Bentley Flying Spur – Cosmetic Restoration Part I
Bentley is a marque synonymous with luxury and class, and the Flying Spur doesn’t fail to deliver the qualities Bentley is so famous for. Introduced as a four-door successor to the Continental GT, the Flying Spur manages to retain some of the sporting feel whilst providing limousine style comfort.
That it’s a big, heavy car cannot be denied; riding on a steel chassis the Flying Spur tops the scales at 2515 kg (two and a half tonnes in old money) with a full tank but minus passengers. Remarkably, the unique, twin-turbo 6.0-litre W12 engine manages to power the Flying Spur from 0-60 mph in just 5 seconds, achieves 0-100 mph in 12.8 seconds and 0-140 mph in 27.7 seconds. It has a top speed of 194 mph, but for the driver, perhaps the most enjoyable feature is the manner in which the Flying Spur really does fly, with Bentley understated style, past the 130, 140, 150 and 160 mph marks on the speedometer. Not, of course, that many drivers will have the opportunity to enjoy such a view! Reassuringly, the standard cast iron brakes have a remarkable ability to resist fade…
Happily, and perhaps expectedly, the Flying Spur boasts excellent stability as a result of Bentley’s attention to the aerodynamics, specifically to allow for the high-speed capability. The adjustable damping gives passengers the option to choose from five settings, balancing sporty handling with comfort.
The owner of this Flying Spur is a self-confessed automotive enthusiast and describes himself as a discerning collector of cars. This particular example attracted his attention because it was mechanically sound and with an unusually (for the year) low-mileage. However, on close inspection he noted a number of cosmetic issues that would need resolving to satisfy his attention to detail. Having previously visited UF Studio, he was confident he knew the remedy! Wanting the very best for this impressive car, he booked it in for a full suite of detailing treatments: Leather Protection, Glass Protection, Alloy Wheel Sealant along with multi-stage machine polishing for the Midnight Emerald paint which was then to be protected with Kamikaze Collection
Kamikaze Collection is a Japanese designer and manufacturer of innovative car care solutions, priding themselves on delivering solutions to common challenges detailers face. ENREI is their state-of-the-art, two-step ceramic coating that combats water-spotting issues common to traditional sealants, whilst providing enhanced water beading, self-cleaning and contaminant-repelling functions. The method of application is as integral to the formulation of the coating and has been developed over many hours by Kamikaze Collection’s research and development team. As a result, ENREI is available only as a service through the Kamikaze Collection trained and certified detailer network.
Having been driven to UF Studio in wet weather, the Flying Spur was heavily contaminated and dirty on arrival.
Wheel arches collect and trap much of the dirt thrown up from the roads. The Flying Spur’s wheel arches had a fibrous finish, attracting and holding on to the debris. After rinsing the loosened contamination away, more stubbornly bonded contamination was visible on the wheels.
This was eliminated using UF Safe Wheel Cleaner, a pH-balanced wheel wash that safely removes contamination without damaging the wheel’s finish.
Once rinsed, brake dust contamination was tackled using UF Iron + Fallout Remover.
Once all the loose debris and dirt has been removed, Iron + Fallout Remover has clear access to the brake dust, typically the most stubbornly bonded contamination. The active ingredient gets to work on the iron particles causing a chemical reaction that forces the particles to loosen their bond with the wheel. The particles can then be easily rinsed away. – Dean Foster, Detailer, UF Studio
After another rinse, Ultimate Snow Foam was applied over the car to remove larger particles of dirt and grit adhering to the paintwork. Ultimate Snow Foam was also applied under the wheel arches for further cleaning power and under the bonnet. The hot, greasy environment of the engine bay lending itself to a build-up of grime.
Ultimate Snow Foam’s thick lather reaches into tight areas, and, using a detailing brush is ideal for ensuring these hard-to-reach places are thoroughly clean.
The foam was rinsed away using a Kranzle K-1152 TST pressure washer.
Once rinsed, it was evident that the Flying Spur did not have a wax or sealant protection as the water clung to the surface rather than beading or sheeting away.
