Classic and collectible motor cars unlike investments in gold reserves and stocks & shares require ongoing physical maintenance for the asset to maintain at it’s full potential resale value. Bradley would be delighted to advise and undertake the detailed maintenance and vital protection of your vehicle portfolio. Professional detailing is the key to achieving the highest return on your investment and was summed up by a quote from the ever knowledgeable Simon Kidston of Geneva based ‘Kidston SA’, “Better, though, for a car to be detailed to death than the victim of misguided care or none at all”. (Classic Cars’ magazine, Jan ’12). According to Dietrich Hatlapa founder of ‘The Historic Auto Group Index’, the go-to barometer that tracks the prices of a cross-section of historic cars, last year (2011) was great news, according to the figures the ‘ Hagi Top Index’ rose by 13.89%, this is a new all-time high. The climb was largely due to stronger prices for quality motor cars – especially marques other than Porsche and Ferrari. All very impressive, but how do these figures compare to ‘traditional’ asset classes? In comparison, global equities have remained relatively static, so someone who bought a rare Bugatti, Jaguar or Ferrari would have achieved better results during the downturn than an investor in almost any other asset say top industry observers, including stocks & shares and fine art. Bradley shares a special passion with his clients for blue chip investment motor cars these include: Aston Martin’s, Porsche’s and Ferrari’s amongst other top marques and remains unrivalled in this field of specialist detailing.
At BlueChip Detail, Bradley specialises in all aspects of automotive detailing and preparation, below is a brief insight to the processes and techniques applied to a modern supercar. The practices outlined below are dependent upon the type of motor car required to detail, as different techniques and products are employed to modern supercars than would be engaged on a vintage or classic car.
The detailing process begins with a pre-wash, incorporating a very mild citrus degreaser before washing using a two bucket method to minimise dirt being transferred back to the vehicle. Bradley uses soft natural Aegean sea sponges and a PH neutral, sodium free surfactant to gently clean the paintwork and fittings. The alloy wheels and brake calipers are cleaned front and back using a ‘safe’ acid free, alloy wheel cleaner. The inner wheel arches are also cleaned and conditioned to produce a fresh from the factory look. Drying is achieved using a specialist warm air dryer and soft finest grade satin edged micro fibre towels.
The next stage is the gentle exfoliation and full decontamination of the bodywork and glass using a fine abrasive clay bar and lubricant to remove bonded surface contaminates including tree sap, embedded insects, tar and even overspray. This will leave the surface as smooth as glass, adding depth and clarity.
Paint correction is the process of the re-levelling of the cars upper most 1-3 microns of lacquer, single stage paintwork or lacquered carbon fibre. This slow, labour intensive and highly skilled service re-levels the surface producing a flat highly reflective finish, free from unsightly imperfections such as swirl marks, bird etchings, holograms and scratches, enabling the light to reflect off as if the paintwork were a mirror. Wet or colour sanding is employed when certain types of paint defects are present, examples would be orange peel, harsh scratches, dust nibs and deeper imperfections that require more than just paint correction to remove the imperfections. Bradley has also utilised this method in the past on Ferrari F40’s revealing and enhancing their subtle underlying carbon weave.
A natural carnauba wax is now applied to the freshly re-levelled surface to produce depth, warmth and vital paint protection against traffic film, ultraviolet light, acid rain and other pollutant’s. This will also make any metallic flakes standout, (known as ‘popping the flake’), pearls to show their true varied colours and also give the ultimate wet-look lustre. Carnauba wax is produced by the Copernica Prunifera palm of Northern Brazil to protect its leaves from the harsh tropical climate and is the world’s hardest and most transparent natural wax. Bradley utilises a range of carnauba waxes from the UK, Switzerland, USA and his own hand crafted wax ‘Royal Mews’. Modern paint finishing products and the latest nano technology sealants are also applied when required.
