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Old 26-03-2008, 07:41 AM   #1
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An interview with Gleammachine

Professional detailing services in Essex & surrounding areas.

Rob Leys @

Can you start by telling us a little about yourself?

My name is Rob Leys I'm 36 and live in Chafford Hundred ,Essex with my wife whom I've been married to for 11 years and my 2 children Daniel 10 & Lauren 8

What else can I tell you about me?

I originally left school with ambitions of becoming a pro golfer and served an apprenticeship with my local club but after a year had to leave as unable to live of the low wages and now only play as a hobby when able with a handicap of 3.

How did you ‘get into’ detailing?

I started out as a hobbyist 19 years ago with my MkII Escort with my father introducing me to Autoglym products and SRP and then progressed over the years finding new products like Meguiars and the love affair with bringing the best out of my vehicles naturally progressed into a business when being offered redundancy from a distribution company a little over 5 years ago.

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

I started Gleammachine in 2003 and I initially only offered a high end valet service but I was unable to leave parts of the cars unfinished and found myself doing more and more to each vehicle until I was personally satisfied regardless of time and costs, then I started finding the detailing forums and realised there was far more to offer than wash & waxes and progressed into the higher end detailing market of correctional polishing and fine waxes a little over 2 and a half years ago.
Looking back I'm glad that I took on the valeting work before progressing into detailing as it was a valuable experience and put me in good stead now for any situation that can arise.

How did you learn to machine polish?

I originally self taught myself with a porter cable learning the techniques and procedures from the forums and just practiced with different polishes and pads and then stepped up to a rotary once I had gained enough confidence and felt able to offer the service to my customers, still to this day I'm picking up new ideas and learning and I don't think you ever stop.

How many cars have you detailed over the years?

Far too many to remember as I count all the vehicles as details wether there correctional or maintenance.
Since (day1) I would imagine its well into it's thousands.

Tell me about your first detail

It was a Fiat Punto booked in for a full wax detail and my first paying customer which had dropped the car of to me on my drive, remember being so nervous and keen to please that I spent well over 10 hrs trying to perfect the finish, lsp at the time was Megs Gold class.

What do you drive and how often is it detailed?

My daily drive and works van is a 2000' Toyota Powervan which gets a 3 monthly polish up and coat of sealant but has regular washing probably twice a week,
The other is a 06' Jaguar X-type 3.0 sport which my wife uses daily and I'm embarressed to say doesn't get the love it deserves as often as it should do.

What is your favourite car to detail and why?

Porsche 911 without a doubt as the curves and shape stop it from becoming boring.

Do you prefer to detail a Supercar or everyday car?

Would have to say Supercar if graced with the time as their not always as straightforward as everyday cars.

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

A Clay bar and decent Paint cleanser as 90%+ of the finish achieved on a vehicle is in the prep work and the wax only offers a small fraction to the overall finish.

What are your current favourite brands and why?

Duragloss not because I'm biased but I have yet to use one of their products that doesn't do what it says on the label,
Zaino because of the finish & durability available from such a little amount of product that easily rivals products that are far more costly.

What do you do when you’re not detailing?

Ummm spend lots of time on the forum and occasionally time with the family and the odd game of golf.

A few quick fire questions
Ferrari or Lambo ?

Wax or Sealent ?
70% Wax 30% Sealant.

Fish and chips or bangers and mash ?
Fish & Chips.

McDonald's or Burger King?
Mc D's.

Coffee or Tea?
Coffee AM, Tea PM
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Old 26-03-2008, 08:45 AM   #2
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Good stuff, keep 'em coming
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Old 26-03-2008, 01:54 PM   #3
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80 views & 1 reply something I said?
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Old 26-03-2008, 01:57 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by WHIZZER View Post
Coffee or Tea?
Coffee AM, Tea PM
You fusspott!

Great read
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Old 26-03-2008, 02:30 PM   #5
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I didn't know you were a Golfist Rob, a good walk spoiled, and there are far quicker ways of getting to the bar
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Old 26-03-2008, 02:31 PM   #6
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Nice read, Rob

with a handicap of 3
I hate you!
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Old 26-03-2008, 03:15 PM   #7
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Makes great reading Rob, nice to know a little more about you
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Old 26-03-2008, 07:27 PM   #8
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thats a good read Rob.
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Old 26-03-2008, 07:30 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Gleammachine View Post
80 views & 1 reply something I said?
Dont need to ask anything mate, all the answers are above!
Nice to see the interviews have surfaced again
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Old 26-03-2008, 08:32 PM   #10
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Nice post, blimey good handicap, I'm lucky if I reach a 28 handicap
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