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Old 06-04-2010, 08:21 PM   #1
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Interview with Sportscar Protection

Sportscar Protection -Professional Detailing Services
Detailer Academy - Training For The Professional And Enthusiast Detailer

Can you start by telling us a little about yourself?

I'm 38 ......err or am i 39 ??? something like that , from the midlands and a total car nut

What else can I tell you about me?
Staunch wolves fan ( well somebody's got to support them ) overweight and i drink too much coffee

How did you ‘get into’ detailing?

I started out as a valeter abut 12 years ago , cleaning Rovers , metro's, escorts etc doing mainly private cars , i've got some fond memories of cleaning roof linings in cars that had been smoked in , nicotine dripping down my arms and into my face.....lovely
I always wanted to work at shows so i went to work with an agency who provided valeters for the manufacturers at motor shows around Europe , did this for a year or 2 covering events like the UK motor and bike shows , launch of the new corsa (1999/2000 model) in Holland and Belgium ,new BMW Mini launch at Bologna Italy and finally the Vanquish launch for Aston Martin in Geneva.
I then got poached by Aston Martin and worked directly with them doing their events here in the UK.

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

It's hard to say really , at the shows i was always looking out for better products and techniques , so was always improving
In 2000 , i joined up as an authorised detailer with a well known carnauba wax company , I was still working quite a lot with Aston Martin and was getting a fair bit of work off the back of the events so my private client base was already moving into the higher end marques .
Back then carnauba was a totally new concept and really did raise the game as far as finish and protection was concerned . So as far as detailing supercars is concerned , "this level" for about 10 years.
Saying that and i know its a cliche but i've always had the attitude that i want to improve on what can be achieved , both in finish an protection/durability , so i really do believe that you improve every day , so i think i'm a better detailer now than i was 12 months ago or even last month , so you could say i've been at "this level" since my last job and I genuinely think that's the same for every other detailer out there .
I don't think you're born a good detailer , it's a natural progression that comes from experience and always being open minded to what you can learn.
I think a detailers client base works the same way, everyone has to start somewhere , i don't think you can come into this industry and detail supercars from the off , you have to start with the normal cars and I don't mean to offend anyone by that , i know any car owned by a true petrolhead is special in their eyes , in fact I have a Mondeo ST200 which i cherish as much as my old Ferrari , my point is if you offer a good level of service right from the start, your client base will naturally progress from the ford's , subaru's BM's and merc's etc into the sports/supercars
The only difference between someone just starting out and doing a good job and the "top guns" in our industry is time .

How did you learn to machine polish?
When i first started out i wanted to get some professional training , so i went on the 3 day Autoglym course , they showed me how to "mop" a car with some 3g and a machine polisher which weighed more than i did , it had 2 speeds , fast and dangerous i'm sure some of you guys will remember them

How many cars have you detailed over the years?
I've lost count , when i did my gallery last year ,I put 1700 photo's in it (about 70 cars), this was narrowed down from a "shortlist" of 10,000 (about 300 cars) but when you think I didn't get a digital camera untill about 5 years ago, there was loads of photo's that i couldn't even use or never got taken in the first place , so i think somewhere between 500 and 700 would be a safe guess

Tell me about your first detail .
My first paid "detail" was on a midnight blue 993 C4 , somewhere down oxford way , no paint correction , just a wash ,clay , cleanse and wax . I think that day i earned something like 3 times the amount i'd ever taken in a day before, so i remember feeling a bit guilty for a bit on the way home , i didn't really appreciate the skills i had back then but soon realised that there is a value to what we do and give that advice to everyone starting out , don't sell yourself short when promoting your services , detailing and especially paint correction is a skilled service ,in every other industry you have to pay the going rate for quality workmanship , so why should our industry be any different.

