For people who love their cars, and cars in general, the spring and summer months can be filled with long cruises to car shows, meets, and rallies. Even if you aren’t planning on entering your car in any competitions, you still want to roll into the meeting with your ride looking its best.
Car meetups and owner’s club events are a great way to meet people who share your enthusiasm for motor cars and see some amazing vehicles that you don’t normally see driving down the high street in your town or city.
Getting your car in its best condition for a show can be very challenging. You could spend hours polishing and finessing your vehicle, but without the right attention to the right details, you could still find yourself committing a car show faux pas. Here is our guide to seven top tips from car show veterans to help you make your car a star, whether you are entering a competition or not.
Wash, Wax, Polish And Pay Attention To Detail
By far the most important step you should take when preparing your car for going to a car show is cleaning it, inside and out. Car judges, and patrons of car events, pay close attention to the details, so make sure you clean every square inch of your car’s exterior as well as inside.
Make sure you clean and polish the wheels, tyres and inside the wheel arches. Use products that are designed to be used with automobiles, and invest in some detergents that specifically remove things like motor oil and brake dust. For a car show quality clean, you should be able to see your reflection in every surface.
Put Extra Effort Into Cleaning You Glass And Mirrors
The glass of your windows and windscreen need to be spotless, without a smudge or watermark in sight. Remember to carefully clean both sides of the glass as well – sometimes people forget this step, but the inside of your windows is just as important as the outside. The product you use for windows in your home should be more than adequate to deal with any window dirt, but don’t start cleaning the outside of your windows and windscreen until they’ve been washed by soap and water to remove any heavy debris.
Go Deep On Your Car’s Interior
Your car’s interior will need to vacuumed first of all, then use a cleaning product designed for car upholstery, and vacuum again. You’ll be surprised at the difference this makes and how well it restores your car seats and armrests. The interior surfaces will need another type of cleaner depending on what it is made from. Test any new cleaner on a small spot that is hidden away from view first to make sure it doesn’t discolour or damage your interior.
Make Sure You Clean Your Tyres
People who constantly present their cars at shows often have a set of tyres that they just fit for the show, after they arrive. You don’t have to go to these lengths, but make sure you clean your tyres before and after arriving at the show so they look their best. Steps like these can give you an edge over any competition.
Consider Using A Trailer For Your Car
Serious car show competitors will bring their car to the show on a covered trailer, so they know their car is in its best condition when they arrive. This also means that it hasn’t suffered any mishaps on the journey – it is easy for a pothole or a small bump to ruin a show weekend and take you out of the running for a prize.
Final Touches Make The Biggest Difference
You will want to bring some cleaning materials with you to the show to make sure you can tidy up any mess on site. Another great touch is a ‘show plate’ to put on your car in place of its standard registration plate. This can often make your car look even more special, and you can use styles and fonts to complement your car’s appearance. It has the bonus of protecting your personal information, as show plates are only for show and not the road, which also means you can add anything you like. Use a site such as number1plates.com where you can use their plate builder software to design a unique show plate for them to produce and deliver to your door.
Present Your Car With Confidence
The last step towards getting shop ready is preparing to present your car to the show’s visitors and its judges. With all the hard work done, you should feel confident about your car’s appearance, but don’t let it speak for itself. Always be on hand to offer any information or details about the vehicle and the work that has gone into preparing it.
It doesn’t matter whether you drive a Lamborghini or a Lada, displaying a well-presented car at a show is a very rewarding experience. You will make lots of new friends who share your passion for motor cars, and maybe pick up a trophy or two for all your hard work.