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Old 07-01-2008, 08:38 AM   #1
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An Interview with Serious Performance

First interview for 2008 is with Serious performance

Can you start by telling us a little about yourselves
My name is Alex Creasey, I’m 31 years old and I own and run Serious Performance which is based in Southgate, North London. Help with the day to day running of the company comes from my girlfriend and family members who look after the paperwork, accounts and stock intake. A couple of good friends also help when I’m trading at shows or doing customer details.

How did you ‘get into’ selling detailing products?
I'd always bought from Halfords and local factors, and at some point I discovered Meguiars at a more specialist car modifying shop. Once I'd gone through all the products they had on the shelf I started seeing what was on the web and stumbled across Autopia. I did weeks of reading up and became interested in the products available in the States. I wondered whether any of these products would be saleable over here as there was no real market for the US brands in the UK at that time. I contacted a few UK members of Autopia for opinions and all seemed positive. At the time Clearkote and Poorboys were making names for themselves, and P21S was already a popular brand. After a few conversations and various e-mails I got permission to stock their products over here and become the first UK stockist. I already had Serious Performance set up for an earlier business idea that I'd later decided against going ahead with. So sticking with the name, within a month a good friend had the website set up, and I had products in stock and was ready to trade.

How long have you been selling detailing products?
SP started officially trading at the beginning of 2004.

Tell me about your first product that you sold?
A bottle of Clearkote Vanilla Moose Hand Glaze and some original Moose Wax iirc.

What do you do when you’re not selling detailing products?
Serious Performance is a 24hr operation… I can turn the PC on at pretty much any time of day and night and find some work that needs doing or orders that need processing. I still do some work in the film industry and currently work for a VFX company in Ealing as a Visual Effects Editor. I've been in the industry since 1996 and have worked for Gerry Anderson and spent 5 years working for Ridley and Tony Scott.

What do you drive and how often is it detailed?
The daily driver is a Rover 600 and is usually one of my 'test' cars for new products I'm going to sell or get asked to test. It's kept in good nick but certainly doesn't stand out and that’s exactly how I like it. My weekend toy is a Midnight Purple Nissan Skyline R33 GT-R. It's stage 1 modified so certainly quick but only a baby in GT-R tuning terms. I've had the car 4 years now and I’m still not bored of it. I love the shape of the 33 over the 32 and 34, so can't see myself parting with it for a while yet. Besides, there’s still so much to do to it! It gets detailed more than it's driven of late which is a shame but it lives in a heated garage so when I do get time I really enjoy doing a bit of work on the car, even if it's just a quick once over with a detail spray.

What is your favourite car and why?
Well, given my love of all cars Jap, it's definately the Skyline GT-R. When I win the lottery the first car I'll be buying (other than the baby Aston for the woman to keep her happy) is a classic KPGC10. That would then be closely followed by the new GT-R Spec V when it's available.

How did you ‘get into’ detailing?
I'd always helped the old man clean his cars and when I started driving I just carried on with keeping my car clean. The more I cleaned it the more I couldn't stand it getting dirty, so the OCD all kind of grew from there.

How long have you been detailing at ‘this’ level?
Probably around 5 - 6 years although I'm still learning all the time through reading forums and practise.

How did you learn to machine polish?
Trial and error (although luckily not to many errors)! I got a Porter Cable from Autopia and basically got stuck in. A few people were starting to go to the next level over here importing machines themselves, and to make sure I knew what I was doing and talking about as far as SP was concerned, I went down the same road and haven’t looked back.

How many cars have you detailed over the years?
Quite a few, although nowhere near as many as some on here!

Tell me about your first detail:
Hmmm. My first car was a cherry red Ford Fiesta. A friend who was a panel beater showed me how to work polishes by hand for good results, and from there it got cleaned every week inside and out. That’s when I started using polishes and waxes to get a better finish.

What is your favourite car to detail and why?
At the moment my fave car to detail is the girlfriends white Eunos Roadster. It's needed a lot of work (detailing wise) since we got it and it's my little project to get ready for the summer. Overall though it will always be my GT-R. Midnight Purple like black is a mare to keep looking in top condition but when it is detailed it looks stunning.

Do you prefer to detail a supercar or everyday car?
A supercar once in a while is always a special treat but, I like seeing something a little more 'normal' gleaming amongst the everyday traffic.

What piece of detailing kit do you think every detailer should have in their arsenal? (excluding the obvious stuff like wash mitts, etc.)
Some sort of Quick Detailer is the one product I wouldn’t be without. It can be used on just about everything for almost anything. Maybe a bit of a boring choice but to me the difference a quick once over with a QD can make to a car is huge.

What are your current favourite brands and why?
All the brands I sell are favourites! Lol. Finish Kare (not surprisingly to many I'm sure) I've been trying to get over here for ages. I’m very proud to be their UK stockist and get the chance to introduce the brand properly over here. I first tried some of the range a couple of years ago and was very impressed, these are great products that I'm sure will become very popular. I'm also still very happily using my own Serious Performance branded products. A lot of time, effort and testing went into getting them on the shelf because ensuring the range was worthy of competing against the 'boutique' US brands was the ultimate goal of the project.

What do you do when you’re not detailing?
Outside of all things work, I like watching films or sports and sinking the odd Bacardi & Coke with friends.
I like to cycle and play badminton and have always been into raquet sports. However my first love has always been my cars, detailing and looking after my own and helping friends with their cars. I also enjoy going to shows and events in the UK and meets abroad at places like the Nurburgring.

Ferrari or Lambo?
I can appreciate a Ferrari but, give me a Lambo any day of the week.

Wax or Sealant?

Sealant... I prefer the brighter, more reflective slick shine that a sealant generally gives.

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

McDonald's or Burger King?
KFC please LOL

Coffee or Tea?
Tea... And lots of it!

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Old 07-01-2008, 08:51 AM   #2
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Very good read.
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Old 07-01-2008, 09:10 AM   #3
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Very nice read congrats Alex.
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Old 07-01-2008, 09:29 AM   #4
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Well done Alex, a good read
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Old 07-01-2008, 10:28 AM   #5
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I do like reading these. Thanks Alex
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Old 07-01-2008, 10:36 AM   #6
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excellent read

i love the SP shop lol
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Old 07-01-2008, 07:07 PM   #7
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Excellent read, Cheers Alex
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Old 08-01-2008, 08:29 AM   #8
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Great read, best regards Alex.
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Old 08-01-2008, 08:59 PM   #9
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always good to read these - thanks.

Good to have a retailer featured as well
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Old 09-01-2008, 12:46 AM   #10
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Thanks chaps... I was amazed at how long it actually took to do. It's easy telling people but putting it down on paper... Like being in english class all over again!
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