TMCP 212: Everything You Need to Know about Car Covers: Mike Dougherty from EmpireCovers!

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EmpireCar Cover on a Corvette
EmpireCar Cover on a Corvette

This weeks interview is with Mike Dougherty (pronounced “Dock-er-tee” if you’re from Philadelphia) from EmpireCovers, the internet cover supplier. Mike is admittedly a newcomer to the automotive world, but is learning fast that car enthusiasts treasure their vehicles and want to protect them. EmpireCovers can provide a fantastic cover for your classic muscle but they also sell covers for everything else, even bicycles, RV’s, and complete car ports! Empire has a great relationship with Budge covers to produce a full line high quality products. Mike told me a little about the history of the car cover and how Budge has been producing them ever since 1940. It seems that Budge was founded just after World War IIto help protect cars from trolly bus soot and has been protecting vehicles ever since. The first covers were made from shower curtains!

Bird droppings can hurt your finish in many ways. They also look quite gross!

As Mike described in the interview, there are many substances that can damage the finish on your muscle car like dust, sun, acid in bird droppings and tree sap. A good car cover protects from all of those and more, plus the added benefit of being a theft deterrent. Common cover construction has come a long way in the last few years and has greatly improved in longevity, weather resistance, and an increased ability to protect your car.

Mike explained the different features of the car covers as listed on the website. He mentioned that the meaning of “waterproof” and “water repellent” was exactly as it sounds . When purchasing covers you need know what the cover will be used for and purchase accordingly. If you need something to keep the water off (outside use) than you should purchase the waterproof design.

Having water get trapped between the cover and the car can also damage the finish so if the vehicle will be where it can be exposed to rain and moisture you should also look at the waterproof designs. If you just need dust protection (indoor use) the water resistant ones will do nicely, and are a little less expensive to boot.  Empire covers are also designed to “breathe” and this is important as air flow under the cover keeps moisture off the vehicle and protects better.

Empire Car Port

EmpireCovers carries a Rust-Oleum® premium car cover that bears the famous paint line’s seal of approval. This cover is considered a 5L which means it has 5 layers of material for added protection of your car. This is a waterproof cover as well and has all of the great features of an Empire cover including hemmed seams, straps and buckles to hold it down, and a soft fleece lining to protect the paint.

After Mike’s interview I asked our producer Bernie McPartland on the show to give his review of a car cover that Empire had sent over to him to test (long time listeners will know that Bernie drives a ’66 Chevelle). Bernie specifically tested the “American Armor” cover and was please to find that it was everything it was advertised to be – micro-fleece lined on the inside, and 100% waterproof on the outside! I’m going to run the same cover on my ’64 Chevelle when we bring it home next week!

You can learn more at or you can call them at 888-872-6855 and talk to a customer service specialist. You can keep up with activities at Empire or learn a little more on their blog  or too. Mike did say that he will be attending multiple large car shows so you could even see him in person.

As a special offer just for us, Mike told me that Muscle Car Place listeners can enter the coupon code MUSCLE and they will receive 40% off and it applies to anything on the EmpireCovers site!

Thanks for the interview and the great discount Mike!

-Rob Kibbe


This interview sponsored by our pals at National Parts Depot – your premier source for muscle car restoration parts!


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