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Old 18-04-2013, 02:08 PM   #1
WHIZZER
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An Interview with Reflectology

Can you start by telling us a little about yourself?

Yeah, name is Russell Briggs and live and love Sheffield as its where I was born and raised, typically though I do very little work here.

What else can I tell you about me?

From a very early age I had an outlook to work in a sector that will ALWAYS need manual workers so I plumped for the painting area of the motor trade. I started out at a small bodyshop where I lasted 3 weeks before getting my YTS placement at TC Harrison’s, I spent 7 years there where I learnt everything paint wise and I have to tip my hat to the 2 guys that took me under their wings, Danny Clarke and Dave Sheppard, who unfortunately was killed in a tragic car crash a few years ago, gone but not forgotten as he was my mentor.
In the early 90s I was commended as being one of the best painters in the country by Standox and as such was head hunted by Merlin Body Centre which was Audi and VW approved repairers but one of only a handful of approved Porsche repairers in the UK, here I painted numerous Porsche and Ferrari as well as all the other marques that needed repairing.
I spent a few years there but was missing my mentor so I returned to TC Harrison for a couple of years only to find that he had passed.
My journey then began going from bodyshop to bodyshop until I got a position at Mercedes Benz UK repainting lease vehicles etc, this set me on my way to smart repairs etc, travelling the UK in various refurbishment centres dealing with many different makes of vehicle.
How did you ‘get into’ detailing?

If I am to be completely honest my time at Merlin taught me to care for everything that came through the doors, but really started in 1999 when I started at Mercedes Benz UK, scratch repair and paintwork refining were the only positions they gave me and this was in truth where I saw myself heading for the future and did this for 3 yrs until I had a serious car accident in 2002 where I broke my back to the point of me being unable to work for almost 5 years.

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

I think the level started way back in the early 90s at Merlin, it was the bread and butter for the bodyshop and as such the job had to be perfect, blessed with no time sheets and a flexible working attitude I was able to take the time needed to get the perfect finish. So really I would say the 90s but in essence I gave my all where ever I was around the UK.

How did you learn to machine polish?

With an old Sealey single speed turbo charged start up rotary that would so easily rip itself out of a novices hand, these were machines that were and truth be told I would hazard a guess that should they be around today this job would be an even more skilled profession, but again I have to head back to my mentor, he was there for me as was Danny Clarke and I have these to thank for all my training.

How many cars have detailed over the years?

No Idea, wouldn’t even like to guess at the amount as what I was doing in the late 90s was very similar to what I do today.
Tell me about your first detail

I think the one that I could really class as my first detail from when I set up on my own was a signal orange 3.0s Capri, it was a restoration project for the owner but he needed the engine bay polishing whilst the engine was out and the whole car needed a full wet sand, so I duly obliged.

What do you drive and how often is it detailed?

At the minute I drive my Peugeot Expert but I do own a Saab 93 for the missus to tootle around in, only had it a few weeks so its yet to have some loving. Prior to that I had a BMW 535i but my show piece was an Impreza Wagon. It was truly gorgeous.

What is your favourite car to detail and why?

Don’t really have a favourite but I do love working on M3s and RS4s, having said that anything will do.

Do you prefer to detail a Supercar or everyday car?

That’s a tricky one, a supercar is great for the portfolio but an everyday car gives a lot of satisfaction knowing that the client appreciates what ever car he or she drives to the point of justifying the additional cost of the detail therefore appreciating what a professional detailer can achieve.

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

Going to plump for experience here but in some cases this isn’t enough, after all we learn everyday and new materials, products and gear are popping up sooner than others have passed us by, we all need to be able to understand the what, when and why of each product or piece of kit.

What are your current favourite brands and why?

I have used a lot but my current favourites are Nanotech Polishes, Scholl Concepts, Polish Angel and of course my own brand amongst others but as said previously there are many new products popping up daily.

What do you do when you’re not detailing?

Chill with the wife Lisa and bin lids Cameron and Olivia, and not to mention the 3 huskies that need the exercise.


A few quick fire questions

Ferrari or Lambo? Ferrari.
Wax or Sealent? Like wax but gone sealant mad at the minute.
Fish and chips or bangers and mash? None, would rather have a kebab.
McDonald's or Burger King? Big Tasty at Maccy Ds but when that’s not on I don’t bother.
Coffee or Tea? Coffee all day long.

That’s me, hope you enjoyed it.
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Old 19-04-2013, 12:26 PM   #2
Dan J
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Nice one russ
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Old 19-04-2013, 12:39 PM   #3
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Good read
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Old 19-04-2013, 12:52 PM   #4
shaunwistow
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Nice one Russ
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Old 19-04-2013, 01:52 PM   #5
steve from wath
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nice read

refreshing to read about your experience in the car painting buisness

cant buy experience like that,and that shows in the quality of your work

well done
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Old 19-04-2013, 02:47 PM   #6
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Good to read about your background mate,i can see where the quality comes from,nice one
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Old 20-07-2013, 11:32 PM   #7
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Good read that Russ - nice one :-)
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Old 21-07-2013, 12:00 AM   #8
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love the kebab bit Russ
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