By Dwight Dawson
Our tech session on Saturday, January 19th was only worthwhile if you love and care for your MG and would like to keep it looking marvelous. The event with owner John Gray at Gulf Coast Auto Shield was the most advanced and useful session on auto paint maintenance and preservation that most of us had ever attended. A few members of the Jaguar club joined 10 or so HMGCC members for a detailed and generous sharing of tips, tricks and recommended products in support of the subject.
John Gray, owner Gulf Coast Auto Shield, discussing how to properly detail a car with the members of the Houston MG Car Club
John is very well-informed in this narrow niche of car maintenance and he talked at length about the methods, tools and materials needed to do it right. The clear shine on the 15 or so high-end customers’ autos in his shop, including a newish McLaren, was testament to the quality of his efforts.
The pinnacle of service in this shop is the application of a ceramic finish that protects the paint job like nothing else can. Some products will even self-repair scratches with the heat of the sun. Though the cost of this protection is not insignificant, it must be very satisfying when the best outcome is desired on a precious vehicle.
Many very practical tips were provided, such as:
- Use 2 or even 3 water buckets when washing the car.
- Use a “grit guard” at the bottom of the bucket to minimize the application of grit from the bucket onto your paint job.
- Wash your wheels first and never expose your paint to wheel water or wash rags. Wheel debris does a nasty job on fine paint.
- Use the various available microfiber cloths for drying, polishing, etc. Use a detergent especially for microfibers to wash used cloths, though some experts say use a cloth once and THROW IT AWAY.
- One surprising tip was to use a 50/50 solution of 91 percent alcohol and water before waxing to clear any previously applied and remaining wax.
Endless practical tips for cleaning interiors, glass and tires were also given. Lots of information was provided on the need for a quality, long-throw, random orbital buffing machine. Trox was one name we saw; Porter-Cable was also cited as a worthy brand among others. We watched and participated in the use of a power machine and cleaning materials on the trunk lid of a late model Bentley. It looked basically clean to start, but the professional efforts rendered results that you could not only SEE but FEEL.
John invited any and all of us to bring our cars to his shop on a Saturday to make use of its interior space in pursuit of a really clean paint job and detailed vehicle (and lots of learning.) His contact information is:
Gulf Coast Auto Shield
9442 Summerbell Lane (near Hwy 59 and Bissonnet)