The UK classic car industry has boomed over the last few years and is now estimated to be worth over £6 billion. Those dipping their toes into the classic car market for the first time are usually looking for cars to keep rather than just investors looking for cheap deals on classic cars which they can then sell on for profit. Buying a classic car can be a great investment if you’re looking to increase your savings in assets, but also a very expensive one when it comes to maintenance.
If you have an interest in classic cars then you will probably already know that leaving a classic car unused for long periods of time or not storing it properly can do more harm than running it through winter. If you don’t want to find yourself in a position where you have to spend time and money getting your car back into peak condition when spring finally comes round and you want to take it out for a spin, then this might be the right time to consider improvements you can make to your garage that will help you to safely store your vehicle.
According to car restoration experts, the best place to store a classic car is an airy and dry barn but not everyone has that luxury of space, especially if they live in an urban area.
Here are some tips to help owners or future buyers keep their classic cars in tip-top condition.
Keep things dry
Damp is the enemy of any classic car as it causes rust, ruins the electrics and damages the interior. A leaky and cold garage will do your car no favours whatsoever and it would also make an unpleasant environment to carry out day-to-day maintenance and repairs. Just imagine having to drag yourself into a damp garage during the winter! Thoroughly insulated wood or brick garages are preferable to pre-cast concrete units as those materials allow the air to circulate better, so if you’re building a new garage you might want to consider these options. However, if these materials don’t fit in with the rest of your building’s design or you already have a concrete garage, you can still take steps to improve the existing space.
By installing heating in the garage, you can stop condensation build-up, however if you’re planning on taking the car out for a spin once a month to keep the engine running then bringing a cold car into a warm garage will immediately cause condensation. The heating will also need to be on continuously to keep the space dry which can end up being quite expensive.
Installing a good ventilation system will significantly reduce humidity at little cost and is a more effective way of solving the problem. An extra precaution would be to enclose the car completely in a plastic bubble and provide low volume ventilation airflow by using fans to even out the humidity. Obviously, only the air within the bubble is controlled so everything else within the garage such as tools and stored parts would remain unprotected.
Installing insulated roller garage doors might seem like an expensive investment but they are worth every penny. Not only do they maximise space both inside the garage and on your driveway but can also be manufactured to exact specification offering a tight seal all round to dramatically improve insulation.
Insulated double skin aluminium or steel doors are not only weather proof but are also reliable when it comes to security, protecting your car from any attempted break ins.
If you’re planning on adding more classic cars to your collection in the future but you don’t have enough space then a car lift could solve that problem. Apart from being ideal for vehicle storage in tight spaces, it will also be a useful tool for when you’re carrying out maintenance work on the car. From our experience the ideal roof height for allowing plenty of space for maintenance and storage is approximately 3.3m.
A car pit would be an alternative to a car lift with almost zero ongoing costs, however there are a few things you need to consider before you start digging. Car pits are normally built before the garage floor goes in and you have to make sure that you’re on soft enough ground to dig deep enough. You will also need to make sure the base is as strong as the garage floor as the edges of the floor will need to be re-cast over the brickwork for support. It is entirely up to you to decide whether you will install a lift or a pit. Just keep in mind though that if you end up moving house, you will be able to take a car lift with you to your new property, which isn’t the case with a car pit!
Those bright lights
It’s important to choose the right type of lighting in your garage in order to ensure there is crisp white light evenly distributed in your garage space which is vital for carrying out any maintenance work. Installing high performance LEDs in the ceiling will deliver balanced illumination throughout your garage and will eliminate any dark spots.
You should also consider installing a security light outside your garage with a high detection range as it can act as an added deterrent against intruders.
Classic car enthusiasts know that classic cars are more than just an investment so make sure you’re protecting yours to keep it in top condition for years to come.