Showing Off Your Vintage Vehicle — It’s All In The Detailing  

Showing Off Your Vintage Vehicle – It’s All In The Detailing

Standridge Auto Sales 1962 Rambler Classic

1962 Rambler Classic

Owning a vintage car is a responsibility. It’s a piece of history, maybe even art, and it’s your job to keep it looking good. You want to have pride in your ride whether enjoying a Sunday cruise or showing it off at the auto show. Do this well and you’ll be showered with compliments, you might take home prizes from local car shows, and best of all, you’ll increase its value.

In this blog we’ll explore the most effective and satisfying ways to get the exterior and interior of your vintage car into show-ready shape. Following the steps listed below will separate your ride from those that are merely clean. Let’s begin outside, followed by the interior, before finishing with the windows.

Detailing Supplies

You wouldn’t attempt an oil change without the right tools, and the same should apply to detailing. Set yourself up with:

  • Car wash liquid
  • Automotive glass cleaner
  • Wheel cleaner
  • Tire cleaner
  • Polish or clay bar set
  • Wax
  • Carpet shampoo
  • Leather conditioner
  • A selection of absorbent and microfiber cloths
  • Large bucket with grit guard
  • Wash mitt
  • Q-tips


Park in the shade and while the paint cools, fill a bucket with warm soapy water. Always use proper car wash liquid — never dish soap. It might work on your plates, but it’ll damage your paint!

Completely rinse your ride. Then starting with the roof, use the wash mitt to slather on the soapy water. If you’re doing this properly you’ll work from top to bottom making three circuits: one for the roof; one for the hood, windows and trunk; and the last one for doors, wheels and lights. Rinse the suds off your vehicle with clean water. Then take an absorbent cloth and dry the whole vehicle, again working from the top down.

Polish and Wax

If your vehicle was painted any time after 1980, there’s probably a clear film covering the paint itself. This clear coat keeps corrosive elements like tar, tree sap and bird droppings from damaging the paint. Polishing helps to smooth and remove swirls and minor scratches. You can use a buffing ball and polishing compound for this, but don’t do it too often, as you’ll rub away the clear coat. An alternative is to use a clay bar to remove grit and grime adhering to the surface.

Waxing adds a protective layer on top of the clear coat. First, apply an initial coat with a microfiber cloth, using a second cloth to buff the finish to a bright shine. Microfiber cloths saturated with wax make the job much easier. They’re the kind of product to keep in the glove box for a final clean after driving to a car show.

Wheels and Tires

Brake dust takes the shine off the smartest wheels and isn’t removed by washing. Instead, you’ll need a spritz of wheel cleaner followed by a good rinse. Dry with a clean absorbent cloth and use Q-tips to get into the tightest corners.

Tires tend to dull over time. Bring back the shine with some foam cleaner. Spray evenly over the sidewall, then wipe or rinse as the instructions direct. If you want sidewalls to look like new, a tire dressing will do the trick.


Remove floor mats and vacuum them thoroughly. To give your mats a showroom ready look, use a carpet shampoo product to remove stubborn dirt. Once finished, spray off the shampoo with water and mop your mats with an absorbent cloth. Wipe hard surfaces with a soft microfiber cloth — rather than interior wipes — which can leave a glossy sheen. Finish by vacuuming seats and carpets before putting the mats back.

Most fabric upholstery stains can be removed with upholstery cleaner. Leather should be treated with a leather conditioner. These cleaners will have specific instructions on how to use them properly.


Always use an ammonia-free automotive glass cleaner together with a microfiber cloth. To clean the top of the window, roll the windows down to remove the border of grime that builds up over time. Then roll the window up to clean the bottom. Windshields and rear windows are hard to reach, but they’re easier with a microfiber cloth over the back of the hand. On the rear window be careful not to damage any heater elements.

Detailing takes effort, but the reward comes from onlookers’ admiration, car show prizes and higher resale value of your vintage vehicle. Plus, even if you have no intention of selling, it’s satisfying to know you’ve helped preserve a piece of automotive history.