What do you drive and how often is it detailed?
The postman pat van and a mondeo ST200 , if i'm honest they very seldom get detailed , both were done properly when i first got them but only really get topped up once a month or so , I don't really get time , i'm away from home or back late every day during the week which means i don't get chance to see my kids , so at weekends i hang out with them, regress back to my youth and generally annoy my missus

What is your favourite car to detail and why?
It has to be a Ferrari/Dino 246 Gt .
I just love the shape of them , i've done a few over the years but my favourate one is a blue one that i've looked after for about 4 years , i think there's some pics of it in one of my threads on here.
It went back home to italy last year to live out its life in the sun

Do you prefer to detail a Supercar or everyday car?
Don't mind really , as long as it's got 4 wheels i'll fall in love with it anyway for a couple of days or so.

What piece of detailing kit do you think every detailer should have in their arsenal? (excluding the obvious stuff like wash mitts etc.)
The festool RO 150 FEQ .
I think every now and then something comes along that really raises the bar as far as what can be achieved , Zymol did it with their Royale , Menzerna with their compounds and Zaino with their sealants. The RO 150 FEQ is their forced rotation machine which you can switch back to a DA if you wish.
It has soooo much torque when you switch it on you have to hang on for dear life and this is why i like it , on forced rotation you can correct paint as well as a rotary but without generating as much heat , switching it onto DA mode you can finish superbly well with it , because it has so much torque over the standard DA's like the DAS or PC , you can achieve a real high natural gloss finish with it , especially with a medium pad and a product like Menzerna FA.
I'd say it's not a machine for the amateur though , it has no safety cut off to it so you wouldn't want to get it caught in a crevice.

What are your current favourite brands and why?

Apart from Cadbury's and Kenko i'm messing about a bit with some of the Valet pro products at the moment , I do like their orange pre-spray and especially their citrus bling , which is a real good alternative to the normal detail sprays around at the moment , I like the fact that because it's not a silicone emulsion product , you can clay with it and then mask up without fear of the masking tape slipping off , it's also great value for money when you compare the fact that you can water it down 1:5 compared with 50:50 like last touch.
I also think that the Valet Pro Achilles Prep is an interesting product , I was detailing a 430 spider the other day on a strict time limit , Greg at valet pro said it could be used as a final/finesse product as well as a cleanse and sealant , so i had a go with it , it did save me a couple of hours over my normal route of final/finesse polish and paint cleanse and i was well impressed with the finish , all be it not as glossy as my normal procedure but certainly more than good enough to pass over to the customer.
I'm also experimenting with the Gtechniq paint sealant , seeing how compatible it is with my carnauba wax , after speaking with Rob at g-techniq we weren't sure whether the wax would stick to it , but it did , so now we're looking into how long it takes to degrade on there compared to a normal finish that has just been corrected and paint cleansed

What do you do when you’re not detailing?

A few quick fire questions
Ferrari or Lambo ?
Ferrari every time, i've been fortunate enough over the last 12 years to drive some of the worlds most exotic cars and don't get me wrong , Lambo's are simply awesome machines but there's something special about driving a Ferrari that just captures your heart . I owned a Ferrari 308 GTS QV for a couple of years , growing up watching ****** , it was the car i always dreamed of owning , such a fantastic car to drive , as old as it was , always got good comments and drew a crowd wherever i parked it.

Wax or Sealent ?

Fish and chips or bangers and mash ?
Bangers and mash

McDonald's or Burger King?
Burger king

Coffee or Tea
Coffee , with a packet of jammie dodgers please , stawberry only , not those blackberry and custard things
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Old 06-04-2010, 08:41 PM   #2
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Its always interesting to hear about other Pros backgrounds and their personal choice of gear/products!

Thanks for taking the time to take part in the interview Dave

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Old 06-04-2010, 08:44 PM   #3
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Good read Dave
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Old 06-04-2010, 08:48 PM   #4
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Love these posts, nice one fellas
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Old 06-04-2010, 08:58 PM   #5
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Great read Dave
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Old 06-04-2010, 09:11 PM   #6
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A good insight Dave, nice to learn more about you.

Made me laugh "Fast and dangerous" regarding the 2 speed rotary.
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Old 06-04-2010, 11:17 PM   #7
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Nice one dave.
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Old 08-04-2010, 11:49 AM   #8
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good read dave.
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Old 08-04-2010, 12:00 PM   #9
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great read and very interesting!!
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Old 03-05-2010, 11:28 AM   #10
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great read and nice to see a bit of humour in there.
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