Maintaining Vintage Steel-Body Vehicles - The JeepsterMan

Maintaining Vintage Steel-Body Vehicles

Today's cars, trucks and SUVs are often made with modern lightweight materials instead of traditional steel, but your vintage Willys vehicle is old-school, with that vaunted simplicity that collectors love, and that means it’s made out of traditional materials, too.

With that in mind, let's talk about some best practices for maintaining your classic Willys for the ages.

Driving your Willys

First, as with a lot of vehicles that are endlessly warehoused or kept for antique car shows, it's a good idea to fire up your Willys once in a while, perhaps once a week, and drive it somewhere, even if it's only around the block.

There are various reasons for this, including the need to keep all of these metal parts and other systems limber and accustomed to the demand of actual work. The longer something sits dormant, the more it potentially decays and moves away from its desired state. There's also tire deformation to think about. All of these are good reasons for putting your Willys through the paces routinely.

Storage Spaces

Of course, it's good to have a secure storage space where thieves cannot break in and steal, (or vandals destroy). It's also good to have a brick garage structure that can accomplish some of that wicking and temperature and humidity control that's important for keeping your Willys in good condition.

Generally speaking, you'll need to be inspecting the vehicle once in a while to make sure that rust and corrosion aren't creeping in. One of the drawbacks of having a solid steel vehicle is that traditional metals will be more vulnerable to corrosion than your fancy new alloys or composite materials. So with that in mind, a brick garage does its work well. If you don't have a brick garage, if your storage spaceis made out of less sturdy stuff, you may be able to get good results with some sort of vapor barrier.

Putting Your Car Away

When hibernating your Willys, it's a good idea to make sure there is ventilation in the garage space. You'll also want to check fluid levels, so that when you get your car back out of hibernation, it's not low on anything that's vital. As an additional point, some Willys owners like to lubricate any rubber parts and wax the vehicle well before putting it away. It may not be necessary to go nuts, but a little bit of this maintenance may be a good idea. Also think about keeping your Willys out of the sun.

That’s about it for now! Check out our full collection of Willys parts and accessories, and happy drivng!

Back to blog