Properly Storing Seldomly Driven Show Cars

By taking some easy preventive measures, your driven show car will stay in tip top shape when not on the road.

Cover It Up

One of the most basic precautions you can take for your vehicle is to keep it securely stored. A vehicle left out in the elements is vulnerable to exterior damage. Not to mention, idle cars are a favorite hiding spot for little critters to build nests and wreak havoc. If possible, keep your vehicle stored safely in a garage, or at least under a car cover.

Keep the Battery Charged

A car battery can last up to five years in storage if a full level of charge is maintained. In the situation of a long-term storage, it’s probably best to remove the fully charged battery and store it in a cool, dry place. Another option is to purchase a low voltage trickle charger that automatically maintains the battery in a constant state of readiness.

The alternative to both of those methods is to install a main power switch. These are often used in marine applications, but they also work well on automobiles. When not using the car, turn off the battery. This isolates it from the parasitic drain of the various onboard systems. When you return, rotate the master switch to the on position, and the vehicle is once again ready for service.

Lube Is Your Engine’s Best Friend

In any type of storage situation, whether it’s long-term or short-term, it’s a good idea to have fresh oil installed. This new engine oil is rich in additives that help protect against corrosion and wear. To achieve the maximum benefit of these additives, crank the motor up to circulate the lubricant once or twice a month. This will also help keep the internal seals and gaskets from dry rotting and deteriorating.

Long-Term Fuel Storage

Fuel degradation is another common problem facing rarely driven cars. All fuel will degrade over time. In fact, the latest wave of ethanol-blended fuels does not store well at all. This isn’t a problem for drivers who run through a tank of gas within a three-month period of time, but go longer than that, and you could run into problems. The last thing you want to do after the car has been stored is to pull and flush the gas tank before you go for a ride. Thankfully, there are certain things we can do to extend the life of this petroleum product.

In a storage situation, moisture intrusion is an issue to contend with. As the tank goes through its normal temperature changes, moisture droplets form on the surfaces not submerged in gas. For this reason, it’s recommended to fill the tank with an ethanol-free gasoline before you park the car for the last time. These ethanol-free fuels have a much longer storage life than their blended counterparts. Gas stations throughout the United States offer corn-free products for small engines and boat owners. You can go to to find a station near you that offers pure gas.

Finally, if you’re not sure how long the car will sit, take an extra step by adding the recommended amount of a fuel stabilizer product to the tank. A tank full of ethanol-free gas with a fuel stabilizer additive can last up to five years without significant degradation.

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Hole Punch for VIN Door Sticker

My original plan was to print my door sticker with the VIN number clear on a transparency. This would simulate the numbers being punch out like the factory sticker.  Now I’m wondering if a small punch to make actual holes in the sticker would work well.  I found this set, which goes down to 0.5mm.

Small Hole Punch Set

…or this might be a better option.

Hand Punch

I haven’t measured the holes yet, but this may be just crazy enough to work.

Raven XL Subs with Zapco Z-AP Amp

I’m beginning to lean towards a system geared for SQ.  Two products that have peaked my interest are the Raven XL subwoofers and Zapco’s Z-AP amp line.

I’d prefer to go with the Raven 12XL subs in a vented box, but it’s huge coming in a 4 cubic feet each!  It’s 22Hz -3dB response is tasty though.  If the box is too big, the 10XL only requires 2.3 cubes and still has the same -3dB frequency.



Amp wise, they report hitting Xmax at 440 watts.  I have two choices.  The Zapco Z-400.2 AP can do 400 x 2 watts.  The Z-150.4 AP will do 500 x 2 watts.  I’m not really sure which would be best.

Z-400.2 AP

Z-150.4 AP

Other Audio Considrations

After chatting with some fellows over at DIY Car Audio, here’s a few other high-end selections worth considering.




Specifically the ST-D (class D), Z-AP (SQ amps) and Z-SP (take a beating) lines.

…and now for speakers.

Check out Stevens Audio on Facebook.


Audio Frog









Sundown Audio / LINK HERE

X v.2

Illusion Audio


Raven Design Studio / LINK HERE

These come highly recommended.

10XL and 12XL Versions

My 370Z Stereo System

Again, this is from my 370Z and not the Ghia, but I thought it might be interesting to some. Become is an portion of a thread I created at chronicling my stereo install. Enjoy!

Got me some fiberglass, 400 grit and stainless steel rod today. 😉


Welding up a new spare tire hold down bracket.

Should buy me a bit more room for the sub.

Hub centric with a lug lock pin. Baking on the coating.

Time to work on the enclosure a bit.

Trim ring.

Hub spacer for tie down.

I had a bit of noise dampening material left from the Camaro. I’ll get more if I need it.

The inside ring was just a hair less than a quarter inch too tall to give me the inch and a half between it and the top of the foam. After a little router action, we have perfection.

Looks like it fits.

I think I’m ready for fiberglass.

A little reshaping prior to glassing.

It looks like a rainbow puked in my spare. Being wax based clay, it should be a nice mold release.

More importantly, my wife didn’t freak out when she walked into the kitchen and saw a tire on her table. :tup:

Some lovely mold release wax.

Cloth and mat all cut, ready to get the resin.

It is time. Here goes nothing!

Got the cloth layers done. Time to build up the mat.

I’ll have a bunch of clean up work to do once it hardens.

Wired up my quick disconnect.

…and now I wait.

Clean up time.

That’s all for today.

Work continues.

This thing fits in here so tightly, I need to think of some removal device. Done for now.

Back in business.

Pull tabs installed.

Speaker in. Upholstery time

Enclosure is done! Woo hoo! Perhaps tomorrow I can get the headunit in.

Where oh where to mount this noisy cricket…

This would almost be too crazy.

Yeah, what the hell. I’ll try this.

That has to be the easiest door panel I’ve ever pulled off in my life.

Might make a difference.

Time to make the donuts… I mean door speaker adapters.

I’m going to try a notched approach.

I have some Kilz. Perhaps that can prolong water absorption.

Wire management.

Looks like everything is powering up. I’m digging the Kenwood.

Looks like a car again.

Doors are done.

Done for today. All that’s left is to hook up everything in the hatch and start tweaking.

Seems to be a decent color match.

We have sound!

Now the months of tweaking can commence, but that’s the relaxing part.

The amp has its home. I even found a convenient spot for the bass level knob, which I don’t really want anyway.

I used a hole saw to cut a couple holes in the foam to pass the wires though. I glued in some copper pipes to trim it out, make it look better than just holes.

I started making my grill and cover board.

After all these months, I finally got around to the upholstery on the cover panel.

Now I just have to fab the stainless steel grill.

Working on the grill a bit.

Got all the stainless cut.

…and the grill.

I wonder if I could cook steaks on it. :yum:

Less branding makes me happy. I think I’m going to put the Z logo in the center.

Complete JL Audio System

I complete JL Audio system would be very sweet and doable.

Let’s start with two 12W7AE 3-ohm 12″ subs.

I’d hit those with a pair of VX1000/1i amps.  They’ll RMS about 800 watts each at 3-ohms.

Next, I’d go with 3 pair C5-650 6.5″ components…  2 pair up front, 1 pair in the rear.

These six would be powered by a VX600/6i 100 watt x 6 channel amp.

These amps are tuned by some cool looking interface (I assume).  I know nothing of this.