Porsche Detailing/Restoration 2005-2019

Jul
22
2020

This Porsche Carrera came to us for Modern Car Restoration, it had some rust on the rear end and required some quite serious bodywork. But that's not what's interesting about this Porsche!

This car be detailed, restored and polished to within an inch of it's life by us a number of times over the years, the first time was back in 2005.

Porsche Detailing Project
Back again in 2019.

It was around this time that we decided that we really should tell the world what it is we do here, and so we hired a photographer to get some nice photos before and after, so we could put them on our new website. 

Over the years, that old website got millions of unique views with the Porsche restoration article getting hundreds of thousand of views. I remember one day (before the recession) I walked into our workshop and saw seven Porsches all lined up ready to be worked on or finished and ready to go. We detailed a lot of other types of cars as well, but the Porsche article attracted a hell of a lot of Porsches!

Back in 2005, we broke the article up into ten pages because there were a lot of pictures and some people were still on dial-up. So by today's standards, these photos are low quality and small. Unfortunately the computer that had the original photos is long gone, but I think it's worth re-posting the article here because it's a story which isn't finished yet... I have a feeling we may well see this Porsche back here again in a more few years.


Porsche 911 as it was brought to us in the spring.

Porsche Restoration Project

First Published 2/8/2005

A little while ago a gentleman brought a Porsche to us - he had borrowed it from a friend and by way of a thank you, wanted to get the wheels refurbished and also expressed interest in a clean. (We could all do with friends like that!)

 
Porsche wheel corroded.

So we carried out a full appraisal of the vehicle with the customer, we do this with every car that is in for detailing. In an appraisal we point out all the areas which we feel require attention; we tell the customer what we are capable of and make recommendations based on the circumstances of the vehicle and customer (this is why we ask you lots of questions when you phone and when you get here).

This particular vehicle suffered from problems which are common on Porsches and a couple of other sports car makes.

Firstly the polished metal split rim of the wheels have become corroded - this was of course why the customer brought the car to us in the first place. This is very common on Porsches and BMW and something we are well used to dealing with.

 
Split rim alloy wheels scuffed.

This rim was once polished and lacquered, but this kind of finish seldom seems to last more than 18 months before corrosion sets in. On this wheel the corrosion is complete and the lacquer has completely peeled away.

 
Extent of swirl-marks on hood

Paintwork Problems

The other problem on this Porsche was the paintwork. It seems that Porsche and a few other manufacturers use a different paint to most other car manufactures, they do this so that they can use colours which are rich, deep and bright. The drawback is that this paint is very soft - it scratches very, very easily. Great care has to be taken to protect it especially when washing the car.

The car had been put through a car wash on many occasions which is bad for any car, the paintwork on Porsches is so soft that it's very hard not to scratch it when carrying out washing, waxing and polishing.. even sponges and cleaning cloths leave marks unless they are of the highest quality. So the hard plastic brushes of a car wash will make scratches which will catch the light as seen in the photo above. This is often called spider-webs or cob-webs for obvious reasons.

 
Build-up of scale, polish and old wax around the badge.

The paintwork had also gone without a protective coat of wax or sealant for a time and this had caused the paintwork to oxidise. Essentially the topmost surface of the paint had corroded leaving it looking flat and dull, as can be seen in the photo right. The special paint that is supposed to look deep and bright looks anything but!

We informed the customer that this problem with the paintwork was not too hard to correct. We also advised having a paint sealant applied to help protect the paintwork and so avoid the car getting in this state again.

 
Bird mess stains on the bonnet

Armed with the relevant information, a number of options and our price list the customer went away to think about it - and no doubt discuss the matter with the owner of the car. When you own a beautiful car like this, you obviously want to keep it looking beautiful - to do otherwise kind of defeats the point. Many of us who aspire to owning such a work of automotive art may think that we would love and cherish such a vehicle. But the reality is that car like this are earned through hard work, meaning that the owners of prestige vehicles are people with very little time for maintaining them.

 
Porsche 911 looking old and tired.

Porsche Bath

Our customer very wisely decided to have his Porsche restored to it's former glory and as he was away on business decided to leave the car with us for a number of days. Meanwhile we decided that this particular vehicle would serve as a very good example of the work we can do and would make an excellent subject of an article. But as we hadn't yet taken delivery of our new camera, and our old one was pretty dreadful at capturing things like swirl marks, we called in Martin from CM-Photography, who very kindly provided most of the photos for this article. This is of course why the photos are a bit better than normal!

 
Porsche badge covered in soap

Our first task was to get the car in and give it a good wash with a hot pressure washer. Because the car had mostly be washed in the past with an automated car wash, there was all sorts of build up around the badges and window rubbers that the car-wash bristles had failed to remove. Once the car was clean we could inspect the paintwork properly.

 
911 front wing and wheel arch.

Claying the Paintwork

We found the paintwork to be badly scratched, there was also some fallout, tree sap, bird droppings and bug stains that had etched the paintwork, although none of it was too bad.

 
Damaged paintwork

Vigorous use of a heavy duty clay bar was able to remove most of the contaminants. Clay lubricant is actually a light wax and this is why the car looks reasonably shiny in the above photo, but you can clearly see the extent of the scratches.

