Headlight Restorer and Protectant from Chemical Guys

It seems every year at the SEMA Show that more vendors pop up offering a headlight restoration product.  From a few companies that offered a slew of detailing gear and compounds, now anybody with a selling spot had a miracle liquid cleaner for those pesky glazed over headlights.Headlight Before

Headlight history

Ever since the car manufacturers dropped using glass headlights, (anybody remember the sealed round H-4’s ?), which was initiated in 1983; the movement to plastic lenses has also created a market to repair the glazed, cloudy lenses. Originally many just paid their mechanic to swap in a new lens but that option gets more and more expensive. So now companies offer up various cleaners to restore the lens to like new condition.

Headlight restoration

Some sites will recommend toothpaste or even bug repellant to clean lenses but honestly these are short term fixes that mask the issue. Most legitimate cleaners work by smoothing out the rough surface and then polishing the plastic back to new.  If the surface has really degraded, the repair process might need to actually start with sandpaper to get in all the deep crevices.

Headlight Restorer and Protectant from Chemical Guys

We had the chance to try out the Headlight Restorer and Protectant liquid from Chemical Guys, a leader in the boutique car detailing business.  These guys (no pun intended) know their stuff and I was impressed with the outcome.  Our test car was a 2010 Camry whose lenses have been exposed to some intense Arizona heat.  The directions call for spreading 3 – 6 dots of Headlight Restorer and Protectant over a microfiber towel or applicator pad, then scrubbing the hazy headlight lens vigorously until the polish turns clear and finally wipe off residue with a clean microfiber towel and inspect work. Repeat as necessary.Cleaner on a microfiber

The protectant part of this product is equally important because after cleaning and polishing the lens, the sun is still going to beat down on that plastic.  That means you need some sort of UV resistant layer to help prolong the squeaky clean look. Chemical Guys uses sealant technology to preserve that look and keep the sun at bay.

We were impressed with the ease of use, no need for an electrical buffer, and the look is darn right impressive.  We’ll keep an eye on the lenses and see how they hold up over the next few months, so subscribes to this blog and see how the product holds up in Arizona’s brutal heat.Headlight After

PS  Technically these electrical components are headlamps, and the light they emit are headlights but I don’t know anybody who calls them headlamps. Do you?

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Corvette Turns 65 Happy Birthday

Congratulations to the Corvette, America’s Sports Car for turning 65 today.  The longest running passenger car marque first had their production run start up in Flint, Michigan producing the first Corvette on June 30, 1953.  So the Corvette is officially a senior citizen now.1953 Corvette Passenger Side

First Year Corvette

All the first year Corvettes were produced as Polo White with a red interior and a black canvas top for the convertibles.  Only 300 models were produced in the first year and they all had a Blue Flame straight six cylinder engine and automatic transmission.

Corvette enthusiasts might have the T-Bird to thank for continuing the lineage as Chevrolet was strongly considering dropping the Corvette until the Ford Thunderbird entered the market in 1955.  Lucky break!1953 Corvette Front Quarter view

Building the 1953 Corvette

The first year Corvettes were all made by hand, without an assembly line and so the fit and finish and actual parts used varied a bit as building techniques evolved.  All came equipped with AM radios and a heater as the only “options.”

Surprisingly, with only 300 originally built there are a few originals that can’t be accounted for.  Our guess is they were “just a car” back then and went into somebody’s junkyard for scrap.

 

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Chenille Wash Mitts from Chemical Guys

Chenille Wash Mitts from Chemical GuysChenille Car Wash Mitt

Well it might not be earth shattering in the overall scope of car care, having a great wash mitt is certainly a big help. There are proponents of various wash devices, everything from the old school baby diaper to large spore sponges and microfiber towels. But this chenille wash mitt is a perfect fit.

A wash mitt is designed to go over your hand and allows you to deliver sudsy water to your car’s sheet metal. A mitt is definitely not a plastic scrubby or the back side of a squeegee. Mitts are primarily designed to bring the soap water to the car.

Chenille Wash Mitt

Chemical Guys, a boutique car detailing supplier, has a bright neon green chenille wash mitt made from microfiber. This chenille car wash mitt from Chemical Guys is packed with plush “noodles” to help hold a ton of soapy water when cleaning your ride. This allows for a scratch free way to wash your vehicle in record time. The mitt is made from a 70/30 blend of microfiber and is super plush. The mitt has an elastic cuff to make sure it stays put on your hand. The lime green color will help you easily find it amongst your cleaning supplies. I was amazed how much water this mitt can hold, you truly have to try it out yourselves.Chenille Car Wash Mitt Cuff

You can always clean the microfiber mitt with hot water and soap and allow to dry. Of course since it is microfiber NEVER use a softener sheet or liquid!

