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Washing my Mk3 Spitfire


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This will no doubt get a load of laughs but here goes.

I am very nervous about washing my new (49 year old) spitfire. I feel like any contact with water will cause it to collapse in front of me, into a heap of rust!

Should I just treat it exactly as any other car when washing it? Should I leave it as long as possible before washing it? Is there a 'dry clean' method

Once you've stopped laughing any replies (useful) would be brilliant.


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I leave my cars out all weathers. Do not be afraid of using the car or getting it wet, or it will become a true garage queen.

Wash the car with proper car wash, and ideally leather off. The occasional use of a polish (and maybe a claybar before polish if the paint feels rough) is all that is needed.

One point, the car should have a proper rustproofer applied eg dinitrol or suchlike. That will prevent rust issues.

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Hello Maff,

Clive is spot-on with those points.

Never use a power washer, all washing should be done by hand.

When washing close to the door glass aperture, try to resist loads of water going down inside the glass - sometimes a simple wipe with the sponge not loaded with water will suffice. After washing I rinse the car down with a watering can to rid of any soap. A good leather chamois is the ideal item for drying the car off after the "rinse cycle" - ensure you rinse the chamois often.

Take extra care to ensure you dry the underside of the doors and around the door aperture - these tend to hold water and / or become water traps; same applies to the boot area and bonnet.

Ideally never wash in direct sunlight.

As for car products I tend to use Simoniz car shampoo (with added wax) then for the actual applied wax it is Mer - the latter you can add to your actual wash if required. Different owners will have their favourites but ensure you use the correct cleaning products and chamois. Halfords do some decent stuff so worth checking them out.

Good luck.


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Hello Maff - I know just how you feel about your pride and joy but if your Spitfire has lasted this long with various standards of previous owners, it'll last longer in your careful hands, so use any good car shampoo and a good soft sponge; if there is any rust or cracked paint gently does it. Rinse with a light spray from a hose.

I've tried the Mer polish Richard suggests but on my car it set like cement and had itself to be cleaned off; I use a good soft polish such as Autoglym that shines easily. You can clean chrome with ordinary bodywork polish too, and tyres with black shoe polish.

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Didnt halford own cheap  polymer polish out performed all the major offering by miles in a apply and how many washes it lasted  In a PC survey article 


I took the 2000 to a local '  Polish 'car wash they were surprisingly  very careful  if you have any see  how much water  the Spitty will hold !!?

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