3 Must-Haves for Your First Car Show

If you’ve recently acquired a luxury or classic car that you want to show off, car shows are the perfect place to start. There are lots of different kinds of car shows out there for you to choose from, depending on the kind of car you have and the condition that it is in.

Clean It Up

One surefire way to get your car ridiculed (or at best, ignored) at a car show is to bring it in dirty. Beauty’s only skin deep, so it won’t matter what car you bring in if it’s covered in dust or if the interior is full of trash. Plus, a car show is a competition, so you have judges to impress, and a simple trip through the car wash and vacuum station is not going to be enough.

Aside from the general exterior and interior work, make sure to pay special attention to the engine compartment, undercarriage, wheels, tires, sun visors, and the undersides of the seats. The objective here is to make the car look better than new, so there’s no such thing as being too thorough. Use only the best cleaning products and leave no nook or cranny untouched. When you’re finished, make sure to preserve your hard work with a good protective cover.

Get Handy

It’s important to have a clean car ready to show off. It’s also important to make sure it’s perfectly unblemished — after all, the goal here is to make sure the car looks even better than it did on the day it was first made.

Check the upholstery for signs of fraying, tearing, or wear. These are flaws that no amount of cleaning will be able to hide. Sometimes upholstery can be re-stitched or partially replaced, while other times it will need to be completely redone. This can be a great opportunity to replace the upholstery with a custom, flashier materials and designs.

Scratches on the paint, rust on the metal, or dents are big no-nos for show cars. Carefully look over every square inch of your car to check for flaws, then fix them. Sometimes these flaws are small enough that a quick dent repair kit or dab of original paint will do the job. And sometimes the body needs a serious makeover to get back to showroom glam.

Don’t make the rookie mistake of overlooking the car’s glass. Windshields and windows get scratched over time, and glass shine or window cleaner can only get you so far. You may be able to get away with rolling down the windows in the name of showing off the car’s interior, but replacing the windshield may be necessary.

Interesting Display

While your car should definitely be the star of the show, be sure to set aside some time for other parts of your display. Car show boards are an integral part of the display, allowing you to show off specs and interesting facts, without hovering around your car all day. This creates an interactive experience for both judges and visitors alike, making your car more engaging and more likely to stand out in their memory. Feel free to include things like advertising brochures from when the car was made, professional photography, and information about the car’s specs. A car show board should be easy to read, uncluttered, and attractive — like your car, let the facts speak for themselves about what makes your car impressive.

Preparing your car for a show takes a lot of work, which makes it a hobby for only the most dedicated car enthusiasts. But all that hard work becomes worthwhile when yours is the vehicle that gets declared as “best in show”!

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