Two Bucket Car Wash Method

I generally tout the two bucket method for car washing. Fill up one bucket with soapy water and the other can be tap water. Put your chenille car wash mitt in the soapy water and starting at the top of the car, starting letting that soapy water wash away the dirt. If you find a stubborn spot a little persuasion with the mitt will remove most contaminants. Take your now dirty mitt and rinse thoroughly in the clear tap water bucket. This allows the trapped dirt to go into that bucket instead of mixing into the soapy water. Now take your rinsed out mitt and dunk it into the soapy water and repeat. You now have mastered the two bucket method of car washing. Congratulations.Chenille Car Wash Mitt Noodle

The Chenille Car Wash mitt is a great offering from Chemical Guys and should be in every detailer’s arsenal. Now go wash your car!

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Turtle Wax Exterior 1 Waterless Wash Wins

Turtle Wax, a leader in the consumer car cleaning sector, has come out with a smashing lineup of products, including a Turtle Wax Waterless Wash and Wax, labeled Exterior 1. Often times car owners are faced with a dirty car and no access to water, hoses and buckets. This product allows a car to be cleaned with just the spray bottle of waterless cleaner.Bottle

Dirty Car

Our test car was a 1968 Camaro that unfortunately was parked outside when a sudden and dusty rain storm hit. The dust stayed after the rain went away and spotted the car immensely. Of course the green and silver paint really showed the Arizona dirt. So this presented the perfect opportunity to try out Turtle Wax’s product.Rain and Dirt Attacks 68 Camaro

Applying Turtle Wax Waterless Wash Exterior 1

Now there is a technique to using these styles of cleaners. Get a clean microfiber cloth, the thicker the better, and fold the towel into quarters. That will give you four surfaces to work with on each side of the towel. As you spray on the Turtle Wax Exterior 1, cover one panel of the car, at a time. Dirty Hood

You’ll see that the liquid will actually cover the panel and gently lifts up the dirt from the surface. Use an edge of the microfiber towel and gently drag it over the surface, with the cloth just barely touching the paint.

You do NOT want to rub hard or go around in circular motions. That creates a risk of the dreaded “swirls” in your paint. Just a gentle glide over the metal will grab the liquid and the dirt. On you next pass, just move the towel up an inch or so to expose a fresh, new swatch of material. Repeat until the whole panel is clean. Repeat the process over the entire car. Change out the quarter of the microfiber as each section gets dirty.

Exterior 1

The bottle contains 26 ounces and I used about two thirds on the whole Chevy. This include the glass and hubcaps.Glass Cleaned with Waterless Washa nd Wax

The result was a clean car with no dirt or residue. If you find some tree sap or bird droppings on the car, just saturate the offending matter, and it will generally come off with a little prodding.

The scent is pleasing with a slight lemon hint. It comes out clear and did a great job eliminating the rain induced dirt.After use of Turtle Wax Waterless Wash and Wax

This would be a great product for a road trip, where your hotel might be objecting to you dragging out buckets of soapy water in the garage. For those of you facing water shortages and car wash limits, this is a viable option as well. I know I’ll be utilizing this on my next road trip, how about you?

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Drag-U-La Selling at Russo and Steele

If you are a certain age, you’ll remember the TV hit- The Munsters. This comedy featured some famous bits and even some neater cars, like the Drag-U-La. It seems strange that the producers would allow purpose built cars that would last for only a few episodes. But we’re glad they did.DragULa Front End

Drag-U-La

The story line was that Grandpa had to build a dragster to race and win back Herman’s “The Munster Koach”. So Hollywood had George Barris produce the car/casket vehicle. While Barris has been known for claiming credit for builds that are barely linked to his firm, this one was designed by Tom Daniel under his auspices. Richard Korkes took on the build and used an actual coffin for the “body”.

The original car moved among sellers after the series and a movie ended. At one point it was owned by Planet Hollywood. The Volo Car Museum had it for a while before flipping it. By then it had a 302 engine and an automatic transmission.DragULa Passenger Side Close Up

Drag-U-La Recreation

So why are we talking about a custom car from the 60’s? Because auction house Russo and Steele has a recreation of the Drag-U-La on their docket for this weekend. We had a chance to part the crowds at a recent Cars and Coffee and check it out on the flat bed tow truck.

