Aston Martin DB4, Refining A Classic – Part Two
In February of 2014 UF wrote an article about Paintwork Correction work carried out on a show-stopping black Aston Martin DB4. After driving the car for many enjoyable miles, the owner decided he would visit world renowned Aston Martin heritage specialists R.S. Williams to discuss some very exciting upgrades. Based in Cobham, Surrey, Richard Stewart Williams Limited was started by Richard Williams in 1968 shortly after he left Aston Martin. For the years that followed the company enjoyed major success servicing, selling and racing all types of Aston Martin. In 1990 the business moved to the current location and continues to be regarded as one of the leading engineering companies specialising in all things Aston Martin.
After discussing the possibilities with R.S. Williams Director, Neil Thompson, it was decided to completely rebuild the original 3.7 litre two carburettor engine and gearbox and upgrade it to ‘Special Series’ Vantage specification with 3 carburettors, higher compression and a whopping 4.7 litres capacity. For the purists out there it is worth noting that this can be reversed back to the standard 3.7 litres at any time. The front and rear bumpers were both removed and an oil cooler scoop as featured on the later DB4 and DB4 GT was fitted to complete the new look.
Some months later when RS Williams had completed the transformation the car was returned to UF’s Brands Hatch based Detailing Studio for evaluation and final finishing.
Whenever a car is worked on, there is always going to be the possibility that the paintwork inadvertently gets marked, particularly so in this case as the bumpers had been removed. Also the paintwork is incredibly soft, so the slightest contact would have put swirls and fine scratches into it. Given the length of time the car had been away the flat black paintwork was starting to look quite dull. – Derek Ginger, Master Detailer, UF Detailing Studio
On the way back the car had (unusually!) been driven in the rain and the paintwork was covered in fallout and the inevitable resulting watermarks.
Watermarks can be tricky to get rid of especially when they contain fallout which is quite abrasive to paintwork if you try to remove it with a wash mitt. As the paintwork was really soft I didn’t want to risk incurring any additional marks, so I needed a product that would dissolve the evaporates without having to physically touch them. – Derek Ginger, Master Detailer, UF Detailing Studio
The all-important decontamination process began with a treatment of Valet Pro Dragon’s Breath, a spray-on product that shrinks iron particles which have bonded to paintwork and wheels, breaking the bond and allowing them to be easily rinsed away. Next the car was degreased using Meguiar’s All Purpose Cleaner with special attention paid to the boot, bonnet and door shuts.
The thick foam created lifts larger particles of dirt away from the surface of the bodywork and wheels and can then be rinsed away before a wash mitt is placed on the car. This helps reduce the chances of incurring swirls during the main wash process.
Next the DB4 was carefully washed using the Two Bucket Method, an Ulti-Mitt Double Sided Merino Wash Mitt and Swissvax Car Bath. The intricate wire wheels were cleaned using a UF Wheel Bucket with Scratchshield and UF Wheel Woolies, ideal for cleaning between the weave. After the suds were rinsed away, an Aqua Gleam De-ionising water filter was attached in-line with the hose and the DB4 was given a final, pure water rinse. The small amount of water that remained was carefully removed using an ultra-soft microfibre drying towel.
Clean and dry, the DB4 was brought into the studio and inspected under high intensity lighting to reveal the extent of the imperfections.
To correct the damage a RUPES BigFoot LHR15ES was used, with a Flexipads Microfibre Cutting Disc and Koch-Chemie M2.01 Hochglanz Anti-Hologramm polish. To get into the tight areas and around the curves the smaller RUPES BigFoot Mini LHR75E was used.
Because the paintwork was so incredibly soft I had to be really careful about the combination I used, so as not to cause additional marring. The paint on this DB4 is the softest I’ve come across, even compared to black Japanese finishes! After trying out a few different pads and polishes I settled on this combination as it did the job without causing holograms. It took a long time, in fact it took nearly a whole day and involved many passes with the polisher, but it did the trick. – Derek Ginger, Master Detailer, UF Detailing Studio
To refine the paintwork a FLEX PE14-2-150 was used with a 3M Black Polishing Pad and RUPES Diamond Gloss (No.4). The results were incredible.
As the paintwork was soft we thought the ideal solution would be to apply a ceramic sealant which are renowned for their anti-swirl properties, so I cleansed the paintwork with a panel wipe and then began the application. However each time I applied the sealant it marked the paintwork. I removed it and tried a similar alternative, but the same thing happened, so clearly, a ceramic sealant was not going to work! I tried various other finishing products but finally settled on a hybrid wax I’d previously used on a fabulous red Lotus Evora. The paint on that was really soft and the hybrid wax had worked really well. Sure enough it worked perfectly: I could apply it and buff it off without causing any micro marring. – Derek Ginger, Master Detailer, UF Detailing Studio
The badges, grille and light surrounds were polished using Gtechniq M1 All Metal Polish to give the metal a warm lustre. The wheels were removed and also polished with M1 before being placed back on the car. Finally the glass was cleaned with Swissvax Crystal Glass Cleaner and the tyres dressed with Gtechniq T2 to complete the look.
The gloss and reflectivity produced by the hybrid wax on the flat black paintwork was incredible and the finished car absolutely glowed. The customer was delighted with the results – possibly even more so than the last time he brought it in!
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