Polished Bliss: Alpina D3 (E91)
This lovely brand spanking new Alpina D3 (E91) received a full new car preparation detail at my hands a couple of weeks ago now, but I’ve not had chance since to post it up – thank goodness for Father’s Day, at last a chance to have a bit of time off and catch up!
The owner of this car has been on our books since the start of the year, and has since taken out a bespoke bi-monthly contract with us to help make sure his investment stays in A1 condition. He’d been waiting for the final delivery date to be confirmed for several months, so when the call came I pretty much dropped everything and booked him in at short notice, despite being up to my neck fitting out the new unit.
In general, this was a pretty straightforward detail. However, the owner is a pretty busy guy, and the car has a lot of real estate, so in the end I had to split the work over two days, with a manic rush at the end of day 1 to get the Vintage application completed. On day 2, I focused on getting the inside properly dressed and fed, and also on getting another coat of sealant on the wheels, as they are going to be hard to stay on top of. The overall process, and times, was...
Foaming wash using citrus degreaser, then rinse followed by glue and tar on lower panels, then two bucket hand wash, then wheels cleaned with pH neutral wheel cleaner and glue and tar remover. It’s always amazing how much sticky crap can be found on brand new cars! Time taken: 1.5 hrs.
After being blown dry and rolled inside, I then made sure all the shuts were completely free of any transport wax (they weren’t, so out with the citrus degreaser again by hand) and then fully dried. I then protected these areas with an acrylic one step product and dressed the engine bay and boot lining plastics. Time taken: 45 mins.
I then inspected the paint using 3W luxeon lighting and took general thickness readings. I found several very minor defects on the plastic panels that I could do nothing about, and two small areas of scuffing on the roof that I knew would polish out easily. I also discovered that the whole car was covered in bonded metal filings. Great. With no decent decontamination products to hand, I opted for an aggressive clay treatment, using Zymöl Lehm Clay III, done very carefully and slowly. I then corrected the minor scuffs on the roof by hand using a finishing polish applied using the white side of a German Pad. Time taken: 2hrs.
By now it was late lunchtime, and bearing in mind I had to allow for the 30 minute drive back into Aberdeen for 4.30pm to collect the owner, I was starting to feel the pressure. I skipped lunch and quickly moved onto the paint preparation step, using Zymöl HD-Cleanse to cleanse the paint and lay down it’s awesome glazing oils. My favourite method for this step is to use the red side of a German Pad misted with Zymöl Field Glaze, and as little product as possible – this makes the residue much easier to buff off. Time taken: 1 hr.
Next came the application of the Vintage itself. By now the temperature inside the unit was on the high side, and this meant the Vintage was curing quite quickly, so I had to work a panel at a time. On the plus side this meant the wax spread very easily, with a marble-sized lump more than enough to do whole panels with. After completing the application, I finished off with a quick detail of the entire exterior using Field Glaze. Time taken: just over 1 hr.
In the final hour, I managed to get a coat of a wheel sealant onto the alloys, the tyres dressed, the exhaust tips polished and the glass quick detailed. Then it was off to pick the owner up.
The car came back nice and early and with just a light covering of dust, so after running the owner back to his place of work I got stuck into the interior, using Zymöl Vinyl and Zymöl Treat to clean and dress the plastics and leather respectively. I finished with a final vacuum of the carpets and mats, and then cleaned the glass inside and out with Zymöl HD-Cleanse. Time taken: 2 hrs.
I then finished off by quick detailing the alloys with very plush towels and copious amounts of lube, and applying another coat of wheel sealant – these wheels are lovely, but will be a bugger to stay on top of, so the more protection from the outset the better. Then it was off to pick the owner up again. Time taken: 1 hr.
In all then, a fairly long detail considering only a dash of correction work was needed, but essential all the same for the start of a contract with ourselves. It will be interesting to see how well we can stay on top of the wheels on a bi-monthly basis. Here’s the pics...