MODELLO: MGB GT
COLORE: BRITISH RACING GREEN
I receive a photo on whatsapp.
Let’s open it: it’s a beautiful GT of the MG, a car that has made many people dreaming of, especially Americans, it’s one of the best-selling British sports cars of all time, clearly derived from the open version, but masterfully redesigned by Pininfarina. The result is an incomparable mix of formal elegance, sportiness and the aesthetics of a practical car. That is the real Italian (design) Job!
But back to the customer’s request!
He tells me that the car has been in the family for 39 years, it was repainted in 1990, but the interior is absolutely flawless. In fact it has never been retouched, I find everything very well preserved, even in terms of dust and sediment stains!
The request sounds loud and clear. “Marcello can you freshen up? The answer is just as confident: “Of course, I can!”.
I love to work on preserved cars that haven’t been messed up with a superficial repainting or upholstery work with lopsided seams. It’s a great opportunity to get in touch with the history and…with the originality! Those who say that the time machine does not exist are mistaken!
So here we are, the appointment is fixed. The car arrives on a day of impenetrable fog, the halogen headlights in the distance look like the flashlights of an explorer on the heath of Gallarate street, but its sporty rumble came first.
What a charm, suddenly I feel catapulted on the set of “The Crown” during the scene of a hunting party between snobs.
I let her sit in the warmth, in the safe harbour of Haute Detailing, then I start my inspection.
The bodywork, despite the repainting in the ‘90s, highlights all its age and austerity in terms of construction. “Sorry, we are English!”
The mission of this Detailing is to restore the interior and remove some stains on the bodywork.
Positioned the car, I open the doors, sit in the driver’s seat and start an inspection with LED light, the car is very lived but very fascinating, has a vintage flavor that only the British can have.
It is a triumph of leather throughout the cockpit, from the seats to the cabinet (panels and part of the dashboard).
Stains of all kinds, from fat to mud, a real sample of life and beautiful travel, I lllove it!
The solution is not immediate, I must reflect, meanwhile I continue the inspection of the other parts. The carpet attracts my attention: pointing the LED under the seats, the years can be seen and felt even with the nose. Well, I will start with you. I lift the seats, remove the carpets and start the suction: blower to free the dashboard from debris and dust, compressor for the lower parts, seats, pedal compartment, trunk; everything is sucked in several times, the work will last almost three hours, an absolute record!
At the end of the work the car starts to change its smell.
Now it’s the turn of the carpets and the interior carpet: quickly aspirated and immediately attach the extractor, which sprays lukewarm water and immediately reabsorbs it by taking away the dirt.
The ingredients are lukewarm water and no detergent, given the age of the carpet and the vague faded green color I’m afraid that a chemical surfactant is too aggressive and further fades the upholstery. So I put only a little bit of ox gall in the water, an excellent natural stain remover.
Even the washing takes more than three hours and the day is practically over, I put the tools back and leave the car doors open to let the carpet dry well.
It’s early in the morning, I drink my coffee and check the carpet, it is perfectly dried thanks to the air ventilation of the studio: I take a Japanese brush and I comb it in its direction, beautiful and impeccable!
Now it’s time for the leather, I analyze it with a big lens and immediately notice a certain shine on the seats, which is typical of old leathers, especially if they have been unintentionally treated with silicone or paraffin-based cleaners (the famous Nivea cream, deleterious). Another problem found is that of the stains spread throughout the tunnel and the armrest and panels.
Unfortunately, the classic brush and natural foam cleaning is not very effective. I do not give up, so I try to dab each stain before soapy with a damp and warm microfiber before applying the detergent. It seems to work, but unfortunately this method is very time consuming.
The rest of the day is dedicated to actual Detailing,
That is, the meticulous cleaning of every small component, from air vents to various buttons and levers.
It’s 21.00, time to disconnect.
The interior has been brought back to an aesthetic level of absolute beauty, now it’s time to dedicate to the outside: the customer’s request is not the classic polishing, but simply a topical intervention to remove the stains spread on the hood.
I wash the car with an enzymatic detergent and two large super absorbent microfibers, while doing the work I realize that the paint job redone in the 90s has some cracks, especially in the sides of the bodywork and under the doors where rust starts to bloom. Caution is a must. Cars of a certain age are fragile creatures, they should never be put under the brushes, nor should they be washed with a pressure washer (just thinking about it gives me a shiver down my spine).
I spatulate the chrome doors and bumpers and put the car in the polishing chamber. I immediately see that it is a direct polish. Such a fragile paint often fights with heavy and very vibrating polishers, so I choose to remove the stains with a smaller polisher.
Well, polishing and spotting done, I pass a light waxing with liquid wax and voila!
I conclude with the glasses, which I clean rigorously with a product free of ammonia and various dedicated microfibers, a quick polishing to the most highlighted chrome and the car is ready.
I take a few steps back to observe the whole work done, the car looks cured and shinier but not a chemical or americanizing polish made of violent silicones and black rubber shiny as pitch. Here there is no room for waxes with the smell of black cherry, this is an English Detailing that tastes of Barbour and fox hunting, made of prudence, tradition and a lot of manual skill, so God save the MG!
That’s all Folks!