It’s time to show off your beloved classic car. But is the car ready? What preparation do you have to do before you display your classic car in a car show?

Read on to learn about how to prepare five sections of your vehicle for a classic car show.

1. Engine

Start the process of preparing your car by cleaning the engine compartment. The engine will be on display at the car show, so it needs to be cleaned, and you should clean it first to avoid splattering dirt or grease on a car that’s already been cleaned.

Although the engine compartment needs to be thoroughly cleaned, check the details about your specific car before you start spraying water around. Not only will water fail to clean grease, but some antique cars lack corrosion protection, which means water can easily get trapped and start causing rust. Instead, wipe down the basic stuff that you can reach easily, or clean with brushes and swabs.

The undercarriage should also be cleaned as part of your car care. Many people choose to take their cars to a show on a trailer to avoid dirtying a prepped engine and undercarriage.

2. Wheels

After taking care of the engine compartment, wash the wheels and rims. Spray off the tires, then scrub to remove dirt and brake dust. Let the tires cool completely before you start, and don’t work in direct sunlight.

3. Exterior

Next, gently wash the exterior of the car by hand, starting at the roof and working down. Use a cleaner specific to automobiles–don’t use dish soap, because it’s too strong. Wash the car in the shade, since water will evaporate from a hot car surface and leave streaks.

Use cleaning mitts or microfiber cloths to wash and dry the car, since normal cleaning rags or cotton products might scratch it. Finish the job by waxing the car or applying a sealant to protect the paint, depending on the manufacturer’s guidelines for your specific car. Apply the wax to small areas of the car and buff as you go.

4. Windows

Even though you want your windows to be clean and streak-free, avoid normal window cleaning products such as Windex, which isn’t designed for cars. Use an automotive glass cleaner instead, or newspapers and hot water. Don’t forget to wash the headlights.


5. Interior


The interior should look clean and new, so vacuum everything and steam clean if necessary. Dirt and crumbs accumulate in door jambs, cracks, and crevices, so those need to be gently cleaned as well. Don’t forget to clean the dashboard and instruments, and make sure to wipe off your pedal after you park the car at the show.

Enjoy the Car Show

It takes a lot of painstaking, meticulous work to prepare your car for a classic car show. If you need help detailing your car for the show, contact us. Our team will help you get your car looking just like new, so that all you have to do is relax and enjoy the show.