On New Year’s Eve 2010 I was sitting at my computer working on a few articles for the DI Ask A Pro Blog, and I received a phone call from a prospective client. He was thankful that I was answering my phone on a holiday, and told me about his new Ferrari 458 Italia. He said that he had been following my work on Ferrari in particular over the past few months, and had read my first 458 paint correction article that I published back in June. He learned that most new exotics and other hand-built vehicles came from the factory with paint in less than stellar condition, and he hoped that his would be different. When his new Italia finally arrived just before Christmas, he thought that he received one in great condition. When he washed it and brought it in under the halogen lights however, he saw that he wasn’t so fortunate, and immediately picked up the phone and dialed my number.
After a brief conversation, he cut to the chase and said: “What’s it going to take to get you up here to fix my Ferrari?”. Since we are 600 miles apart, it wasn’t like I could just jump in the car and make a quick trip out of it.
He had read a lot of my articles, knew I specialized in Ferrari (Technical Advisor on Appearance Care to the Ferrari Club of America – Ohio Chapter), and was convinced that I was the person for the job. Given this, he said he would fly me to where he lives, transfer me to and from the airport, and put me up at his guest house for 3 days while I perform the work. Well that sounded like a good deal to me so we booked the flights for a few weeks later.
When I arrived at his home and got to spend some time with him, I quickly realized that this client was all about quality in everything that he did. He buys the best products, and he hires the best people for the job. His motto is: If it’s worth doing, it’s worth over-doing! Since I live and work by the same rules, I knew that we were meant to work together on this project.
His 458 Italia had the same needs as all the rest I’ve seen and worked on, so there were no surprises waiting for me. I knew which processes and products would yield the best results, and I had about 2 1/2 days to get it finished. During the course of the detail, the owner of the car would ask me about the process as he wanted to soak up as much information as possible (my kind of client!). I spent as much time as necessary explaining what I was doing to give him a better understanding, and I also went through his collection of detailing supplies to teach him how and where to use them for his regular maintenance (just about all of the products he had were purchased after reading my reviews).
Now I’ve been on detailing trips before, and my clients are always gratious hosts, but the owner of this Italia (and his wife) went above and beyond to make sure I was comfortable while I was there. He put me up in his guest house, he fixed me breakfast everyday, he took me out each day and bought me lunch and dinner, and showed me around town. After a few days of that, I think I could get used to the rockstar treatment! I went there to work for a new client, but ended up coming home with new friends…I really enjoy that aspect of my business.
So after 19 hours worth of compounding, finish polishing, sealing, and waxing, the 458 Italia came out looking absolutely amazing. Not only were all of the defects permanently removed, but the overall depth and gloss of the paint were increased considerably. The owner of the car was thrilled with the results, and said it was worth every penny.
Some of the featured products used:Compounding Stage: Meguiar’s M105 Ultra Cut Compound Meguiar’s DA Microfiber Cutting Discs Porter Cable 7424XP Random Orbital Polisher Finishing Stage: Menzerna 106FA Finish Polish Lake Country Black Finishing Pads Makita 9227C Rotary Polisher LSP: Pre-production sealant / gloss enhancer Chemical Guys E-zyme Natura Wax
Ferrari 458 Italia Photo Gallery
Press the “FS” button at the bottom right of the gallery to see full-sized images.
Thanks for taking the time to review my work, and please feel free to post any comments or questions you may have in the comment box below. Also feel free to share this post with your friends on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc by clicking on the respective icons below under “Share The Knowledge”.Todd Cooperider Esoteric Auto Detail Columbus, Ohio
UPDATE: This article was just featured on AutoSpies.com…be sure to check out what they had to say about this trip at: A Story Of A Ferrari 458 Italia, A Master Detailer AND a 600 Mile Journey