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Storing Vintage, Collector, and Muscle Cars

Storing a vehicle for months or even years without any fuel related issues takes two things: the correct storage fuel and the correct storage procedure. Let’s cover the fuel side of things first.

All Sunoco race fuels are made from highly refined hydrocarbons which by themselves are inherently stable to promote a long shelf life. We could stop there, but of course we don’t. Our fuels also contain a comprehensive additive package to make them last even longer. We’ve heard stories about cars that were originally filled with Sunoco race fuel that started and ran without draining the fuel – decades later! We don’t suggest that those stories are typical, but we do know that our fuels will last a long time when properly handled.

Sunoco non-ethanol fuels are recommended for storage applications to prevent dissolved water from corroding fuel systems. Most pump gas contains ethanol which can raise the concentration of dissolved water. Pump gas can also contain excess dissolved gums that can form varnish during storage. Varnish can trigger engine drivability issues and lead to unnecessary fuel system overhauls… or worse.

Here are a couple good Sunoco fuel choices for storing vehicles:

  • Sunoco Surge is an excellent fuel for storing any classic or vintage car born when leaded fuels were still around. This fuel is dosed with about the same amount of lead found in high octane fuels in the 1960s and has an octane of 105 which will surpass the needs of any stock or lightly modified collector car. Surge is also compatible with gaskets and fuel systems on older cars.
  • Sunoco Optima is the fuel of choice for winterizing vehicles requiring unleaded fuels. Optima is a 95 octane unleaded fuel that is safe to be used in vehicles with oxygen sensors or catalytic converters. It’s specifically designed for easier restarts after prolonged storage periods. That’s also why Optima is popular with consumers who have lawn equipment that doesn’t like pump gas.

So, winter is finally over and your vehicle comes out of hibernation. What do you do with the leftover Sunoco fuel you bought to store your car last fall? Well, you’re in luck… it’ll still be good for the next storage season. Here are a few tips to keep fuel as fresh as possible from one season to the next:

  • Keep fuel containers tightly sealed.
  • Keep fuel tanks and fuel cells as full as possible.
  • Store fuel where there are minimal temperature swings.
  • Store fuel in such a way that it is not exposed to daylight.

If this article has left you curious about our other specialty fuels, you can find more technical articles on our Tech Corner page. Our Fuel Selector page can help you find fuels for applications not covered in this article, and our Fuel Finder page shows locations that sell our fuels. As always, feel free to call 800-RACE-GAS (800-722-3427) or send us a message from the website.