According to You: 5 ways to beat the summer heat in your classic

A Corvette summer has its merits for some, but all classic car enthusiasts eventually long for an endless one to enjoy their vintage vehicle without the stresses of freezing wind, frustrating snow, and deadly salt. But sometimes the driving season drags into a long, hot summer, so we asked you for tips on how to keep yourself as cool as possible when driving your classic in the sunny months. And here’s what you came up with.

Timing is everything

car on a cruise along the coast
Kyle Smith

Community user 69BirdofPrey suggests that we cruise in our classics in the morning, before the sun has the time to bake everything underneath it. Good advice, but there’s more to it, because one should “keep an eye on the weather if it’s triple digits out, and you have to be in stop-and-go traffic.” There truly is nothing worse than getting stuck in traffic in a vehicle without air conditioning (or with inadequate A/C), and 69BirdofPrey believes that seeking alternative routes can help keep the wind in your sails. Literally.

4-40 air conditioning

Two people go for a drive

Similar to 69BirdofPrey’s advice, be it in a sedan or a vintage coupe with roll-down rear windows, Community user mkvi30 suggests an alternative air-conditioning system: Roll four windows down and drive at least 40 mph. That strategy has worked for decades, so why not give it a shot in 2022?

Long-lost window technology

Corvette with t-tops removed

Speaking of windows, Ken_L reminds us that removing t-tops definitely helps. After all, can heat stay in a cabin if most of the roof is gone? His C3 Corvette came with a disabled HVAC system, so he’s currently installing a Vintage Air conversion kit. It’s not done yet, but it can wait until winter: Work stopped, and the t-tops subsequently got popped off. An honorable mention goes to longtime commentator DUB6 when he added three brilliant words to the thread: “Wing windows, baby!”

Buy stuff to keep your cool

man applies window tinting
Gila Window Film

Believe it or not, but yours truly tries to avoid interjecting his thoughts into According to You articles, but I am somewhat proud of the things I’ve done to avoid the summer heat in my classic machines. Aside from parking under a shady tree while keeping the side windows cracked open (if weather permits), here’s a quick list of things you can buy and install for a cooler motoring summer:

  • Use windshield visors when parked outside, preferably the well-insulated and reflective ones.
    • Use another visor on the rear if you have a truck with very little space between the headrests and the rear window.
  • Add clear ceramic window tinting on your windshield, and tint the rest of the windows with clear or dark tint.
  • Install heat resistant-insulation on the inside of the roof’s sheetmetal, be it the sound-muting stuff with a metal layer, the insulating foam, or both.

Just do it

classic muscle car cruises down the highway

Sometimes you need to dive in head-first to learn what’s really at stake. Community user ScaryLarryPants believes that summer is absolutely the best time to drive your classic, “because when it breaks down, you’ll have the maximum amount of daylight hours available to ponder your predicament.” I absolutely agree … provided you packed enough fluids to sustain you before the tow truck driver arrives and takes you home.

Now that you are armed with the information to make your summer jaunt in a classic vehicle far more palatable, go out there and do it!

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