Interior cleaning and rejuvenation is also undertaken, from the careful launder and treatment of leather trim to cleaning Alcantara, suede and other synthetic materials. Interiors have a complex array of fabrics and materials to be cleaned, rejuvenated and finally protected. Bradley can also sanitise the air conditioning system, killing unwanted bacteria, He also employs a Lampe Berger (Est.1897) lamp that can disperses a range of over 50 different fragrant scents, eliminating unwanted interior odors, i.e tobacco. Interior glass/mirrors, roof linings, wood trim and all vinyl/plastic/carbon fibre surfaces can also be cleaned and treated. Carpets and upholstery maybe gently cleaned by hand or by an extraction machine.
Bradley is not one to rush in and likes to research the unknown properties of modern materials used on contemporary motor cars. To illustrate this here is a brief summary regarding the stainless steel utilized on the Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead: “The stainless steel itself is produced by Arcelor Mittal in France, one of the only steel plants able to make steel 2 meters wide by 0.8 mm thick; this steel is then transported to Nitto where it is formed into covers for the bonnet, grille and A-pillar/windscreen surround. The stainless steel (type 18-9E Austenital Steel) used has a low chromium content as high chromium content stainless steel is less formable and tends to crack and split upon pressing. The downside of having a low chromium content is that the steel is more vulnerable to corrosion. Thus the steel now requires protection and is treated with a nitric acid, sodium dichromate solution, this process is called ‘Passivation’ (similar to anodizing aluminum) and creates a monomolecular oxide film protecting the stainless steel. Although now passivated, the protective film is very thin only 1/100,000 the thickness of a human hair and is easily damaged, leaving the bare steel unprotected and open to corrosion.
Similar research was undertaken when asked to detail a new Aston Martin One-77 with stainless steel vents and fittings produced by CPP Global Holdings Ltd in Coventry builders of Spyker’s ‘C8 Aileron’ sports car. Bradley’s detailed research has pushed the boundaries of his detailing service, projecting him to the pinnacle of his chosen profession, quickly developing a powerful reputation and strong following among car collectors. Specialists motor cars, require specialist care.
All BlueChip bespoke detailing services are undertaken solely by company director and master detailer Bradley Scott-Stevens to ensure detailed perfection. Price is dependent upon a numbers of factors including: The length time and type of work required, vehicle research, vehicles location (U.K or overseas), mobile or ‘Studio’ based service, specialist detailing products and consumables, vehicle paint type, complexity, rarity and value.
Regular detailing services and maintenance attracts a loyalty discount. Should you require to have a portfolio of two or more cars detailed in succession, a special ‘Porfolio’ rate applies. These services put Bradley’s competent detailing skills, knowledge and expert guidance at your complete disposal for a day/week/month (9am-6pm weekdays). Travel costs are included up to a 35 mile radius of Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire HP13, (national, overseas, air travel and accommodation costs will be discussed at quotation stage, should the commission be further afield). Please email or call for a free ‘remote’ consultation or to arrange an assessment (see below).
“Bradley reserves and restricts BlueChip’s services to those motor cars that are of the highest rarity and value. Please note that should you own a cherished motor car that does not fit within this category BlueChip’s sister company’ ‘Auto-Detail.co.uk’, offer a more economical alternative ‘fixed price’ detailing and cosmetic repairs service, without a major compromise in quality of finish or service”.
PLEASE READ BEFORE BOOKING ANY DETAILING SERVICE:
- Please note these are bespoke detailing services and no two commissions are the same.
- Price is dependent on make and model of car and vehicle condition, all prices reflect the amount of time spent.
- Deposit: A 50% deposit will be required upon the booking of any detailing service.
- Cancellations: Please note that all cancellations will incur a £200.00 per day booked cancellation fee.
A free half hour assessment is undertaken and the vehicle is objectively and professionally assessed at ‘The BlueChip Studio’ in Maidenhead, Berkshire. If required, a more in depth, multi-level, one hour vehicle assessment is charged at £65 (including paint thickness readings and report). ‘Call out’ assessments are charged at flat fee of £120 plus £1.50 per mile travel expenses (if beyond 40 miles of Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire HP13). Assessment charges maybe repaid in full or partially refunded dependant upon the of detailing work be subsequently undertaken.