Remember your first car, and how you raided your mom's linen closet for sheets and blankets to cover it? If so, you may also remember the stern talking-to you received when she found out. Fortunately for us grown-up Corvette enthusiasts (and our long-suffering mothers), today there are plenty of better options available when it comes to protecting a car's finish.
Modern car covers are available in many weights and fabrics. Finding the one that's right for you will largely depend on how you plan to store your vehicle. If you keep your Corvette outside for extended periods of time, either in a carport or in the open, you'll need a custom-fitted cover that offers heat resistance and UV protection woven into the fabric. The cover must also be able to breathe, to help prevent condensation, while offering enough durability to protect the car's finish from rain and snow. A vinyl-coated-cable lock kit should be used to keep the cover secure.
If you drive your Corvette on a daily basis, you'll want a cover that protects it from the elements, adds some extra cushion against door dings, and is light enough to install and remove without too much effort. It should also be water resistant and offer protection from rain, sun, and bird droppings.
If you keep your car in the garage all week and take it out only on weekends, you'll need a cover that offers protection from dust. It should be made from 100 percent cotton or a cotton/polyester blend; a fleece-lined version is preferable for use with a show-quality car.
The "one size fits all" covers sold at most auto-parts and department stores do not provide the security or the exact fit required for your Corvette. This is important to keep in mind, since a cover that doesn't fit properly can do more damage to the paint than no cover at all. To keep your Vette protected from the elements, choose a cover made specific-ally for its model year (or model-year range) and body style.
To keep our Shoestring C5 safe from environmental perils, we turned to the folks at California Car Cover Co. Using state-of-the-art technology, this highly regarded manufacturer produces 10 different types of covers, including ones with heat-reflective material woven into the fabric and multi-layered fabrics to resist water absorption. And with a library of 70,000 patterns, the company always has the right cover available for just about any vehicle. It even offers an online dimension sheet that allows you to order a custom-made cover for a vehicle with aftermarket bodywork.
When it comes to installing your car cover, there are a few things to keep in mind. Be sure that the paint finish is cleaned and waxed before covering your Corvette. Failure to do so may allow dirt trapped between the paint and the cover to scratch the finish during installation, removal, or use. Caring for your car cover simply requires a gentle wash from time to time. For complete instructions, check the manufacturer's recommendations.
Custom-fitted, high-quality covers like the one we received from California Car Cover typically start at around $150. Covers in this price range should feature double-stitched overlapping seams to prevent rips, elastic sewn into the front and rear to hold the cover in place, and reinforced grommets with a protective flap. For added security, you may also wish to invest in a vinyl-coated cable and a padlock. Remember, your Corvette represents a sizable investment. Making sure you get the right cover to protect it is always money well spent.