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Same people, new name.
This limited edition track-spec version of the Ferrari 360 came over to us whilst in storage, with the remit to “make her beautiful“.
The car had a respray a few years back, and the owner had decided to completely cover the vehicle in paint protection film at the time to protect the finish; unsurprising given the cost of a respray.
Whilst the paint was – as intended – protected, the film itself was beginning to turn hazy and had picked up some scratches itself, with the wheels contaminated with pieces of rubber from track and road use. The interior, whilst clean, was showing signs of wear in places such as brushed metal kick plates; and the tan Italian leather on the driver’s bucket seat in particular was beginning to take on a shine from use, and in need of a clean and condition to rejuvenate the finish. The engine bay’s carbon trim was dulled and in need of refreshment, with the rest of the bay - although seemingly tidy - needing a thorough clean for the light layer of road grime and running grease which had accumulated.
The initial clean was uneventful, suffice to say a snow foam pre-clean and our standard two bucket merino wool mitt wash took care of the light layer of road dust which it had arrived with, and the rubber bits stayed on the inside rim of the wheels as expected – this stuff is hard to shift. The only other mention was a layer of polish lining every single seam in the paint protection film - from a previous attempt at polishing, we assume. Safe to say it was all taken care of, so we’ll skip that part and jump to the workshop stage.
This commenced with a thorough degrease of the engine bay, which is actually pretty spacious, with most of the mechanics resting on the exposed painted chassis, giving plenty of access around the V8 to work our magic.
The carbon fibre side panels were removed to clean behind - revealing a lot more previously untouched muck than anticipated! - and put to one side ready for polishing. The skimmed logo on the rocker covers had begun to oxidise, so this was lightly skimmed back before light polishing and sealing to help preserve the finish. The covers themselves were then degreased and steam-cleaned to remove the grime in the textured finish, before being dried with a filtered warm-air line. All plastics and rubbers accessible were cleaned then treated with a long life trim conditioner, leaving the fixed parts gleaming and the chassis frame clean and grease-free.
The exhaust back box was then machine buffed to remove water marks and tarnishing and restore a highly polished finish.
Once cleaned the carbon fibre air boxes were also removed and all carbon fibre elements including side panels (right) were gradually compounded and polished up to a high gloss, before being protected with a polymer sealant and reinstalled. Into the engine bay.
Total time: 30+ hours
Whilst off, the arches, suspension and brakes were cleaned and protected and several stone chips on the calipers touched in to prevent degradation of the finish. The wheel faces were treated with a wheel wax before reinstalling and re-torqued to spec.
Inside the car, we carefully cleaned and conditioned the Italian leather bucket seats and dash and treated the alcantara extinguisher cover and sun visors with specialist cleaners, due to their sensitive nature. We also conditioned the driver’s handbook and tool kit satchel-style case and polished the fire extinguisher back to a high shine for good measure.
The driver’s foot well kick-plate, which had dulled and had picked up various scratches, was removed for further attention. We machine polished the brushed metal finish, removing light scuffing marks and oxidisation, before sealing with quartz sealant to protect it and reinstalling.
Pedals were cleaned and polished and a thorough hoover left the interior in perfect condition. The carbon fibre door cards were polished to remove scratching and the glass cleaned with an ammonia free glass cleaner.
The exterior surface of the car was the final task, and we had to tread a bit carefully as the paint protection film covering the was not cheap to fit, and would be more sensitive to heat build-up from excessive polishing and less forgiving than bare paintwork.
The bonnet in particular had a high amount of hazing on its surface, so using a light compound intended for clear plastics, such as convertible windscreens, we gently machine polished the surface clear and gradually restored the surface shine. Working our way around the car we removed several of the more obvious scratches and finished off with a coat of sealant intended for vehicles with vinyl wraps to protect against further oxidisation of the film.
The rear grill prancing horse and "Challenge Stradale" badges were unbolted and cleaned in an ultrasonic bath, with the matt black rear grill cleaned and protected with a polymer spray sealant before re-assembly. and a final inspection.
The wheels were removed from the car and treated with a mild petroleum-based tar remover to loosen the track rubber, which had adhered and baked itself to the inside of the rims. The insides were then machine polished, inspected for corrosion, and treated with a Nano-Ceramic sealant, to ease future cleaning and help prevent future build up.