View Full Version : 1939 Lincoln Zephyr - Swirls Removed - Modeled by Nicole

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Mike Phillips
12-17-2011, 12:16 PM
1939 Lincoln Zephyr - Swirls Removed - Modeled by Nicole (http://www.autogeekonline.net/forum/pictures-autogeek-s-car-week/44292-1939-lincoln-zephyr-swirls-removed-modeled-nicole.html)

***Update - Thursday August 30th, 2012***
Discovered this video I took on my iPhone right after we buffed this car out showing the liquid gloss finish, check it out...


I took this picture immediately after Frank drove his 1939 Lincoln Zephyr into the Show Car Garage Studio...


And here's how it looked at the car show where I first met Frank and took these pictures...


The finish on the paint looks god sitting under the shade of a tree...


The car is beautiful and the paint looks great!

Question: Do you think it's possible that there are swirls and scratches in the beautiful paint job on this 1939 Lincoln Zephyr?

Answer: Let's take a look...

Before Frank drove the car into the studio I had him park it in front of Autogeek in full sun


Here are the pictures I took showing the true condition of the paint.....

Picture = 1939LincolnZephyr015.jpg

These next three shots are all cropped out from the above picture...




I walked around the Zephyr and captured these swirl shots...







While the condition of the finish may appear to be show car quality, it's actually in

Just to note, some people think that in the above pictures I'm pointing to the swirls with my finger. That's not actually what I'm doing. What I'm doing is placing my finger on the paint to give my camera something to focus on and by doing this the camera is able to at the same time focus on the surface of the paint and thus capture the swirls in the paint. It's just a coincidence that it looks like I'm pointing at the swirls.

Here's my article on how to captures swirls and other paint defects with your camera.

How-To capture swirls, scratches, etchings and other surface defects with your camera (http://www.autogeekonline.net/forum/tips-techniques-how-articles-interacting-discussion-forums/26917-how-capture-swirls-scratches-etchings-other-surface-defects-your-camera.html)

In my new how-to book there's a chapter on deciding your car care goals, that is what is you want out of your car's appearance? Do you just want to do the basics or do you want to create a true show car finish?

In order to get to where you want to go you first have to determine where you're at, that is what is the current condition of your car's finish. Knowing the current condition and the goal you want to achieve helps you to choose and use the right products to reach your goal.

Part of helping people to determine their goal meant I needed to a list of Paint Condition Categories that people could use as a guide. The idea being is you first wash or wipe your car clean and then inspect your car's paint and determine which category it falls into and then from there you can better choose the appropriate products to reach your goal.

After visually inspecting the paint and discovering swirls and scratches I placed the paint on Frank's 1939 Lincoln Zephyr in Category 3 Good Condition. This is 2 categories away from Category 1 Show Car Quality. You can find the list of Paint Condition Categories on pages 37 to 39.


So we have some machine polishing to do to remove the swirls and scratches and restore a true show car finish worthy of the Zephyr name.


Mike Phillips
12-17-2011, 01:38 PM
How to use a spray detailer to wash your car
(Page 21 of my how-to book)

The first thing we did was to wipe the car down using Pinnacle Crystal Mist Detailer Spray to remove any loose dust and other contaminants so we can then safely feel the paint with our sense of touch to see if it needs to be clayed.


How to inspect your car's paint for above surface bonded contaminants and how to use detailing clay if contaminants are discovered
(Pages 41 to 47 of my how-to book)

Next we inspected using our clean hands and our sense of touch. We could both feel contaminants on the horizontal surfaces with just our bare hands...

I asked Frank if he had ever heard of the Baggie Test and he said "no" so I let him re-inspect the same areas of paint only this time with a clean sandwich baggie over his hand and this really surprised him as the thin film of plastic amplifies your sense and with the baggie on his hand the paint felt rough with little bumps or surface texture.



The Baggie Test - How to inspect for above surface bonded contaminants (http://www.autogeekonline.net/forum/how-articles/27967-baggie-test-how-inspect-above-surface-bonded-contaminants.html)


The results from our inspection told us we needed to clay the paint, for this we used Pinnacle Ultra Poly Clay and Pinnacle Clay Lubricant.

Frank had never clayed before, while he was here I autographed a copy of my how-to book (http://www.autogeek.net/art-of-detailing-paperback-book.html) for him and showed him pages 42-47 that go over everything you need to know to correctly use detailing clay.






***Important Point to Remember***
I think we can all agree that a great looking finish is a glossy looking finish. Gloss comes from smoothness. Bonded contaminants on your car's paint create surface texture, that is a rough feel to the paint. This also diminishes smoothness and therefore diminishes gloss.

Claying removes above surface bonded contaminants and is the first step after washing to restore a high gloss finish to any car, including the one in your garage or driveway.

Claying also enables your choice of wax or paint sealant to better bond to the paint by removing a layer of contaminants off the paint so the protection ingredients can bond to the paint unhindered.


