Cars — we almost all have a love/hate relationship with them (at least at times). I absolutely love my 1955 Chevy 150 — it’s the first car I ever bought, and I’ll probably be buried in it. I love that it’s a 150 2 door sedan with no chrome down the side or around the windows. I love that it has a (relatively) straight body and still has the bench seat. I love that it has a small-block with a supercharger sticking through the hood. I love the T56 six-speed trans. I love the Fatman front clip, I love the QA1 shocks all the way around. I even love my black/blue metallic paint. You get the point — I love my car.
But sometimes . . . sometimes . . . I hate my car for the same reasons I love it. I hate my black paint, and I hate my open hood with all the billet and chrome on the engine. Why you ask? Black is such a badass color, who would hate black? A shiny supercharged engine, who would hate that?
Here’s my answer . . . I live in the South — Memphis, Tennessee, to be exact. If you have a black car and live in the South, you know exactly where I’m going here. Black is the most loved/hated color for a car owner in the South (or really anywhere). True, it will make your car look badass, but it’s the upkeep on a black car that makes you hate it.
In the Spring down here, as soon as you wash your car, you have to wash it again. I’m not joking! The pollen is so thick in Memphis when the trees start to bloom, the air actually turns green, which of course means my black car takes on a green hue. It doesn’t matter if I pull it into the garage. The pollen is so bad that every time I open the door (or run the garage’s window air-conditioner) I get a new layer deposited across the top.
The other problem with living in the South is the humidity and the unpredictability of afternoon pop-up showers. I’m not complaining — it’s better than shoveling snow all winter long — but precipitation (in any form) makes me hate Mother Nature sometimes. Everyone hates rain, that is a no-brainer, but why do I hate the humidity so much?
The humidity is so high in this region that the dew point is often higher than the low temperature for the night. This means if you go to a two- or three-day car show, you will have to wipe your car down in the morning before you leave the hotel. You can just drive off and let it air dry, but that will leave water spots that are even harder to deal with. For me, that dew even settles on the engine, so if I fire that up, it will evaporate the water off and leave some really nasty water spots meaning I’ll have to polish it forever.
These two annoyances had finally gotten to me long enough. I started thinking of the best way to fix it, and the best solution was to get a water-resistant car cover. I knew we were using Covercraft covers for the cars over on Horsepower Wars, so I figured it’s website would be the best place to start and found a ton of choices, but I also called Covercraft’s Director of Marketing Jeff Jegelewicz, to provide some more insight for this article.
First off, I have to say the Covercraft website is terrific; it has a lot more than just car covers. Covercraft sells just about anything to protect the exterior and interior of your car. There are so many ways to find what you are looking for. You can search by vehicle (year/make/model), part number, brand, or product to see what is available. But, if you are in my situation — not exactly sure what type of cover you need — you can filter your car-cover search to match exactly what you are looking for (even some things you didn’t think about) by using the “Covercrafter — Create Your Own Custom Cover” option.
Jegelewicz said the website was designed to be easy to use. “We have a lot of products to protect a person’s car, and we really needed to make it easy for a customer to find what they are looking for based on what they were trying to protect against. We’ve been at this a long time and know the major concerns of our customers, so we designed the Covercrafter to make it easy to compare and contrast the different options available with fabrics and conditions.”
There are two main categories for car covers — indoor use only, and outdoor/indoor use. I was obviously looking for the latter. There are also eight different conditions to consider: UV Protection, Rain Protection, Breathability, Dust Protection, Bird Protection, Snow Protection, Ding Protection, and Soft Touch. I didn’t even think about a few of these things when I hit the website, so it was great Covercraft had them all listed. Additionally, they put a low/good/best scale, colored red to green, to visually show you how well each cover could handle a particular condition.
In the outdoor/indoor category, there are a whopping 11 different types of car covers to choose from, with myriad colors and customization options you can choose on top of that. To say there are a lot of choices is an understatement. You can use the sliders on the left-hand side of the web page to filter the conditions, and it will add/remove covers based on the criteria you define.
