Wayne Cook
April 21, 2010
Photos By: Manufacturers

Spring Clean Up
Maintenance

Whether you've gone through the struggle of a complete restoration or you've got a survivor-type car with original paint, you already know that once you drive your car it's a tough job keeping it looking nice. Maintenance is a big portion of any ongoing classic Ford project, and it seems like the nicer your car is, the more work is needed in keeping things in tiptop form. Let's face it, looking good at cruise night involves much more than just paint and glass. Your car's underhood realm needs to be neat as a pin too. Wheels and tires are also very important to your car's overall appearance and on the classic cars we're working with, chrome is an important consideration as well.

Very often elbow grease is a principal ingredient to success, as anyone who has waxed a whole car by hand can attest to. Even with a power buffer and polisher, it's the effort you put into your clean and detail job that will tell in the end result. Using a power buffer on paint requires some experience and caution, and it's easy to burn through your paintjob on the edges if you're not careful.

Because these projects are very much a labor of love, many of the enthusiasts we know don't mind spending a few hours on their cars working out the small details by hand. To be certain that all traces of residual wax are removed they will go over panel gaps and doorjambs with an old toothbrush. We've seen folks who clean between their radio-selector buttons with a Q-tip. Indeed there seems to be no limit on what some folks will do to be sure that their ride is looking its best. Some people even steam clean the underbody on their car each spring in order to be certain that any residual oil, road salt, or grime has been eliminated. In fact there are many inexpensive things you can do to prolong the life of your car's paint and body and keep it looking factory fresh.

Let's look at some of the basic procedures needed to keep your classic Ford looking its best. A complete cleanup for your car's exterior has several important steps. If you live in an area where the road is salted and you had to drive your car during the wet weather then you may wish to clean the wheelhouses and underbody before beginning on to the rest of your spring clean up.

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