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May '17 Winner
Congratulations to Christopher Reed for winning our May show and shine. After spending more than a year living in a rented house with poor car washing facilities, Christopher was finally able to show his Ford Fiesta ST2 some proper love when he moved into his own house, which came with a driveway and garage. With gloss enhancement being Christopher's chief aim, he turned to Auto Finesse Illusion to deliver a show winning finish. Great work Christopher, it's always a pleasure to see eye-popping results like this!
"My Ford Fiesta ST2 has been waiting a long while for a thorough wash and detail. In January 2016, I moved into a rented new-build, with no outside tap, hard water, a south-facing driveway and the developer was still building the rest of the estate, so it was hardly ideal! Fast forward a year and I have managed to buy a property with a decent drive and a garage, so now I've been able to finally do a much better job on the car.
I started off by snow foaming the car and rinsing it off thoroughly with my pressure washer. I then applied Bilt Hamber auto-wheel to the wheels, agitated it with my Auto Finesse Hog Hair Detailing Brushes and PB Luxury Wheel Woolies, and rinsed them off at high pressure washer. I then washed the car by hand using the two-bucket method, and rinsed it again in readiness for a more thorough decontamination treatment.
I applied Bilt Hamber korrosol to the bodywork and left it to dwell for 5-10 minutes, but the colour change was limited, indicating that relatively little iron fallout was present. After another rinse, I then removed some tar spots from the lower panels using a spirit-based tar remover. After this, and yet another rinse, I went on to clay the bodywork with Bilt Hamber auto-clay. The paint already felt smooth, and probably didn't need to be clayed, but I did it anyway just to be thorough.
After claying, I foamed the car again (to remove any lingering product residues) and rinsed it down one last time before drying it off with my Metro Vac Air Force Blaster. This took a while as the water wasn't beading at all. I still prefer using a blower, even if it's not always the quickest method. The Air Force Blaster is great for getting the water out of the grills. I then moved the car inside the garage and masked it up in readiness for machine polishing.
I couldn't see any real evidence of holograms, apart from on the side skirts, but the rest of the bodywork was suffering random light scratches, particularly on the roof. I took some readings on my paint gauge, just to check the thickness was normal before starting work. I wasn't particularly bothered about removing the scratches completely; improving the glossiness of the finish was more my aim. Using my Rupes LHR12 and LHR75 BigFoot polishers, I decided to use the gentle combination of the yellow and white pads with the yellow and white polishes.
After polishing, I quickly went over the paint with Auto Finesse Rejuvenate to ensure the paint was properly prepared to receive a coat of Auto Finesse Illusion. I thought this was over the top, but I still ended up with a grubby applicator pad! I then applied two coats of Auto Finesse Illusion, using a Handi Puck and Handi Wax Pad. This was the first time using this applicator, and I found it to be really easy to use and preferable to a standard foam applicator. The wax itself went on very easily; a little goes a long way. Given how easy it is to use, I went around and waxed the entire car before buffing off, and it still buffed off with next to no effort.
Next, I polished the exterior glass with a glass polish and then applied a water repellent coating, ensuring that I cleaned and treated the wiper blades too, to help prevent any juddering. For the black trim, I used Auto Finesse Revive, which is relatively easy to apply. The exhaust tips were polished with a metal polishing paste to restore their shine. Inside didn't receive much by the way of detailing on this occasion, as it doesn't get a hard time and is still in great condition, but I did apply Auto Finesse Spritz to all the piano black trim.
The wheels still need to come off in the near future for a thorough clean and seal of the inner rims, but for the time being I cleansed all of the surfaces I could reach with Auto Finesse Rejuvenate and then applied a coat of Auto Finesse Mint Rims. Finally, the tyres were dressed with Auto Finesse Satin, which is easy to use and delivers a great looking finish. And, just as soon as I'd finished, along came the hail. Thankfully I did manage to take the pictures just before this!"