Author Bio

Carmen Fiordirosa is the Director of Marketing at CleanTools. When not at work, Carmen is busy cleaning her own home and taking care of her four children. CleanTools produces a variety of drying and polishing products for home use.

Paint Chip on your Car? DIY Repair Guide

Paint Chip on your Car? DIY Repair Guide

Paint Chip Repairs on your car are easier than you think. Use this guide and do it yourself (DIY).

You have paint chip on your car ? It never fails, even moments after you drive away from the auto detailer with a perfect pritine car. A Rock or some kind of Road debris will hit your car before you know it. Why spend money having it repaired when you can easily do it yourself?

I don’t recommend you trying to attempt a major body work job but the small ones you can do easily and have a professional looking job. Just follow these steps below.



First you want to check your car for the paint code so you can purchase paint to match your car perfectly. The Car Paint Code can be found in a variety of places, including the doorjamb, firewall, underside of the hood or trunk.

  1. Begin by removing any wax from the damaged area and thoroughly clean it using prep solvent with a lint-free cloth. Dishwashing liquid will also work. Make sure your workspace is well ventilated, especially if the repair is large enough to require aerosol spray.
  2. Fill any small dents (with common fillers or bondo for small fills). Sand the area smooth using 320-grit sandpaper; working up to 600-grit or higher. Follow with a primer coat and sand that using the same steps.
  3. If you are only repairing small rock chips and scratches these can be fixed using a paint pen or brush. Make sure that the area you are repairing is narrower than the width of the pen or brush so the paint blends properly.
  4. Use the flat side of the paint pen or wide side of the brush: the pointy tip of the pen will not cover enough area to make the repair invisible. Apply the paint in a single slow stroke to evenly cover the area.
  5. The current industry standard for paint requires a base coat and clear coat. Some older cars require single stage paint to match the factory color. Make sure that each layer dries completely before the next. While this may take about 10 minutes for a small repair in dry climate, a larger repair in a humid area can take significantly longer.
  6. If the area is large enough to require aerosol, mask off surrounding panels using masking film or masking tape plus plastic. Have a couple of practice cards on hand so you can practice your spraying technique before beginning the actual repair.
  7. Spray back and forth in a sweeping motion: the goal is to produce a finish thick enough to be smooth but not drip and an even thickness all the way across. For beginners, the easiest method is to overspray slightly onto the masked area. A more experienced painter can spray to the edge, leaving a blending area between the factory paint and the repair.
  8. All automotive paint requires time to cure. Do not wash the car for at least a week after completing the repair and don’t wax it for a month.


The Automotive Touchup website includes a library of how-to videos and advice on how to locate the factory paint codes. A full array of touch-up paint and touch-up kits are available on eBay.


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Where Did the Term “Dashboard” Come From? – Car Facts

Where Did the Term “Dashboard” Come From?



We all use the terms “Dashboard” and “instrument panel” interchangeably without given it much thought. Where did the 2 word come from? However, their origins are quite interesting and definitely something every auto trimmer should know.

The word “dashboard” was originally used to describe the wooden board carriage makers attached to the front of carriages to prevent mud and rocks from being splashed (or “dashed”) onto drivers and their passengers by the horses that pulled them about. In essence, dashboards served as mud flaps for horses’ hooves.

While the term “dashboard” didn’t work its way into popular English until the 1800’s, the concept of a “dashboard” existed long before then. In fact, Mesopotamian chariots dating as far back as 3,000 BC employed similar guards against mud and rocks.


It wasn’t until the early 1900’s – when carriages became dependent on motors instead of horses – that “dashboards” were repurposed to house vehicle instruments, like speedometers and gas gauges.

Shortly after, the word “carriage” was shortened to “car”; the term “instrument panel” replaced “dashboard”; and windshields were developed to guard drivers and passengers from light debris.

