Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Classic Car Maintenance - how much driving?

We inherited a 1967 Mustang coupe with only 60k. It has 289 v-8, automatic, and A/C (manual steering & brakes). We want to preserve this for our oldest son. I know we need to change the oil regularly, but how much should we be driving it? I don’t want to just store it, but I also don’t want to destroy its value.

If that was my car, I would keep a trickle charger on the battery, and I would drive it once or twice a month, with the proviso that it should be driven for at least 30 miles each time it is used. Do not start it up and let it just idle in the driveway, as you could wind up doing more harm than good.

However, if your area is subject to bad winter weather conditions, I would suggest not driving it during winter months when there could be salt accumulation on the roads. Cars of that era develop body rot very easily when exposed to road salt.

30-40 miles every month and make sure you use fuel staybalizer.
Is it stored in doors?
How long till he drives it?
It would be tempting to get him a beater for 1st yr.
Lucky kid!

Give him the van and drive this one yourself. :wink:

Agree; keep it off the road in the winter, unless you live in the SW or other dry area. Those Mustangs were real rust buckets if not washed frequently. By all means take it out for a 20-30 miles fun drive in the summer.

I’d go for the trickle charger and gas stabilizer in the tank for winter storage. A fellow down the street has a late 60s muscle car (Olds Cutlass) and does just that. He also takes it to all the car shows in the summer.

Why hog all the glory of owning a 67 Mustang when you can share it with everyone else. I wasn’t ever afraid to drive my Chevelle to the store and get groceries, or run random errands anywhere.
If you want a car to look at, there’s plenty of diecast and Hot Wheels cars out there of 67 Mustangs you can buy.

Store the car in a well ventilated garage. For me, a well ventilated garage keeps brake rotor and drum rust at a minimum. Before I learned the importance of good garage ventilation, I had a clutch that slipped due to rust that came back to normal with a little usage. I thought for sure that I needed a new clutch but not so.

You do not need to frequently drive a car to preserve it but if you do drive it, at least warm it up to dry out the exhaust system. I have one car over 20 years old with the original exhaust system and just traded another with the original 13 year old exhaust system.

At the minimum, I would drive the gas tank to near empty at least every 6 months but, as was said, not in the winter road salt.

I do not put my cars on jacks and do not overinflate the tires when parked. Steel belted radial tires do not flat spot for me.

Parisitic battery power drain should not be an issue with a 1967. One of my cars gets parked for 6 months at a time and starts with no prior battery charge although a little occasional charging or using a battery tender could be beneficial.

Excellent advice and suggestions! Yes, the car lives inside a garage, and it’s well ventilated. Yes, we have serious winters here in Spokane, so we don’t intend to drive the car in the snow (although it does have snow tires). So about 30 miles “fun driving” every month. I’m not familiar with “fuel stabilizer” but I presume it’s available at Napa, Auto Zone, etc?

Why a trickle charger? Is there something in the car that will draw down the battery?

I’ve been driving it a little bit around town. Too bad I’m married…it gets a lot of attention!

Yes, it’s widely available. One brand is Sta-bil, here’s more info:

Fuel stabilizer is available at any auto parts outlet.
Follow the instructions printed on the label.
You won’t need a whole bottle of stabilizer for a tankful of gas.

Why a trickle charger? To keep the battery charged without over-charging. Batteries left unused for extended periods of time will die on their own.

The battery in my Tahoe dies after three months of non-use. It’s disconnected but that makes no difference. I use a trickle charger on it now.

The problem is, constantly recharging a battery will result in you replacing the battery (IF you let it go completely flat each time).

Trickle chargers prevent this.