As I already noted, rain and dust protection were at the top of the list of conditions from which I need protection, so I moved those two sliders from “low” to “best,” which gave me three choices. Because the car is black and shows minute scratches easily, I decided that “Soft Touch” was also super important. After I moved that slider to “best”, one cover rose to the top — the Weathershield HP — which it says provides the best outdoor protection available for all conditions including sun, rain, and snow (I better not need it for that last one!).
“That is one of our most popular custom car fabrics,” Jegelewicz stated. “WeatherShield HP is truly an all-weather fabric that provides excellent indoor and outdoor protection, is easy to use, and is very lightweight.”
A little research on Covercraft’s website tells the story of how it partnered with Nextec over 25 years ago to develop the Weathershield HP cover using the EPIC fabric created by Nextec. EPIC uses precise polymer placement and special chemistry that places a protective finish inside the fabric, actually encapsulating the woven fibers. With 51 patents on the process, you know it’s some high-tech stuff. The encapsulation process delivers all-weather protection, easy care, compact packability, and a soft-to-paint touch without sacrificing breathability.
That sounded exactly like what I needed, so I placed the order, opting to choose a cover for a convertible or hardtop with no mirror pockets, seeing my ‘55 doesn’t have them. Upon checkout, two other options caught my eye that I decided were a good idea for me. One was a black zippered tote bag for $25. This would allow me to throw the cover behind the front seat when not in use. The second was a lock and cable kit. I go to a ton of car shows, and I’ve heard stories about people coming out of their hotel room the next morning to find their car cover missing, so this was a no-brainer for an extra $10. Sure, a thief could cut the cover or the cable, but most are looking for the quick steal, so most likely, they’ll move on to an easier target.
One extra added bonus is that all outdoor Covercraft covers come with at least a 2-year warranty. But, some have up to 6 years of coverage. The Weathershield HP I ordered comes with a 4-year warranty!
I was surprised when this small box showed up on my doorstep a few days later — I didn’t think there was anyway it could be the cover for a ‘55 Chevy! Amazingly, it was. The next day, I washed the car and then followed the instructions to install the cover. I will say this: the fabric is slick — literally. You have to be careful that it won’t slide off the top of the car while you’re installing it. It can be done by yourself, but It’s best to use two people if you can.
The cover fits excellent! The panels are expertly stitched together with overlapped, double-needle-stitched seams that mostly follow the shape of the car. Many car covers I’ve seen are a one-size-fits-all, and really don’t fit the car (or the shape) of the car well. This isn’t a big deal if you just park in the garage. But, if you go to an overnight show, you don’t want the cover flapping around in the wind, beating the paint to death, or flying away for that matter. There is just enough room for the blower scoop, the elastic stretches snuggly under the bumpers, and it covers the wheels on both sides.
I could not be happier with how the Weathershield HP cover fits. It still amazes me how, if you follow the removal directions properly, the cover can fit into that little tote bag. It fits easily on the rear floorboard; you can barely see it against my black interior. The cable and lock are very easy to secure through the rubber grommets.
Though the cover hasn’t seen rain yet, I have no doubt my ‘55 will remain dry. I sprayed the hose across the hood and water flew off of the fabric, leaving no signs of ever being wet. The big test was how it would handle the dust and pollen in the garage. Though I don’t have any pictures that could prove it, I can tell you it does the job. After I washed the car, we went on an 18-day trip. When we returned, I pulled the cover off to go to the weekly cruise-in, figuring I would need to at least wax-detail it before rolling out. There was nothing that needed to be polished — it was as clean as though I had just washed it.
Whenever I talk to someone in the auto-aftermarket, I always ask about new products coming down the pike for my readers, so I posed that question to Jegelewicz. “We’ve recently brought to market our innovative Grafix Series and Viewshield fabrics and have some more exciting introductions planned for the very near future that I can’t tell you about yet,” he said. That is the story of my life! But I can tell you they have a terrific weekly newsletter and one of those new products went live since I talked to him. It’s a Denim Blue Car Cover! Don’t worry, it’s not made of denim, but it’s a cool look with the classic orange stitching.
If you have been thinking about a car cover and haven’t pulled the trigger yet, I highly recommend talking to the folks at Covercraft, or use their website, to customize a cover that will fit your needs. I only wish I had done this a long time ago, it would have saved me a lot of time from wiping down my car every time I want to use it.