Mention "classic American car," and the first thing that pops into most people's minds is the Corvette. If you're fortunate enough to call yourself an owner of one of these beautiful, highly coveted vehicles, you want to make sure you have a long and happy life together, and a lot of TLC is the best way to accomplish that goal.
Store The Car In A Garage, If You Have One
Generally, the best place to store a classic, expensive, or beloved vehicle is in a garage. There, virtually no harm can come to it, and it's also a convenient place to perform maintenance and cosmetic upgrades. If you have access to a garage, be sure to store your Corvette inside it, but you may want to leave the windows on the car slightly cracked in order to prevent possible mold or mildew from forming the condensation that can arise from certain temperature and humidity conditions. If your budget allows and you really want to spoil your Vette, buy a dehumidifier and install it in your garage.
Cover Up Your Corvette
Whenever your Corvette can't be kept in the safe confines of a garage, make sure you keep it covered. If you only take it out for a drive on weekends, invest in a sturdy Corvette car cover to prevent damage from the elements. A cover will prevent a lot of fading from the sun (both on the interior and exterior of the vehicle), potentially stop some forms of weather damage. Some covers inflate so that hail will bounce off, rather than pound on, the car's surface. Whatever climate you live in, a cover is an absolute necessity for your Corvette. It might also be helpful, particularly if you do reside in a dangerous weather area, to have an app installed on your phone which will alert you of impending storms, such as those which bring hail. With a solid car cover, though, you'll always be ready for just about anything.
Even if you don't drive the Corvette often, it's very important that you monitor vital fluids, especially with a classic, older model, to avoid mechanical breakdowns. Use a high-quality oil specifically formulated for the performance car you own, and match it with an appropriate filter.
Besides oil, you also need to keep an eye on transmission and brake fluids, as well as the power steering and anti-freeze, depending on your circumstances. Make sure you check the fluids when the engine is at the proper temperature if you do it yourself; for example, if the engine is too warm when you look at the transmission fluid, you're very likely to not get an accurate level reading and, consequentially, under-fill. If you run the engine without enough transmission fluid, you're going to subject it to extra and unnecessary wear and tear. If you're raising the vehicle to check on fluid levels (or anything else, for that matter), perform a safety check on your jack, and make certain you're using it properly prior to getting absorbed by the task at hand.
Keep The Tires In Peak Condition
While the warranty on your tires may not expire for a while, they still may not be wise to drive on. If they're dry and cracked — even if the treads are still relatively intact — consider replacing them completely or at least getting a second opinion at your local garage. Humidity levels where the vehicle is stored may also have an impact on the health of your tires, so inspect the tires regularly, including checking the pressure. Although you may want higher pressure for maximum performance, you also may want a smooth ride for those long, sunny, Saturday afternoon drives.
Find A Corvette-Specific Shop For Maintenance And Repairs
Unless you personally know the mechanics at the nearest or cheapest garage are qualified to work on your Corvette, try not to cut corners when it comes to upkeep. For longevity as well as performance, your special car needs special care.
Taking good care of your classic Corvette means it will last, perform and continue to be the car of your dreams — as well as the dream car for probably everyone you know — for a long time. Consider yourself very lucky to have one of these babies of your own, and always give it the TLC it deserves.