Kit cars are designed to impress, from the DIY attitude and the non-conventional options for kit-car style, you’re guaranteed to turn heads driving down the street.
If you decide to enter your car into show, you’ve got to up your game a bit to win over the judges and beat the competition of traditional vintage cars and newer sports cars.
Whether the venue is inside or outside, there are a few key steps that need to be taken in order for you and your vehicle of choice to make an impression.
From hiring an auto transporter, cleaning wheels and glass, prepping the interior and engine as well as finding some shade – we’ll cover all these topics plus more in our A-to-Z guide on prepping your kit car for the next car show in your area.
Table of Contents:
- Is The Show Inside or Outside?
- What to Bring With You to a Car Show
- Hire an Auto Transporter (and tips on finding a good one)
- Clean the Wheels
- Clean The Glass and Open The Windows
- The Interior
- The undercarriage and engine
- Trunk and Tires
- Outside and Hot? Find Some Shade
- The Small Details
- FAQs in Relation to Car Show Preparation
Hire an Auto Transporter (and tips on finding a good one)
We don’t like throwing our money around, but sometimes paying for a professional is soooo worth it. For show season here in Dallas, we use our friends at Premio Towing Company to do the job right. If you’re price conscious, by all means drive your car, or better yet, haul your kit car on a trailer, but if you want to save miles on your car and avoid the hassles of travel, employing an experience auto transporter like Premio Towing can be a great solution for transferring your kit car between locations without the risk of wear and tear from driving it.
It goes without saying, but it’s extremely important to find a reliable company that can handle the job safely and securely. Here’s are some tips on finding a good auto transporter.
Do your research before you hire anyone. Investigate online appraisals, inquire about from companions or relatives for proposals, and ensure they are safeguarded in the event of any mishap.
Get estimates from several companies before making your decision. Make sure they provide detailed quotes that include any additional fees or charges so there are no surprises down the road.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Find out what type of vehicles they transport (such as classic cars), how long they’ve been in business, and if their drivers are experienced with handling specialty vehicles like yours. We prefer covered transport configurations for longer distances, or flatbed tow trucks for shorter distances near us in Dallas, Texas.
Make sure you understand their insurance policy and coverage limits in case anything happens during transit – this will help protect both you and them should something go wrong along the way. Also inquire about any additional costs associated with special requests such as climate-controlled trailers or expedited delivery times.
Communication is key when hiring an auto transporter – make sure you feel comfortable talking with them before signing on the dotted line. They should be able to quickly and adequately address all your queries, providing you with assurance that everything will go as planned.
Lastly, experience matters when it comes to transporting valuable items like kit cars – look for companies who specialize in hauling these types of vehicles specifically because they know how delicate these pieces can be during transit. This could save time and money by ensuring everything arrives safely at its destination on time without any issues along the way.
Hiring an auto transporter is a great solution to make sure your vehicle arrives safely and securely at the show. It’s important to do some research into reputable companies before making any commitments. Now, let’s move on to cleaning the wheels – this will help make sure your kit car looks its best for the big day.
Is The Show Inside or Outside?
When planning to attend a car show, one of the first things you need to determine is the location and environment. Is it an indoor event at a convention center, or will you be attending an outdoor car show?
Once you have established the venue of the car show, you can take the next step of deciding what items should be taken with you.
If the show is inside, there’s no need to fret about any bad weather when it’s held indoors – no rain or heat. You’ll also get access to air conditioning and other amenities such as restrooms and food vendors. However, depending on the size of the venue and number of attendees it could become crowded quickly which may make maneuvering around difficult for larger vehicles like kit cars.
On the other hand if your show is outside then there’s no denying its beauty. Being able to take in all those gleaming chrome finishes in natural sunlight really adds something special that just isn’t quite replicated indoors. But keep in mind that outdoor shows tend to require more preparation than their indoor counterparts due to potential issues such as dust, wind gusts and even bugs getting into places they shouldn’t be.
Additionally since most outdoor events don’t offer any type of climate control system (i.e., air conditioning) having some sort of shade setup nearby would be wise especially during hot summer days when temperatures can easily soar past 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 Celsius).
Finally, if your vehicle has removable parts like spoilers or racing stripes, these should probably stay off until after judging so they don’t blow away during the high winds that are common at many open-air venues. And while we’re on the subject, don’t forget sunscreen either – nothing ruins a day faster than coming home from a car show looking like a lobster.
Now that you know what type of setting your car show will take place in, let’s move onto the next step – making sure you have all of the essentials with you.
