1984 Toyota Tercel At An Outdoor Show In Yorkshire UK

Preparing for Your First Car Show

While COVID-19 has put a bit of a damper on things, in normal times, there seem to be as many car shows and exhibitions in any given years as there are types of vehicles – including, would you believe, Toyota Tercels!

Most of these shows are just for fun, the perfect excuse to meet and hang out with like-minded people. However, many exhibitions involve trophies and judging participants’ cars. Preparing for your first car show can  be as much of a challenge as getting ready for a race.

With that said, knowing what to expect is half the battle. To put you at an advantage over other classic cars, we have compiled a list of display tips to help you prepare for the exhibition.

Make transportation arrangements

When you’re planning for your first car show, driving your classic car is out of the question. Not only does every mile add up, but it also brings the risk of an accident, maintenance issues, and further depreciation, all factors that make driving a risky proposition.

A better alternative is for you to make transportation arrangements to protect your investment but also to ensure that your vintage car is intact and arrives at the exhibition in pristine condition. Choose a reliable transportation service, opt for a flatbed tow truck with and a enclosure (if possible) to protect your vehicle from the elements,  and be sure to verify whether the carrier has the proper insurance that is active and current before shipping your car (get this in writing or an email!)

We’ve got to give a shout out here to our friends at Timber Towing And Recovery in Minneapolis for their help in the past lugging our Hatchback and 4-Door ultra clean Tercels to the Classic Car Show in nearby Anoka, MN the last few years.

Prep the bodywork

Your car’s bodywork is the first thing judges are going to see so you want to make a good impression on them by polishing your vintage car’s appearance. Start by checking for dent, scratches, rust, or any blemishes. Just to be safe, you can take your car to a body shop so you can get a professional’s perspective.

Through their evaluation of the vehicle, they will be able to tell you if they notice anything you might have missed. In addition to that, you also want to look for any missing components and make any small repairs or adjustments if needed.

Prep the exterior

Our Preferred Wax - NU Finish (16oz Bottle)

Our Preferred Wax – NU Finish (16oz Bottle)

Preparing the exterior of your car is a crucial step as well. Even if you’ve given your vehicle a fresh wax, if you don’t take the time to wash and prepare the exterior, you risk being written off early on in the competition.

Your classic car will require the utmost care, so don’t think about taking it to a car wash because that might damage its value and dull the color of the paint job. So use the best cleaning materials, preferably ones that the manufacturer recommends, and pack those cleaning supplies with you when you go to the show.

While there’s plenty of good waxes out there, our go-to wax is Nu-Finish.  I’m sure they’re all great, I just happen to like the fact that there is a very slight grit to the wax and it does a good job in hiding the micro-scratches our cars have endured over their 35+ years.

Prepare the interior

Now that your exterior is spotless, you want the interior of your car to match it. Not only will the judges be looking at the car’s exterior, but they will also be examining the interior and how well-maintained it is.

The cleaning supplies you need vary based on the materials you need to clean, so do your research beforehand. Clean from top to bottom then from front to back, wash the carpet, floor mats, and don’t forget about the trunk.

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