Keeping Classic Cars

courtesy of Bob, The Auto Answer Man

Hi Bob,
I recently purchased a second "leisure" car. A '69 Buick Electra 225 convertible. It had been a one owner, well maintained car with 110,000 miles. I had intended to sell my current 1992 4 wheel drive Rodeo and drive the Buick but have been told it would not be wise to drive a classic in the winter months. I have also been told it will be hard on the Buick to park it for long periods of time.

My questions are:

  1. Do you feel a '69 classic should be garaged in winter months?

  2. If I keep both vehicles, how often should I drive the '69 Buick?

  3. Do you feel I should fuel the '69 Buick with premium gas?

  4. Are you familiar with Prolong? Would I benefit using Prolong on the Buick?

Thanks for your help.

Well the frugal ones here will yell at me for this advice because it really is not very frugal to keep both cars. Personally I did the same thing, bought an old classic and garaged it for those perfect summer days. You did not tell me what part of the country you live in, so my answer may differ slightly, but with the same basic points.

Keep both cars. For the first reason, why drive a classic every day? That can't be a frugal thing to do! The gas costs will run you right out of town. Second, the less miles you add to it, the more worth it will have if you need to liquidate it.

As for your questions about fuel, that car should have a Rochester quadrajet carb, right? Probably the best thing you could do is give it a lead substitute. It will keep it running smooth. When it is in storage, keep the tank filled up! With the less amount of "free" space on top, less fuel will evaporate. Prolonged evaporation will deteriorate your fuel tank.

For your question about "prolong", I am unfamiliar about that specific product, but it must be one of those liquid fuel stabilizers that help reduce fuel "decay". If you plan on parking the car for more than a month or two, then yes you should use it... since this is not your everyday driving car, you should also consider disconnecting the battery. Please refer to my previous article about car alarms and battery drain. I go into detail as to why there.

Looking back on your questions, you asked me "how often should you drive it?" Well, that is totally up to you. Personally, I would not take it out until those perfect days are around us! My chevelle stays in the garage under a cover for all but 3 days a year! On those days, I take a drive down the shore to a gas station that I know carries 100 octane fuel. This trip is not only enjoyable for me and the gang, but it uses up the "old" fuel in the tank. The 100 octane is not really a necessary, but I like the added power! Good luck and please, let me know how everything works out!
Good Luck!
Drive Safely!
Bob, The Auto Answer Man

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