OCDCarCare Los Angeles at The 2014 Pebble Beach Concours d’ Elegance
Collaborating with Scott Nichols of Distinct Detail, this beautiful 1956 Maserati 150S ‘Wowed’ the crowd.
by Christopher Brown – OCDCarCare.com – 17 August 2014
Everyone who embarks on a hobby, sport, or business begins with a passionate vision, image, or ultimate goal at the forefront of their inspiration. Eventually, small steps are taken toward that goal, transforming into small progressions on the slow road to achieving that original inspiration. For hobbyists that goal could be completing a rare task. For athletes it could be earning a college scholarship playing the sport they love. And for those in business; living the dream would be earning a living in the industry that that brings a smile to their face and a spring in their step.
In the automotive and detailing world, only a handful of events exists which could be considered ‘the ultimate venue,’ exhibiting the long hard hours of toil and labor which were poured into every meticulously maintained vehicle. These few events/venues completely captivate the hearts and minds of enthusiasts, while providing ample motivation for high-end detailers to constantly improve their skills for world wide arenas. For a sports comparison, these events could be compared to the world cup or super bowl caliber type of display, commanding the attention of the entire automotive world for a few precious hours or even days. Of these events, perhaps the most prestigious is the Pebble Beach Concours d’ Elegance. This classic car show started in 1950 and is known for showcasing many of the rarest, oldest, and best kept vintage vehicles in the entire world. Sorted in either the pre or post WWII groupings, entrants are further divided by categories of manufacturer, time period, coach builder, type, country of origin. All vehicles are judged on elements of authenticity, vehicle history, function, and style.
In early August of 2014, OCDCarCare Los Angeles was honored to travel and work alongside Scott Nichols of Distinct Detail in Scottsdale, Az. for the preparation of a 1956 Maserati I50S Fantuzzi Manoposto for The Concours d’ Elegance on the lawn at Pebble Beach. This beauty would be featured in the featured 100 years of Maserati Class. For those unaware, Scott Nichols is no stranger to Concours competitions. He has been competing and winning Concours events for a number of years now. In 2014 alone, vehicles under his meticulous care have won their class at Amelia Island and the Arizona Concours. In 2013, a 1953 Aston Martin DB2/4 Bertone Spider, #1 of 3, won its class and was Scott’s inaugural entry at Pebble Beach. Therefore, to be invited to assist in Pebble Beach featured class entry by a man with so much pride and success in his work, was no less than a great honor and privilege.
The 150S Fantuzzi Monoposto (Fantuzzi is the body style, named after a famous bodybuilder; while Monoposto means one seater.) is a factory spec race car. In automotive design terms this makes for a unique body compared to modern vehicles, as it only has one very small door for entry and it is a right hand drive. Very few cars exist in the world which are a single panel design.With its sloping quarter panels and its sweeping curves its makes for a beautiful piece of automotive art.
The 150S was entirely prepared using a wide array of Meguiar’s products and the Rupes Bigfoot Machines. M100 was used for the compounding processes while, M205 was used to refine the surface clarity, restore super high gloss, and grant it superior definition of image. M101 was used to remove some deeper sanding scratches but was primarily used to polish areas by hand that even the Rupes TA50 and LD30 could not reach.
Overall, the paint correction process was straightforward with one heavy compounding phase, followed by a series of progressively finer polishing phases, leading up to the triple wax application. Scott Nichols and I split the car down the middle and each took a side. Granted there were a few areas that required a small amount wet sanding, but overall, the paint was in fine shape to polish out, because Scott had already taken the time to complete the initial heavy compounding phase before I arrived.
After the paint was finished to near flawlessness, we tackled the undercarriage, wheel wells, engine, interior and other exterior areas. So while we spent the majority of time mirroring one another, performing the same process on the opposite time of the car, we were in constant contact and helped whenever the other needed. It was always a collaborative effort.
A distinct feature which contributes to the beauty of classic cars, such as this Maserati 150S, is the large curving body panels. In fact, the 150S has no independent body panels. Instead, the body sections flow into one another, creating a seemingly singular seamless piece of art. These unique and beautiful body lines helped contribute toward a sense of continual joy of correction when refining the surfaces. It was a labor of love to go through the many in-depth processes, finishing every curve and contour of this Italian stunner. All of these processes contributed toward a finished product that made the body glow with the aura of angel while reflecting anything and everything within close proximity.
In the end, there were a little over 130 hours invested in the paint alone; transforming this former race car into a Pebble Beach Concours beauty. Each process, no matter how small, amazingly seemed to improve the one before it, bringing the paint closer and closer to the final stage. With much care and attention, three coats of a highly concentrated carnauba wax were applied to all exterior surfaces. The car was such a joy to work on that, in all honesty, the long working hours were seemingly lost in a state of polishing euphoria since the paint was very cooperative and cleaned up beautifully.
Commonly, throughout the stages of polishing, comments could be heard during, and in the background of polishing to the effect of, “WOW!” or “I can’t wait to see her against the lawn.” But little did we know, that after we finished up and loaded that brilliantly shining beauty into the trailer, that our polishing work was going to have another small road bump of correction, before we could sign off on allowing her to enter the pristine lawn on Sunday morning.
After the Tour d’ Elegance, which is a 70 mile road rally for entrants being judged in the Concours d’ Elegance, the 150S ‘required’ (at least by our standards) a secondary final polish to remove the many small imperfections caused by the 100+ cars driving alongside one another in the course which tours the Monterey area and includes portions of the Laguna Seca Raceway. This final polish was performed within the tightly confined, yet completely environmentally controlled, transport trailer. For a combined 20 hours more, the paint was scrutinized with a finish polish, inspected, and finally triple waxed into the wee hours of the Sunday morning. So after finishing the big day, the Concours d’ Elegance, on lawn of the 18th hole of the Pebble Beach golf links, was only a few hours away. In the end, this little Maserati race car transformed into a Italian goddess, as her dark sultry shade of burgundy glowed when juxtaposed against the back drop of immaculately trimmed green grass and the crashing blue and white surf of the Pebble Beach coastline.
The crew who worked on all of the mechanical systems and history of the 150S deserve a loud resounding thank you. The crew headed by DeWayne Samuels, consisting of Rich Heinrich, Steve Loy, and Nick Siegfried worked nearly day and night for four months restoring this car. Every bit of the car was disassembled, inspected, repaired or replaced if need be, cleaned, then reassembled, piece by piece, in effort to get her in top concours condition. Their constant assistance, teamwork, and unrelenting spirit (and willingness to have a good time – WHILE always working away) was the backbone behind all of the results seen here. Although, I spent only a mere fraction of time on the car as the rest of the team, it was easy to understand how these seasoned professionals could pull off deconstructing an entire car while maintaining an uber quality work for so many long restless hours. It, once was again, my esteemed honor to assist this fun and hard-working team of talented gentlemen.
Most of all my sincerest gratitude must be given again to Scott Nichols of Distinct Detail for entrusting me to work alongside him on such a beautiful piece of automotive art. The Pebble Beach Concours d’ Elegance is a once in a lifetime experience for many detailers, and it is the social event of the year for many motor heads, enthusiasts, and vintage collectors alike. Therefore, to be included in the preparation of Scott’s second entry for the Sunday lawn at Pebble Beach was assuredly my humble honor and pleasure.
Below are a few more pictures of the 1956 150S Maniposto, areas that demanded cleaning, and her impressing the crowd on the lawn:
© Christopher Brown – OCDCarCare Los Angeles – OCDCarCare.com – 2014
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