"Find something you like and use it often"
A lot of people have read this quote in my Signature Line since the first time I started posting to the Internet which would be at least in 1994 on rec.autos.misc
on the Usenet Newsgroups as that's where I started using it. Here's the story behind that quote...
I was a guest speaker on the topic of polishing paint for two vintage car clubs in my home town of Albany, Oregon in about 1991 or 1992, these were the Enduring A's (a Ford Model A Club), and the Willamette Valley Model T Club.
Before my presentation, a Paint Instructor for PPG by the name of Jack Anderson
was giving his presentation on the topic of using the proper products and techniques for painting cars using PPG paints.
I had met Jack a few times as our paths crossed in the paint, body and equipment industry as I was a Rep for Meguiar's at that time. Towards the end of his presentation he fielded questions and the last question asked was, "What do you recommend for a car wax?
Now I don't know if the club member asked this question in jest to put Jack on the spot since the next speaker was me and I was going to be speaking about polishing paint using Meguiar's products or if it was a sincere question as they wanted his professional opinion on which brand of car wax to use after a person had done all the work it takes to paint a car using PPG paints.
Regardless of the intent, without missing a beat Jack smiled and replied, "Find something you like and use it often"
He then went on to say that what he meant by this was as long as you're using a quality product that because most quality car waxes would do what they were supposed to do, that is leave a coating of protection and make the paint look good, that just as important, if not more important
, was to actually wax the car
and re-apply the wax on a regular basis to maintain the car's appearance. If a person actively maintains their car's paint with product that performs as claimed the paint would stay in good shape, last a long time and look good.
My hunch is that his underlying implication
was that most people don't wax their car often enough but instead look for some kind of miracle, once-a-year wax
because they're lazy or it's just not as important as they act like it is.
After explaining what he meant he did go on to say that he understood I was in the audience and because of his own position in the painting industry, he didn't want to get into a wax war
, (his words), over which car wax was best and so that's why he always he avoided specific recommendations.
As I listened to him I thought this guy is really wise, not only does he avoid the entire topic of arguing which car wax is best his advice is sound and logical and if followed would work for any person on any car.
A few minutes later he stepped away from the podium and I gave my presentation.
Ever since that event, I admired his approach to handling a very common and often times heated topic
so much, (What's the best car wax), that I borrowed his answer and have used it as a part of my signature line to this date.
I've been posting to discussion forums since discussion forums appeared in the form that we know them today, (vBulletin style
), and even before vBulletin was released, (see this article
), and one thing I've noticed is that the fastest way to get into a Flame War on a discussion forum is to bring up one of 3 topics,
- Car Wax
As ridiculous and even comical as the third item is in that list, I think most of you reading this if you've been active on any number of discussion forums for any length of time that you'll agree.
There's something about sitting behind a keyboard and posting under an anonymous forum nickname that will cause guys to post something to a discussion forum that they would normally never say if they were in nose-punching distance
from the other person.
So when you see me type, "Find something you like and use it often"
Here's what that means,
If you like a product, that usually means you like the experience of using it which includes application
, that is you like how the product applies. It also tends to mean you like how the product removes
, that is you like how the product wipes-off. It can also mean you like how fast or slow it dries or the fact that it doesn't have to dry at all and you can wipe it off immediately.
And usually and most important, it means you like how it makes the paint on your car look
and that's a huge part of the big picture of owning and enjoying
your car, truck or s.u.v. or special interest car.
You can't really know which product you like best until you've used a variety of products so finding something you like and using it often means you have to do some research and at some point make some purchases and then go out into your garage and do some testing to gain real world knowledge and experience.
At some point you will find a product you like and if you use it often then your car's paint will always look good because it's only when you neglect your car's paint that it goes downhill.
Just the simple act
of applying and working-in and over the paint a smooth, creamy product, (that is formulated to make paint look good), has a polishing-effect
and if done on a regular basis will preserve and maintain a clear, glossy finish and isn't that the primary goal of those that consider them serious car enthusiasts
How often you have to repeat this process to maintain your car's finish to a quality level you expect for your car's appearance depends upon how the car is used and where it's parked when not in use.
A daily driver that is parked outside most of the time, either at work or at home, will need to be maintained more regularly than a Garage Queen that is only driven on sunny days. So adjust your car maintenance schedule to fit your lifestyle and the way you use your car.
Anyway, that's the story behind the story and you ever read this Mr. Anderson, please give me a call or shoot me an e-mail, I've tried to contact you over the years but to no avail and would love to talk with you again. Last time we talked you were getting ready to wet-sand your 1957 Chevy and I volunteered to come over and lend a hand, the offer still stands.