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The Top 10 Car Detailing and Auto Care Tips for Classic Muscle Cars

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We all know that classic cars are a thing of beauty, but what does that mean for the car’s owner? You need to take care of your vehicle and keep it running well to preserve its value.

We have compiled 10 tips on how you can maintain a “classic” muscle car. Ready? Let’s go!

1. Use foam soap or even “dry wash” your muscle car

If you wash your classic muscle car with the typical hose or car wash, water will get everywhere. When water gets everywhere, it can cause serious problems, especially in older vehicles. For instance, water can get down into the exhaust manifold or other sensitive components and cause corrosion.

Instead of spraying your car with water, use foam soap to clean up dirt, dust, bugs, etc. Dry washing is also a great way to avoid getting water everywhere while cleaning your vehicle!

It is very important you go to a reliable source when insuring classic cars. If you decide to use some extra water, make sure you have your classic car insurance in case anything gets damaged.

2. Store in a shaded location that has good air circulation

You might think this one sounds silly, but storing a classic muscle car in direct sunlight will cause severe problems.

The sun’s heat causes paint to fade on older cars like these types, and you don’t want to deal with having several layers of faded paint because of all the exposure from sitting out in the hot sun every day.

Instead, find an open-air shed or garage that provides plenty of shade.

3. Keep up with maintenance: oil changes, brake pad replacements (if applicable), air filter replacement

Like anything in life, the older something gets, the more maintenance it requires to operate at its highest level.

That’s why it’s so important to keep up with basic maintenance tasks such as replacing your oil filter, air filters, and brake pads regularly.

If you don’t have the time or tools necessary to perform these procedures yourself, take the vehicle to an 

auto repair shop for professionals who know what they are doing when it comes to classic muscle cars!

4. Do not use the same cloth for multiple purposes

When washing or waxing your vehicle, make sure you do not use the same washcloth for different parts of the car.

The reason for this is you do not want to contaminate the car with different substances, and also it will make your job much easier.

For instance, if you are cleaning your tires, you do not want to use the same cloth on the body paint, as it will most likely contain dirt, which can cause streaks, chips, and worse to the car’s exterior.

5. Always check tire pressure

Most people don’t do this enough, but tires need air just like lungs! If they’re under-inflated, then driving 

becomes much more difficult because there’s less contact between the rubber and the ground.

When tires are deflated or do not have enough air pressure, they wear out much faster.

6. Inspect your car seasonally

Knowing what to look for in your classic car after each season is very important.

For instance, if you live in Canada and there is salt in the snow to help with deicing, make sure you’re checking for rust on metal components.

If it’s a summer car, check all the fluids like brake pads or transmission fluid levels and radiator coolant levels.

Inspections are always necessary—you never want something suddenly going wrong because you didn’t inspect it beforehand!

7. Wax your car regularly

One of the most significant differences between classic and modern cars is the paint used on the exterior of the vehicles.

You want to be very cautious with your classic muscle car because you do not want to ruin the paint by driving in harsh conditions. One great way to prevent that is by waxing your car regularly.

Wax will help protect the paint and keep it looking great for years to come.

If you can, hand-buff your vehicle’s exterior with a buffing or polishing cloth (many include wax). Yes, it is time-consuming, but it is also worth the effort to ensure that your classic muscle stays in good condition over the years.

8. Buy quality products

Do not cheap out when looking for products and detailing tools when maintaining classic cars.

Use high-grade polish on any chrome parts of your muscle car; be sure not to use abrasives when doing so! You want them shiny but without scratching up anything else around them.

After washing, dry off as much water as possible before applying wax/wax sealant.

9. Use a clay bar kit to decontaminate your paint

If you touch the paint of your muscle car and you feel a “texture” to it, you may want to consider using a 

clay bar kit to clean the paint.

After a while, “pollutants” become a part of your paint if you do not look after it carefully.

Even after a wax and a wash, these pollutants can stick to your paint, so it is essential to use a clay bar kit or detailing clay.

10. Be mindful of chemicals when cleaning the interior fabrics

When detailing the inside of your classic muscle, try to avoid using chemicals on the fabrics. The fabrics of older car models are sensitive to chemicals and could wear out quicker than newer fabrics.

Try to use water-based products or dry cleaning on these fabrics.


When dealing with classic muscle cars, you want to make sure you understand the needs of your specific vehicle.

If you have a Ford Mustang, you most likely will have to treat it differently than if you drive a fuel-injected Chevy.

Please get to know your vehicle, treat it well and enjoy the ride.


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