Still, the term “dashboard” never quite disappeared.




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Tips on Buying New and Used Tires

A few Tips to know when you are Buying New and Used Tires

4 Essentials To Know When Buying New/Used Tires



When it’s time to buy new/used tires, you might put it off because of all of the choices you need to make. Instead, go into the tire shop prepared with a bit of knowledge about your vehicle. You may not want the same tires for several reasons — including how they ride, the kind of tire isn’t right for the type of driving you do, they’re the wrong size and more.

Check the Tire Size

You can’t always rely on the size of the tires that are currently on the vehicle — unless it was bought new from the dealership. If this is the case, then you can get the size right off the tire. However, if the vehicle was purchased used, even from a dealership, it could have a different size tire than what came with the vehicle. Often, people put larger or smaller tires on the vehicle for various reasons.

Always check the owner’s manual for the tire size. Compare the size listed in the owner’s manual with the tire size. If you like the tire size you could keep that size. However, keep in mind that the bigger the tire, the more expensive it is. Plus, in some cases, a bigger tire doesn’t ride as nice as the tire that was originally on the vehicle.

You could also find the proper tire size on the vehicle’s information placard. Call the tire shop ahead of time to make sure it has the tire size in the brand you want in stock. If not, many shops will order the tires for you, though they may require payment upfront.

Tire Codes

The size on the tire will look similar to this: P215/65/R 15 95H M+S. The first letter in the sequence indicates that the tire is for a passenger car if it’s a “P.” You might see “LT” on light trucks. The next three-digit number is how wide the tire is from one sidewall edge to the other. This is measured in milliliters.

The next two-digit number — 65 in this example — is the ratio of the tire’s height to its width. The bigger the number the more sidewall the tire has. The next part of the sizing notation is a letter. Most tires have “R,” which means the tire is a radial tire. You might find a “B,” which means the tire is a bias tire; and these are commonly found on older vehicles and light trailers.

The next number, a 15 in this example, is the rim size — the diameter of the rim. Some tire size notations may also feature an optional number. This two- or three-digit number notes the load index and is not required by law to be on the tire. This shows how much each tire can carry. Always install tires with a load index at least as high as the manufacturer’s recommendations.

The next letter is the speed rating. In this example, it is an “H,” which means that the tires are rated to go as fast as 130 miles per hour for an extended time. You have no reason to upgrade to a tire with a higher speed rating unless you are driving the vehicle on a track or you’re shipping the vehicle to an area that doesn’t believe in speed limits.

The last set of letters designate the type of tire. “M+S” stands for mud and snow. Common notations also include “AS” for all season and “AT” for all terrain.

Tire Break-In

Regardless of which tire you choose, it will have a release agent on it; and this makes the tire slippery. It won’t grip as nicely as it should until the residue wears off. When buying tires, be careful, especially when braking and cornering in wet conditions. Break-in time on most tires is about 500 miles.

Tire Age

Oxygen breaks down rubber, so the age of the tires is very important. In most cases, when purchasing new tires, this isn’t a concern. However, when purchasing used tires or if your vehicle’s tires don’t wear fast because you don’t drive frequently, the age of the tire is a concern. Look for a series of 10 to 12 numbers close to the rim. Pay attention to the last four digits, which show the week and year the tire was manufactured.

For example, if the last four digits are 5014, the tire was manufactured in the 50th week of 2014. It is recommended to change tires that are 10 years old or older, even if they look brand new.

The Bottom Line

When purchasing new tires, know the size you need, the type you need for the terrain and weather you drive in or on, and the speed rating — if you plan on taking your vehicle on the Autobahn if you visit Germany or plan on living there, for example. When buying used tires, be sure to check the age of the tires before accepting them.



Author Bio:

Natalie Saldana is A-Abana Auto Insurance’s Vice President of Sales. Her and her team’s primary duty is to make sure that every driver behind the wheel is covered and safe. A key factor of staying safe on the road is making sure your tires are in great shape!