The most damaging thing in the world that can happen to a classic truck is for it to be left out in the elements--exposing it to the effects of the sun and rain. Of the two, the most destructive element is rain. Left unchecked, rain damage can lead to rust repairs costing thousands of dollars. Ignored for too long, severe rust damage from exposure to rainwater can render a truck virtually un-restorable. That said, it might be obvious that one needs to keep their truck covered up. However, there's more to it than meets the eye--not all car covers are created equal. The worst cover choice a person can make--and we are as guilty of it as anyone--is to throw one of those cheap silver or blue poly tarps made in China over their truck. From personal experience it looks like the Chinese have perfected their poly tarps to the point that it is only a matter of weeks before these tarps begin to deteriorate into a porous surface. By the time one notices that the inferior poly tarp has begun to split and tear in such a short period of time it's way too late, the damage has already been done.
Tired of a bad situation, we spent some time researching a better way to store our vintage trucks outdoors. The product we discovered is called Superweave Car Cover from the folks at the California Car Cover Company in Chatsworth, California.
The Superweave cover is available in many different colors, including Black, Bright Blue, Sky Blue, Green, Red, Yellow, Gray, and Taupe. We chose Gray. According to California Car Covers' information, "[The] Superweave cover features unsurpassed moisture, pollutant, and dust protection to keep your expensive investment safe from the ravages of acid rain, industrial contaminants, animal droppings, and damaging ultraviolet rays. Additionally, the Superweave's fabric is exceptionally breathable, allowing moisture and heat to escape before it can damage a vehicle's finish."
Next on our agenda was to address indoor storage. One might not realize it, but a lot of irreparable damage can occur to a vehicle while it is stored inside of an industrial building or a two-car home garage. This can be due to ultraviolet light or airborne caustic moisture generated by a washing machine or clothes dryer. After visiting California Car Cover's Web site we opted for a Plushweave cover. Our '56 F-100 wasn't listed on the Web site chart, but with a quick phone call to CCC we discovered they have a vast array of custom-tailored covers for older trucks in stock and ready to ship. For extremely rare applications CCC has as extensive collection of patterns on hand to special order from.
Here's what California Car Covers had to say about the Plushweave: "As the only 100% cotton car cover available today, Plushweave is perfect for indoor and outdoor use and is guaranteed never to scratch a vehicle's finish. Constructed from durable cotton fabric on the outside, and lined with a pure cotton flannel inner lining, Plushweave's ultra-dense material combination does a superior job of cushioning against scratches, nicks, and door dings. Its sturdy, resilient construction also protects a vehicle's exterior and finish from the damaging effects of ultraviolet rays, industrial contaminants, dew, animal droppings, and pollutants. The special fabric construction makes the Plushweave Car Cover breathable, allowing moisture to dry quickly and escape, which reduces heat buildup before it can damage a vehicle's finish. Its breathability also helps keep a vehicle's interior cooler in warm weather. It is not, however, recommended for continued use in direct sunlight. For more information about California Car Cover Company, visit the Web site, and see additional products not available in the catalog, at www.calcarcover.com or call 800/423-5525."
As a closing thought, it's interesting to note that the blue shards of non-biodegradable matter often detected in bird droppings are remnants produced by disintegrating blue poly tarps. Unfortunately, scientists estimate that it will take literally millions of years before the poly tarps will decompose entirely.
Krause's Standard Catalog Of
More Relevant Than Ever
Long before the Internet became a research resource for motor journalists and hobbyists alike there was Krause Publication's Standard Catalog Of series by John Gunnell. This is not to say that John's works were the only publications out there, because throughout the decades there have been plenty of automotive reference books available. That said, the reason we have always regarded John Gunnell's reference books over most of the others is John's ability to turn out edition after edition and maintain a high level of accuracy with each new offering. In addition to text that explains new model year changes, the Standard Catalog Of series lists a comprehensive chart with every engine option available--beginning with the standard engine on up to the largest powerplant and then moves onto listing all of the available options. With the advent of the Internet one might think the Standard Catalog Of series would be rendered obsolete. However, thanks to an infinity of badinformation generated by Internet wizards, the Standard Catalog Of series is more relevant than ever. CCT