By now you’ll know I bought the cheapest GTR I could find and after a long day and 320 miles it’s just hit 77,000 miles. So what does this mean? Well in essence it means the car was desperate for some love. Those of you who know me well know that I’m somewhat “fussy” with my cars. I hate damage and imperfections but unfortunately my cheap GT-R had a multitude of both. I spent a few hours yesterday with some 5D carbon fibre wrap to cover the battered front splitter, as they’re perfectly positioned to argue with any high kerbstones when parking. This being said the car looks fresher at the front and it cost me £10 for a piece of vinyl which is only going to take further punishment. Anyway I’m waffling so to the paintwork! The car was somewhat dirty when I inspected it (yes I know amateur mistake). However upon inspection not only was there normal oxidisation on both doors (pending warranty claim) the car had a haze allover it. The aforementioned haze was very strange with a multitude of swirl marks and scratches from poor washing and the paint looked almost burnt when clean. I gave the car a full clay bar after a thorough wash, followed by some Auto Finesse glaze. This didn’t do anything to rectify the almost smokey haze in the clear coat.
I spoke to a local detailer who wasn’t sure what the issue was. However chances were I was looking at a multi stage correction, somewhere in the region of £350-£400. Now I’ve nothing against detailers, if nothing else I’m fascinated by the level of gloss they can extract from a vehicles paintwork. But I feel most will agree with me it’s a last option if nothing else will do. I’ve played with paint before on all 3 of my RS4’s and usually been able to rectify something before breaking out the machine polishers. However I know the GT-R was in a bad way allover. So what have I used? Well I went for Meguiars “ultimate compound” I’ve known many friends use this before for minor swirls with varying success and at a sniff over £12 delivered I feel it was worth a punt. I love a day of detailing regardless so nothing to lose really.
As mentioned before I love a car with flaws, they add character in my opinion and I love the satisfaction of watching my car improve. If I’d spent more I would have nothing to do and I feel I wouldn’t be as interested in the car long term. I gave the car a good hose down and safe wash with two buckets and began tackling the paint with a micro-fibre and the ultimate compound. The compound was easy to apply in a linear motion and you could add some pressure without the product drying too quickly. A clean micro-fibre cloth to buff and the car looked completely different. I could see it “cutting” through the haze almost like a fog clearing in front of me. There were bad sections of the GT-R that required a few passes such as the rear three quarters and the rear wing!
I was satisfied after some well timed sunshine graced the car with its presence. Thus enabling me to see the progress overall. It’s important to remember a compound offers no protection to your paint, so a wax was necessary to insure some shielding from the February road grime. I used Auto Finesse liquid Carnauba wax as it’s incredibly easy to apply and buff without leaving streaks. This also provided protection for the car short term. My corrosion warranty claim has been approved for the doors to be painted. Yet whether this comes to fruition remains to be seen. So once painted amongst a few other tidy-up jobs I will look at having the car ceramic coated for longer lasting defence.
I feel now is a good time to do a quick recap on my expenses so far to improve the quality of my cheap GT-R. First I spent £10 on some carbon fibre wrap for my front lip, I’ve then spent £500 on my new exhaust (should be fitted later this week) however I’ve taken a deposit on my current exhaust for a sale price of £700 so my new exhaust is technically free. You can then add the £12 I spent on my paint correction today. Those of you who are observant will note some subtle red highlights front and rear, they were £2.55 for 10m so there maybe more down the side skirts like a NISMO edition but we will see! For the most part I can’t wait to see some 5” carbon fibre tailpipes sprouting from my rear diffuser.
Finally nothing I’ve written about here today is a paid for promotion. They’re just products I’ve trialed and feel confident with, although I’m genuinely astounded by the Meguiars compound. Everything I’ve bought has been sourced through eBay even the GT-R itself! I’m not here to cheap out on my car and it will be maintained correctly and by specialists, that being said I want to prove that cars with a few miles on can be made into really nice examples. After some smart spending and hard work. I’ve spent a few hours wrapping my splitter and 3-4 hours with the polish and compound,now my car looks like it’s covered half the miles, not forgetting the fact it’s 11 years old in September this year.