Hey everyone, the guys from DI reached out and asked me to take part in a series in which they will be interviewing each author. They asked me to provide you with a little information about myself along with answering a few detailing questions they provided. If you are interested in learning more about any of the other authors, check out the complete line of the Get To Know Your Ask-A-Pro Author articles by clicking here!
1. How did you get started in detailing?
I guess it had a lot to do with growing up with a father who did body work/painting, as well as being a big car guy himself. I was simply always around cars during my entire childhood, whether it was at the shop with my dad, at the races, or at various car shows. Throughout the years my brother and I would often go to the shop with my father on the weekends, where he would have us do various tasks like sanding & scuffing jambs. I just always enjoyed helping him. When I was about 14 my father began teaching me to wet sand and polish cars and the next summer I took a full time job prepping cars and doing various tasks at the body shop. After that I was pretty much hooked. I went on to work at, and even manage, a few other high-volume shops. Although the way I work today is a little different than those high-volume days, I’m forever grateful for the experience that fueled my passion. 🙂
2. Of the cars you have worked on, which was your favorite?
This is a hard question to answer! A lot of cars in my past have been a joy to work on, but the favorite would be my very own ’86 Monte Carlo SS. I guess there is just something about working on a car that I restored and built with my father that simply can’t be obtained when working on a car that’s not yours. This is a pic from the 1998 Car Craft Summer Cruise, pictured in the Dec ’98 issue. FYI, Jean shorts were in back then! 😉
3. Tell us about your longest and most challenging detail project?
I’ve done some pretty extensive and time-consuming wet sanding jobs over the years, but this ’52 Chevy I recently finished was up there around 45hrs. This gorgeous restored truck had tons of surface area, much of which needed to be polished with 2″ pads and even some areas that required hand polishing while sitting in a variety of contorted positions. On top of the polishing, all that surface area needed 2 coats of CQuartz Finest long-term paint coating. A write-up of the ’52 Chevy can been seen here.
4. What is your least favorite area to detail, if any?
I would say my least favorite work is polishing hard-to-reach and tight areas, most of which require 2″ and 3″ pads. It’s not that I dislike the work, it’s just time consuming and can be physically challenging at times.
5. What was the best and worst customer experience you have had?
My best customer experience would have to be seeing how proud my mentor (now customer) has become of me and my work. He was the manager of the shop I worked at when I was 16 and he took me under his wing, showing all the “ins and outs” of detailing. More importantly he really taught me that things in life don’t come free and you have to work for what you want. Today he buys and sells cars and occasionally takes in a nice classic or special interest car and will always send them my way for a little work and love.
The worst customer experience I can recall was way back in the day, probably around 1997. I was managing a shop and one of my employees burned the trim on a customer’s black SUV pretty badly. I can’t recall the make/model, but we ended up replacing some of the trim and the owner was livid! That was my first time in a management position and dealing with an angry customer, which was a valuable learning experience but definitely not something I want to repeat.
6. Imagine that you awoke on a magical detailing island and a VIP client is having their vehicle flown in but you have no idea what it will be. The island has a wash bay, water, hose, two buckets and electricity. What 10 individual products would you want Detailed Image to ship you?
Note: The following 10 items would likely change as new items become available and may differ if I weren’t limited to just 10. 😉
- Optimum No Rinse
- Optimum Power Clean
- DI Great White Towels
- Rupes LHR21
- Rupes LHR75E
- Meguiar’s MF Finishing pads, 6″ and 3″
- Rupes Yellow Foam pads 7″ and 4″
- Meguiar’s M205
- Car Pro Pearl
- Blackfire Wet Diamond
I appreciate you taking the time to read about me and if you ever have questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out!