MODELLO: Renault Clio Williams
COLORE: Metallic Sports Blue
I’m a high-end detailer, I always work with high-end cars, which are like rich ladies, and need a more constant and frequent beauty routine.
But all of a sudden a blue Renault Clio Williams burst into the studio, a little icon of the ’90s with a super-mega industrial look. Normal materials, a good bodywork, average velvet – but synthetic (great French school of synthetic velvets). All done properly, but certainly not finished like an early style Audi A8! A nice challenge even for me, always looking for the best way to make even the most common materials look better.
The car comes on a Saturday morning, accompanied by its owner. It’s small and attractive, it attracts attention like a magnet, in fact next to it, in its royalty, there is a Ferrari whose price tag has many zeros in it, but no way, today all eyes are on the Clio.
French commoner 1- Noble Italian 0.
The inspection shows a body completely dulled by aggressive detergents and countless steps are the tunnel of the car wash. It has been repainted in several parts and the thicknesses are uneven.
But I want to see more clearly. I wash the car myself, also because as you well know, “before entering the pool you wipe your feet”. The little Clio is loaded with mud that has settled everywhere. I dissolve it with the power of warm water, dry it and move it to the polishing room, then blow and tape every edge. Now I’m ready to find her polishing recipe (chez Haute Detailing only polishes a la carte).
Day 2 proceeds in an endless change of pads (no, don’t get me wrong), taping, cutting and finishing at the tip of a foil. Looping.
My work can be very boring at times. End of the day.
Although small, it’s certainly not an easy car. So much life, so many car washes, so many scratches require a slow and patient aesthetic recovery. The clearcoat, especially the one used for repainting, tends to be hard and this slows down the final result.
In these cases I dip into my proverbial patience and Zen meditation techniques. Evening comes and I just want to call my osteopath.
The first few hours are dedicated to superfinishing the car, no spray wax or silicones. The surfaces are polished enough to have a silky feel, its glossy clear coat will act as a wax!
In the afternoon I start to treat the interior, obviously if outside I found tons of mud I could not expect less inside: mud everywhere, and a little extra treasure in the pedal area and under the seats. I vacuum and put the interior on standby to begin cleaning the engine compartment, same situation. Disaster!
I don’t let myself get discouraged, I arm myself with hot water, colloidal, squeegee and miner’s head light, the hand is slow and patient, I finish late in the evening.
Today is plastic day! No, I’ve left Milan’s nightlife for years, now only home-shop.
I start cleaning the door panels and the dashboard. The Clio, like any other car of that time, has a lot of plastic that is characteristic of those years. It is not of the worst quality, but it is not excellent either. Being mostly hard, I don’t use a brush to apply the Leather & Vynil Cleaner (yes, the one from the Kit for Lovers) because it might scratch, I opt for my hands (yes, the ones from the Detailer).
The work is placid and careful, every single inch of the (plastic) interior is soaped and decontaminated from the usual beige dust!
The next step is a further oil cleaning to remove any residue and achieve a more polished appearance.
The upper eyelid of the dashboard is of a different, softer, quality material, but it is clear that over the years it has been abused with alcohol and cheap silicone-based dressing. The result is a surface that is almost sticky, so after cleaning I restore a sort of lipid film that hides that ugly sticky feeling.
Once the general cleaning is done, I start with the real detailing: spatula, overhead light, microfibers and brushes. Never was any Clio – even if Williams – so cuddled.
The day comes to an end with the cleaning of the carpet and the light washing of the velvet seats.
Before leaving, I open the studio doors wide, these are the last days of the heating system, it will help me to dry the interior at night.