Drag-U-La’s Design

This version has the reliable 350 ci engine and a two speed PowerGlide automatic transmission. With such little weight, only functional rear brakes were installed. Just like the original, the exhaust pipes sweep up to look like a church’s organ pipes. The seller claims plenty of “vintage” car parts but also indicates the have “custom made vintage air cleaner”.DragULa Passenger Front

This front engine coffin will certainly be a crowd pleaser when you pull up, but the single seat does limit the ability to hop onto the HOV lanes. Hopefully this is a car you would “die for?”

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Gas Monkey Garage AWOL at Barrett-Jackson

Gas Monkey Garage, Where Are You?

At the January, 2018 Barrett-Jackson Car Auction held in Scottsdale, AZ there are over 1700 cars and trucks ready to sell. But the venerable Gas Monkey Garage, with Richard Rawlings and Dennis “I need my name on every shirt I wear” Collins are nearly invisible.GMG GT350 Decal

Gas Monkey Garage

As mentioned previously the most recognizable Gas Monkey Garage selling vehicle is the 1956 Nomad that Rawlings did for Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Mountain Dew. It has drawn some interest under the tent and it will be interesting to see what it brings.

Gas Monkey Garage’s GT350

As for Gas Monkey Garage, there is a nearly new 2016 Shelby GT350 Mustang that was on the Fast N’ Loud series on the Discovery channel. Rawlings drove it onto the track when he was building a car for Kurt Busch. From the seller’s description it indicates the car “was personally owned by Richard Rawlings of gas Monkey Garage”. So it is anybody’s guess if the seller is actually Richard Rawlings.GMG GT350 Low

For the car itself, it has less than 200 miles on the Mustang. It is black inside and out along with a vivid red racing stripe. Not sure why the seller hasn’t taken care of a recall for an engine oil cooler tube assembly replacement yet. After all it wasn’t on the road that much.

The Shelby Mustang is the 5.2 V8 engine with the six speed manual transmission. It sells on Friday (the seller couldn’t even get a Saturday docket number?) So if you were expecting a fleet of Gas Monkey Garage cars at the auction his week, you might be disappointed.GMG GT350 Rear End

So do you think the GT350 will sell for above retail? After all it is nearly new and hardly abused?

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Gas Monkey Garage at Barrett-Jackson Auction Scottsdale 2018

Gas Monkey Garage at Barrett-Jackson Car Auction

At this week’s Barrett-Jackson Car Auction, the presence of Gas Monkey Garage is sparse. A 56 Nomad done for Mountain Dew and Dale Earnhardt Jr. in a can’t miss green and silver color scheme is the most obvious car linked to the Gas Monkey Garage crew.Gas Monkey Garage 1956 Nomad Side View

Gas Monkey Garage

For a spell the bar outside the auction stage was a Gas Monkey Garage theme, but that has dropped out. I suspect that Richard Rawlings might show up since he’s selling his 2016 Shelby Mustang GT350R with only a scant 200 miles clicked on the odometer. But who knows for sure? That Mustang is slated to sell on Friday.

Gas Monkey Garage Past Offerings

We’ve kept a close eye on Gas Monkey garage’s offerings even before the series became a monster hit.  Remember this hot rod from the early years?

As for the Nomad, who wouldn’t remember that bright green custom wagon? The current owner has a neat set of sunshades on the rear windows. Gas Monkey Garage 1956 Nomad Rear Window ShadeThe wagon has a 350 CI Chevy ZZ4 crate motor, TH350 automatic transmission, air conditioning and all the trick goodies. This video shows the wagon in action.

Gas Monkey Garage Season 4 Fast N’ Loud

Gas Monkey Garage built the car in 2013 during their fourth season on Discovery and of course they had an impossible deadline to beat. This car was used as a promotion for Mountain Dew, one of Earnhardt’s sponsors and hence the color on the 56 Nomad. Of course fans of Richard Rawlings know that his favorite color is green. Both for cars and for money.Gas Monkey Garage 1956 Nomad Passenger Side 2

The car had previously been offered for sale on eBay at $78,500 nearly four years ago. It also was offered on the internet at $69,500. So it will be interesting to see what the car fetches on prime time Saturday. Any guesses?

