How detailing can make a mediocre paint job look better

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Update by Tim Suddard to the Ford Mustang Fastback project car
Jun 7, 2023 | Ford, Mustang, Vintage Racing, Ford Mustang, Detailing, Vintage Race Car, Grand Prix Concours

After working on our Mustang for the better part of a year, it was truly a mess: grease, dirt and overspray.

We asked our detailing wiz, Tim McNair of Grand Prix Concours to come down after The Amelia to help with our Mustang.

[Don’t miss any of the pageantry from Amelia Island | Live thread: The Amelia 2023]

What he found made him cringe. The mediocre paint job had received little care over its lifespan and was now filthy.

He shook his head in disappointment and went to work.

[How to Detail Your Car in 1 Hour | Cars and Coffee Prep]

The first step in any detailing is to wipe the whole car with quick detailer. In this case, he used Griot’s Garage Best of Show detailer and, as he stresses, work with the lines of the car.

Now he could see what further work was needed–and, in this case, it was a lot.

Tim then took a Griot’s Garage a Brilliant Finish synthetic clay bar and rubbed down the entire car. Using quick detailer as a lubricant, this clay bar will lift most of the dust, dirt, bugs and overspray from the paint.

We were surprised how quickly our Mustang was shaping up.

But it got even better when McNair started up his Griot’s Garage orbital buffer. He set the buffer to 5 and fit a course orange pad. He applied some Griot’s Garage Correcting Cream. It was looking better.

Then, using a fine black pad, he applied a final coat of Griot’s Garage ceramic coating on our Mustang to keep the look for months to come.

One final step was to deal with our scratched and yellowed plastic R-Model rear window. Using a combination of Meguiar’s PlastX and Plexus, Tim managed to buff out most of the scratches and make the window clear again.

We were impressed. We didn’t think this marginal paint job could look this good, and we won’t be an embarrassment when we unload for that first event. 

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