Snow Day – Our 1969 MGC GT in the snow and should you drive your classic in the winter

By Nick Skinner
By Nick Skinner

Marketing Executive/Photographer

It’s a divisive viewpoint in the classic car world – Do you use your classic in the snow and clean it down afterwards or keep it tucked away?

Well, the cold weather was closing in on our Suffolk HQ this morning. As the snow began to fall across the surrounding countryside, some of our own cars which are stored outside whilst awaiting time in the workshop got a light dusting. One of those, was our personal 1969 MGC GT.

That’s what sparked this question. In period, these cars would of course have been taken out and driven in all weathers but as their rarity and age grow so does the scarcity in which they are used in the majority of cases.

During the cold snap a few years ago, I owned a 1972 Volkswagen Beetle 1300 and proved (if only to myself) that categorically it was the greatest all-terrain vehicle of all time. With no ABS, no power steering or traction control to interfere with driving and all its mighty 36BHP heading straight to the rear wheels with the weight of its flat-four engine sitting right above it, the grip was phenomenal as I drove on my hour long commute across the wintery Suffolk countryside on back lanes and B-roads.

But, it did pay a price. I forgot to clean down the wings and front edge of the pan which began to corrode. This would ultimately spread and caused me some more issues down the line. But, I learnt from that. Just like with a modern car, the salt and moisture will begin to cause damage and corrode components if left.

It’s not as noticeable with modern cars as it is with classics, perhaps down to the wider use of plastics and composites for body panels and trims or better weather proofing in modern paints and coatings but if left long enough for long periods of time, the dreaded bubbles start to appear…

Our customer cars do not go outside in this kind of weather. At the first hints of any rain or not ideal weather, they are brought inside for safe keeping and cleaned down instantly before being put away in the shelter of our workshop.

But it’s an interesting thought, do you use them in the winter or keep them tucked away?

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