At the BBQ, parked in the sun next to Glenn's pristine steel gray coupe, it became apparent I had some swirl marks. The previous owner of my coupe works for Adam's Polishes, so I assume they were not left from him, but it did spend almost 3 weeks at a dealership and there's just no helping cars there. Colby told me he'd polish it for me if I brought it up to his house in Cheyenne the next day. I couldn't pass that up, so I told my wife I'd be back in a "few hours" and headed up around 11 AM the next morning after church.
When I pulled up, Lindsey was just finishing washing his cosmos black coupe (that had apparently driven through a large bee hive the previous day :)). He moved his car out of the shady corner of the driveway to let me wash mine. Colby went over to his shelves (plural) of detailing supplies and grabbed me a couple buckets, several styles of wash mits, a leaf blower, and microfiber towel. Being someone who has only ever used one bucket, one sponge and a shammy I needed a little instruction. I learned the following steps for a clean, scratch-free car:
- Wash the wheels using their own bucket and a small round wax applicator with a pocket for your hand
- Wash the rest of the car top to bottom with the microfiber wash mit
- Blow dry with the leaf blower using the microfiber towel for any small drips it misses
These were all new ideas to me, but I have to say I've been converted. The idea of work smarter not harder holds true here. Before the next washing I went out and bought the wax applicators for the wheels and microfiber wash mit. Running your hand directly over the paint while inside the wash mit gives you an even greater appreciation of the coupe's curves. I haven't quite sold my wife on the necessity of a leaf blower yet, but I'm working on it :).
Typically the next step would be a thorough clay barring, but my paint was in nice shape so we skipped right to polishing. While Lindsey worked on clay barring his coupe, we pulled my coupe into the garage for a polish
Colby got out his Porter Cable random-orbital polisher and selection of Menzerna polishes. After a fruitless search for the painters tape roll Colby had been using earlier (found hours later in his trunk), we used a different roll and taped up everything we didn't want polished. By this time, my "few hours" had just about expired, but I couldn't wait to see what he could do. He explained the different levels of polish to me with each one being a little more aggressive. When the stage 1 polish failed to get out every single scratch, he decided he'd do two stages on the hood and roof where the swirl marks were most apparent, one stage for the rest of the panels, and finish with a sealant.
About 5 hours, a couple beers, and several calls from my wife later, it was complete. Lindsey helped Colby and I wipe off the final sealant with Colby's "for paint" microfibers and pulled it out into the sun. Then just stared…for a while. The paint on this 8 year-old car looked better than either of my last two cars ever did, both of which I bought new. I thoroughly enjoyed watching the sunset off the mirrored reflection of my hood on the drive home.
I really wish I would have brought a decent camera (rather than just my phone) for before and after photos because the difference was pretty unbelievable. I thought it looked good before and the photos from the BBQ look stunning, but even my wife and later my mom thought it looked 10x better when I got home.
If you'd like to hire Colby's remarkable skills and detailing products/equipment, shoot him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I guarantee you'll be blown away.