If you have a classic car, you may be eager to show it off! After all, you have worked hard to keep your car in mint condition so it only makes sense that you would want to share its beauty with other car enthusiasts. Whether it’s your first time entering a car show or you have done so several times, it’s important to remember that there are certain tips and tricks to ensure your car looks its best. If you’re hoping to win a trophy or you simply want to impress passers-by, these car presentation tips will improve your entire car show experience.

Preparing Your Car

Wash Your Car

If you want your car to stand out, it needs to be shiny and clean as a whistle! Car fanatics know that if you plan to enter your car in a show, it should be in pristine condition. This begins by giving your car a good and thorough cleaning. Be sure to wash every inch of your car’s exterior, including the engine and the undercarriage. You also want to be sure and wash your car by hand to ensure that you don’t miss a single spot. After all, car shows are all about the details. Be sure to use appropriate automotive products and avoid harsh cleaners that can damage your paint job. You also want to begin with the wheels, and then work your way from the roof down. Finally, always wash your car in the shade so it doesn’t dry too quickly in the sun and leave streaks.

Dry Your Car

Preparing your classic car for a show isn’t the same as washing your everyday vehicle. You can’t just take it for a spin and let it air dry. When you are prepping a car for a show, you must hand dry the car yourself using a microfiber towel. This will prevent streaks and water marks from showing up on your car. It also makes it easier to catch any dirt spots that may have been overlooked. You can remove any remaining spots with an abrasive polish. This is a great trick for saps and other stains.

Polish Your Car

Now it’s time to give your car that pristine shine. Once your car is cleaned and dried, you can polish away any spots where grease, dirt, scrapes, or scratches are still visible. Once you have polished your car, you can apply a glaze that will seal and lock in the shine. Glazes are perfect for filling in small minor scratches and imperfections on the surface of your car to minimize their appearance. Finally, spread a thin layer of wax on the vehicle to give it a nice shine.

Detail the Interior

You want to make sure the interior of your car looks as impressive as the exterior. Start by vacuuming the floors and in between the seats. Take a damp cloth and wipe the hinges and door jambs to remove grease. Next you want to shampoo the carpets using an automotive carpet cleaner and use a mild soap to wipe down hard surfaces like the dashboard. Wipe down the windows with a glass cleaner. Finally, use a conditioner for leather seats. You also want to use a conditioner on your tires to give them a good shine. Shining your tires can make your car look brand new. Be mindful of the trunk as well, and don’t forget to clean it out when you are detailing the interior.

Displaying Your Car

Bring a Canopy Tent

Parking in the shade is ideal, but it’s not always possible. That’s why it’s extremely helpful to bring a canopy tent. This allows you to stay in the shade no matter where your car is parked. Not only do canopy tents provide much needed shade for you and your car, but more people will come look at your car because it is in the shade. It also helps protect your car from sap or pollen that can fall from nearby trees.

Open the Hood and Trunk

When you are displaying a car at a show, you have to show every part of your car, including what’s under the hood. After all, the engine is the heart and soul of the vehicle. If you don’t open the hood and trunk, judges might assume you have something to hide. Even if you don’t have the biggest engine, people still like to see what’s going on underneath the hood.

Open the Windows

In addition to opening the hood and trunk, you also want to open all of the windows. This makes it easy for attendees and judges to peek inside your vehicle. Considering how much work you put into detailing the interior, you certainly want to make sure and show it off.

Make a Modifications Poster

People can look at your car and they may assume any number of things but they won’t know the exact specs and details unless you tell them. Invest in designing a framed poster that includes all of your car’s modifications. That way, people can read all about your car instead of making guesses. This can also be very helpful for judges who might stop by when you aren’t available to answer questions. This provides them with information about your car and a list of all the mods you have made.

Display Original Documents if Possible

Not everyone has access to the original documents for their car, especially for older cars. That’s because paper is hard to maintain over the course of many years. That said, if you do happen to have any original documents including the original paper advertisement, owner’s manual, or stickers with specs, be sure to display these along with your car during the show. 

Place Mirrors Underneath Your Car

It may sound strange but most people will not take the time to get down on their hands and knees to peek under your car. However, that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t be interested in seeing the undercarriage. By placing a few mirrors underneath your car, it makes it easy for people to see the suspension and other components they may have otherwise missed. This helps to create that extra wow factor for judges.

Get a Custom License Plate

This is one detail that is easy to overlook but can really make your car stand out. License plates are a big part of a car’s identity and this is a great way to showcase a little personality and give your car an easy way to be identified. Getting a custom license plate can really add to the ambiance of your classic car.