Mike Phillips
12-19-2011, 10:55 AM
Doing a Test Spot
(Pages 96 to 99 in my how-to book)

There were enough swirls and scratches in the paint that I knew a fine cutting polish wouldn't be enough so I tested Pinnacle Advanced Swirl Remover with a white Lake Country Flat Foam Polishing Pad.


For this test I'll buff on the top of the tape-line...

Couldn't capture the before and after results with my camera in a way that you could see them so you just have to take my word for it that on the half I polished we remove the swirls and scratches but just as important we restored clarity to the clear coat.

The Major Correction Step
(Page 102 and 103 of my how-to book)

After proving the Pinnacle Advanced Swirl Remover with a polishing pad on a DA Polisher was a combination that worked on this paint system Tommy and I went to work removing the swirls.



I let Frank try out the Porter Cable DA Polisher and he liked the small size and lightweight but opted to let me and Tommy tackle the machine polishing steps.

Tommy has the detailing bug bad.... ever since he brought his 1970 1/2 Camaro to our studio and learned how to machine polish the paint on his own car he's become a DETAILING MACHINE as well as a good friend I can trust to "touch" expensive special interest vehicles with costly paint jobs like this Zephyr.

While I was using the Porter Cable, Tommy puts the Griot's Garage 6" Random Orbital Polisher to work removing swirls out of the paint.

This is me applying more product to the face of my pad after cleaning the pad with a terry cloth towel using the technique shared in this article...

How to clean your foam pad on the fly (http://www.autogeekonline.net/forum/how-articles/20135-how-clean-your-foam-pad-fly.html)



As we worked our way around the car we noticed that our pads were becoming stained with a grayish, brownish color? Here you can see the staining of the foam pad via the contrast of the white colored polish we were using.

DIP = Dirt in Paint
Here's a shot of one of our used pads next to a brand new, never before used white polishing pad. This color transfer from the paint to the pad is a type of dirt staining that build-up on the finish and comes off when you're machine polishing.

This dirt staining effect clouds the surface blocking the true color of the paint from shining through.

So to restore a true show car finish to the paint on this Lincoln we used,

Detailing clay to remove above surface bonded contaminants
A medium cut polish to remove swirls and scratches
A medium cut polish to remove dirt staining over the finish

That's three things we've accomplished with our correction step to a car that most people think looked pretty good before we started.


Mike Phillips
12-19-2011, 11:10 AM
The Polishing or Minor Correction Step
(Pages 103 to 105 in my how-to book)

After wiping off any polish residues we moved onto the polishing step to really maximize the gloss, clarity and shine of the clear coat. For this we switched over to Lake Country Black Flat Foam Finishing Pads and continued using DA Polisher....


Here's Tommy using the Meguiar's G110v2 to safely polish the paint to a super high gloss!






How To wax and seal the paint
(Pages 106 to 110 in my how-to book)

Here's Nicole wearing a microfiber glove to hold the Souveran Paste Wax as she applies some wax to the face of Tommy's Lake Country Blue Foam Flat Finishing or Waxing Pad.


Next Tommy and I machine apply the wax to the entire finish...

What's nice about DA Polishers like the PC, Megs and Griot's units is they are light enough and compact in size enough that most people can easily hold them with one hand which makes machine applying the wax fast and easy.


When working on show cars I prefer to every step by machine...


How to correctly fold and use a microfiber towel
(Pages 87 to 89 in my how-to book)






And now it's time for some beauty shots...


Mike Phillips
12-19-2011, 12:40 PM
Beauty shots...










Here's the Motley Crew that did the transformation on the beautiful 1939 Lincoln Zephyr, from left to right...

Tommy, me and Frank...


Mike Phillips
12-19-2011, 01:09 PM
Now it's your turn!

Do you own a show car that while it looks pretty good to most people you know there's room for improvement?

Or do you have a daily driver that you would like for it to look like a show car?

If you answered "yes" to either of the above questions than here's the products we used to remove the swirls, scratches and staining and restore a show car finish.

Pinnacle Crystal Mist Detail Spray (http://www.pinnaclewax.com/crystalmist.html)

Pinnacle Clay Lubricant (http://www.pinnaclewax.com/mirclaylub.html)

Pinnacle Ultra Poly Clay (http://www.pinnaclewax.com/piulfigrdepo.html)

Pinnacle Advanced Swirl Remover (http://www.pinnaclewax.com/pin220.html)

Pinnacle Advanced Finishing Polish (http://www.pinnaclewax.com/pin230.html)

Pinnacle Souveran Carnauba Paste Wax (http://www.pinnaclewax.com/souveran.html)

Porter Cable 7424XP Dual Action Polisher (http://www.pinnaclewax.com/pc7424.html)

Meguiars Dual Action Polisher G110v2 (http://www.autogeek.net/meguiars-dual-action-polisher-g110.html)

Griot's Garage 6 inch Random Orbital Polisher (http://www.autogeek.net/griots-random-orbital-polisher.html)

Lake Country 5" Backing Plate (http://www.autogeek.net/porter-cable-7424-7336-backing-plates.html)

Lake Country 5.5" Flat Foam Pads (http://www.autogeek.net/lake-country-flat-pads.html)

Chinchilla Microfiber Buffing Cloth, 16 x 16 inches (http://www.autogeek.net/chinchilla-microfiber-cloth.html)

Cobra Microfiber Gloves (http://www.autogeek.net/pairglov.html)

Brinkmann Swirl Finder Light (http://www.autogeek.net/brinkmann-swirl-finder-light.html)

The Art of Detailing How-To Book (http://www.autogeek.net/art-of-detailing-paperback-book.html) - Paperback


Mike Phillips
12-19-2011, 02:39 PM
Frank's 1939 Custom Lincoln Zephyr with House of Color Sunset Orange Paint modeled by Swirl Girl Nicole...