The purpose of a sealant or wax is to encourage water and the contamination and chemicals contained within it to bead away from the surface. In this instance, you can see the water clinging even to the vertical surfaces of the car, so it’s easy to see how easily dirt would stick to this surface. This presents a problem when it comes to maintenance washing as dirt and contamination will be more able to adhere to paintwork and be more difficult to remove than if a protective coating were in place. – Matt Back, Master Detailer, UF Studio
The Flying Spur was carefully washed using two buckets to keep wash solution separate from rinse solution, helping to prevent swirling the paintwork. Once clean, inspection revealed some bonded contamination remained, causing the panels to feel rough to the touch.
Panels need to be smooth as glass so they can reflect light effectively. This really is the key to getting the best shine and reflectivity from any wax or ceramic coating. To eliminate the nubby contamination, a clay bar was required. – Matt Back, Master Detailer, UF Studio
Bilt-Hamber Original Clay Bar was used with UF Pure Shampoo solution as a lubricant, allowing the bar to glide over the surface of the panels, shearing away the contamination to leave the panels feeling as smooth as glass.
After a further rinse, an Aqua Gleam De-ionising Water Filter was used to deliver a final, pure water rinse. The Flying Spur was brought into the studio and placed on a hydraulic ramp so it could be raised and lowered, enabling easier access to all areas during the detailing process. The paintwork was dried and then inspected under high-intensity lighting so the true condition could be gauged. Areas of specific concern were noted on a Vehicle Appraisal Sheet for reference during the correction stage.
The paintwork was found to be highly swirled, the myriad network of marks covering the paintwork causing it to appear dull and tired, detracting from the metallic flake and the clarity of the Midnight Emerald finish.
Using a RUPES BigFoot LHR15 ES Mk II with a RUPES Green Polishing Pad and Menzerna 2400 Medium Cut Polish, the paintwork was corrected.
We had to try a number of pad and compound variations until we settled on the right combination. The paintwork was quite soft so although this makes correction fairly easy, it presents its own challenges. Typically, we would use microfibre pads however, softer clear coat is easily removed and this generates a lot of dust and therefore the pad fibres quickly become clogged. This means they need regularly blowing through with the high-pressure air hose which takes a lot of time. So, in the interests of residue control and more efficient working, we switched to foam pads. – Matt Back, Master Detailer, UF Studio
For correcting the paintwork on the bumpers, a RUPES BigFoot LHR75E Mini dual action polisher was used with a Chemical Guys HEX-LOGIC Cutting Pad.
The bumpers on the Flying Spur are plastic and so do not conduct heat in the same way metal panels do. We found they also generated more dust so switching to a pad with a patterned interface gave the residue somewhere to go, rather than allowing it all to become aerosolised. We also switch to Koch-Chemie Heavy Cut Compound H8.02 which has a high lubricity allowing for longer working times. – Matt Back, Master Detailer, UF Studio
The results were plain to see.
The refining stage was completed using Menzerna Super Finish Plus 3800 and a Meguiar’s Soft Buff Finishing Disc, the fine jewelling polishing and super soft foam pad bringing out a haze-free shine.
The wheels were removed for the purpose of deep cleaning and sealing of both the rims and the area under the wheel arch. The wheels were discovered to have some severe blemishes, a combination of etching, old balancing adhesive and contamination bonded through years of repeated heating. Mindful of the exacting requirements of the owner of the Flying Spur, after consultation with him it was agreed the right decision would be to have the wheels completely refurbished. Arrangements were made for the wheels to be collected and refurbished back to factory standard so their final appearance would match the ‘as new’ look of the finished Bentley.
In the meantime, the wheel arches, brake and suspension components were soaked with UF Wheel Cleaner and given the opportunity to dwell, removing old residues of baked on contamination.
After rinsing, the areas were steam cleaned; the high-pressure, hot steam lifting dirt from the tightest corners and trickiest areas.
The area was then rinsed and dried using a BigBoi BlowR Pro car dryer. The BlowR Pro has been designed specifically with the automotive detailing industry in mind. It uses powerful twin motors to direct warm filtered air over the area, forcing water out from natural traps and tight corners.
In Bentley Flying Spur – Cosmetic Restoration Part II, read about the wheel refurbishment and application of protective coatings to the paintwork, wheels, leather, fabric and glass.
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