Rolls-Royce describes their luxury saloon model, Ghost with the short phrase: ‘Effortless elegance, a masterpiece of simplicity’. And this is one case where less really is more, depending of course, on your definition of ‘less’!
If ‘less’ involves a 6.6 litre twin-turbo V12 engine delivering 570 bhp, then less is more. If a car weighing in at nearly two and a half tonnes being able to complete 0 to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds is less, then less is more. The Ghost is electronically limited to a top speed of 155 mph but no matter which speed you’re moving at, the whisper-quiet interior, bedecked with leather-lined luxury, gives passengers the sensation of flying.
This Ghost had been stored outdoors for the past three years and although it had been regularly cleaned and lovingly maintained, the time had come to eliminate some deeper scratches and restore clarity back into the paintwork. So it was booked into UF’s Brands Hatch Detailing Studio for a Gloss Enhancement Treatment, with an optional ‘platinum’ sealant upgrade using Kamikaze Collection ENREI, a state of the art 2-stage sealant for the ultimate in protection. Other chosen services included ClearVision Glass Treatment, Leather Protection and Alloy Wheel Protection. This was one instance where the owner felt that more, was definitely more!
Beginning with an application of a solution of Bilt-Hamber Korrosol over the bodywork and wheels to remove bonded iron particles, derived from pads shredding when the brakes applied, the decontamination process began. Korrosol changes colour on contact with ferrous particles, turning a deep purple as the solution shrinks the contamination, forcing it to break the bond with the underlying substrate.
When the colour change reaches its peak, the solution and the contamination can be rinsed away easily, without the need for rubbing at the paintwork with a wash mitt – an action that frequently causes wash swirls.
Next, the wheels and bodywork were treated for tar deposits, a heavy collection of which was particularly evident on the silver alloy wheels. Gtechniq W7 Tar & Glue Remover was sprayed onto the surfaces and allowed to dwell for a few minutes, the active ingredient breaking down the sticky bonds. These were then rinsed away.
Cars collect greasy road grime, oils and diesel splatters during the course of being driven. Although not immediately obvious to the eye, these need removing as being left in situ, long-term, they can cause the lacquer to become stained and even to begin peeling away. Bilt-Hamber Surfex HD was applied using a Kwazar Orion Super Pro+ Pump-Up Sprayer. Particular attention was paid to the boot, bonnet and door shuts and catches, natural traps for oily build-up. The engine bay was also thoroughly degreased.
With the degreasing solution rinsed away, the Ghost was pre-cleaned using Ultimate Snow Foam, a pre-cleaning solution applied using a foam lance attached to a Kranzle K-1152 Pressure Washer. The thick, creamy lather, clings, even to vertical surfaces, lifting away larger particles of dirt and grit.
This was rinsed off before a second application of Ultimate Snow Foam was used as a lubricant for a clay mitt, a special abrasive mitt designed to shear away stubbornly bonded contamination that left in place would leave the surface of the paintwork feeling bumpy.
The key to obtaining a reflective and glossy finish lies in the preparation. Any contamination left on the surface of the paint interferes with the way light reflects off it and will therefore detract from the overall appearance. Clay mitts remove ingrained dirt leaving the paintwork feeling as smooth as glass to the touch. – Matt Back, UF Detailing Studio
Once rinsed clean again, the Ghost was washed using the Two Bucket Method. In this way, wash solution is kept in a separate bucket from the rinse water. An Ulti-Mitt Double Sided Merino Wash Mitt is dunked into the soapy solution and a section of the vehicle washed. The dirty Mitt is then rinsed out in the Rinse Bucket and the Mitt rubbed across the Grit Guard in the bottom of the bucket. This releases particles of dirt and grit removed from the car and trapped in the long pile of the mitt. Once rinsed, the Mitt is then dunked back in the Wash Bucket and reloaded with soapy wash solution. The process is repeated until the car is completely clean.
The suds are rinsed off using a pressure washer before an Aqua Gleam De-ionising Water Filter was connected in-line with a hose to give the car a final, pure water rinse. This eliminates water spot marks forming as the filter’s media neutralises the hard compounds in tap water responsible for the marks. The Ghost was then dried using soft microfibre towels before being brought into the studio. Here the car was dried further using an air blower to force trapped water out from behind grilles, around badges and along trim.
The paintwork was then inspected under high-intensity lighting and details of any swirls, scratches and other paintwork imperfections were noted on a Vehicle Appraisal Form (VAF) for reference during the machine polishing stages.
