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October '16 Winner
Congratulations to Joe Tattersall for winning our October show and shine. Joe's a serving member of the Royal Marines, and regularly details his car at the military base where he is stationed. Some of his fellow marines have cottoned on to this, and have begun asking him to detail their cars too. On this occasion, Joe was asked to clean up and protect a lovely metallic white Honda Civic. It turned out to be a relatively straightforward task and Joe was rewarded for his efforts by some moody skies for the photographs ...
"Being a serving member of the Royal Marines, I find myself detailing my own car at a military camp on a regular basis. After being spotted doing so, it wasn't long before fellow marines started asking me to detail their cars over the weekends. Being a fan of Honda Civics, I was delighted to work on this 2016 model in metallic white.
I always like to start full details with the wheels. I used a pressure washer initially to remove most of the loose dirt and grime from the tyres and alloys. After filling up a PB Clear Wash Bucket with warm water I added a few squirts of Auto Finesse Revolution, and then used my PB Luxury Wheel Woolies to get into all the hard to reach areas, along with a PB Boar Hair Detailing Brush to clean the faces of the alloys.
For the main pre-wash I liberally applied Auto Finesse Citrus Power to all the lower panels, focusing mainly on the front of the car and really trying to soak the bug remains as much as possible. I then used Bilt Hamber auto-foam in conjunction with a PA Foam Lance and allowed the blanket of Citrus Power and auto-foam to dwell for around 5 minutes. While these products were working their magic I went around the car with a PB Boar Hair Detailing Brush and the smallest Wheel Woolie and agitated the foamy mixture on the grills and badges.
After pressure washing all the foam away, the car was now ready for the next cleaning step, using the tried and tested two bucket method. I used Bilt Hamber auto-wash in one and clear water in the other, and washed the car from top to bottom, finishing off with the door shuts. Even though I always thoroughly clean my buckets out before and after each use, I still find it good practice to label each of them individually: Shampoo, Rinse & Wheels.
Now that the car was clean, I could easily see how much contamination was present, including everything from honeydew and tar spots, to overspray and industrial fallout. It wasn't a pretty sight, especially with it being a white car. Using all the products recommended on the 'Decontaminating Paint' guide of the Polished Bliss website, I systematically eliminated each type of contamination until I was left with a perfectly clean, smooth and literally spotless surface. The most satisfying product I used during this process was Auto Finesse Iron Out, because you can visibly see it working its magic before you safely rinse it away.
Upon close inspection the paint turned out to be in good condition, with only the odd faint swirl mark present here and there (which I could only find using a strong LED light). The brake lights, however, were another story and unfortunately let the rest of the car down, so I used Meguiar's Ultra Finishing Polish (205) and hand polished them to a near perfect finish. With it being a metallic white finish I decided to use the Carlack Acrylic kit to protect the paint and enhance the look of the flake; had it been solid white I would have used the Auto Finesse Tough Kit instead.
Starting with Carlack Complete, I applied it to half the car at a time, which gave it ample time to dry before I buffed it off with a microfibre towel. I then applied Long Life on top, this time working one panel at a time. At this point the car was indoors and wasn't under the best lighting, so I had to wait until the following morning to see it outside and at its best for the photographs.
The finishing touches involved dressing the tyres with Auto Finesse Satin, protecting the alloys with Auto Finesse Mint Rims and giving the interior a quick tidy, which is all it needed as it was almost immaculate to begin with. The following morning the weather was kind and produced ideal conditions for the photographs; I had a mixture of direct sunlight and defused light with the clouds, and the heavily overcast skies also provided a lovely moody backdrop with some jaw-dropping reflections. Overall I'm very pleased with the result and the owner was thrilled when the car was returned to him."