Driving a classic in the winter


I hire classic cars out all year round, so I've got used to them being used in rain and snow and driven along salted roads. It wasn't always like this. There was a time when I wouldn't let my classic out if there was a hint of rain or puddles on the road. My classic of choice back then was an Alfa Romeo Alfasud, which may go some way to explaining my concerns. That Alfa just had to look at water and it would start bubbling.

I can understand anyone who owns a cherished classic for summer use only. Classics need love and care and trundling them through puddles and salt is perhaps not the best way to express it. But the downside of this consideration is that the car inevitably sits for weeks or months on end in a usually cold and damp garage. This isn't great news for a classic car either. Like humans, joints seize up and damp gets in. If I park up one of my cars for a couple of weeks without use I immediately notice the difference when it comes to drive it.

So the dilemma is this - classic cars need regular use but in the winter we don't want to use them because it may wreck them.

My own solution is forced upon me. I hire my Jensen Interceptor, Alfa Romeo Spider and Jaguar XJ6 Series 2 out for hire throughout the year, along with other cars. They go out for self drive wedding hire and 30th, 40th and 50th birthdays. I need to keep them in good condition because they need to be reliable. So I spend a lot of time at the jet wash to clear off all bodywork and underbody debris. I use polish carefully to keep the paintwork smooth and blemish free. And I store the cars in a Carcoon. For £500 each my carcoons have been a fantastic investment - they dehumidify the environment around the car and protect it from airborne pollutants like dust, rain and debris.

But if you still don't fancy letting your classic out in the winter, you're welcome to top up your classic buzz by hiring one of mine.

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