Choosing the Right Corvette Car Cover - It's A Cover-Up
Choosing The Right Corvette Car Cover
From the January, 2009 issue of Corvette Fever
By Tom Benford
Photography by Tom Benford
Wolf 380 Global Accessories...
Global Accessories is the parent company of Wolf car covers, which are sold by several vendors including many Corvette accessories suppliers. The Wolf 380 cover offers a great balance of protection for outdoor or indoor use. It's made of a strong, three-ply fabric with a film-barrier center layer, and is water-resistant and breathable. Prices start at about $133.
Regardless of whether your Corvette spends most of its time sheltered in a garage or forced to fend off the elements in your driveway, a good-quality car cover is essential for protecting it. Indoors, a car cover keeps dust and other airborne debris off your baby as well as affording it some protection from scratches. Outdoors, a weatherproof car cover shields your ride from tree sap, pine needles, rain, hail, dirt, bird droppings and more-especially the sun's UV rays which can destroy your Corvette's finish over time. But choosing the right car cover is not the no-brainer it would seem to be at first blush. While the right cover offers a wealth of protection, the wrong cover may actually harm your car's finish or, at the very least, deliver less than what you expect from it.
Unfortunately, a lot of folks are "penny wise and dollar foolish," to use a phrase my mother was fond of. What it means here is that some people will try to save a few bucks and purchase a cover that doesn't fit right or doesn't offer adequate protection rather than spending a little more for one that lasts for many years and delivers all that it promises. As with tools, the old adage "buy cheap and you'll buy often" applies here as well. If you think about it, such Scrooge-like penny-pinching when it comes to a car cover really makes no sense (pun intended) at all. You've invested a lot of money in your Corvette, so why skimp over a few dollars when it comes to getting a cover that will give it the protection it deserves and needs?
Car covers come in many different grades, price ranges, and sizes. In order to get the best fit and, subsequently, the best protection for your Corvette, don't go with a generic-fit cover-these are designed for "average" size cars and will have extra material that doesn't conform to the shape of your Corvette, meaning the cover will billow and whip against your paint job rather than fitting the contours of your Corvette like a glove. That being said, we'll confine our discussion from here on to form-fitting covers specifically designed for Corvettes.
There are covers intended and rated for indoor-only and indoor/outdoor. The main difference between the two is that the indoor covers aren't water resistant or water repellent-they're not designed to get wet, hence their indoor-only designation. Conversely, the indoor/outdoor covers offer excellent indoor protection as well as being able to handle rain and moisture, too. Not surprisingly, the indoor/outdoor covers cost a bit more than their indoor-only counterparts.
You'll do well to note that I described the indoor/outdoor covers as either water resistant or water repellent but not waterproof. You don't want a waterproof cover. Why? Because in the same way a waterproof cover keeps water out, it will also keep water or moisture (caused by condensation) in, and this can promote mildew, paint bubbling, and clearcoat lifting. On older vintage Corvettes with lacquer paint jobs, it can also cause lacquer "blushing," the appearance of milky-white streaks and blotches caused by moisture reacting with the lacquer itself, which is a potential nightmare to remove. In worst-case scenarios, it can't be buffed out, and a new paint job will be required.
Water-resistant and water-repellent covers, on the other hand, are made of more permeable materials that breathe, and, in so doing, allow air in and moisture to escape. Water-resistant and water-repellent covers cost a bit more, but they're definitely worth the additional expense.
Wolf Evolution The Global...
The Global Accessories Wolf Evolution cover provides an outstanding combination of features for indoor or outdoor use. The cover provides great protection from rain and snow, resists dust and dirt, and protects against dings and scratches. Its superior UV protection keeps the car's interior cool and minimizes sun damage. The Evolution is constructed of four layers (two durable top layers and two soft bottom layers), and prices start at about $160.
Wolf Noah Global Accessories'...
Global Accessories' top-of-the-line cover, the Noah, is the company's ultimate protective car cover fabric. Intended for indoor or outdoor use, it offers superior protection from rain, pollution, snow, dust, dirt, bird droppings, and tree sap. It features a breathable film layer and provides thick and soft protection from dents, dings, and scratches thanks to its two durable top layers and two soft bottom layers. Prices start at about $185.
Auto Chic Cotton/Poly Auto...
