The Ferrari 308 GTB is one of the most instantly recognisable Ferraris, made famous by that most successful and suave of detectives, Magnum P.I. Whilst the weather in the UK may be a far cry from the sun-drenched lushness of Oahu, the 308 GTB loses none of its charm when surrounded by the rolling hills and fields in the Garden of England.
This 1975 308 GTB Vetroresina in original Giallo Yellow is one of only 150 right hand drive fibreglass-bodied models in existence. It arrived at Ultimate Detailing Studio in need of a Gloss Enhancement Treatment to correct some wash swirls and random deep scratches (RDS) that had found their way into the lacquer.
Before undertaking any form of paint correction it is imperative that the paint surface is as free from contamination as possible. Whilst washing removes the surface dirt, some contamination requires specialist products to successfully remove them.
Initially the 308 GTB’s bodywork and wheels were treated with Nanolex Wheel Cleaner & Iron Remover. This viscous liquid seeks out ferrous contamination, typically caused by brake pads shredding when the brakes are applied. The wheels of the 308 had recently been refurbished so were almost entirely devoid of iron contamination, although some speckles were attached to the lower parts of the vehicle, made visible by the colour change function of the cleaner.
After rinsing, the 308 was degreased with Gtechniq W5 Citrus All Purpose Cleaner. Special attention was paid to the door, boot and bonnet shuts as well as the engine bay which naturally trap oily build-up which in turn attracts dirt. Stubborn areas were agitated with a detailing brush before the citrus solution was rinsed away.
To ensure all larger particles of dirt and grit were removed prior to the main wash, the Ferrari was treated with Ultimate Snow Foam. This high foaming product acts as a pre-wash cleaner, the foam lifting the dirt and grit away from the surface of the paintwork and allowing it to be safely rinsed away.
Ultimate Snow Foam was applied using a Kranzle Ultimate Snow Foam Lance attached to a Kranzle K7-122 Pressure Washer to generate a thick, clingy foam. German manufactured Kranzle pressure washers are the preferred choice of professional detailers and valeters alike due to their compact size and industry leading 10 year non-corrosion guarantee.
The Ferrari was then washed using the Swissvax Car Bath shampoo, an Ulti-Mitt Double Sided Merino Wash Mitt and the Two Bucket Method: one bucket is filled with soapy wash water, the other bucket is filled with clean rinse water. Both buckets have a Scratch Shield in the bottom. The wash mitt is dunked into the wash water and then applied to the car, working from the top down. The mitt is then plunged into the rinse water and rubbed across the Scratch Shield – this dislodges dirt from the mitt allowing it to settle to the bottom of the bucket. The mitt is then wrung to remove excess water before being reloaded with soapy wash water and the process repeated. In this manner dirt is removed from the surface of the vehicle by the long pile of the wash mitt, then transferred to the rinse bucket. The Two Bucket Method makes washing the vehicle much safer, reducing the risk of introducing scratches into the paintwork.
Once the car was thoroughly clean it was rinsed free of suds. An Aqua Gleam De-ionising water filter was then connected in-line with the hose and the 308 given a final, pure water rinse. After being carefully dried off it was brought into the detailing studio for paint depth readings and inspection under high intensity lighting.
Because the 308’s bodywork is manufactured from fibreglass, a special ultrasonic paint depth gauge is required to get an accurate reading. The paint was considerably thicker than modern Ferraris, but this is fairly typical for these 70’s fibreglass-bodied road cars – Derek Ginger, Master Detailer, UDS
The random deep scratches (RDS) and wash induced swirls were clearly visible under the high intensity lighting. To correct the paintwork the RUPES UHS System was used. Comprising of the RUPES LHR15ES BigFoot Dual Action Polisher, UHS Easy Gloss Compound and UHS Polishing Foam Pad, this system was originally designed to work with high density, scratch-resistant paintwork.
Due to the paint thickness on the 308 the UHS System was a great solution for enhancing the paintwork. It corrects and refines in one step, it doesn’t produce any dust and, because it’s used with a DA polisher it doesn’t generate too much heat. Fibreglass retains heat for longer than metal so it’s essential to be mindful of heat generation to ensure there is no burn-through. – Derek Ginger, Master Detailer, UDS
Once the paintwork was corrected and refined it was protected with a layer of Swissvax Scuderia Wax, a premium wax specially formulated for Italian paint finishes. Scuderia contains a high concentration of ultra-pure Brazilian No 1 grade carnauba to protect the paintwork, repel water and dirt and create a high gloss shine.
Carnauba waxes work particularly well with red and yellow coloured paintwork. The slight tinge to the natural colouring of carnauba compliments the warmer hues, imparting a really rich shine. Scuderia is formulated for Italian paint so it seemed the obvious choice for this iconic car. – Derek Ginger, Master Detailer, UDS
The newly refurbished wheels were protected using Swissvax Autobahn Wheel Wax to repel dirt and brake dust build up. Then, as a final touch, the tyres were treated with Swissvax Pneu, a tyre dressing which leaves a natural satin sheen.
More images of the Ferrari 308 GTB Gloss Enhancement can be seen on the UF Car Care & Car Detailing forums here.
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