Writings On The Wall

It’s not often I get an idea late at night and remember it the next morning. Last week was one of those days where I picked up my phone in the middle of the night, and made a note of it. In the process I managed to keep myself awake for ages and regretted it the next day at work. So what was my idea?

I have been looking around for literally years now trying to find a cleaner for my BF Goodrich white lettered tyres. To be exact it’s not the tyres, but the actual raised white lettering on the tyres. I have tried all sorts of cleaners and even read about using a fine grade sandpaper to rub the surface of the letters to remove the old dirty coat and leave the clean underneath. Then I thought of “toothpaste.” I have seen people clean old plastic headlight lenses with toothpaste to bring them back to life. After all up to fifty percent of toothpaste is in fact abrasives, all be it in a mild form of course. My thought was around the “whitening” sort of paste. My tyres are pretty clean and protected, but the tops of the letters and some of the letters have gone a brown tinge over time and not the sparkly white that they once were.

As my toothbrush was wearing out I decided to have a go and see what happened. I used Meguiar’s degreaser first to remove the old tyre gel and treatments. After that it was a wipe over with some Auto Finesse “Citrus Power” Bug and Grime Remover. No I’m not on commission before you ask!

As the toothpaste was almost empty I took it out to the garage before the wife noticed it had gone along with my toothbrush.

With most of the dirt and grime removed I sprayed some more citrus on and used that as the lather agent for the paste and got to work scrubbing.

It made a nice little mess but nothing some more Citrus Power couldn’t cope with. Once messy mixture was removed I found that it had actually worked and brought some white back to the letters. The final step was to re-coat the tyres with some AutoGlym Instant Tyre Dressing and allowed it to dry.

The other wheels followed a similar technique and used a tiny splash of water to activate the toothpaste and seemed to work a little better.

Before shots of the dirty letters than can clearly be seen:

The cleaning process:

The after shots:

I am well chuffed with the results. I suspect that next time I will use a white toothpaste which is a little more coarse. As this is still a working idea in progress I will tweak and modify the process until I am fully happy with the results. The best part of all this is that a tube of unbranded toothpaste is cheap and will last forever and a day. I’m not sure that I will need to carry a tube with me to a car show though. Only when I need to clean the writings on the (side) wall of the tyres. Let me know if you have tried similar ideas or have a better idea for the white letters, or indeed the full white wall tyres themselves.

In case you are wondering; yes the wife did notice the toothbrush and paste had gone and asked me where it was. Once I had explained that I cleaned my car tyres with it, she didn’t speak, instead I got another one of those “looks” of disbelief. You know the sort of “look” that women have perfected when a man does something daft. Me on the other hand, I know that I have done something pretty cool using just a little outside the box thinking.

Remember before this goes viral all over the internet – you read it here first. 🙂

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End Of Car Show Season

It looks like the classic car season has come to an end like a balloon bursting. Where has the summer gone? I have been to a number of shows this year and made some new friends, meet old friends many times at the shows. I know that I haven’t posted for a while again, my excuse is that I have enjoyed my car so much I can even begin to tell you just how much. Opening the garage door on a Sunday morning and getting that smell of classic car. The smell of metal, engine oil, transmission fluid and petrol all mixed together in a very fine subtle unmistakable aroma. It’s like women smell a bunch of flowers with passion. Petrol heads just can’t get enough of that classic car smell. Pulling the cover of still makes me smile stand back and look at her before I get in her. I shut the door, I don’t slam it. Pump the gas to prime the carb and turn the key, the V8 rumble bites the air and fills my ears with decibels. It’s all very poetic and mushy maybe. But, I still feel like that driving the car to a show. I look at every single person on the road a nutter and they are going to something stupid and drive into me. I am in a state of hyper alertness driving as a result.


