It sounds a lot like Woodstock, or if your music taste is amoungst the alternative kind, Bloodstock. But we aren't talking about music here, we are talking about the largest car care event in Europe, and dare I say it, perhaps the world over. As somebody that arguably has *that* eye for paintwork, plying my trade starting in 2011 professioanally, it may be of utter surprise to some that I have never attended Waxstock before. The main reason being that when I was unit based I never mingled with fellow professionals out of shyness and keeping my head down and getting on with my work; perhaps to my detriment moreso than my benefit in hindsight. Although at the time, I had seen enough of other professionals' behaviour in slagging each other off that I felt justified in my evasion. This of course all changed when I joined the Professional Valeters and Detailers Association, where the help and community has been A1, and my confidence to communicate with fellow professionals has grown.
This year's Waxstock was heavily talked about on social media amoungst fellow PVD members and other friends, and upon posting a status on my personal Facebook account to see who was going to be there, I was surprised to see Jason Rose comment to let me know of his attendance, and jokingly offer me a ride on his flight over from Korea. For any laymen that aren't that into detailing, Jason Rose previously worked for Meguiars, and is currently the head of Global Training for Rupes, one of the leading producers of polishing machines and consumable abrasives (sanding discs, machine pads and polishing compounds). Jason works the year round leading seminars and training sessions around the world; you only have to search his name up on Youtube to see for yourself, the videos I have learned so much from over the years.
I needed a companion to join me at such an event, and who else could I ask other than my best friend of nearly 15 years. Nathan Lloyd professes in English Language and Literature, and is currently plying his trade on his teaching accumen. Last year, I joined with other PVD members to take care of some of the most expensive cars money could have ever bought. I asked Nathan to join me, and he was enthralled with the classics that featured in so many films that he likes, notably the Aston Martin DB5 as seen in James Bond. On asking him to accompany me to Waxstock, it was only natural he would join me for a lad style weekend out on the back of how he enjoyed the Alexandra Palace Classic Car Show. Before the show, we enjoyed a damn funny game of Cards Against Humanity. If there is anyone that could give such an eloquent insight to this year's Waxstock, it's going to be Nathan, so I leave you in his company for now...
"As someone who is not in the business, the idea of a detailing event sounded dry. I could only imagine the exclusive crowds gathering together discussing specialised things above the psychotic mind of someone who teaches adverbs and adjectives; however, I was pleasantly surprised. Waxtock was an open and diverse convention. I can believe that it is a detailer's dream; products littered the shelves and pros shared tips with each other generously. There was a palpable sense of community there. Eye-candy was also abundant; cars and rep girls were pleasingly curvy and it was obvious they didn't need valeting. One of the highlights of the day was the lecture performed by the guru of detailing: Jason Rose. Coming from the exotic climes of America to the dreary, dismal Coventry was commendable in itself, but when Andy told me of his achievements, he was a celebrity. The anecdote delievered by Rose was certainly interesting and inspiring; the moral of his story was persistence and courage, words that, I feel, could be transposed to any profession, demonstrating his vast knowledge of not only valeting, but life itself.
One of the highlights of the day for me was taking the picture of Andrew with Rose. He was too shy and coy insisting that he'll 'do it later'. I was having none of this and persuaded to see him there and then. It was an honour taking the picture and humorous to see Andy shaking in his star struck state!"
I had the pleasure of meeting Jason Rose, who signed my Yellow Rupes machine pad. They say not to meet your heroes, I disagree! It's funny how I can walk past David Beckham in the Birmingham Bullring, but put me infront of a world renowned detailer, it's a different story! I was in half a mind to charge my customer's extra to use this signed pad on their car, what with it having the Midas touch and all, but I will instead frame it - to look at as a reminder of a great time when I am having a bad day.
Bert of the Professional Valeters and Detailers Assocation, and Alan Medcraf of AM Details gave a speech going to all the nooks and crannies of setting up and running a valeting and detailing business. This was of particular interest to me, as there are so many things that the public are unaware of that are required as part of running a business. Please go and support AM Details, and especially PVD - Bert and Kelly are working tirelessly to support us professionals, as well as the publishing of the Pro Detailer Magazine (go and buy it!), and doing extra special arrangements such as this very show. This time last year I was sat in a pub scrolling through my phone, I saw a hashtag for PVD, and the rest was history. They told me exactly how I needed to address my business that was failing to turn a profit despite being very busy, and introduced me to a whole world of new information and individuals.
I got snapped! It seems my van is noticeable everywhere!
Case Study #3.
The third case study of this month being a car I have worked on is this Mini Cooper S JCW. The customer had only just purchased it, and needed an Enhancement, which includes a full decontamination before having a single stage machine polish the whole way around to correct defects as much as possible in the confines of one full working day. The customer opted for Feynlab Universal Ceramic Coating, which adds durable protection to the paintwork. The coating is designed for company cars that go long periods with high motorway mileage with poor wash regimen. So if it is good enough for those cars, it is good enough for a well kept car.
Checking the paintwork over with my paint depth guage confirmed the customer's comments that the car had some scratch repair, this was taken onboard as I tackled the car with my polishing machines.
Being able to use any kind of polishing machine professionally is tantamount to avoiding the cause of damage to your customer's paintwork just as much as improving it. The customer had Paintless Dent Removal undertaken before my visit, and the holograms left from the technician's machine operation proved very difficult to remove.
It is generally advised that coatings are applied in conditions of over 11 degrees centigrade and humidity below 70%, on the date of the booking we had 24 degrees centigrade and 50% humidity. After coating, we had one very good looking car. I was at the customer's location for one whole long day, so don't let the pictures fool you or let you get carried away in a misconcieved idea of how much there was to be done; there was a lot to do and the time flown by.