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Old 04-07-2012, 03:13 PM   #5
Todd@Autopia's Avatar
Drives: 2010 Mazdaspeed 3
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Orlando/Stuart, FL
Posts: 1,161
Although I don’t have a picture of the wheels mounted back on the Sunbeam, I do have a picture of an unfinished wheel next a polished one. Rory used some magical combination of the Blackfire Metal Polishes to nurse the magnesium wheels to a blistering shine. Then he left and wrestled a Grizzly Bear named Sybil (or so I guess).

1953 SIATA 208S

This is an automobile that the holds a spot in the heart of true aficionados. With only 35 examples built between 1953 and 1955, the SIATA 208S is considered to be one of the most perfectly Italian designed automobiles. The style is perfectly balanced and it is at least 10 years ahead of it’s time (remember was made in 1953)!!!

Powering this 208S is one of the legendary Otto Vue V8’s from Fiat. The power train alone is more valuable then a new Ferrari F430!

This may be the most handsome vehicle I have ever had the pleasure of putting a polisher too. The paint was moderately hard and riddled with random deeper scratches and moderate swirl marks. Being that this SIATA sees the road often in the warmer climate (which I’m assured exists in this frozen hell) it needed just a moderate polish and a thorough jewelling. 90% of the deeper scratches came out, the paint finally taking on a deep, rich gloss.

After the Sunbeam, Ryan and I split directions. He got started on a George Barris painted (and signed) 1969 AMX Bonanza Hurst SS AMX factory drag car! George "I built the Batmobile" Barris... Rock n' roll Batman... Rock n' freaking roll....

Polishers in hand we worked on our projects. The day grew later and neither of us where near finished. The after pictures will have to wait until the next day.

We returned to the hotel, nodded at Buddy, and said hello to the new girl leaving his room.

Day Six: The Snake Tamer.

I started day six on the SIATA; Ryan started day six on the AMX drag car.

I polished the SIATA with M105 on a Hi-Gloss Orange Power Pad in 7.5, 6, and 4 inch sizes. This first step sometimes required two passes to achieve the correct amount of correction. This was followed by Menzerna PO203s Power Finish on various sized Hi-Gloss White Polishing Pads, and finished with Menzerna PO85rd on varied Hi-Gloss Black Finessing pads. By the time the polishing was complete the day had grown long and Mike’s deli sandwiches hit the spot.

The SIATA wearing two coats of Blackfire Wet Diamond.

1969 AMC Bonanza Hurst SS ‘George Barris’ drag car and the Hurst/Scrambler Drag Car.

Ryan had begun work on the AMX the night previous, and settled into a two step process using Meguiar’s M105 and Menzerna PO203s. The paint on this rare car (I believe only two where painted by Mr. Barris) was pretty much factory original, and being a race car, there was some bodywork showing through.

By the afternoon he as finishing up the car and wiping off the Blackfire. The difference was amazing.

You can see some of the bodywork under the paint.

The paint was hazy and dull, with a fair amount of surface scratching.

But when Ryan finished the paint had a new lease on life and a great glow. 95% or more of the surface swirling was completely removed, as well as at least 50% of the deeper scratches. I would easily bet that the paint hadn’t looked this good since Mr. Barris first laid has hands on it 30 years ago.

The car to the left of the AMX is the Scrambler that Ryan polished as well. In his words the paint was like polishing Rustoleum and was measuring only 3.1 mils in the deepest spots. A light one to two step cleaned up the paint and gave it a much improved gloss. Rydawg worked his magic on this old girl, finishing the next morning, and never bothering with a camera shot. (This time it’s not my fault!).

This night we where also blessed with the presence of Melanie, who is Geoff’s better half. She wanted to learn how to polish, and Mr. X thought it a good idea to learn on the remaining front end of one of the rarest Ferrari’s of all time: A 275 GTB Competizione. Heck, I learned on a minivan….

What was going to be a one day project turned into a 3 day sprint as Melanie stopped by around 5 pm and each day and proceed to a) wet sand the hood with 1500 grit Meguiar’s Unigrit paper b) wet sand the hood with 1500/3000/4000 grit Abralon on a Porter Cable c) Polish the dang thing to an amazing gloss.

For the first time. On an invaluable piece of aluminum…

Your’s truly trying to be helpful…

Her pushing me out of the way…

The end result…

As Ryan performed his magic on the AMX’s and Melanie taught us both how to polish on a the front end of one of the most valued Ferrari’s, Geoff began prepping my next automobile. No rest for the weary!

1967 Shelby 427 Cobra

The story of the Shelby Cobra is famous, a big or huge V8 engine in a lightweight British built body. The super light weight and crazy power meant crazy performance. 0-100-0 was claimed to take less then 10 seconds, and it wasn’t until the McLaren F1 was released in 1993 that the number was beaten.

This particular Shelby has original paint and is the only 427 Cobra to score 100% points at the Shelby nationals. It is expected to win at Pebble Beach next year. It is the nicest original paint 427 Cobra in the world, and perhaps the only one with paint in nice enough condition to polish. To be able to polish original paint on a vehicle of the character (and to be possibly the only one to do so in the last 10 years on an original 427 Cobra’s paint) was really an accumulation of all of the knowledge and skill I have learned through detailing.

The risks where never higher. One scalloped edge or burnt paint would ruin this car, requiring a repaint. The loss of value would be staggering. In fact I had actually decided against polishing this vehicle my first trip here two years ago because of the risk involved.

Geoff started pulling parts from the vintage queen. No turning back….

“Ryan I’m scared!” I yelped.

“Busy on these AMX’s dude, have fun.” Thanks….

The original license plate (and original registration sticker) in front of the dulled and scratched paint.

Geoff removing the bolts for the windshield…

Some of the original metal trim had some rust or corrosion. Unfortunately for the rust, Rory was near ready to polish it to a shine. Rory has the same fear of rust as he does't of large bears... He doesn't.

With the trim removed and the paint ready I prepared to put a polisher on the paint for the first time. What if the primer holding the lacquer had failed? The paint could twist off… What if the paint was so thin that one pass would expose primer? What if the rotary sticks to the paint, causing the machine to spin around it, throwing me through the air, out the hanger, and into on coming traffic?

In all seriousness, this was the most nervous I have ever been, and I did feel a little uneasy in my stomach. I started with 1000 rpm, Menzerna SIP, and no pressure.

My first pass…

30 seconds later, after realizing I didn’t damage anything.

Which begs the question from my wife, “why do you always make stupid faces when you take pictures.”

“So I have an excuse for being ugly dear….”

As I worked various sections of the paint, continuously taking paint readings, I found the paint to be quite durable, and my confidence in more aggressive techniques increased. I began to think I knew what I was doing.

The final combo was Meguiar’s M105 on a Purple Wool Foamed Pad x 2-3, adding a little SIP as needed, followed by either an orange or white Hi-Gloss pad, and finished with PO85rd on Hi-Gloss Black Finessing pad. 6.5 and 5 inch sizes where used.

The paint started dull and lifeless, particularly on the dash board.

After polishing…

A picture of me working on the other side of the dash.

At 11:00 pm we called it a night. Buddy was up to his usual tricks.
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