What to Bring With You to a Car Show
When attending a car show, there are some essential items you should bring with you. Having your car prepared for a show is essential, and these items should be in your toolbox or trunk:
Cleaners and Polishes:
Keeping your vehicle looking its best is important when it comes to showing it off. Bring along an assortment of cleaners and polishes so that you can give it a quick touch up before the judging starts. A good wax will help protect against dirt and dust build-up during the event.
Having detailing supplies on hand can come in handy if something unexpected happens at the last minute like bird droppings or spilled food. Bring microfiber towels, window cleaner, leather conditioner, bug remover spray, tire shine products and anything else you think might be useful for keeping your car clean and presentable throughout the day.
Even if everything goes according to plan at a car show, having basic tools available just in case is always wise – especially for kit cars where adjustments may need to be made during judging or display time. Be prepared with wrenches, screwdrivers (flathead and Phillips head), pliers/cutters, plus duct tape and zip ties for any necessary fixes or changes while at the show.
No matter how careful we try to be around our vehicles there’s always potential for accidents so bringing safety gear such as gloves and eye protection should never be overlooked when packing up for a car show. It’s also wise to bring fire extinguishers too – just in case someone spills fuel near an engine bay or exhaust system unexpectedly ignites something nearby.
Finally, don’t forget about yourself. Pack snacks like trail mix bars or sandwiches plus plenty of water bottles so that you won’t get dehydrated while admiring all those amazing cars on display.
Having the right tools and supplies with you to a car show can make all the difference in how your vehicle looks when it’s time for judging. Now, let’s discuss hiring an auto transporter and what tips you should look out for when selecting one.
Clean the Wheels
Clean the Wheels:
The wheels are one of the most important parts of your car to keep clean and looking good. It’s not just about appearances, though; dirt and debris can get stuck in between wheel spokes or build up on brake calipers, leading to a decrease in performance. To ensure your car runs optimally and looks its best, regular wheel cleaning is a must.
Wheel Cleaning Gear We Stand By
Wheel Cleaning Supplies – Start with a quality wheel cleaner like Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner or Meguiar’s Hot Rims Wheel & Tire Cleaner that is designed specifically for automotive use. Also have plenty of soft rags, sponges, brushes (both soft bristled and stiff), as well as a bucket of warm water handy.
Soft Bristle Brush – Use this brush to gently scrub away any dirt or grime that has built up around the edges of each wheel spoke and along any crevices where road debris may be lodged into place. Be careful not to scratch the surface by using too much pressure when brushing off stubborn buildup from around lug nuts or other areas near metal components on the wheel itself.
Stiff Bristle Brush – This type of brush should only be used if there is caked-on mud or tar present on your wheels since it will provide more abrasive power than its softer counterpart without damaging the finish underneath. If you do choose to use this kind of brush, always test it out first in an inconspicuous area before tackling larger sections so you don’t end up with unwanted scratches afterwards.
Rags & Sponges – After all visible dirt has been removed from your wheels’ surfaces using either type of brush mentioned above, take some dampened rags/sponges and wipe down each individual component until they’re shining like new again. You’ll want to make sure no residue remains after cleaning so that nothing gets left behind which could potentially cause corrosion over time if left unchecked – especially during winter months when salt is often used on roadsides throughout many regions across North America.
After all visible dirt has been removed from your wheels’ surfaces using either type of brush mentioned above, take some dampened rags or sponges and wipe down each individual component until they’re shining like new. You’ll want to make sure no residue remains after cleaning so that nothing gets left behind which could potentially cause corrosion over time if left unchecked – especially during winter months when salt is often used on roadsides throughout many regions across North America.
A thorough cleaning of the wheels is essential to ensure that your car looks its best at a car show. With clean windows and open windows, you can create an inviting atmosphere for viewers to appreciate the beauty of your kit car.
Clean The Glass and Open The Windows
When it comes to car shows, the windows and glass are often overlooked. But when you’re trying to show off your kit car, you need to make sure that everything is sparkling clean – including the glass. Cleaning the windows and opening them up will not only make your vehicle look more inviting, but it can also help with ventilation inside of a hot car. Here are some tips for getting those windows looking their best:
Start by using a microfiber cloth or soft towel to wipe down all of the exterior window surfaces. This will remove any dirt or debris that may be stuck on there. Next, use an auto-glass cleaner specifically designed for cars and spray directly onto each window pane. Then take a squeegee or another lint-free cloth and begin wiping in circular motions from top to bottom until all streaks have been removed. Finally, open up the windows so that air can circulate throughout your vehicle while at the show – this will prevent overheating during those hot summer days.
