keep in mind that judges will meticulously look at every last inch of your car, deducting points for even the smallest speck of dirt if they can. Judges have to be ruthless when it comes to dirt and small issues, as deducting points is what ultimately helps them to choose the winner. Your car will be compared to ones that are squeaky clean, both inside and out. So don’t disappoint by arriving there with a dirty engine or undercarriage.

A good thing to keep in mind is that many shows require you to show paperwork for your car. Some even expect to see paperwork regarding repairs. So definitely have a look at what paperwork judges want to see for your car before entering it into a show.

The Preparation Process

Knowing what judges will be looking for in your car will greatly help you during the preparation process. You can make a checklist of things that you need to prepare before the show and see to it that all the steps in the preparation process are ticked off your list before you head off to the show.

Here are some tips to help you prepare.

Everyday Washing

You’ve probably washed a car more than once in your life before. But have you been doing it right?

Well if your idea of washing a car is taking it to the local car wash, then you’re definitely doing it wrong. Your classic car needs special care, and the best way to clean it is by hand. Be careful about the cleaning products and sponges or rags you use, as certain cleaning products are too strong. For the best results, use only specially formulated car shampoos and cleaning rags.

Also stick to washing your car in the shade, to avoid water from evaporating off your car’s surface too quickly, as this will leave water rings.

When cleaning a classic car, you should also be extremely careful about where you do it. Sweep your driveway before cleaning your car to get rid of any sand and debris, and don’t clean your car on a windy day, as the wind might blow sand and other debris onto your car – wiping over this kind of debris while washing will inevitably scratch the car’s surface.

Interior Cleaning

Don’t forget to clean your car’s interior before a show! Judges will always have a look at the inside, so neglecting to clean it will ruin all your other efforts. But before you start thinking of how to clean it, you should also know how to keep your car’s interior looking its best.

Firstly, you want to avoid sun damage to your car as much as possible. This means that (even if your car stands in a garage) it can be good to keep it covered. Inside the car, however, keeping the seats covered can also avoid damage to the original upholstering. If your car has leather seats, you’ll need to remove the covers whenever you clean the inside of your vehicle to treat the leather from time to time. You’ll also have to remove the seat covers while your car is at the show.

Furthermore, as with anything concerning classic cars, it’s important to see to it that any products you use to clean the inside are specially formulated to clean your car without harming it. Also pay attention to the rags and sponges you use, you want something that will gently lift dirt from your dashboard and other areas without scratching the inside of your car.

The Engine

Yes, most judges at car shows expect to see a clean engine under the hood. And no amount of apologizing will prevent them from subtracting points for a dirty engine.

It’s best to clean your engine first, and to cover as much of the rest of your car while you do it as possible. Engines can get pretty dirty, so cleaning it first helps to avoid dirt from the engine ruining your cleaning job elsewhere, and covering your car prevents the degreaser for damaging the car surface in other areas.

Once you’ve got the engine cleaned up, you don’t want to be driving with your car again, as this will cause dirt to build up. Instead, most car owners make use of car transport to get their vehicles to the show. At Shipping My Car, we specialize in transporting your vehicles for either everyday purposes or special occasions. We’ll gladly help you organize transport for you classic vehicle.

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