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Old 18-09-2008, 07:21 PM   #1
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An interview with Cambridge Autogleam

Cambridge Autogleam - Mobile Car Detailing

Can you start by telling us a little about yourself?

Hi, I’m Nathan. Born April 1983 (currently 25 years old). Grew up in and still live in Cambridge. Some people say I look like Peter Crouch...

What else can I tell you about me?

I love to travel and over the past few years have been to South Africa, several locations in America, Mexico, and quite a few places in Europe. I’m currently planning to travel for most of 2009 as there are so many more places I would like to see! I also love to snowboard. Have been doing it for 7 years now and usually go 2 or 3 times a season although this past season I went 5 times . I also like photography, live music, most sports and tea...lots of tea
I’ve always been outgoing, competitive and bold, not afraid to speak my mind even if it proves quite controversial, although I’m normally the first to back down and apologies IF I’m in the wrong.
Left school in 1999 and I went to college for 4 weeks and played pool for most of that time, then took a sales job at Currys and quickly moved from sales to Merchandising, then to stock control then to shop floor manager. Left in 2001 and joined the government department Defra (then called MAFF) and worked on several IT projects... the last of which cost US.. the TAX PAYER £1.3m.. and it didn’t even work! Was eventually abandoned (good use of money then!). I left in 2006 and started Cambridge Autogleam...

How did you ‘get into’ detailing?

I have always LOVED cars. My dad was always in the car trade so I grew up standing in the garden holding torches in the rain which he changed spark plugs, or going to motor shows only to sit bored stiff all day on trade stands while he worked... but being around cars all the time rubbed off and when I turned 17 I only had one thing on my mind.... DRIVING! Turned 17 in April and passed my test at the beginning of June . From my first car I always kept it immaculate. My friends used to take the p**s ALOT at how I wouldn’t let them eat inside and how I used to spend hours at the weekend cleaning and polishing the car.
As the years went by I started doing weekend jobs on friends cars when they wanted them selling . My dad also ran a bodyshop for a couple of years and I had a couple of cars re painted and spent many hours watching, learning, experimenting in the bodyshop. And it just quickly escalated from there until i started charging friends just to cover the more expensive products and thought.. well I could probably do this on a larger scale.... just how large I realised when I first stumbled across Paul Daltons website.. and the rest is history.

How long have you been detailing at ‘this’ level?

Hmm... well from April 06 when I started I was just doing car park washes at big business parks. I was aiming in the £30-£50 per car for a good ‘valet’ but always ended up taking AGES per car to get it to a level I was happy with. Decided to step up to ‘detailing’ around Jan 07

How did you learn to machine polish?

Played with machine polishing in the bodyshop and then practiced at home on my familys cars. Every job throws up some kind of learning experience though!

How many cars have detailed over the years?

Erm well since Cambridge Autogleam... Probably a couple of hundred properly detailed. Plus all the top ups and valets prior to ‘detailing’

Tell me about your first detail

Im sure most remember this...

It belongs to my friends dad and he was talking about having it resprayed. I asked if I could have a go first to see if I could improve it and if it went wrong... he could just get the respray
Looking back I’ve hugely improved my technique and the level of the final finish but it was a good start back in the day.

What do you drive and how often is it detailed?

The day to day van is a 53 plate Nissan Primastar. It gets cleaned when it needs it.
My current car is a 53 plate BMW M3. Yet to be fully detailed but had a few coats of wax since I bought it.

Before that I had 2 S3’s, a Corrado VR6, Honda CRX Mk2 16v. All were kept in immaculate condition.. but annoyingly since detailing as a business I have less time for my own cars

What is your favourite car to detail and why?

Always had a soft spot for Porsches and they are a nice size to detail aswell.

Do you prefer to detail a Supercar or everyday car?

Tough one... supercars are obviously special to be around and get all the comments and views on the forums and website. But can prove very difficult to detail.

What piece of detailing kit do you think every detailer should have in their arsenal? (excluding the obvious stuff like wash mitts etc.)

Everyone says PTG which I agree with. I’ll go slightly more abstract though and say things like good knee pads, good lights, a good range of pads / clothes / polishes. If your not comfortable you wont be concentrating 100% on the detail and if you cant bathe the car in light you will miss bits. Also with the variety of paints out there no one polish will fix everything.

What are your current favourite brands and why?

Dodo, Zaino, Autoglym, Autosmart. Easy to use, not too expensive and give great results.

What do you do when you’re not detailing?

Eat, sleep, drink and play... I work hard... but I play MUCH harder

A few quick fire questions
Ferrari or Lambo ?

Lambo every day (modern ones). Ferrari’s are far to delicate and poxey

Wax or Sealent ?

Actually don’t mind either

Fish and chips or bangers and mash ?

Bangers and mash with chips and fish on the side.

McDonald's or Burger King?

Neither... hate fast food.

Coffee or Tea?

Tea, Tea, Tea, Tea, Tea, Tea, Tea, Tea, Tea, Tea, Tea, Tea, Tea, Tea, Tea, Tea, Tea, Tea, Tea, Tea, Tea, Tea, Tea, Tea, Tea, Tea, Tea, Tea, Tea, Tea, Tea, Tea, Tea, Tea ......
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Old 18-09-2008, 08:00 PM   #2
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Try to to make this sound like an awards ceremony speach... but seems a good opportunity to thank:

Bill / Whizzer for the forum and even though i dont think i actually got any jobs from DW last years its something i'd continue to support.

Polished Bliss for inspiring me to do better .. every single job from them is improving somehow!

And all the other countless people over the years who have given feedback, advice, help.. to mention a few... Dave KG, Bryan, Garry Funnel, Brazo, James B, etc etc.
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WHIZZER (19-09-2008)
Old 18-09-2008, 10:00 PM   #3
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Excellent read Nathan

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Old 18-09-2008, 11:09 PM   #4
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Nice interview Nathan.
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Old 18-09-2008, 11:55 PM   #5
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Good read Nath.

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