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1966 Shelby Mustang GT350 Sells Soon

GT350 Mustang

We recently wrote on another site about the revival of the 1965 Shelby Mustang GT350R. At next week’s Barrett-Jackson Car Auction, a 1966 Shelby GT350 is being offered for sale with a reserve. Few cars at the Barrett-Jackson auction come with reserves, but this one does. the car will cross the stage on Saturday, January 20, 2018 in Scottsdale, AZ. That is prime time for selling car during the week of auctions in Arizona.GT350 front end

Reserve Auction

With a reserve car, the seller has a predetermined price that he wants to get and otherwise it won’t sell. Now that price is unknown to the potential buyers normally, so if the reserve is met, the bidders know for sure the car will sell and often more bidders will enter the auction. And if the price, doesn’t reach to the reserve? You can bet the house representatives will get with the seller trying to get him to lower the reserve and make a deal (and of course get the house the commission).GT350 left rear

GT350 Prototype

What makes this special is it was Carroll Shelby’s first 66 Mustang and was used as a prototype. Of course it came with a 289 and the Borg Warner T-10 four speed. But it also bears some unique features. It comes with a vinyl roof that was considered and then discarded as a feature. Good call Carroll. It came from the factory with a ton of options including the “Pony” upholstery. Restored in 2011 and has been shown at Pebble Beach.GT350 vinyl roof

The pedigree of this Mustang is above reproach and it will be interesting to see how the bidding goes on this Wimbledon White “K” code two door pony. After all you can only have one #1 serial number and prototype in the year. So what would you bid for the car? A million plus? Will it reach reserve? I’d be willing to bet it will.GT350

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FAST at Barrett Jackson Changes Meaning Here’s Why

FAST at Barrett-Jackson Car Auction

FASTAt the Barrett-Jackson Car Auction, FAST usually 2018 at all of Craig Jackson’s car auctions, FAST will have a totally different and potentially lifesaving meaning.

FAST PSA

For the first time Barrett-Jackson will focus for the whole year on heart disease as a public service message with the American Heart Association. The auctions have always been known for their charity car sales which now approaches almost $100 million in donations. But for 2018 Craig Jackson explained that they will be sending out a heart safe message to their participants.FAST Craig Jackson

FAST

FAST also stands for the warning signs of a heart attack.

F              Facial drooping

A             Arm weakness

S              Speech slurred

T              Time to call 9-1-1

 

1988 Corvette Charity Car

As part of the year-long notification, Jackson had his personal Bugatti Veyron wrapped in red and silver with the #DRIVEN HEARTS hast tag splashed across the sides. FAST Veyron Front Left ViewPlus at next week’s Scottsdale, AZ auction he will be donating the sale of his 1988 Chevrolet Corvette to help fight heart disease. Ironically this sports car had been given him by long time auction consignor and car dealer, Dave Ressler. Ressler recently died from heart disease so this re-gifting is so suiting.FAST 88 Corvette

In addition Barrett-Jackson is sponsoring a special Arizona license plate theme, with $17 of the state yearly fee going to the American Heart Association. FAST AZ license plateSo there are several ways that Barrett-Jackson will help benefit the hearts of car fans!

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Cars and Coffee Explodes in Scottsdale

Okay it didn’t like explode and cause a mess. But the Cars and Coffee monthly show held in “Scottsdale” is growing every month. They outgrew their previous location and moved to an even larger parking lot at Scottsdale Road and Mayo Boulevard. (It’s actually in Phoenix but old habits are hard to shake).Cars and Coffee

Cars and Coffee Selection

They have always had a large showing of exotics and high-end cars. So of course a new Ford GT will be there. Cars and Coffee Ford GTAnd a LaFerrari is at home at this show as well. But there are always plenty of classic iron to enjoy, like this split window Corvette.Cars and Coffee Split Window 63 Corvette

The folks that put this on do it as a labor of love. Lots of volunteers are in place along with a few paid security forces. The crowd is respectful and the mood is always friendly and inviting. Got a Dave Kindig built Nomad? Bring it. Want to bring out a nice truck, they always have room.Cars and Coffee Dave Kindig Build

Cars and Coffee Monthly Show

So if you are coming out for some winter warmth and relaxation, remember the first Saturday of the month cars and Coffee is held “near” Scottsdale! Otherwise keep an eye out for our updates and twitter postings.

From classics to muscle cars – everything automotive