Tested: the best classic car accessories

| 28 Mar 2019
Tested: the best classic car accessories

As every enthusiast knows, driving is only part of the classic car experience.

Unless you’re very fortunate, you probably also spend plenty of time fixing problems both big and small – and even if you don’t, you still need to carry out basic maintenance and clean it occasionally.

So, what should you buy? Here’s our round-up of the best products we've tested so far in 2019. 


Dremel SpeedClic cutting set

Tested: the best classic car accessories

When space is tight and doesn’t allow for a traditional 41/2 in cutting disc and angle grinder, options are limited. Although a 3in cut-off tool would do, you’d need a compressor because most are air-powered. Enter this Dremel 10-piece cutting set.

With six SC456 38mm metal cutting discs, two SC409 discs with a reduced thickness of just 0.75mm and two SC476 plastic cutting discs, most options are covered and the pack comes with Dremel’s SpeedClic mandril.

When tested on 2mm steel, the thicker discs performed well and cut easily, although life is limited due to their small size. They did, however, provide access into tight corners and make a very controlled cut.

The SpeedClic mandril allowed for quick disc swaps, and is an advantage over screw-on systems when working in a confined space.

Definitely worth the £24 price tag when nothing else fits, particularly because the SpeedClic mandril retails for £10 on its own. MP

C&SC RATING: 8/10

Buy the Dremel SpeedClic cutting set here


Rain-X Anti-Fog glass treatment

Tested: the best classic car accessories

Rain-X has been the go-to for as long as we can remember. This formula prevents fogging and misting, so is perfect if your classic has got damp in winter.

It proved very effective at preventing fogging, keeping a bathroom mirror almost completely mist-free, but it left a slight haze that was difficult to remove. We would have no qualms about treating rear windows, but recommend testing on a small area before applying it to a windscreen.

The RRP is £6.99, but a 200ml bottle is £3 online. GM

C&SC RATING: 6/10

Buy Rain-X Anti-Fog glass treatment here


ValetPro Maximum Shine Tyre Gel

Tested: the best classic car accessories

Valet Pro’s Maximum Shine Tyre Gel is simple to apply – just squeeze a few drops of formula onto the provided applicator pad and work in to clean, dry rubber.

The gel’s silicone base should make it long-lasting, and helps to keep that just-dressed, high-gloss wet look. Valet Pro says it will survive heavy rain, and rigorous testing has ensured it won’t sling.

We were pleased with the result the Maximum Shine Tyre Gel achieved, and it gave our test tyres a nicely uniform appearance. A little goes a long way – you’ll probably lose the bottle in a house move or somewhere in the garage before you get to the bottom of it! A 500ml bottle costs £11.95 from Valet Pro direct. GM

C&SC RATING: 6/10

Buy ValetPro Maximum Shine Tyre Gel here


Clarke 6-tonne Axle Stands

Tested: the best classic car accessories

We’ve been using these Clarke heavy-duty axle stands for a few years now, and although the paint finish may be fading, they remain our go-to stands for anything needing serious support.

Rated with a capacity of six tonnes per pair (three tonnes per stand), they are more than up to the job for most domestic uses, but are also marketed as professional grade.

The only slight downside is that, with a collapsed height of 400mm, you need to jack the car pretty high to start with. The maximum height of 615mm provides plenty of safe working room, and although the ratchet action has a ‘quick-release’ function, this locks securely under load.

They aren’t light, but can be lifted easily with one hand, and at £41.99 for a pair they’re a valuable long-term addition to the classic workshop. MP

C&SC RATING: 9/10

Buy Clarke 6-tonne Axle Stands here


HotHands Hand Warmers

Tested: the best classic car accessories

Anyone who’s spent time on a classic endurance rally (or more likely stranded at the side of the road awaiting recovery) will appreciate how cold old cars can get.

These cheap-as-chips hand- warmers should help; simply open the packet and hold the sachet in your hands, allowing air to activate the iron and carbon contents.

They take a while to warm up, but reach an impressive temperature – and the colder your hands, the warmer they seem to be! Each packet costs £1 and contains two sachets. Handy to keep in the glovebox. GM

C&SC RATING: 7/10

Buy HotHands Hand Warmers here


Simoniz Anti-Glare Glass Cleaner

Tested: the best classic car accessories

Simoniz’ latest glass cleaner is said to be specially formulated to avoid streaks and reduce glare. During our test we struggled to tell whether or not it had an effect on night-time glare, but it did perform admirably well as a glass cleaner.

We found that this product requires a bit more buffing than some cleaners, but there were certainly fewer streaks than we were expecting. If you’re keen to reduce night-time glare when driving then this is certainly worth a try – at worst you’ll have sparkling windows.

Online prices range from £3.99 to £9.99, so be sure to shop around. GM

C&SC RATING: 7/10

Buy Simoniz Anti-Glare Glass Cleaner here


Milenco High Security Steering Wheel Lock

Tested: the best classic car accessories

Milenco’s latest wheel lock is a usefully heavy-duty upgrade over its conventional extending device. Two prongs built into a heavyweight central tube lock around the spokes of your classic’s steering wheel, a more rugged solution that’s claimed to be two and a half times tougher than Thatcham Category 3 – it certainly feels substantial.

Our only gripe is that it better suits wheels with a central upper spoke, otherwise you have to apply lock to keep it in the 12 o’clock position, where it is the best deterrent. It’s £59.95. GM

C&SC RATING: 8/10

Buy a Milenco High Security Steering Wheel Lock here


Chipex Miracle Detailer

Tested: the best classic car accessories

Quick detailers can be great if you need to spruce up your classic but don’t have the time to wax it. This £12.95 option is a decent attempt that sprayed on nicely and was easy to use, straight away improving the look of our grubby test car and returning a pleasing shine to its paint.

Like the firm’s screenwash, it’s also hydrophobic and produced the beading you’d expect from a good wax. It didn’t buff off as easily as we would like, but that may be improved by using a second microfibre cloth. GM

C&SC RATING: 6/10

Buy Chipex Miracle Detailer here


Simoniz Tar, Sap & Glue Remover

Tested: the best classic car accessories

Tar and sap remover is a must-have for your car-cleaning kit – but not all solutions are created equal.

We set this product the tough challenge of removing underseal overspray from our test car’s paint and it performed well where rivals had completely failed. A good deal of elbow grease was needed, but it made a fair impression, softening the deposits just enough and allowing us to achieve a decent finish.

Care may be needed with delicate paintwork, however, and it does need to be washed off after application, adding another time-consuming step. A reasonable amount is required, but that’s probably not a problem given how infrequently you’ll need it. A 500ml aerosol is £6.99. GM

C&SC RATING: 7/10

Buy Simoniz Tar, Sap & Glue Remover here

Words: Greg MacLeman, Martin Port


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