That way of thinking is the safest way to be, the only time I can relax is when I see other classic cars near the venue, they all have the same opinion as me and also think that everybody else is a nutter who is going to drive into them as well. The thrill of driving a classic car is with me and will never go, I meet up with the guys from Mustang Maniac and drive in convoy. For four years I was driving in my daily driver to the shows just longing to be a part of the scene. Now when we park up we hand out the statutory banter and men type abuse as we do. After wandering around checking the other cars out I get my chair out and watch the world go by the front of the car. It’s a bit like fishing without catching anything. Every so often I get comments on the car and lots of questions about the car from interested people. My best day was where a father had just bought a Lincoln Continental as a project car to do with his son. The questions they were asking me was the same questions I was asking four years ago when I started my journey of restoration. I tried to help them as much as I could with hints and tips. It was a joy to be honest to spend what was an hour or so of having my brains picked. So I have a few of my favorite pictures of the shows I was attending to finish the year off.


Although this is not an actual picture of my car, I just love the reflection in the back of this van. It was taken as a real quick snap shot from inside the car waiting to get into the show.


There remains only one more event that I will be going to and that is the Birmingham NEC CLassic Car show where I exhibited last year. I won’t be exhibiting this year as I didn’t see hardly anything last year. Although being a part of that show was amazing, I was hard work and there was the odd moment where people didn’t give a fig about the cars and would rub their hands all over them, coats being dragged over the paint, etc. I don’t want to risk the damage to be honest.

Car Detailing:

I have been very busy cleaning my car obviously at the shows and after when I get back home. I have been adding reviews under my newer section on the menus “Car Detailing Reviews”. The products have all been honestly reviewed from Meguiar’s, DoDo Juice, Chemical Guys, Poor Boys World, Autoglym etc. Some I liked and some I wouldn’t even give away from the likes of Simoniz. I have one or two products that I shall eventually get around to reviewing at some point. Some I have already done, and there is even a few detailing tools to be tested as well.


Where do I start with all this lot? 😉

Some of these products I have had for a while now and used on my various cars over the years. Some are very new as I move into the complex world of car detailing, and not just cleaning a car. I already have a few favorites of the new breed, but how do they compare to the old school products?

Meguiar’s Ultimate Wax Paste reviewed click here

DoDo Juice Red Mist Tropical reviewed click here

It will be interesting to find out. What will I be doing with my time now as I won’t be showing the car and I wont be restoring the car? I know – clean it!

I will be posting again soon don’t worry. 🙂

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The Scenic Route

It’s been a while since my last post, but I have something a little different this time for you. I have posted a video of my car running up and down a sleepy reservoir road with a pal of mine filming the show. We initially went there for somewhere scenic as a back drop for the car on a quick photo shoot. But as it was so peaceful and a nice quiet area, we decided to have a couple of quick videos of the car going up the road and back down again. The video can be found on my YouTube channel click here for the link to all the videos, or click the image below to watch the videos or cut and paste the link here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bJddSktoMqA

Turn up the volume for a short minute and enjoy. 😉

Between Craig & I we took quite a few photo’s, with Craig obviously taking the video, he did kindly offer to drive my car for me though! By the time it takes you to read my response “No”, it was about double the amount of time it took me to think about and still give the answer “No”. Maybe next time Craig!

Here are some of pics from that photo session:





When I was editing the pictures I decided to play around with a couple of filters on my favourite photos.






As it’s getting near the end of the show season I need to take my car down to Mustang Maniac to get a once over with a spanner, and general health check. I have almost done 1,100 miles so far in the car, can you believe it?

During the car shows I attend I give the car a little polish up or quick detail while she is there. Yes, although I try and avoid all photo’s this was sent to me to show how “sad” I had become to clean and polish the tyres. I could tell you my response was but this is an all ages blog. 😀


According to some regular car show enthusiasts I had progressed from “cleaning” the car to “waxing”, now I have moved up another level to “detailing” the car. This now gets super serious and to make the paint look as good as it ever will and different products give different results. To most people there is no difference except the odd “it looks very clean” or “it shiny”.  I have reviewed a product called “Poorboy’s World Quick Detailer Plus” which is supposed to give that waxed look after a quick “wipe on” and “wipe off”.

