prevent classic car rust

Prevent Classic Car Rust With Zerust Car Covers

It’s tough to resist the allure of a classic car. It’s a passion, a piece of history, a prized possession. The stakes are high for owners hoping to prevent classic car rust.

Investment in classic cars is on a slight upswing, following recent changes to federal tax law – specifically to Section 1031, allowing deferred capital gains tax if proceeds were used to purchase a collectible – including classic cars. While other luxury assets like jewelry, stamps and art dipped, the value of the classic car market increased by 17 percent in recent years, according to the Knight Frank Luxury Investment Index.

Rust is the enemy of every vehicle – old or new. It can attack no matter the climate or road conditions. Classic car rust is especially painful, as most owners have already poured in a great deal of time and money. Those flaking, orange bubbles can creep up suddenly on the surface or in crevices unseen, and are referred to by some as, “cancer holes.”

Yet it’s rare to find a decades-old vehicle without a single speck of rust. The auto industry has come a long way in terms of developing ways to keep newer models from rust ravage, with more effective preventative and galvanizing coatings. Vintage cars are innately more prone to clear coat peeling and overall paint peeling. Elements like moisture and road salt feed and accelerate breakdown of components.

Rust Can Render a Classic Car Worthless

A pock of rust doesn’t necessarily spell doom for a classic car. Treating a small spot on the surface or near the tire can be easy enough. The real concern is that this might indicate bigger problems you can’t see.

If rust has begun attacking the structure and permeating the car panels, removing and treating it can prove difficult or even cost-prohibitive. Rust can render a classic car unprofitable and potentially unusable.

The main types of rust you’ll see on a car include:

  • Surface rust. This occurs on the surface of the vehicle, typically where paint has worn thin and the metal underneath was exposed to moisture/humidity. If you have to grapple with any kind of rust, this is the least costly, typically involving a light sanding and paint primer.
  • Pitted metal. This is when rust has wormed its way into the body panel, resulting in surface pits, but not yet progressing to a rusted-through stage. This isn’t what you’d like to see, but it can still usually be contained with the help of a professional.
  • Rusted-through panels. A rusted through panel is typically not salvageable. If it’s on the hood, door, bolted-on fenders – these are probably the easiest to replace. The bigger problem is that’s usually not the only rusted-through panel, even if it’s the only one immediately visible. Some buyers may be fine with a major reconstruction if rust-through has taken hold, but everyone should know exactly what they’re getting into.

Sometimes buyers are so infatuated with a certain make or model, they tend to gloss over rust issues. Zerust rust prevention experts know this is a mistake, no matter how alluring the model. Anyone buying an older vehicle needs to be sure to carefully inspect (or have a trusted mechanic carefully inspect) it before signing the check.

To Prevent Classic Car Rust: Keep It Clean, Keep it Covered

Getting rid of car rust is expensive, time-consuming and often full of unpleasant surprises. It’s far more preferable to prevent classic car rust.

An automobile expert who works at a Jeep Dealership Near Me gave me a few tips to prevent rust like avoiding frequent washing of the undercarriage, avoiding salted or rain-slicked roads and keeping the paint touched up.

But classic car owners need to take it a step further – not only because these cars are older/weren’t made with standardized rust protection, but because you have more invested in keeping a vintage vehicle in top condition.

Zerust car cover protects your classic car from rust while it’s in storage – whether for a few months or just overnight.

It’s necessary to point out that these aren’t ordinary car covers, which can leave your classic car MORE vulnerable to rusting, corrosion – even mold – because they trap moisture inside. Plus, those car covers aren’t internally lined with vapor corrosion inhibitors (VCIs) that specifically shield classic cars from corrosion and rust in addition to protecting against the outside elements.

The VCI lining remains active for a full five years after you buy it, significantly reducing the amount of time and money you spend on rust prevention upkeep.

To ensure the best protection, it’s important to be certain you’re ordering the correct size VCI vehicle cover. Our Zerust rust prevention experts can answer any questions you have about the eight different sizes we offer.

Contact Zerust for information on car covers and information on preventing classic car rust by emailing us or calling (330) 405-1965.

Additional Resources:

Classic Cars: Know Where to Look for Rust Before Buying, March 18, 2018, By Ron Moorhead,

More Blog Entries:

Preventing Motorcycle Rust Key as Used Model Sales Increase, April 12, 2019, Zerust Car Cover Rust Prevention Blog