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The Gentleman’s Car Show Checklist

A couple of years ago, I went on a trip back home to North Carolina to attend a car show with my father. Back then, I didn’t have many resources to take care of my ride, and it showed. There’s something to be said for putting a little effort into detail…heck, just going through a car wash once in a while would’ve helped. Since then, I’ve wised up and done my share of research into car detailing supplies, interior protection, basic upkeep… the whole deal. If I’d only known the basics of car maintenance, I’d have been in a much more respectable condition when I crossed that Mason-Dixon. To help share the knowledge, I’ve put together a simple list of products that can help protect your ride and keep it looking clean.

Car Wash

Just like a gleaming white smile makes the best impression, a clean paint job gives your auto a good looking edge. How you treat your paint directly affects how it holds up, so the Griot’s Garage Ultimate Car Wash Bucket is a worthy splurge. It’s made with a built-in measuring cup, and provides the perfect place for your wash pads and tools, so they can’t get contaminated. Use it with an environmentally friendly Car Wash Soap for a green clean.

Interior Cleaner

Griot’s has your back, your back rests that is. For all your interior cleaning needs, check out Griot’s Garage Interior Cleaner. It pampers the inside of your vehicle in the same safe, but tough, way that Griot’s car wash has your exterior covered. Plus the cleaner is completely safe on your interior—it’s specially formulated with no dyes or chemicals that might leave spots or fade your factory color. Use it anywhere, including your dash, carpets, mats, seats (leather, too), doors and everything else inside your ride.

Wheels

No matter the time of year, a custom set of wheels will set your ride apart from the rest of the pack (you will find a great selection at AutoAnything.com). It can be challenging to pick a set that goes with the style of your ride… there are so many options, from black, gun metal and chrome finishes, to endless spoke patterns and sizes. For performance vehicles, I recommend the widest rim you can fit under your fenders. Don’t go too big on the diameter, and try to get the lightest rims that fall under your budget and style guidelines. If you’re into off-roading, then you’ll need a strong, durable wheel that can stand up to serious punishment. Typically, a wheel with more spokes is stronger than a wheel with fewer spokes, so keep that in mind when shopping.

Motor Oil

Often the most important parts of a good car care regimen are hidden from view. That’s the case with providing motor oil for your engine, and that’s why choosing quality oil is a must. Champion brand motor oils, such as Champion Syn Clean Motor Oil and Champion Classics & Muscle Car Synthetic Blend are a great choice for the discerning car lover.

Sun Shades

When it’s blisteringly hot, the last thing you want is for the interior of your ride to feel like an oven. Without a car sun shade (they can be found at AutoAnything.com), you’re in for the roasting of a lifetime. But don’t buy the cheap ones off the corner, buy one that is built to last. I recommend the Covercraft car sun shade, it’s custom shaped to fit your vehicle and will also protect your dash from UV rays. It’s not flimsy, and its strong panels are covered with UV-reflecting material on the exterior. Best of all, it’s made right here in the USA.

Seat Covers

Don’t let a spilled smoothie slosh your seats beyond hope of recovery. Wrap your factory thrones in your fabric of choice with a car seat cover. For a snug fit and looks that rival factory seats, get the protection of CalTrend NeoSupreme Seat Covers. These covers are made of the nearly impermeable fabric NeoSupreme, which comes in an array of colors. To add to the toughness, NeoSupreme seat covers are extra padded at body contact points and have reinforced seams. Plus, they fend off the sun and don’t fade.