How to Keep Your Collector Car Alive
How to Keep Your Collector Car Alive. Click image to enlarge

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By Russell Purcell

Taking care of an automobile of any type is a vital and ongoing process, but should that car be a rare classic, super exotic, or just a car that holds a special place in your life, its maintenance and storage takes on a new level of importance.

The folks at Motorbooks International have added a new title to their Motorbooks Workshop series which should prove a valuable resource for anyone wishing to properly maintain an automobile. How to Keep Your Collector Car Alive is the latest title penned by long time car collector Josh B. Malks, and is a follow-up to his earlier effort on the subject, How to Maintain and Enjoy Your Collector Car (1995). In his introduction, Mr. Malks explains that his purpose for writing both books was to help car enthusiasts maintain their collector cars as driving vehicles. As a result, this new book is a “must have” purchase for any car guy (or gal) who seeks to preserve the looks, performance, and value of the various rolling wonders that populate their garage.

The book is well-organized and easy to read, making it quick to navigate through its twenty-two chapters. The author sought out tips and advice from a wide range of experts and noted collectors, making this book a well-rounded compilation of those tips and tricks that have proven most successful. This will take much of the trial-and-error out of the steps needed to preserve your own prized ride.

The first couple of chapters do a great job of explaining how engine lubrication works. The author looks at oil viscosity, and how automotive oils have changed over the years to include additives and detergents that help minimize wear and corrosion within the engine. Grease jobs and the importance of all the other lubricants required to maintain the various components of the automobile are also examined, with Malks stressing that “keeping grease and oil on everything that needs it, in the right amounts, is one of the most important paths to longevity for your collector car.”

A visit to any auto parts store reveals that there are many products that promise to increase engine life, boost horsepower or fuel economy, or just provide a quick fix for some mechanical malady. The chapter devoted to additives or “snake oils,” as the author refers to them, reveals that most of these products are full of false promises, and may in fact cause more harm than good.

A quick lesson in the various types of filters used in automobiles to keep dirt out of your car’s engine introduces us to the various areas where the culprit gets in, and what technologies exist to hinder its entry.

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