Category Archives: Uncategorized

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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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.

Silver Auction in Arizona Changes Hands

Silver Auction has been a presence in the Phoenix, AZ region for years. They typically hold three auctions a year at the Fort McDowell Casino and Hotel. They run a low key affair and have friendly staffing. The cars they consign are nice, vary from current models to classics and generally are more affordable than other high end sites. So the cars might have some blemishes or flaws but are still solid pieces of steel.

We have monitored the auctions for years and spotlighted some of their offerings.

Selected Silver Auction Coverage

Green Day’s Impala

Green Day’s Ford Panel Truck

Silver Auction Process

 If a car is offered at auction on reserve and doesn’t sell, the auctioneers typically hint at what the bid price might need to be to buy the car. Frequently the deals are made after the car rolls off the auction block.

If the bidding for a car meets the reserve the auctioneers are quick to announce the fact, a multicolor “disco” light turns on and the crowd gets energized knowing the car will sell.

Silver Auction Trading Hands

Now Mitch Silver has sold off the Arizona portion of his auctions to Emmett Rice. Rice is a car dealer from Amarillo, Texas, owning Vintage Autohaus & Imports. Rice has staged his own auctions there and is ready to take on the Arizona scene. Joining him will be Andy Stone, who formerly worked at Leake Auctions, and Jason Rose from the Barrett-Jackson  powerhouse.

Next Silver Auction

Their first auction will fire up after Thanksgiving on November 24-26, 2017. Here’s hoping they continue the success that Mitch Silver struck in Arizona.

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Turbos Are Old School Like 1962 Oldsmobile Jetfire

Turbos

While car manufacturers have been releasing new models with turbochargers as power adders, they have actually been around for quite awhile. Recently turbos were added to the Ford Focus and Fiesta engines, and even the trucking F-150. Turbos gain their power by using the exhaust gases to spin a turbine to help compress the incoming air to the engine. The denser the air, the more power the engine can make.

With the right engine, today’s shade tree mechanic could add their own turbocharger to easily increase the power. Completely spec’d kits are available, or you could piece out the individual parts.

Grand National TurbosBuick Grand National Turbo

Buicks made a case for the turbos with their 1984 Regal Grand National and gained quite a following, until they stopped production in 1987. Another early innovator was the Corvair, that offered a turbo in 1962 to help polish their “sporty” image. The turbo charged Spyder engine made 150 horses as an option for the Corvair Monza coupes and convertibles.1962 Chevrolet Corvair Monza Club Turbo

Jetfire Turbos

But Oldsmobile rushed out their Jetfire to be the first turbocharged engine offering to the American motoring public in 1962. The Jetfire was a spin off on the F-85 Oldsmobile hardtop. It came with a 215 CI V-8 engine with a Garrett turbocharger making 215 horses (one horsepower per cubic inch of displacement). To avoid deadly detonation, the owners had to blend in a water and methanol mixture of “Rocket Fluid”. The other performance engine from Olds, without the turbo, was the same 215 CI engine but with just a four barrel carburetor. it could only offer up 185 horsepower.1962 Oldsmobile Turbo Jetfire

A 1962 Oldsmobile Jetfire was recently offered on eBay and the red exterior mimicked the sales brochures from the day. The owner indicated it is a ground up restoration but with a few items still needing a look at. The owner installed a new turbocharger and added in air conditioning for comfort.Jetfire Turbo Engine

So when your neighbor pops the hood on his Ford Fiesta ST and brags about his beastly turbo on his three cylinder engine, you can tell him that turbos are old school too.

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SEMA Collector Car Appreciation Day Is Today

Any day is a good day to drive a classic car, but Friday July 14th will be exceptionally good.  That is the day that SEMA will celebrate their annual Collector Car Appreciation Day.  This will mark the eighth year that SEMA seeks to acknowledge the vital impact classic cars and their owners contribute to America.

The US Senate has passed resolutions noting the collector car  celebratory day each year.  SEMA is encouraging collector car owners to set up special cruises or events to mark this day (or even the whole month of July, since many might not be able to participate on a workday.)

So expect an interesting view in the employee parking lots this Friday.  And if you don’t have a classic to drive consider these three iconic cars. They’ll always be popular and cool

32 Ford Deuce

The truly iconic looking roadster has been celebrated on US stamps and is an eye catcher, although driving “topless’ in July’s heat may not be the best choice. A roadster by definition has no top and no side windows.  It was designed to be fast and look cool. Mission accomplished. 

Corvette convertible

Hard to go wrong with any year of America’s sportscar.  To down weather is here and the Corvette’s are meant for the open road.

 

57 Chevy

57 Chevy post
1957 2 door sedan

The display of chrome and sharp angles is a classic look for the late 50’s and reflects our interest in the upcoming Space Age.  The 1957 model was the last year of the “tri-five” Chevys and some might say it was the best of all three years. There are always a ready supply of parts for these Chevys and plenty of reference materials. Plus restored vehicles are readily available.

Some may say that any day is a good day to drive a classic.  Plus driving these cars are good for them and you!  So take a cruise in a classic today and everyday!

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Dodge Demon Delays Dealership’s Shake Downs

Dodge Demon Smoking the TiresKudos to the suits at Dodge that established a production system that will punish dealerships that opt to sell the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon with outrageous dealer premiums.  Last week Dodge announced how the monster 840 horsepower Dodge Demon  will be allocated.

Dodge Demon Allocation

The Dodge dealerships will be parceled out the limited run of 3,300 Demons based on objective criteria including:

·         Sold at least one Hellcat in past twelve months

·         Allocation will be based on how many Hellcats they sold (60%) and their sales of the “regular” Chargers and Challengers (40%)

Dodge Demon MSRP

To prevent price gouging, those Dodge Demons sold at MSRP (Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) or less will be produced first.  So the dealerships wanting to rocket up the price and their profits on these limited edition speedsters will be the last to the party.

In case you were wondering the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon starts at a U.S. Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price of $84,995 (including $1,700 gas guzzler tax, excluding $1,095 destination); Demon crate unleashes full power for $1.  So spring for the extra buck and get the full package!

Dodge Demon

In case you were sleeping under a rock the Dodge Demon is designed for the strip and is the fastest quarter-mile production car ever.  It will be delivered in the fall of 2017 as a 2018 model year Challenger. It has been clocked at 9.65 seconds for the true quarter mile at 140 mph, with sticky tires.  And yes it raised the front wheels off the ground.  When’s the last time you saw that at the local drag strip.

Paperwork for Dodge Demon To avoid shenanigans, the dealership will have to submit a notarized sales order.  The owner must also sign off on some safety/technical notes that will probably help Dodge when the inevitable lawsuit emerges after the first collision from a Demon.  Hopefully not at a Cars and Coffee event.
Last week was the beginning of the ordering period.  My guess is the available Dodge Demons will go quick.
 

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