The first step was a full hot wash and decontamination to get all the road and track grime off the car. Gyeon Q2M Snow Foam followed by AMDetails APC diluted to a suitable strength, were used for the pre-wash. This was followed by a proper two-bucket wash using AMDetails Bubbles Shampoo as featured in our last issue's Megatest.
The decontamination started with tar and hydrocarbon removal, courtesy of trade favourite Tardis by Autosmart. Then fallout was removed by another highly respected product: Iron X by CarPro.
The wheels benefited from a similar deep clean after a hit of Autosmart Smart Wheels, diluted correctly for the level of contamination on the 3R specific light-weight, split-rim alloy wheels.
The paintwork was then clay-barred to remove bonded contaminants, using the Auto Finesse clay-bar and Nick's own concoction for lube.
After a second rinse, it was dried using a combination of microfibre drying towels and hot air to ensure all the nooks and crannies were drained. Now the paint was perfectly clean, it was time to start taking paint depth measurements as part of the analysis process to ensure time was spent on the areas that needed it most.
This inspection phase is crucial as not only does it tell Nick how much paint there is to work with, but also if there have been any previous repairs to be aware of. Poor resprays, rough filler, and badly executed SMART repairs are a constant concern for detailers.
The last step, prior to cracking out the machine polishers, was to mask off the vehicle. Detailers use a blue tape produced by 3M, as it adheres well but does not leave a residue when removed.
The tape is there to protect things like rubber and trim from being coated in compound or accidentally abraded during polishing.
The paint correction involved a two-stage machine polish - the first being more aggressive to rid the car of deeper marks, the second to refine the finish and get the best possible gloss.
Nick's machines of choice are the revered Rupes range when it comes to duel-action polishers. For this car, the full range was used - the 12mm and 15mm mark one machines, and the 21mm mark two.
For areas where a rotary was required, Nick's trusty Flex machine did the work. All four machines were used with a range of Meguiar's and Koch Chemie compounds. The pads were again Meguiar's and the Quantum Hex range from Chemical Guys.
The exact combinations of machine, pad, and compound that work best for different cars and paint types are learned over many years of experience, and of experimentation.
Once a detailer finds some winning blends, they tend to stick to them until they come across a car demanding something different. Strangely enough, detailers often prefer not to share exact details, and despite our best efforts all we could conjure from Nick was a knowing smile and change of subject.
Gyeon Q2M Prep was then used to wipe down the freshly machined panels. This is a crucial step for anyone serious about genuine paint correction.
Many compounds contain oils and fillers that can give the impression of perfect paint. Alas they wash out quickly and the swirls return!A panel wipe will remove these fillers, so detailers can see the actual condition of the paint in order to judge what further work is required.
The wipe has the added benefit of removing any residues that might compromise the adhesion of the wax.
The Noble was treated to two coats of Swissvax Endurance.
Endurance is only available to Swissvax Authorised detailers, and if you've ever used Shield, you'll love Endurance. Containing more PTFE than the retail equivalent, combined with 40% Carnauba by volume, it can last up to nine months.
It requires careful application and benefits from warm paint, but as you can see from the photos - the effect is dazzling.
The wheels were coated with some Swissvax Autobahn, the tyres with Swissvax Pneu, and a final wipe down with Zaino Z6 to reduce any static build-up.
After hours of hard graft, this rapid Brit was ready for the road and track.