PH FLEET UPDATE: FORD PUMA
Riggers makes his very own shed all shiny - because a wash is as good as getting that suspension sorted...
Fortunately, one of the chaps who came along for the demonstration spotted my Puma nestling forlornly beneath the trees in the car park, complete with bird-sourced garnish. Taking in the brake dust, the withered-looking window seals and said bird-doings, and muttering disappointed noises as he felt with his hand the frankly crappy nature of the paintwork, he solemnly handed me a packet of bird-dropping wipes. "These'll do for a start, but perhaps you'd like to bring your car over to us at some point, and we can show you what the full range can do."
Now, being a chap who likes the effect of a thoroughly clean car, but not the effort apparently involved, it was all I could do not to bite the poor fellow's hand off.
Now for the science bit
These are a car cleaning fetishist's wet dream, with a 'wet bay' replete with super high-pressure jet wash and a 'dry bay' with an example of every single product line Autoglym makes. And it was in these two bays that I saw Barney (kind of a Yoda figure for apprentice car valeters, only not a wizened, fictional alien) work something akin to magic on the Puma, without much in the way of visible effort.
Other titbits? If you're going to use a clay bar on your car, pop your fingers in the cellophane wrapping of a cigarette packet and run them over the paintwork of the car before and after - the plastic accentuates your sensitivity to the lumps and bumps on the paintwork that the clay removes, and the before-and-after feeling is so much more satisfying.
But, courtesy of Barney's sage advice, I now know I needn't put in too much effort, and since then the Puma has received a quick wash every weekend, followed by either a polish, a quick liquid wax, or a 'high-definition' wax.
Why so much effort on a shed?
All of this might seem borderline obsessive, especially on a car worth - at its absolute best - a grand. But if you're reading this then you don't need me to tell you that, for the likes of us, car ownership is not about logic or pragmatism.
But the ACF-50 corrosion blocker I wrote about in my last report seems to have prevented the rusting arches from significant deterioration over the winter, and I keep telling myself I'll sort out the suspension soon.
In the meantime I can keep myself distracted from the truly pressing issues by keeping AX51 GGA nice and shiny...
Car: 2001 Ford Puma
Run by: Matt Rigby
Bought: June 2011
Purchase price: 1,000
Last month at a glance: Time to get AX51 GGA spruced up with a spring clean - potential suspension issues brushed under carpet