Auto Chic Cotton/Poly
Auto Chic's cotton/poly cover provides soft, durable indoor protection against scratching in a cloth cover with a hip "denim" look. The fabric's complete breathability keeps the vehicle interior cooler in summer heat, and it features strong, durable, woven construction. The cover is water- and mildew-resistant, stores compactly, and is machine washable. As with all of Auto Chic's covers, the cotton/poly covers your Corvette all the way down to the ground, providing UV protection for your tires, too. Prices start at about $160.
Wolf Dustop The Wolf Dustop...
The Wolf Dustop cover from Global Accessories is an excellent cover for indoor use only. It features a thick and soft, four-layer fabric that provides twice the dust protection of flannels. It's breathable, and the soft construction protects paint from dings and scratches. Prices start at about $164.
California Car Cover Superweave...
California Car Cover Superweave
The California Car Cover Superweave cover is designed for indoor and outdoor use and is available in gray, taupe, black, yellow, green, or red. (Note: The use of bright-color Superweave fabric on light-color surfaces is not recommended due to the possibility of color transfer from the fabric dyes to another surface. Gray is recommended if the cover is used for semi or permanent outdoor storage; other colors may fade if used outdoors for extended periods.) Prices start at about $320.
Auto Chic Cotton Flannel ...
Auto Chic Cotton Flannel
This 100 percent cotton flannel cover from Auto Chic is best suited for indoor storage, since the cotton absorbs a lot of water and makes it difficult to handle when it becomes wet. The material is the softest available and is heavier than the cotton/poly, so it gives added protection for your delicate paint finishes from passers-by. It completely covers your tires, too. The woven construction with soft flannel underside provides complete breathability and is machine-washable. Prices start at about $190.
Even if you garage your Corvette, it's a good idea to keep it covered, since this will prevent dust and dirt from settling on it and even provide some measure of protection against scratches. When you look at the overall prevention versus cure scenario, even the most expensive car cover costs only a small fraction of what it will set you back to repair even a minor scratch or ding, not to mention the aggravation, wasted time, and emotional duress such damage also brings with it. So when it comes to protecting your beloved Corvette-and your investment-always be sure to keep it covered.
Here's a cross-sampling of 15 custom-fit Corvette car covers from four manufacturers to give you an idea of what's available in various price ranges.
|PROVIDER ||MODEL ||GENERATION ||IN/OUT* ||MSRP |
|COVERKING ||TriGuard Gray ||Shark ||IN/OUT ||127.99 |
|COVERKING ||Coverbond Gray ||Shark ||IN/OUT ||190.99 |
|COVERKING ||Stretch Satin Red ||C6 ||IN ||310.99 |
|COVERKING ||Stormproof Black ||C5 ||IN/OUT ||334.99 |
|COVERKING ||Silverguard Gray ||Midyear ||IN/OUT ||153.99 |
|COVERKING ||Autobody Armor Gray ||C5 ||IN/OUT ||420.99 |
|CALIF. CAR COVER ||Superweave ||Midyear ||IN/OUT ||239.99 |
|GLOBAL ACCESS. ||Wolf Noah ||C5 ||IN/OUT ||223.99 |
|GLOBAL ACCESS. ||Wolf Dustop ||C5 ||IN ONLY ||199.99 |
|GLOBAL ACCESS. ||Evolution ||C4 ||IN/OUT ||195.99 |
|GLOBAL ACCESS. ||380 ||C4 ||IN/OUT ||161.99 |
|AUTO CHIC ||Cotton/Poly (Denim) ||Midyear ||IN ||160 |
|AUTO CHIC ||Cotton/Flannel ||Midyear ||IN ||190 |
|AUTO CHIC ||All-Weather Xtreme ||C5 ||IN/OUT ||300 |
|AUTO CHIC ||WeatherAll ||C6 ||IN/OUT ||190 |
|*IN = INDOOR OUT = OUTDOOR |
Auto Chic All Weather Extreme...
Auto Chic All Weather Extreme
Auto Chic's All Weather Extreme combines a tough, breathable UV-protected outer coating that is highly water resistant, with a cotton-flannel underside to create the perfect outdoor combination of durable protection and softness. The added weight of the fabric provides increased protection from doors and passers-by, while the soft cotton flannel underside protects even the most delicate paint finishes. The dual outer shell provides superior UV protection all the way down to the ground, and a woven cotton non-flannel underside is available for Corvette convertibles with canvas soft tops upon request. It's a superior car cover for indoor or outdoor storage, and it's washable in commercial machines. Prices start at about $300.