Click here for the review link or go to my new menu “Car Detailing Products”. To see what I think of the product take a look at the review. There will be a number of these detailing reviews soon, from quick detailers, waxing, metal polish, micro fibre towels, drying towels, glass cleaners, tyre dressing from such makers as Meguair’s, DoDo Juice, Poorboy’s, Chemical Guys, Autoglym  etc etc. all of which are aimed at the serious car cleaner (sorry) detailer!

Please let me know what you think of filtered photo’s, I’m interested to see if I ruined them or they look good compared to the original colour versions. Perhaps you don’t like any of them and could suggest some better places to take some pics in the Suffolk area.

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Show Season Starts

Last weekend I went to a show at Stonham Barns in Suffolk for their “Spring Break” car show the first of the season for me. This was going also going to be my first show I had done on my own without the support of Mustang Maniac. The show was over three days, Friday, Saturday and the Sunday that I went too. I have no preconceived notion that I would win anything and I didn’t enter any groups before hand, although a little silverware never hurt anybody. I had been to many shows on my own as a visitor and not as an exhibitor in the past except for the Birmingham NEC during November last year and the Enfield Pageant where the car was very much a work in progress. The alarm went off at seven o’clock but the gates didn’t open until nine on the dot. I couldn’t sleep anyway and  had lots to do; like checking the water, tyre pressures putting the cleaning materials in the trunk and most importantly checking the weather, the sky was almost as blue as my car. I had already made my mind up that I wouldn’t being if there was a good chance of rain. Weather forecast promised lots of sun with cloudy spells at times. Perfect, I got in the car and started her up and I was on my way. Google Maps on my phone directed me to the direction of the show nearly thirty miles away. As I got closer I could see other great looking cars heading in the same direction. Pulling into the gates there was another Mustang that pulled up behind me. I gave the thumbs up and got one back too. I smiled – a lot. Common sense was in full play as there were marshalls directing all us early birds into the fields half hour before they were due to open. The owner of the car behind me got out and introduced himself to me as speaking to me at the NEC show. The penny then dropped and placed the face as being one of the many people who I had spoken too. We parked up next to each other, followed by a Galaxy 500 and a cracking looking Burgundy Camaro SS.


There was cars arriving at a steady pace as we talked about our cars and the LED lights we both had with the variations in them. We eventually decided to go look at some more cars, that gave me a chance to take even more pics of my car. For a valid reason that I will get to later.

I decided that i was going to lift the hood again and let people have a look.

I wasn’t sure how to play it so secured the car and walked away and watched from a distance to see how things played out. I was pleasantly surprised to see the respect of the visitors looking holding their clothing away from the paint work. After half hour or so, I was confident to walk way and look at some other fantastic cars that was now pouring into the fields.

This blue and white Thunderbird had a spectacular paint job.

One of the prize winners here was a real nice Caddy with a Dodge Viper v10 wedged in it. This bike just seemed to go on and take over the whole car park, it was massive with Beetle flat four in the back of it.

Under the hood of the cars were some strange sights a water bottle made out of a Jack Daniels bottle, some poor chap had a leaking radiator.

