Classic car lovers in a large portion of the country are often envious of those living in the Sun Belt and California. Not only is the weather in those regions more forgiving to classic cars on the whole, but owners in those parts of the country are often able to drive their sporty classics year round. But does inclement weather really mean that those of us in the lands of snow and ice have to button up our roadsters all winter long?
If you think about it, most of the cars that we value as being classic were originally designed to be driven year round. While it’s up to each owner how they choose to drive their cars, classics can be driven rain, sleet, snow and shine if you properly prepare and maintain them throughout the season.
Snow tires aren’t unheard of for classic cars. While much more common on classic pickups or 70s-era muscle cars, sportier cars can be driven in rougher weather by simply swapping out summer tires for more grippy winter treads. While you can’t simply grab any set of winter tires off the shelf at Sears, there are a number of forums online that can guide you through the process of selecting appropriate winter tires. You can also check with any local car clubs or fellow collectors as to how they handle winter driving in your region.
Keep It Clean
Any classic car owner will likely do a better job than most when it comes to keeping a tidy car, but winter weather brings around a whole different set of issues. Keeping the exterior of your classic free of salt and sand is job number one. Thicker waxing jobs can help protect against some of the winter grit and grim, but frequent and thorough washings are going to be your winter time best friend. Again, checking with local mechanics or car club members will give you great insight into care tips for your home town.
It’s always important to keep up with regular maintenance, but winter maintenance is even more imperative. Something as simple as letting your car warm up completely before hitting the road can work wonders. If your winter driving habits are more sporadic, you’ll want to be sure to stop by and let the engine run for 20-30 minutes here and there to keep fluids evenly distributed. Putting your battery on a trickle charger is a smart move as well.