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Old 27-06-2008, 01:55 PM   #1
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An Interview with Wonderdetail

Paul @
Wonder Detail - Vehicle Detailing in the North of England.

Can you start by telling us a little about yourself?
I am Paul Reed, also known as Mr Wonder Detail, also known as the one that wears his wife's knickers (which I don't!)

What else can I tell you about me?

I like beer, women, and cars. One of those things, to me, is condusive to detailing. I shant say which.
How did you ‘get into’ detailing?
My dad used to buy cars, do them up, and sell them. From being about 8, I used to clean them for him (Persil and sponge special!) and I ended up doing neighbours cars as they always commented on how good dad's looked. I loved it! Never got into football or anything like that, and I was bullied really badly all through my childhood. Cleaning cars I guess was an escape, and it was something I could take pride in. I kept doing friends, neighbours, and families cars, then when I was 16, I got a job in a bodyshop and a chap from a Ford main dealer trained me up on the rotary. I made quite a lot of mistakes in my early days, and a lot of panels ended up back in the spray booth! It was all G3 then and to be honest, I reckon once the oils dropped back there were a lot of buffer trails on the early ones I did. However, over the months and years I refined my technique, and I reckon after a year or so (it really did take that long) I was knocking out panels to as high a standard as I do now.
How long have you been detailing at ‘this’ level?
I guess the proper answer to that question is, since yesterday. I am learning and improving every day, and as each new job comes thorugh the door, I feel I am raising my own bar. The other answer to that question I guess is around 4 and a half years. In terms of using botique products, and really concentrating on the finish, rather than just the correction, it started with my own car and Megs 3 stage. I did about 8 friends and families cars with this, and they looked cracking (although anybody that's used Megs DC3 will know it didn't last long!) Still, it got me into it properly, and the purchases progressed all the way up to Zimol Vintage. Excluding the big Z, I probably spent close to £4k on products before even starting Wonder Detail. WD was a progression from doing lots and lots of families, friends, and their friends cars. I had got to the point where it was costing *me* money to do people's cars on the cheap, so confident I had learnt enough, and with some great feedback, I went into it full swing. I have a lot of members of DW to thank for helping me with that, and the site as a whole!

How did you learn to machine polish?
Oops - I already answered that one.

How many cars have detailed over the years?
At a guess, around 400.

Tell me about your first detail
I guess by detail, you mean to a level that I am at now. The first full detail I did, excluding my own car, was on an Astra that was completely pink. Actually quite easy to sort, but the owner was amazed at the difference!

What do you drive and how often is it detailed?

I had, up until a few months ago, a 2007 VW Passat Sport. I got rid of it, and have been trying to find a car that I like since. The Passat was done at least twice a week. I drive the van mainly now, which is washed every day before use.

What is your favourite car to detail and why?
In terms of ease, I'd say a new BMW coupe. They have very little panel area, and they are one continuous bit of metal all the way down to the floor, and the M series' all have carbon fibre roofs now. Favourite car I've ever done in terms of how it came out looks wise is probably a VXR8, closely followed by an Rolls Royce Phantom, which were both black.
Do you prefer to detail a Supercar or everyday car?
Supercars give you butterflies in your stomach every time. There's something amazing about working on something that cost nearly as much as your house. That buzz just can't be matched.

What piece of detailing kit do you think every detailer should have in their arsenal? (excluding the obvious stuff like wash mitts etc.)
Loads and loads of 3m tape. It's a lifesaver.
What are your current favourite brands and why?
I still love Zimol, although for the benefit of the tape, I don't use it professionaly! Vics Coucours is also a favourite. I'm not entirely sold to the sealant route, despite all the hype, as I still think you can get a warmer finish with a wax, but I always give my clients the choice, and have one side of my van done with a wax, and the other with Zaino, to give them comparison. It tends to be 50/50 to be honest, as to what they choose. Zaino has just dropped it's prices, and I think we are going to see a lot more of it in the mainstream market. It's awesome stuff.
What do you do when you’re not detailing?
Suz (Mrs Wonder Detail) and I both run our own businesses, and I am a silent (as much as I can be!) partner in a property business too, so work tends to take up a lot of our time. I regularly book days out though, so we can do stuff together. It means phones, laptops, blackberries etc are banned for the day. We generally go to the pub for lunch, take a stroll, pig out in front of DVD's and generally act like kids. It's great!

A few quick fire questions
Ferrari or Lambo ? Lambo. Ferrari's are for people with small willies.
Wax or Sealent ? Wax
Fish and chips or bangers and mash ? Fish and chips
McDonald's or Burger King? Neither. They are nasty! Although I do occasionally have a McDonalds breakfast, but only cos they are the only place open at silly o'clock!
Coffee or Tea? Tea
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Old 27-06-2008, 06:31 PM   #2
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Good interview Paul.
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Old 27-06-2008, 06:33 PM   #3
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Nice read.
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Old 27-06-2008, 07:56 PM   #4
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good read
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Old 27-06-2008, 07:59 PM   #5
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Great read
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Old 29-06-2008, 03:36 PM   #6
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Old 29-06-2008, 11:20 PM   #7
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Good read Paul well done
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Old 12-07-2008, 05:21 PM   #8
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Good read, as always!!

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Old 12-07-2008, 06:10 PM   #9
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Great read Paul
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Old 26-08-2008, 10:46 PM   #10
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good read, ferrari bit made me chuckle
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