At one o’clock the judges were on their way round and made virtually no stops at the “standard” road cars. Their time was spent around the Hot Rod / Rat Rod sections. Some of those cars were absolutely amazing, I knew right at that point no prizes were going my way. Shortly after the judging there was a lot of cars leaving around two o’clock, so much so that the bloke on the mic announced that he hoped none of those cars leaving were trophy winners, he didn’t have to worry. I wanted to stay and see the result of judging, so I spent my time aimlessly wandering around looking at the time and effort owners had put into their cars. The stalls were mainly selling items and not really any old car parts as such, nothing that you wouldn’t see at a local car boot sale to be fair. At three o’clock the winners were announced, not a single standard car got an award of the ten trophies that were up for grabs, the hot rod guys and the latest trend of, huge camber angles on a VW Beetle, “slammed” trucks and cars sitting on the floor took the prizes. Never mind, better luck next time. I think I got how this show worked, the emphasis was a Hot Rod based entries for the show, their webpage advertising the event was showing a selection of the previous attending cars that were all hot rods. There was some fantastic cars there that day, but I thought other cars deserved the prizes so much more, like the Thunderbird, the Camaro SS, a beautiful Chevy Bel Air, Caddy Coupe de Ville etc. But, as I am not a judge it was irrelevant what I thought, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and of course some will say the cars that got the awards deserved them. Regardless of the results, I thoroughly enjoyed the show and meeting a few faces that I had previously seen at the NEC at the end of last year, speaking to total strangers who wanted to look at my car, along with other wonderful cars that were on show. Would I go again? Yep. Did I enjoy it? Yep. The weather was spot on all day, and yes I did get a bit of sunburn on my head! I enjoyed the trip home so much as the main road had a convoy of Classic Cars going back to their homes. I was now officially part of the Show Car scene driving there and back in my own car. Thumbs up to every body going past, or those that went past us. Horns were going, people waving to everybody, what a great day all round and perfect way to end the day. I was shattered when I got home. 🙂

This weekend, I had a good friend of mine Mike turned up to take a look at the car. Mike has a Mark two escort and just restored that to its original golden glory. Last time he had seen my car was about a year into the restoration where I had managed to start it up after the re-wiring it. I pulled the covers back and he was surprised to see the difference. I started her up in the garage to get the feel of the engine note, and breath in that unmistakable odour of fresh burning fuel. The roads were damp and the air was pretty damp. He was looking out to the sky as I had previously promised him a ride in it if the weather was OK. As it wasn’t raining I asked did he want to go out in it? At which he thought about it for zero seconds and said “Yes, if you’re sure”. I was, I shut the hood and started to back her out the garage and he got in. It was slightly amusing to see him looking for the shoulder belt, I told him that this was a proper car and only had lap belts. We set off down the road and I said that we would drive to the next village. As we got to the next village it started to spit with rain, I still had the window open. No, this can’t be happening, rain on my car! The car was now getting wet, so much so that I had to put the wipers on for the very first time. I was quite surprised at how well they actually worked. We done our circuit of about half an hour and headed back home. We pulled up to junction for a right turn and in my enthusiasm the rear wheels scrambled for grip untill I let of the gas. I gave this car respect in the rain and gave no sudden acceleration, obviously not enough respect was given to standing start in the rain. Me BAD!  A mile or so from home the rain stopped and the wind had pretty much dried the beads of water from the car. The car was put straight into the garage, and Mike was met by my wife and made him a cup of tea. I of course was out there in the garage drying my little lady. I joined them a short while later satisfied that the car totally dry, not that there was much to dry by the time we got back. I didn’t cover her up at this point, as the warmth of the engine in the garage along with the boiler would dry it out thoroughly over night.


As I had to clean my car the previous week with a bubble bath as it had got dusty, I have now completed my first review for car detailing products; the Meguiar’s Ultimate Wax Paste, click here for the hyper link to go straight to it. Or, go to the top menu “Car Detailing Products” where the link can also be found. I intend to add more reviews soon for the likes of; Meguiar’s, Poorboys World, Chemical Guys, Autoglym etc. etc. Why did I take more pics of my car as I mentioned at the beginning? 1) Just because I could, and 2) The shine on the car was from the Meguiar’s Ultimate Wax Paste that I could now finish the review off with.

How did the rain react to the paint? It was blown immediately off the car with the wind rush from driving. There was hardly any water on the car at all. I had not seen that level of beading before to be honest, impressive.

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Bubble Bath

As soon as the sun is out, the car is out and I drive her whenever I can. As the weather is nice the car is not getting dirty as such, but I noticed a layer of dust on the car after the last rip. So I put the car away uncovered as it was about to rain. Sunday was a glorious day until the evening at least, so made the most of the sunshine and decided to put water on my car for the first time. Usually every birthday, Christmas, Easter or just about any excuse really, people ask me what I want, normally I reply “Snap On”. Over the years I now have a nice collection of tools which have all been invaluable while I was restoring my car. They will always be used for services and any jobs that need doing of course. Surprising a few people last Christmas and my Birthday, I have now started to ask for something different. Now I say “Car cleaning stuff please.” This is just the start of it and I have almost double this little lot now!