This Ghost had obviously been fairly well taken care of and polished regularly. However, the clarity of the paintwork was spoilt by the clearly visible swirl marks. Additionally, old polish residue was caught around the badges and had set hard which also detracted from the overall appearance. – Matt Back, UF Detailing Studio
To remove the polish residue, Britemax Easy Cut Metal Polish was applied to a microfibre towel wrapped over the end of a cuticle stick and the hardened compound picked out from the crevices. The badges and brightwork were then polished and sealed using Britemax Metal Final Shine Metal Sealant.
Multiple paint depth readings were taken on each panel to verify paint thickness prior to machine polishing. The Ghost was then raised on a hydraulic ramp. The paint correction process started using a RUPES BigFoot LHR 12E Duetto Dual Action Polisher with a RUPES Green Polishing Pad and Koch-Chemie H7 Schleifpaste, a heavy compounding polish.
The paintwork quality was excellent, as you would expect from a premium brand such as Rolls Royce. However, the inspection revealed many deep scratches and as the clearcoat was hard, a fairly heavy pad and compound combination would be required to remove the defects. It took a long time to restore the paintwork – especially as it’s such a large car – an even more aggressive pad and compound combination would have eliminated the scratches quicker but would also have caused further micro-marring. It is best practice to begin with the least aggressive pad and compound combination so that only the bare minimum of clearcoat is removed. – Matt Back, UF Detailing Studio
To tackle smaller and hard to get to areas such as along the boot and around the wing mirrors, a RUPES LHR 75E Mini Dual Action Polisher was used. The 12mm throw allows the polishing action to be concentrated over the required area for more uniform results.
Following the paint correction stage, refining was completed using a 3M PERFECT-IT III Black Finishing Pad and Menzerna Super Finish Plus 3800, to provide an exceptionally clear, glossy result. After cleaning the freshly machined paintwork with a residue remover it was then ready for the application of a protective sealant.
In this case, the sealant chosen was ENREI Coat. Developed and manufactured by Japanese car care manufacturer Kamikaze Collection, ENREI Coat is their flagship two-stage sealant, the name ENREI, is derived from a combination of two words, EN (gloss) and Rei (glamorous beauty). The first layer is applied as a base primer, ensuring the surface of the paintwork is absolutely uniform, providing an optimum surface for the top coat to bond to. The top coat provides a highly durable, hydrophobic protective layer, virtually impervious to extremes of pH. Dirt will not adhere to treated surfaces making them easier to clean and lessening the likelihood of introducing swirls during the weekly wash. The key to ENREI’s superior performance lies not only in its formulation but also in the application procedure. ENREI must be applied using a very specific method and in tightly controlled environmental conditions, with ambient air temperature and humidity carefully regulated. As a result, ENREI is only available as a service through Kamikaze Collection trained and certified detailers.
ENREI is Kamikaze Collection’s flagship product and it’s easy to see why. Although there is a specific application method which must be closely followed to ensure maximum performance, the coating glides easily onto a properly prepared surface and the final results are nothing short of show stopping. – Matt Back, UF Detailing Studio
Whilst ENREI was curing, the wheels were protected using Kamikaze Collection Stance Rim Coat. Heat resistant, Stance Rim Coat will not burn off when the wheels become hot. Treated surfaces repel dirt, water, and oils, whilst inhibiting the build-up of damaging brake dust, making wheels easier to maintain and negating the requirement for the use of astringent wash chemicals.
The windshield was protected with Kamikaze Collection Intenso Window Coat. This nanotechnology-based coating provides a hydrophobic barrier, repelling rain water and the contamination contained within. The slick formulation eliminates wiper judder and makes driving during bad weather conditions less tiring for the driver.
Part of the luxury of the Ghost is the bespoke leather interior. This was cleaned with Colourlock Mild Leather Cleaner, a gentle foam applied with a microfibre and then worked into the grain using a leather brush, lifting dirt out of the pores. After wiping the foam away, the leather was protected with Colourlock Leather Shield. This provides a matte finish and abrasion resistant finish, repelling dust and helping to prevent staining from accidental spillages. In addition, Leather Shield provides protection from UV rays, helping prevent the leather drying out, cracking and suffering from UV fade.
With the paintwork restored back to its former glory and every surface now fully protected, the Ghost was looking truly radiant in the July sunshine. This is one apparition that people will be looking out for!
UF Detailing Studio – Award Winning Detailing. Call 0333 800 8004 to discuss your requirements.