Remember to check around any seals or rubber gaskets as these areas tend to collect dust over time which can cause scratches if left unchecked before cleaning begins. Additionally, avoid using paper towels as they contain fibers which could scratch your glass when wiped across its surface – stick with lint-free materials instead. Lastly, don’t forget about cleaning both sides of each window – you want every inch of your kit car looking perfect. With these simple steps in mind you’ll have no problem keeping those windows crystal clear for everyone at the next car show.
Cleaning the glass and opening the windows are essential tasks to complete before attending a car show. With these basics taken care of, it’s time to move on to detailing the interior for maximum presentation points.
The toil and dedication you’ve invested in your kit car is mirrored by its internal features. People will certainly be taken aback when they catch sight of the inside of your kit car, an indication of all the energy and toil you have devoted. So, make sure to take extra care in cleaning and detailing this area.
Begin by using a vacuum to remove any dirt or debris from the floor mats and carpets. Then use a damp cloth to wipe down all surfaces such as dashboards, door panels, and headliners. For tougher spots like spilled drinks or food stains, try using an upholstery cleaner specifically designed for automotive interiors.
Next up are the windows and mirrors – these should be cleaned with glass cleaner and a lint-free cloth to avoid streaks or smudges. If there are window tint films installed on your car’s windows, use special cleaners made specifically for tinted windows so as not to damage them.
To complete the interior detail, take a look at those hard-to-reach nooks and crannies; use compressed air or vacuum attachments to get rid of any dust buildup in vents. Polish up trim pieces with metal polish every now and then to keep them looking sharp. Don’t forget about seatbelts either – give them a quick once over with some warm soapy water but always check the manufacturer’s instructions first just in case there are any special requirements. Finally, don’t overlook small details like chrome trim – make sure it gets wiped down after cleaning and never leave it wet as this can cause corrosion over time.
Once you have attended to all the other details, complete your cabin’s refreshment by spritzing a pleasant scent of air freshener or natural essential oils. This will help give your ride that “new car smell” everyone loves.
For a winning presentation, it’s essential to pay attention to detail and make sure all components are properly set up in the interior of your kit car. Moving on, for peak performance at the car show, you’ll need to take extra care when inspecting and setting up your kit car’s undercarriage and engine.
The undercarriage and engine
The base and motor are essential elements of any kit car, necessary for a stable frame as well as propulsion. The undercarriage is essential for providing a strong base, and the engine supplies the necessary energy to propel it. It’s essential that both parts are properly constructed and maintained in order to ensure a safe ride.
Constructing a reliable undercarriage necessitates considering several essential components. Ensure that the frame components you select can bear the load of your car and its contents. Second, choose appropriate suspension components based on your intended use – off-road vehicles need more robust suspensions than street cars do – and install them correctly according to manufacturer specifications. Finally, don’t forget about brakes; they should be up-to-date with plenty of stopping power when you hit those tight turns or unexpected obstacles.
Once you have a sturdy base built up, it’s time to turn your attention towards powering it all with an engine. For this task, many kit car owners opt for tried-and-true engines from popular brands like Ford or Chevy as these tend to offer reliable performance at an affordable price point compared to custom builds. When selecting an engine model, think about how much horsepower you’ll need (based on expected speeds) as well as fuel economy considerations if applicable – some high performance motors can guzzle gas quickly. Be sure also check out aftermarket options such as air intakes or exhaust systems which can help boost overall efficiency even further once installed correctly by a professional mechanic or automotive technician.
Finally, don’t skimp on maintenance. Regular oil changes and other routine inspections will go a long way towards keeping your drivetrain running smoothly over time, allowing you to enjoy worry-free rides no matter where life takes you.
For the undercarriage and engine, proper maintenance is essential to ensure that your car runs smoothly during a show. To make sure you’re ready for any terrain, it’s important to pay attention to details when checking out your trunk and tires.
Trunk and Tires
But these two components can make or break your vehicle’s overall appearance. It is important to give them both a good cleaning before you show off your kit car.
Start with the Tires:
A clean set of tires can really make a difference in how your car looks on display at a show. Start by scrubbing each tire with soap and water, then use an all-purpose cleaner for any stubborn stains or dirt that won’t come off easily. Once they’re clean, apply a tire shine product to bring out their color and luster even more.
Next, Clean Out Your Trunk:
The trunk is usually one of the most neglected areas when it comes to prepping for a car show – but not anymore. Begin by clearing out all clutter from the trunk to create ample space for cleaning. Then vacuum away any debris or dust that may have built up over time and wipe down all surfaces using an all-purpose cleaner like 409® Multi-Surface Cleaner & Degreaser. Don’t forget about those nooks and crannies too; get into every corner for best results. Finally, finish off by applying some leather conditioner if needed (depending on what type of material lines your trunk).