The trouble is that there is so much on the market now when do you begin with it all? On my other cars I used Autoglym and that was always good enough and not to expensive as I didn’t know any better. Since then I have been looking for some real performance products to use on my car. A good friend of mine Craig has been recommending a few products to me and his car is always spotless, another petrol head and a real car cleaning nut. Meguiar’s always seems to be at the top of people’s lists. Since then I have been pretty sad (so I have been told), about this and read hundreds of reviews, watched hours and hours of videos and decided Meguiar’s is what I will go for and the look I am after. Meguiar’s has over two hundred products to choose from, with all this information my head went into melt down to start with. There are cleaners, waxes, polishes, swirl removers, sealers, detailer, quick detailer, restorers, liquid versions, wax versions, spray versions, wash & wax, applicators, mits, cloths, water magnets, premium, ultimate, professional, gold etc. You get the idea. Apparently when you step up from the bucket and sponge scenario and spend real time washing and waxing your car, you are now know as a car detailer. As a result I have bought different makes of products for very specific jobs now. I now have a special bucket that has a grit filter at the bottom, and sponges are a definite no go now. Wash mits are the norm and water magnets instead of old school chamois leathers. The shampoo I used is by “Chemical Guys” called “Glossworkz”. I have even bought a snow foam device for my jet washer.

A while ago now I purchased a cowl cover from Mustang Maniac which is a magnetic idea that stops rain getting into the cowl section. That is the big white thing you see below the windscreen. For some reason I was nervous to put water on the car, I have washed more makes of car than I care to mention, but this was different somehow. A low setting on the jet wash to rinse the car off was where I was going to start.


The previous wax from Meguiar’s made the water immediately bead away, which made me smile. Next was to foam some “Glossworkz” onto the car, again this ran straight off when it was supposed to foam all over and sTay there. Now I am sure I done it wrong, by the time I found the camera again the foam was disappearing.


Now came the fully washed and super soft lambs wool wash mit, I pulled it on like a boxing glove and took a deep breath. I dipped it all into my new grit protected bucket with a little more shampoo and started on the roof, hood, trunk and then the sides. Frequently dipping into the bucket and washing out the mit. The car was silky smooth under the mit and glided across the paint.


Rinse it all down again with the low power jet washer then it time to dry with the “Wooly Mammoth”.


This drying towel is huge, super thick and fluffy, you just lay it on the panel and move it slightly and the water is gone. Amazing, none of the old wipe it, spread it about, wring it out and repeat again like with a chamois leather. This helps to reduce the chances of scratching that precious paint job. Within a minute or two the car was dry, the best part of this bit was that the towel was only damp after all that. Wash & Wax then dry was technically done now, but I wanted to try out a new wax. Meguiar’s Ultimate Wax.


I intend to review these purchased products properly going forward under their own section on my blog for car detailing products. So, I won’t go into all the boring details just now, but I spent hours applying the wax and buffing it all off, polishing the chrome, cleaning the windows inside and out. Here are a couple of pics of the half and half as I was going along. It’s difficult to show in the pics, but the first is the hood with the wax applied, the second is the half the hood buffed off.

On this pic I dangled the pro series micro fibre cloth to show the depth of shine. But then you can see the top of the house too in the reflection. There are even different quality of microfiber cloths, but is there a difference? Yes, there is when you compare them next to each other.M-ultipastewax6

A perfect day for waxing the car, overcast, warm with a slight breeze. A great day, and a car washed, waxed and buffed to a mirror finish. I started the car up and covered her up in the garage. I was happy if not aching a bit.

As I mentioned earlier, I want to review these products as the choice out there is just min boggling, Meguiar’s, Chemical Guys,  DoDo Juice, Autoglym etc. I will let you know when the first review is posted. If you have any recommendations, tips or secrets you don’t mind sharing please let me know.

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