Written by : Unit--11 Team

Posted on : December 28, 2023

Preserving Beauty: How to Maintain Classic Cars

Classic automobiles are akin to time machines on wheels, allowing one to relive the bygone eras, filled with history and nostalgia. Maintaining these emblematic masterpieces, however, is a labour of love. It demands not only patience but also an ingrained understanding of various nuances distinctive to these models. This piece will impart the necessary knowledge ranging from thorough cleaning to rust prevention, enabling you to keep your classic car gleaming in all her ageless elegance. The guidance provided will further arm you with vital maintenance tips to ensure not just the aesthetic grandeur of your priceless possession, but also its commendable performance over time.

Classic Car Cleaning and Detailing

Crack open the bonnet, folks. Today we delve into the entrancing world of classic car care. With over 30 years of experience in spray painting, polishing and restoration, we understand you want to keep that classic motor of yours looking as sharp as it did when it first rolled out the showroom. And here at Unit–11, we’ve cracked the code on protecting your vintage set of wheels from the relentless hand of time. Don’t fret; we won’t keep these tricks up our overalls.

Right then, first things first, that most pivotal question: To clean or not to clean? Well, even if your classic car’s engine purrs like a contented Persian cat, allowing it to be draped in a layer of muck and grime would be nothing short of criminal. Regular cleaning helps maintain the car’s paintwork, inhibiting rust and setting a stage for all passing eyes to marvel at.

But here’s the catch – don’t go reaching for the household detergent, mate. As superb as they are at scrubbing that Sunday roast’s aftermath from your finest china, they are far too harsh for your car’s gleaming finish. Instead, use a car-friendly shampoo like Gtechniq’s W2 Multi-Purpose Cleaner – tested and loved by us at Unit–11.

Here’s a nifty cleaning trick from your old mates at Unit–11: Always wash in the shade to avoid water spots. And, remember, it’s bottom to top, not top to bottom. Counterintuitive, maybe. Effective, absolutely. It’s all about keeping those dirt particles from creating fine scratches on your paintwork. Afterwards, dry your car using a microfibre cloth to avert water spots and swirls.

Next up, let’s chat detailing. Detailing classic cars is no job for the faint-hearted. It’s a meticulous, patient process which requires a loving touch. Start with a good quality clay bar to lift out embedded contaminants followed by a high-quality polish. But don’t get too carried away – we’re not looking for a workout here, we’re cleaning a car, remember!

Now, we’re big fans of Gtechniq ceramic coating here at Unit–11. Their ultra-durable C1 Crystal Lacquer offers unparalleled protection to your car’s paintwork and allies it with a touch of modern technology. It’s tough, it’s showstopping and it’s downright clever. Add a layer of their EXOv4 Ultra Durable Hydrophobic coating and you have some very impressive hydrophobic effects, meaning water and dirt have a tough time sticking around.

Finally, we’d recommend applying a Paint Protection Film (PPF), like Suntek PPF, to safeguard your vehicle against the harsh realities of life on the road. From stone chips to bird droppings, PPF stands guard to keep those beautiful lines and colours of your beloved motor as chipper as the day they were first admired.

Here at Unit–11, we understand that the dance between classic cars and their caregivers is intimate and complex. We respect that dance, and in doing so, we’ve become leading experts in car detailing and restoration. So, if you twirl at the thought of getting your hands dirty, dump the sponge and give us a bell. We’d be absolutely chuffed to show our mastery of the arcane art that is classic car detailing.

A person meticulously cleaning and polishing a classic car

Engine Maintenance and Upkeep

Unveiling the Secret to a Smooth-Running Vintage Car Engine

Have you ever wondered how shiny vintage cars keep roaring smoothly even after years buzzing on the road? The secret lies in ongoing proactive maintenance and an unshakeable commitment to superb quality, using nothing but the best in car care products. Here at Unit–11, we are not only master car detailers with an unquenchable thirst for car restoration, but also experienced wizards pulling magical changes on vintage motors with the help of our trusty ally, Gtechniq car care products. Let’s begin our journey to making your vintage baby purr like a kitten once again!

Step 1: Regular Servicing is Mandatory!

Keep in mind, your classic car craves attention, it’s a high maintenance beauty! Regular servicing, including checking and replacing vital fluids is essential. An oil change, replacing engine coolant, brake fluid, power steering fluid and windscreen wash with high-quality products is the secret behind a flawless engine performance.

Step 2: Air filter change- Not to be overlooked!

As much as we humans need fresh air for our lungs, vintage engines rely on clean, unobstructed air filters. Clogged filters can obstruct airflow, tarnishing performance and efficiency. Check air filters regularly and replace as necessary.

Step 3: Spark Plugs –Tiny but Mighty!

These hardworking chaps, while small, play a massive role in a car’s performance. Old or defective spark plugs can cause misfires or even engine damage. They usually need changing every 10,000 miles or as recommended by your manufacturer.