 
Scratched paintwork

The next stage was start buffing the car. Unfortunately we were without a camera and Martin couldn't be around for the whole of the two days that we worked on the car, so there are no pictures of the Paintwork Correction being carried out.

It's results that count, so I'll let the photos speak for them self...

 
Porsche after Auto Detailing

The Porsche 911 after alloy wheel refurbishment and paintwork correction

 
Polished Porsche

It's hard to believe the transformation... which is why we have before and after shots!

 
Porsche front wing and wheel arch before polishing.

Detail of the Front Wing

The wing was covered in all sorts of splatter from bugs and streaking where the car-wash bristles (which are like a garden broom) had left streaks of plastic. There was a build up of scale, dirt and old polish in the gaps.

 
Shiny Polished Porsche

We removed all the crud, making the car as clean as the day it left the showroom. The plastic headlight covers got a polish too.

 
Porsche Badge on dirty car.

Badge & Bonnet

There really was an incredible amount of swirl mark and micro scratches al over this car and took considerable work to remove in areas like around the badge. 

 
Porsche Machine Polishing.

As you can see, this is a massive improvement. Swirl marks and build ups of dirt are gone making the car look like new again. It's the detail that makes a difference.

 
Wheel before refurbishment.

Alloy Wheel Refurbishment

Aside from the corroded rim, the whole wheel was tarnished and stained and the studs were corroded.

 
Refurbished Porsche Split Rim Wheels.

This wheel is a genuine split rim (as opposed to fake ones) and is a little more work to refurbish. In order to restore as original, it would have meant a replacement rim in all likelihood because they were scuffed in places. However as mentioned, these lacquered metal rims tend not to last long so instead it was repainted in bright silver.

 

 
Porsche in need of wax protection.

Door Handle Area

You can see in this picture just how flat the paintwork was. This is caused by the oxidisation of a few molecules of the surface which gives a slightly cloudy grey appearance. 

This damage is on the lacquer, as are the scratches. Machine polishing removes a the surface and gets down to the good.

 
Polished and waxed Porsche.

When finished, the car was so reflective, the camera had problems focusing on it. 

 
Swirl Marks.

Top of Front Wing

This picture demonstrates the extent of the scratches. The aim is to remove them all so that there is absolutely nothing to catch the light and create these spider webs.

 
Polished to mirror finish.

Mission accomplished. Like a mirror.

 
Very shiny Porsche 911.

The photos don't actually do it justice. It is no idle boast when we say that we can make your car shinier than when it left the factory.

They spray a shiny coat of lacquer on it but under a microscope this surface is rough paint splatter. Polishing it gets it even more shiny. 

Then with a good quality coating, such as wax, it really brings out the shine.

 
Reflections on polished Porsche.

Finished with a Sealant
...and a Wax!

The car was treated with Supagard Paint Sealant which will help protect the car from further damage to the paintwork. Although sealants don't have the depth of shine of Carnauba waxes, they are very strong and offer exceptional chemical resistance... for this reason it is possible to layer a Carnauba wax over the top of them, which is what we did in this instance.

 
Machine polished Porsche hood and wing.

We used a trade product with a high carnauba content which comes in liquid form (not paste) and is a similar product to many that can be found in any motor accessory shop for under £20. We applied it both by random orbital polisher and by hand - as it's not possible to get a random orbital into small areas. The wax was then removed by hand using a soft microfibre towel.

 
Paint sealant and waxed finish.

Having your car's paintwork buffed and polished leaves it shinier than when new - because your car is supplied to you having never been polished, buffing leaves your paintwork smoother and glossier than when you picked it up from the showroom.

 
Water beading on sealant coated Porsche.

How Much Does it all Cost?

How much is it worth to you to have a car that makes you look a million dollars? Priceless! After all, That's why you bought the car in the first place, we can make the car look like the one you saw in the showroom, often we can make it look better!

"I got the car from new, this is better than new.
I cannot stress how good it was.
Gob-smacked! Wonderful!
Wheels were fantastic."
~ Galen Moore - 4/05/05

 
Porsche detailing high polish.

But it's when you come to sell your car that you will notice the difference.

We showed this article to several car dealers, two of whom were fooled into thinking that this car was actually a newer model than it actually is (as we had blanked out the number plate, it's an 'N' Reg). The general consensus is that on a high value car like this, you would raise the retail value from between £2-3k.

 
Detailing complete on Porsche.

"If a prospective buyer tells you they are going to look at a few more, they never come back! You have made the difference between a car that people turn their noses up and walk away from, and a car that people really want to buy. You just can't put a price on that!" ~ Peter Lansdell - Car Dealer -Chelmsford

 
Porsche Detailing Project
Still looking good after all these years. This Porsche is practically vintage now. With regular detailing and getting the work done when it needs it, the owner always enjoys a car in pristine condition.

Addendum

This was written a long time ago now. At the time the manufacturers were making the switch between solvent based paints and acrylic, which seems to be the reason the paint was so soft on some cars and wheels tended to tarnish quickly. There are now etch-lacquers and much much more durable paints.

Acrylic sealants were largely replaced my polymer sealants, and in turn by ceramic coatings... and although we might put on a couple of coats of these if they allow, it's unlikely we would put wax over the top. It's not really needed. Aside from that and a change of the company name to better reflect what we do, things are much the same here at New Again.  

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