Coverking Satin Stretch ...
Coverking Satin Stretch
Satin Stretch is an indoor-only custom car-cover fabric that offers the softest protection available. Lycra yarns, combined with Coverking's "fewest seams possible" manufacturing technique produce a cover that hugs every contour of your Corvette, and blind stitching results in invisible seams that make for one sexy car cover. As with all Coverking covers, licensed GM logos are available as an option on Corvette-model covers. Note that this cover is designed and intended for indoor use only, as it will fade if exposed to extended sun, and it is not water resistant. Prices start at about $310.
Coverking Stormproof The...
The culmination of more than 15 years of development, Stormproof material is the most water-repellent yet breathable car cover material available. The material exhibits outstanding sun and UV resistance, able to last for years in Arizona sun without fading. The microfiber base material is soft to the touch and won't scratch your paint, yet it rolls up into a compact package for easy storage. Stormproof is uncoated and untreated; even after months or years of use, it retains the same properties it had when new. Available in gray, black, red, wine, and two-tone combinations with black sides and optional licensed GM logos, prices start at about $334.
Auto Chic Weatherall The...
Auto Chic Weatherall
The Weatherall from Auto Chic is a light, breathable, durable, and highly water-resistant cover. It is constructed of a polyester/cotton woven base cloth that provides durability, while the outer layers provide water repellency and UV protection. The polyester/cotton fabric on the underside resists dirt and is easy on the paintwork. The Weatherall is an excellent cover for outdoor storage or indoor use since it's easy to put on the vehicle-even when wet, it's not difficult to fold and store. It offers superior UV protection all the way down to the ground in even the most severe outdoor conditions, and it's machine washable. Prices start at about $190.
Coverking Autobody Armor ...
Coverking Autobody Armor
The Autobody Armor cover from Coverking uses a revolutionary new material that takes the stretch of Coverking satin stretch custom covers and combines it with all-weather protection. A middle layer of Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU) provides your Corvette with superior water resistance available in a custom car cover today. Two outer layers of woven polyester reinforce and protect the inner layer while allowing moderate breathability-it protects your vehicle from the elements while keeping a perfect fit. Licensed GM logos are optionally available, and prices start at about $420.
Coverking Triguard Triguard...
Triguard is a three-layer custom car-cover material suited for indoor use or light weather conditions (good for occasional outdoor use or for vehicles stored under a carport). The Triguard is a light-duty cover that's fairly soft and very compact. It's not intended to be used in harsh weather or sun, nor is it suited for use in areas with industrial fallout (acid rain). Prices start at about $127.
Coverking Silverguard Silverguard...
Silverguard is a 300-denier polyester woven custom car-cover fabric with a unique encapsulative coating. It's well suited for general use, even in very sunny climates, as the silver coating helps to reflect sunlight. The Silverguard offers better sun resistance but slightly less breathability and no soft inner liner. Available with optional licensed GM logos, prices start at about $153.
All Coverking car covers are...
All Coverking car covers are available with embroidered GM-licensed insignias, such as this crossed-flags insignia on the company's sensual Satin Stretch C6 cover.
GM-licensed Corvette insignias...
GM-licensed Corvette insignias or script can be optionally ordered on any Coverking cover, such as on the rear lettering on this black Stormproof cover.
Coverking Coverbond 4 Because...
Coverking Coverbond 4
Because its four layers make the Coverking Coverbond 4 a thick and bulky custom car cover, it's not suggested for users who will be putting it on and taking it off daily. However, the extra bulk helps to guard against minor nicks and dings, and can also help to protect the vehicle even in light hail. Coverbond 4 is suggested for moderate outdoor weather or indoor use, and it's available with licensed GM logos. Prices start at about $190.
A blue plastic tarp hastily...
A blue plastic tarp hastily thrown over an indoor cloth car cover to protect this midyear that got unexpectedly caught in the rain caused these light spots (inside the ellipse) on the hood (known as "lacquer blush"), caused by trapped moisture when the paint can't breathe. With some luck, it may be possible to buff out these spots; otherwise repainting will be required. A breathable outdoor water-repellent cover could have avoided this nightmare.