The customer had requested that I enhance the paintwork as much it would allow, refresh and clean the interior, carry out a small repair on the vinyl driver's seat, see if it was possible to repair some cracking/warping on the dashboard liner, refresh and clean the engine bay and bring some sparkle back to the chrome trim, and lastly touch in a few areas where paint had come away such as around the filler cap recess behind the license plate.
I picked the car up from the customer and had the obscene pleasure of driving it to the unit. Sitting on what we Brits would consider "the wrong side", I found the sprung seat to be THE MOST COMFORTABLE SEAT EVER, and when the 5-odd litre engine boomed to life and then settled to a happy burble, I was in my element, JOY! I had planned the voyage (gotta love that ocean-going leaf-sprung suspension) to avoid any thin, fiddly country lanes - for obvious reasons - but immediately on leaving the driveway got caught up in a stand-off with a bin-men's truck, because of course I did.
Back at the unit I was able to closely inspect the paint to see what was ahead of me. The resprayed areas were fairly easy to spot, but the bodyshop had clearly matched the colour very well. We would need to investigate the specific colour ourselves to be able to mix the correct colour for the touch-in work.
The paint itself was overall in fantastic condition, with only minor swirling and marring. There were what seemed to be a few marks or etchings from source unknown, and some spotting underneath the lacquer in some areas that are to be expected in a 37-year old car. Click on any image below to embiggen it.
Thankfully, despite its age, the engine bay was already in remarkable condition. The usual dust and grime and in some areas overspray from a recent Waxoyl coating to the chassis which could all be dealt with. Along with the steam cleaner, I used Meguiar's Super Degreaser and Instafinish Premium Blue All Purpose Cleaner. The rubbers and plastics were finished with CarPro PERL as it is water-based and with no solvents will not pose a fire risk when used in the engine bay.
it was time to move on to the seat repair. The vinyl furniture was in excellent condition, in need only of a thorough clean, but there had in the past been a small rip to the passenger seat. This had at some point been repaired and the colour matched in - either badly, or perhaps the original repair had faded and discoloured over time and was now blatantly evident. it did not appear that the colour had been blended.
Firstly the seat was fully cleaned and sealed using LTT products. Colour was carefully mixed from base pigments, testing tiny dots as I went along to see how the match was progressing. It's not a case of simply slapping white pigment on; even this simple shade is a complex blend of a number of tints.
Whilst inside the car I attempted the repair on the dashboard. Firebirds of this period are prone to cracking in the thin vinyl layer across the dasdhboard, and this car was no exception. Luckily the cracking was very slight and had mostly just a patch of vinyl that had started to peel away from the dash. This was very gently maneouvered back into place and although I could not repair the actual slight crack it looked much improved.
Lastly, I applied a delicious coat of Swissvax Endurance wax (I can't link to it as it is only available to Swissvax-approved professional detailers) to the paintwork, allowed this and the Seal Feed to cure overnight, and buffed them off the following day. My work was done.
The customer was more than happy with the now shiny, glossy and beautiful Firebird. He remarked that he "bet it didn't even look this good coming out of the factory".
All in all, this was a fantastic detail and I loved every minute of it. Foxx was also sad to see the Firebird leave, and could not understand why the owner had not simply given the car to him, because of reasons. Bless.
Remember to stop by our Detailing Services page to see what we can offer you to make your car look its best, and if you would like your car to look as good as this classic beauty don't hesitate to get in touch. We can detail her for you, and advise you of the best way to maintain her the way she is when you collect her back from us.
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