Don’t Forget About Those Wheel Wells:
While you’re at it don’t forget about those wheel wells either – they should be given just as much attention as everything else on your kit car. Use an old toothbrush dipped in soapy water to scrub away grime from around each wheel well opening before rinsing thoroughly with water afterwards. Finish off by wiping dry with a microfiber cloth for maximum shine potential during the show.
These small details, if done correctly, will go unnoticed; however, if left undone they could be obvious flaws that detract from an otherwise perfect presentation at the next big event. Therefore, take care of them now so you’ll look great later.
Before departing for the car show, be sure to equip your trunk with all necessary items and materials in case of any unforeseen events. Additionally, check that your tires are properly inflated as this will ensure a smooth ride on the way there. Now that you have taken care of those details, it’s time to focus on keeping cool while at the car show by finding some shade.
Outside and Hot? Find Some Shade
At a car show, it’s critical to plan ahead and take measures against the elements, such as bringing a large shade or umbrella or finding an area with natural cover. To ensure comfort, it is wise to find a shaded area at the car show for both yourself and your vehicle. Whether you bring your own canopy or find a shady spot onsite, make sure that your kit car and yourself stay cool throughout the event.
A great way to keep out of direct sunlight is by bringing along a canopy tent or umbrella with you. This will give you enough coverage from both UV rays and heat so that neither your vehicle nor yourself suffer from overheating during the day. Plus, canopies are easy to set up and take down quickly when needed.
If you don’t have access to a canopy or an umbrella, try looking around for trees or other areas where there may be some natural shade available. Enquire of others present if they are familiar with any shaded spots – likely, they’ve experienced the event before and can direct you to the ideal area.
Once you’ve found yourself some shelter from the sun, it’s time to think about cooling down your vehicle as well as yourself. Make sure that all windows are open (or cracked) so air can circulate through easily; this will help keep temperatures inside lower than outside temperatures. Additionally, consider using fans near vents/windows in order to push cooler air into your cabin space faster – this should provide relief almost instantly.
The Small Details
The minutiae can be the deciding factor in how successful your kit car is at a show; thus, it’s essential to pay attention to those details if you hope for top marks.
Polish every surface of your car until it shines like a diamond. The kind of polish and grit depends a lot upon the car and the clear coat. Many foreign cars like Mercedes or BMW, a clear coat application that are relatively thick, which allow you to use a much broader range or polishing grit abrasion to get that glass-like finish. Others classic car clear coats are razor thin, which require a lighter touch to get the same result. Whatever the situation, be sure to use quality products that will not damage the paint job or leave streaks on the windows. Take special care when polishing chrome as some cleaners may discolor it.
Get into all those hard-to-reach areas with a detailing brush and cleaning solution made for cars. Make sure everything looks its best, from under the hood to inside door panels and around wheel wells – no detail should go unnoticed.
If there’s any rust spots or scratches on your kit car, now is the time to take care of them before entering into competition at a show. You don’t need an entire new paint job; just use touch up paint where needed so that judges won’t notice any blemishes during inspection.
Decals & Stickers:
Don’t forget about decals and stickers. These can add personality and flair to your ride while also representing sponsorships or affiliations you may have with other organizations related to automotive culture such as racing teams or clubs associated with customizing cars. Be sure they are placed correctly though – crooked decals can be off-putting for some judges.
When removing old stickers from your vehicle, do not use harsh chemicals which could strip away wax protection layers underneath – instead opt for a sticker remover product specifically designed for automobiles. This will safely remove residue without damaging surfaces below it (like clear coat). It is also important that after removing old stickers/decals you thoroughly cleanse affected areas using rubbing alcohol prior to applying new ones so they adhere properly without bubbling up later down the line due to improper adhesion caused by oils left behind from previous removal processes.
Once all the necessary preparations are complete, it is imperative to attend to every small detail for a successful car show presentation. From cleaning out any dirt or debris from underneath and around the engine bay, making sure windows and glass are streak-free, ensuring tires have proper air pressure and checking trunk compartments – these seemingly minor tasks can go a long way when it comes to presenting your vehicle at its best. Car show preparation is an art form; with some effort put into every detail you’ll be ready for whatever event awaits.
If you’re a kit car enthusiast looking for the latest tips and tricks to make your vehicle stand out, then Drive-Kit-Plus is the perfect resource. Our comprehensive guides and expert advice will help you prepare for any car show with confidence.