Yep, I have a show car. My daily driver even doubles for a show car. They both occupy my cramped little two-car garage. My buddy Chris, has a similar problem, only the two cars occupying his (more spacious) two-car garage are in full-rebuild mode. As if we didn’t have enough to work on already, we recently decided to buy Miatas to go racing — mine being a project car here at TURNology, dubbed CrossTime.
That left us with the conundrum of where to park/store them. Because he has more space in his driveway, the most logical answer was to park them at Chris’s house — outside. Well, if you’ve seen pictures of CrossTime, you’d see it isn’t exactly what one would call “watertight.” Even after I was given a hardtop, this thing would leak like a sieve. I needed a car cover — and fast, and I knew just where to go — the website for Covercraft.
I recently purchased a car cover from Covercraft for my ‘55 Chevy, so I know the quality of the brand. The company has been around since 1965, so you know it has a solid foothold. I contacted Director of Marketing Jeff Jegelewicz, after I made my purchase to get some of his insight for this article.
Using the Website
My needs for CrossTime are completely different than those for the Chevy; the Chevy sees minimal time outside, but I needed something to protect it when I’m on the road at overnight car shows. CrossTime, however, is being stored outside — all day, every day — in the hot sun with trees nearby. I needed a cover that could handle everything Mother Nature could throw at it.
Seeing as though CrossTime is being stored at Chris’ house, I won’t see it on a daily basis, so I wanted a custom-fit cover that wouldn’t blow off, trap water, or make him have to go out and adjust it. Perusing Covercraft’s homepage, there a few different ways to search, which makes it very easy:
- You can search by vehicle year/make/model, brand, or product in the title search bar.
- You can just search by year/make/model in the first-upper section.
- You can scroll down and click on “Covercrafter – Create Your Custom Cover”
All three ways will give you a selection of car covers to choose from, but I really liked the Covercrafter option, because it allows you to refine your search by the conditions you are trying to protect your car from, and it will eliminate those that don’t match your criteria. You can also sort the list by price and/or color options.
Jegelewicz says a lot of work went into making the Covercrafter menu. “We have many different choices when it comes to covers on the website. We thought about the most frequently asked questions when it comes to conditions people consider when choosing a cover. We wanted to make it easy for consumers to be able to compare and contrast all of the cover fabrics, so the Covercrafter was born.”
Once I clicked on “Covercrafter – Create Your Custom Cover,” it took me to the webpage that allowed me to refine the search to find which of the 16-cover types best suited my needs. The first step is to answer “Where do you park?” on the left-hand side of the screen. For me, that would be “Outdoors & Indoors,” which immediately eliminated indoor-only covers, so I was down to 10 to choose from.
From that point, I had to decide which conditions were most important to protect against. There are nine different filters you can choose: UV Protection, Rain Protection, Breathability, Dust Protection, Bird Protection, Snow Protection, Ding Protection, Soft Touch, and Warranty. Each of these can be further filtered by 5 different levels of importance from Low, to Good, to Best. All I had to do was move the sliders based on level of importance to me.
Living in Memphis, Tennessee, we see a lot of intense sun (and heat). The interior in CrossTime isn’t much to look at, but I don’t want it being cooked into oblivion and dry-rotting either, so I chose a UV Protection level between Good and Best. This dropped two more covers from my list.
The rear window in the Miata had a huge gash in it, so I removed the convertible-top mechanism when someone gave me a hardtop they weren’t needing anymore. It is a cheap aftermarket piece that is really just for transport more than anything. The windows don’t line up well (at all), so with the amount of weather we get, Rain Protection got a Best selection. This cut the choices down to three: Weathershield HD, Weathershield HP, and Noah.
Looking at the remaining filters, these three covers were equal in all conditions but three: Soft Touch, Ding Protection, and Warranty. Looking at CrossTime as it sits now, you would think I wouldn’t care about the first two, but I do plan to paint the car at some point, so I would like something soft on the paint. Though I don’t ever see it getting “dinged” anywhere while parked, we do get occasional hailstorms with our storms and I don’t want it to look like a golf ball, so both of these conditions were important to me. The Noah cover stood out in this realm offering Good-to-Best protection. Adding in that it was the cheapest of the three, and came with a 4-year warranty, made my decision that much easier.
Further research on the website revealed that Noah is a barrier fabric that actually resists moisture, but breathes to allow any trapped moisture or condensation to evaporate. Made by Kimberly-Clark, it is a lightweight all-weather protection that doesn’t allow the heat and moisture to stay under the cover (I don’t want to drive a mold-mobile!). It is actually a very high-tech material that is a bonded four-layer composite using twin spunbond outer layers, a film barrier, then a soft bicomponent spunbond inner layer. The film barrier is pretty trick — it is subjected to a process that creates microscopic holes smaller than droplets of water and dust, but still allows the moisture and heat to escape.
Jegelewicz backed up my research saying, “the Noah fabric from Kimberly-Clark has been one of our best sellers for many years because of the all-weather protection capabilities. It’s a great all-around fabric and handles most conditions.” This is exactly what I needed, so the Noah cover it would be!
When placing my order, I was able to choose with or without a spoiler. Hindsight being 20/20, I probably should’ve chose the spoiler, seeing as I plan to put one on, but I chose without. There were some additional optional add-ons like reflective welting, gust guard, cable lock, and a zippered tote bag offered upon checkout. I decided the tote bag was a good option to keep it clean and organized when not in use and also figured I would buy the cable lock in case I find myself in a seedy hotel. I added both to my purchase and proceeded through the easy checkout process.
I didn’t have to wait long. A few short days later, the box arrived at my door and I immediately took it over to Chris’ to install it. Let’s face it, it’s a cover, there isn’t much to installing it, but there are a couple of tricks to be aware of. If you have an antenna (I took it off of CrossTime) you will want to follow the directions on how to cut the hole and install the rubber grommet for the antenna to go through.
When installing the cover, you will start by rolling it out across the car and making sure the Covercraft logo is at the front. Put the antenna through it’s grommet first. After that, you will move on to the mirrors. Lastly you will do each corner. A small car is easy to install yourself, but for larger vehicles it might be easier to have a helper, especially if the cover you choose is of a slicker material.
Removal is just the opposite, but you’ll want to make sure to fold both sides to the middle , then fold it again until it is about two-feet wide. Then you can fold the cover up from front to back in three-foot sections. Don’t just wad the cover up into a ball, this makes it more difficult to put into the tote bag and you can get debris on the outside transferred to the inside (ask me how I know).
After installing the cover on CrossTime, Chris was jealous — he had bought a universal cover from another company — it is too large and lays on the ground collecting all the garbage and water. Mine on the other hand is snug, yet long enough to cover the wheels, and doesn’t touch the ground allowing leaves and rain to pass underneath.
The cover has seen plenty of water — we’ve had epic rainstorms in the last month, including hail! The material is actually quite incredible. The cover is wet on top, but when you lift it, the car is dry. That film layer works amazingly well. This past Sunday, we ended up in a monsoon at an autocross. I didn’t make it back to the paddock in time before the inside of the car was soaked — like standing water in the floorboards soaked. When we got back that night, I thought I’d test out this vapor layer, so left everything wet inside, cracked the windows, and covered the car.
Monday had strong sun, so I was sure it was a sauna in there. When I checked it that evening, to my surprise, everything had dried. I figured the windows would have been all steamed up and it would smell like a wet dog, but it didn’t — the seats were even dry. Everything had evaporated through the cover!
The people at Covercraft have been at this a long time, I’d say they know their stuff. If you are thinking about a cover, check out the website or give them a call. If you’re like me, you’ll be a happy customer.