Note: In 2004, Frank's Zephyr was voted Street Rod of the year.

First Nicole is checking out the engine stuffed into the engine compartment...


Nicole is wearing microfiber gloves as she uses the very plush Chinchilla Microfiber Polishing Towels to gently give the paint a final wipe...






Microfiber gloves help you to grip your microfiber towels and are soft and gentle to the finish...

The Chinchilla Microfiber Towels are extra thick, when you fold them 4-ways the plush cushion conforms to the curve of your car's body panels to help you remove any trace residues...



After wiping the finish to a clear high shine, Nicole is ready to inspect our work for swirls...

To inspect the paint, Nicole is using the Brinkmann Swirl Finder Light which works like the sun only you don't need a sunny day nor do you have to move your car out of your garage to do any inspection work.

Note how Nicole holds the Swirl Gun about a foot or so away from the finish at an angle that allows the light to reflect back to her eyes...




Hard not to smile when you're working on such a cool car like Frank's 1939 Lincoln Zephyr inside Autogeek's Show Car Garage




While the side mirrors are small for styling effects Nicole is still able to use them to fix her hair for styling effects...

Please join with me and give Nicole a hand for adding even more beauty to an already beautiful rolling work of art...

Suicide doors...

Autogeek's Super Soft Deluxe Green Microfiber Towels with Rolled Edges (http://www.autogeek.net/green-rolled-edge-towels-3.html) are soft and gentle to the finish...

Rock & Roll Swirl Girl...

Here's a kiss in the cyber-wind...

Frank the owner loves the final results...

Show car shine by Pinnacle polishes and waxes...


12-19-2011, 03:06 PM
That brings tears to my eyes ;)

12-19-2011, 03:38 PM
damn, can't get over all those curves...

car's not bad either

Bobby B.
12-19-2011, 03:44 PM
Awesome job!

I love the gloss in this picture.

Mike Phillips
12-19-2011, 04:16 PM
Frank the owner sent me this e-mail...

Hi Mike,

I just wanted to drop you a note of great Thanks for the wonderful job that you did with your products on my 1939 Lincoln Zephyr a few days ago. The entire experience was a very educational one for me and to see the final results was amazing.

The car has never looked better and it shines beyond belief.

Thank you very much for all your professionalism and I wish you the very best for the coming New Year, and I look forward to seeing you again during the coming months.

Best regards,


You can expect to see this car on our TV Show and another car from his collection, nothing special just the only white 1959 Cadillac Convertible that Elvis Presley ever purchased.


12-19-2011, 05:05 PM
You can expect to see this car on our TV Show and another car from his collection, nothing special just the only white 1959 Cadillac Convertible that Elvis Presley ever purchased.

Damnnnnn.....You should do a "Guess how much it's worth?" thread like the previous Pace Car for the Cadillac. :xyxthumbs:

12-19-2011, 05:21 PM
Being as I won the swirl-girl swirl finder light (say that 5 times fast!) I just wanted to say...

Thank you to everyone at AG, Nicole and everyone on this forum. I am wet behind the ears when it comes to this stuff yet everyone makes me feel so welcome and helps me with any and all questions I have.

You all make this forum my go-to spot and thats why I will always come back here for whatever the reason from tips to detailing to social interaction as everyone here is so friendly. I feel like I have friends all over who we all share the same OCD-inspired lifestyles to vehicle maintenance and appreciation.

Again, thank you to everyone that made the contest possible and for the awesome deals you guys have set forth for us. I think we are all a little spoiled and have come to the conclusion that you set and raised the bar for other companies to model their business practices off of. Your vision and mission statements, your credo and company values are exemplified every day and we all appreciate the long hours and tremendous amounts of work you put in every day for us.

Please never change, because without you, there would be no such thing as awesome customer care!

12-19-2011, 05:24 PM
Thanks so much Mike!

This shoot was so fun to do! And this is in my top fav favorite cars of all time. Pics came out great!

Thanks everyone!!!


Mike Phillips
12-19-2011, 05:34 PM
Thanks so much Mike!

Thank you Nicole and thank you for introducing us all to Tina! I'll have the El Camino pictures up tomorrow!

1959 Chevrolet El Camino - Extreme Makeover - Modeled by Tina (http://www.autogeekonline.net/forum/pictures-autogeek-s-car-week/44228-1959-chevrolet-el-camino-extreme-makeover-modeled-christina.html)

Here's Nicole with Tina...