Step 4: Carburetor- Your engine’s gourmet chef!

The Carburetor functions like a master chef, perfectly combining air and fuel in a combustion feast that powers your car. Keep this culinary wizard clean and well-adjusted to maintain a well-balanced vintage engine diet and avoiding any “indigestion”.

Step 5: Timing Belt: The Unseen Hero!

A worn timing belt can go snap, and your engine comes to a grinding halt. It’s crucial to replace the timing belt as per manufacturer guidelines, usually after a certain mileage or age.

Step 6: Use the Right Fuel:

Classic engines were designed for fuel of their era. Modern fuels can damage vintage engine components. You might need to use additives or specialist fuel to keep your vintage vehicle running smoothly.

Maintaining your shiny prized possession need not be a chore when handled with wisdom and the right care products. Alongside Unit–11’s renowned expertise and the cutting-edge technology of Gtechniq’s range of car care products and Suntek PPF, you’ll have all the tools needed to keep that vintage engine purring proudly for several more years to come. Keep our tips in mind, roll up your sleeves, and give your vintage baby the care they deserve! We’re always here, brimming with experience, humour and a dash of wit, ready to aid on your vintage car care journey. So, gear up and let’s keep those engines smooth and your vintage beauty gleaming because – at Unit–11, we believe in restoration, not replacement!

A close-up image of a vintage car engine, with intricate details and shiny components, showcasing the beauty and craftsmanship of these iconic machines.

Corrosion and Rust Prevention

Now let’s address a rather pesky issue that has become the bane of classic car owners – Rust and Corrosion. Now, I know we all love a bit of patina (that’s another way of saying “rust and grime,” for those not up with the jargon), but there’s a fine line between authenticity and turning your classic investment into a vintage rust bucket.

Let’s dive into some preventative measures that can, and should, be taken to ensure those rust demons don’t take over your vehicle. Remember, at Unit–11 we have been committed to learning the art of vintage car preservation for over thirty long years, so I daresay, you’re in pretty capable hands here.

Garage Storage:

If you wouldn’t leave your parrot outside in a hurricane, don’t let your treasured vehicle bear the brunt of the elements. Parking indoors or under cover is probably the simplest thing you can do to avert rust. If you don’t have a garage, good-quality car covers are a solid investment. Just make sure the car’s dry before you cover it. Otherwise, you’ve built yourself a wet and damp breeding ground for rust.

Regular Inspections:

Knowing your car is kind of like realizing your partner has a new haircut. Spot the change before it’s too late. Regularly inspect your vehicle, paying close attention to areas like the underbody, wheel wells, exhaust, and even the bonnet area. Consistent check-ups will allow you to nip any budding rust issue in the bud.

Dealing with Humidity:

Be the lord of humidity and purchase a dehumidifier, especially if you’re leaving your car in the garage for extended periods. This cunning device soaks up the excess water in the air, effectively reducing the metal-yielding moisture.


Now, this is a method that has polarized opinions. Yet, when done right, rustproofing can provide a robust layer of protection against corrosion. There are two popular rust proofing methods– electronic and traditional sprays or coatings; both have their pros and cons. Here at Unit–11, we don’t just trouser it! We follow the industry’s best practices to ensure your classic car stays corrosion-free.

Finally, Let’s talk about Moisture Repellent Treatments: Gtechniq has a fantastic range of coatings that seal your vehicle’s surfaces. We find this beneficial for preventing surface rust, especially in hidden areas where moisture likes to hide and whisper sweet nothings to the metal.

While it’s a tiring business keeping the devil at bay (the rust one, mind you), it’s part and parcel of owning a classic car. Rest assured, though, you’re not in this alone.

Here at Unit–11, we stand ready to assist you in every step of the rust-averting journey. We use nothing but the best – Gtechniq car care products and Suntek Paint Protection Film. If you fancy keeping that classic car metal gleaming, give us a tinkle. Remember, we can and will help, with all the wisdom of thirty years splattered with an abundance of wit and friendliness. No rust issue is too great, no corrosion query too small for the team here at Unit–11. Let’s face those rust demons together, eh!

A vintage classic car with a rusty appearance, highlighting the issue of rust and corrosion in classic cars.

The allure of classic cars is irresistible and maintaining them in their prime shape is a gratifying journey of discovery. Whilst proper cleaning, attention to the engines and rust prevention may all seem cumbersome tasks initially, they gradually become a cherished routine for any classic car enthusiast. Every success story in these areas adds another year to your timeless beauty’s life. So, let the wheels of your classic car turn gracefully on the road and may the glow of your vehicle be a beacon for those who appreciate the charm of a bygone era. Remember, the captivating splendour of your classic car is a testament to your dedication and perseverance – it’s not just a hobby, it’s a paradox of immortality in a mortal world.