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Wilson's Auto Restoration Blog

How to Protect Your Classic Car From Hail Damage

The first day of summer is only days away and the wicked storms that accompany it are already here in Texas.  Many of these storms produce hail and, in some cases, hail the size of baseballs.  Needless to say, you do not want to be caught out is one of these hailstorms.  It has proven to be deadly.

Your personal safety is of the utmost importance, but what about your classic car or truck?  Hopefully you have a garage or other storage location where your prized possession can ride out the storm in safety, but that is not always the case.

So, how can you protect your classic car should it get caught in a hailstorm?  Here are our best tips for you to help your classic weather the storm.

Get Under a Covered Structure

If you are out on the road and a hails storm whips through, your best bet for survival is to get under a covered structure of some kind.  Parking garages are going to be your best bet, covered parking may also be available at local strip malls and grocery stores as well.  You may have to drive into a gas station that has coverage over the gas pumps, but hail that is coming in at an angle might still hit the side of your classic.

In an emergency situation you may even decide to pull into a carport on a stranger’s property. Most people in Texas are very hospitable and take pride in being good citizens.  I can’t see anyone getting upset if you pulled your classic car or truck under carport if it were empty.  And if not, I would rather deal with an angry homeowner than mother nature’s fury.

Cover Your Classic

If you are home and do not have a garage to house your classic (which we hope is uncommon), we suggest you cover your classic car or truck with thick blankets or a car cover specifically designed to protect against hail.

Check out this quick video showing an inflatable cover that can protect your vehicle from large hail.

 

The most important factor in strapping blankets, covers or anything else to protect your car is anticipating the storm.  You do not want to attempt covering your car once a storm begins.  You will need to be able to secure everything down, so it doesn’t blow away and you don’t want to be out in the dangerous elements trying to batten down the hatches so-to-speak.

If you get a cover designed to combat hail, you should definitely practice getting it on, so you are not unprepared for that surprise storm.  It is also advisable to park your car or truck, if possible, against the side of the house away from the storm.  If the storm is blowing in from the West, then try to park as close to the east side of your home as possible.  This tip stands true no matter where you are.  Always try to park on the opposite side of a building or large structure to avoid the brunt of the storm.

Last Resort, Park Facing Into the Storm

Side windows and glass is the most fragile and will break the easiest.  Your front and back windshields are designed to take a little more punishment.  So, if all else fails and you cannot find cover, we suggest you park heading into or away from the storm.  Also, park in an area that is away from any trees that could possibly fall or lose branches during the storm. We do not suggest driving while in a hailstorm as your windshield could get heavily damaged and severely reduce your visibility and ability to safely drive.

Invest in Insurance

Classic car insurance is different than insurance for your daily driver.  Your insurance provider may expect you to have a certain level of protection from the elements, like a garage, but things still happen.  Contact your insurance provider and ask them about your coverage against hail damage.  If you live in Texas, hailstorms are a common occurrence and you should be properly insured when they hit.

We certainly hope that your classic is safely stored in a garage or other facility out of harm’s way, but in the event that your classic car or truck gets stuck in a hailstorm, we hope these tips will help keep your dream machine from getting too damaged.

For some real-life examples of how people in the Dallas – Fort Worth area are getting creative with protecting their cars against hail, check out this entertaining video from WFAA Channel 8 News.

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