Many of us don’t reserve our four wheeled pride and joy for high days and holiday; we engage the daily battle of the M25 in our Maserati’s, pound around the lanes in our Porsches and accelerate our Aston’s to the office. This constant use keeps the smiles on our faces but puts miles on the cars bodywork. I feel a sense of pride in using my 911 as an everyday car, and that same sense of pride wants to keep him (Percy) in tip top order mechanically and sparkling clean.
Personally, I would never use a car wash having heard tales of stones and grit in the brushes and damage to paintwork, plus there’s something quite discombobulating about being surrounded by massive wet brushes squirting high speed soapy water at you in the dark. Instead I have always used the services of the hand-wash-car-park brigade, which means I can get the car waxed whilst I shop, safe in the knowledge my pride and joy has at least four people fussing around, polishing and rubbing down the bodywork – jealous, me, yup!
Recently, thanks to the glorious summer weather, I have noticed the odd scratch and mark on the bodywork making me question the wisdom of using the car every day. My beloved was beginning to look tired and in need of even more TLC than usual. We’ve all seen various car detailers on social media with their incredible ‘before and after’ photographs. The promises of the smooth-talking sellers appear like some of those dreadful face cream adverts, so I tend to add a pinch of salt and file the thought with the other annoying adverts for cruises and smoothie machines. However, recently a series of pictures appeared on my friend’s (Russell) social media page… he’s a pro-driver, a racer and provides a huge amount of in car recording equipment to large organisations. He had added another string to his bow in car detailing, and knowing he is a consummate professional, I was intrigued and messaged to find out more. After our messages went backwards and forwards a few times, and I’d coughed and spluttered at the price, we agreed a date and a venue. I showed up with my pride and joy, who I thought was looking awesome after a recent wash and wax.
Russell did several laps of the car, most of the time tutting and shaking his head, He then began the process of making me see the car through his eyes – it was extraordinary, and I was heartbroken. To begin with, my beloved Percy had bad ‘spiderwebbing’, had been assaulted by other car doors and sections of the paint had deep scarring from bird droppings. After the assessment he opened up a van loaded with specialist equipment for the cleaning operation, reached in and passed me a kleenex to dry my eyes. We took the car round to the washing bay where he prepared three separate buckets of water with filters and all sorts of cleaning products in them – it was a little like watching a cocktail being mixed.
After 20 minutes HE HAD NOT PHYSICALLY TOUCHED THE CAR! Using various sprays cannisters he used the contents of the three buckets to systematically cover and then rinse away the gravel and stones, then the car was covered in ‘snow foam’. This process takes away all the residual wax, and because the snow foam wasn’t just dropping off, it indicated that my beloved 911 had practically no protection on it. The car-park-washers had been telling me fibs!
When he rinsed away the snow foam, and the water left no water droplets on the bodywork, my 911 was now in fact, butt naked for all the world to see. Big towels emerged from the van and were simply placed over the car rather than used to wipe or mop up the remaining fluid. This meant the water was wicked away so that no scratches could be made, much as you would wrap a new born baby after a bath.
This is a five-stage process, and we were barely half way there. Having parked up the car under severe and harsh lighting, the damage was there for all to see. A 911 is for life, not just for Christmas and I had been negligent in my ownership. ‘Doctor Russell’, as I’m now tempted to call him, showed me around the car and told me in clear terms what could and what could not be fixed. Whilst doing this, another 911 owner arrived whose car was black, he couldn’t even pretend not to have known about his spiderwebbing and jumped on Russell’s expertise straight away wanting to book in.
And so the detailing began:
He covered all the badges and black rubbers around the car in protective tape so as not to cause any damage. Then he selected a machine polisher pad and polish grade from the CSP Polishing System, starting with harder and courser pads as necessary to remove the worst of the scratches. Porsche paintwork exfoliation in every sense of the word. Next, a finer grade of polish was deployed to enhance the paint gloss levels. In facial terms, I guess the Porsche was now enjoying a deep cleanse and I was tempted to chop up a cucumber to place on the headlights. He went on to use the ‘jeweller and cleanser’ polish to finish the high gloss levels. Just to put into context the attention the car was getting, he took an hour to polish just the bonnet, my Porsche was getting more TLC than I enjoyed at a top spa day and it was costing about the same to be fair… if not more! The polish residue was removed, and the paintwork was coated with the chosen paint protection – would you prefer Carnauba wax, CSP R-Nano or CSP Ceramic coating?
Wheels were next on the hit list (pedicure?!), each was cleaned and coated with the same choices that the paintwork had just enjoyed. Finally the tape was pulled away from the black plastics, which were then dressed and enhanced - I squirmed in sympathy knowing the pain of being waxed, it couldn’t be all fun and bubbles at the Car Spa after all.
The interior was next on the list, enjoying a wet shampoo. All the trim was cleaned and prestige interior dressing applied or in other words ‘Eau D’New Car Smell’. The last part was that the glass needed some TLC, so this was cleaned with R-Nano glass on the interior and exterior alike.
Sadly, I had to tear myself away from watching this process to take delivery of a car for the forthcoming ‘Rally For Heroes’, which I’m taking part in. Therefore, upon my return a few hours later, I was super excited to see the progress that had been made and release my car from Dr Russell’s clutches.
Having just driven a brand-new top of the range luxury vehicle, my car bar was set unfairly high. ‘That’ new car smell, with pristine paintwork, untouched leather interior and crystal-clear glass had reminded me of the toll that my daily drive had taken upon my Porsche and made me question the wisdom of the constant use. I turned the corner and saw a gorgeous bright, shining, silver Porsche parked in the driveway glistening in the evening sun. Admiring this car, I went to find Dr Russell, to check on his progress with my car, as he’d been working on my car from 8am and it was now beyond 6pm. I stopped in my tracks and turned, only then realising the previously mentioned beautiful Silver Porsche was in fact my beloved Percy, the man had worked a miracle.
Supping on a cup of coffee, with huge look of pride and satisfaction on his face, he had finally stepped away from the finished article and was assessing his handywork. His OCD attention to detail was frankly astounding, and the intense focus for perfection had served my beautiful ‘new’ Porsche well. Every single inch sparkled with no spiderwebbing, scratches or daily use trauma to be seen. This had gone beyond a Spa day and was in fact to the level of a face lift, with botox and fillers.
I am genuinely blown away with the results he achieved and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend his services. The process not only restored my Porsche to its former glory but would allow me to continue to safely use it as my daily drive, with the knowledge that once a year Dr Russell could work his magic and remove all trace of daily use. I am hoping he branches into cosmetic surgery and spa treatments for us girls, but let’s face it, we’d all rather spend the money on our cars anyway!