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  1. #1
    Super Member ScottB's Avatar
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    Mar 2006
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    A Story of Souveran Wax

    CMA brought out a newsletter this morning (3/05) that answered some questions on Pinnacle Souveran. This should help to realize other formulas like P21S (heavy beeswax) and Trade Secret are in fact different, although may share some ingredents. Hopefully CMA will not mind me cut/paste the entire article for the folks that want to know about one of the greatest carnuba's made and the fact that it isnt all carnuba.

    "Judging by the volume of emails I've been receiving, our Pinnacle waxes have been creating quite a stir in the marketplace. If you're a long time reader of our Newsletter, you know I rarely tout our own products, preferring to focus the spotlight on other manufacturer's products. This month, I hope you'll forgive me if I wave the flag over our first product line, Pinnacle, and a wax I'm particularly proud of, Souveran Paste Wax. As I travel around the country to various show car and concours events, I am always flattered to see this wax being used, especially on cars that end up in the "Winners Circle." With this growth in popularity comes the inevitable rumors and innuendoes about what's in it and who makes it.
    Here, in no particular order, are some of the recent emails I've received with questions about our Pinnacle waxes.

    Question: I've been told that Pinnacle Souveran Paste Wax is the same as "Brand X" which sells for half the price. Is this true?

    Answer: I tracked a number of these rumors back to internet forums where someone's uncle's barber knows a mechanic that had some "inside information" that Souveran is .....etc. Hog wash! I developed Pinnacle Souveran Paste wax and do not sell it under any other name or allow the formula to be used by any other company. Now, we do pour waxes for other companies but these waxes are crafted to the client's specifications or price constraints. They are totally different formulas from Pinnacle Souveran.

    Q: Where did Pinnacle Souveran (Paste Wax) come from?

    A: The history of Pinnacle goes back to 1991. At that time, I owned a black Mercedes and, like most enthusiasts, thought I wanted a bright shiny finish. My eyes were opened when I purchased a jar of Zymol® Destiny™ wax. Destiny made my car look fabulous! It wasn't a bright shine but rather a deeper, darker shine. My car's black paint rippled like it was under water. I think I paid around three hundred bucks for that jar of wax. (It now sells for over $400.00 for an 8 oz. jar!)

    Through this experience, I came to realize that there was more to shine than just light reflection. Some colors, black, red, dark blue, deep yellow for example, look better with this "deeper, darker, wet-like" shine.
    A light went on! Every wax manufacturer was promoting a brighter, more dazzling shine. No one, with the exception of Zymol, was addressing a different type of shine just for dark color vehicles. I reasoned that if I could create a wax similar to Zymol's Destiny at a "more affordable" price, I'd have a winner. With Destiny as my benchmark, I hired a chemist and we spent the next 15 months developing a super wax for dark color vehicles. Mid 1992, I felt we had a wax that, nine times out of ten, couldn't be distinguished from our benchmark wax in a blind, side-by-side comparison. In some areas we even surpassed our benchmark wax. Because we're in Florida, we crafted Souveran to be extremely haze and streak-resistant even in climates of high heat and humidity. It wipes on and buffs off easily with every car coming out perfect. In September of 1992, I launched the Pinnacle Car Care line with Souveran Paste Wax as our signature wax for dark color vehicles. The rest, as they say is history with Pinnacle Souveran Paste Wax being used on hundreds if not thousands of show and concours winners all the way up to Pebble Beach!

    Q: Why is Souveran so expensive?
    A: The plain truth is production costs. Paste waxes are "cooked" in a steam jacketed kettle with the liquid wax being sent under pressure to a filling machine with 6 or more spigots. Wax jars are filled six at a time, go down an assembly line through a cooling tunnel where the top of the wax solidifies enough for a cap to be installed, past a labeling machine where a label is applied and then to final packaging. The Souveran formula, because of the various oils we use, is extremely finicky. We must maintain the temperature of the wax within 4 degrees C. from the beginning to the end of the pouring or we get mush. It also does not like forced cooling. We have to let Souveran air cool. Because the formula requires so much attention, Souveran is poured one container at a time. It is sent down a short assembly line to a flat table where it is allowed to air cool. When it cools in this manner, the center of the wax sinks slightly. This doesn't hurt anything but it doesn't look nice for a high quality wax to have a caved in center. To smooth the top, we pour the container 3/4 full, let it air cool and then run it through a second time to "top it off". In essence, we pour every container twice. The surface wax then air dries a second time, an "O" ring is installed, the cap is screwed on (by hand) and a front and back label is put on (again by hand).

    We have to contract the pouring. We rent the kettle, filling machine, cooling table and usually two operators for "X" number of days. With a typical, automotive paste wax, one filling machine and operator should be able to pour and package 2,000 wax jars a day. With Souveran, the best we have ever accomplished is 200 jars a day and some days, as little as 100 jars. We have to amortize the cost of the equipment and labor over the number of jars we produce. That's why it's so expensive. Now we can take out some of the ingredients that make the formula so difficult to pour but we would loose the 3-dimensional, look-down-the-layers shine that Souveran is famous for.

    Q: How is Souveran Paste Wax different from other waxes?

    A: The mental image most people have of a freshly waxed car is a bright, shiny finish but that may not be the best look for your car. Black, red and dark color vehicles tend to look better with a deeper, 3-dimensional, liquid shimmer that allows the vitality and energy of the paint to emerge. Conventional waxes that focus on brightness create a bland, silvery reflection in direct sunlight. This sterile shine does not compliment the passion and power of black and red vehicles.

    Souveran on dark color paints creates the liquid shimmer of an infinitely deep pool. Everything about Souveran is different. We start with a base of super-refined, Brazilian Ivory Carnauba. This extra refining process reduces impurities and increases the wax's clarity.

    Yellow Carnauba Ivory Carnauba

    During the blending process, as the wax is melted to a liquid, we add additional oils which "wet" the surface. This gives the finish the look of rippling liquidity.
    Souveran is different in three other aspects. First it wipes on and buffs off "wet". There is no waiting for the wax to dry and no chalky residues to collect in body seams. You simply walk around the car wiping on and buffing off as you go. Souveran will also not white-stain body moldings.

    A second difference is the coverage. Conventional paste waxes will typically yield 10 to 12 applications per container. One 8 oz. container of Pinnacle Souveran Paste Wax is enough to wax 20 to 30 vehicles. A little wax goes a long way!

    The third difference is that Pinnacle Souveran can be layered without fear of yellowing or discoloration. The finish will noticeably darken with a second application and we know of show cars that have 20 or more coats of Souveran!

    Q: How much Carnauba is in Souveran?
    A: Carnauba in today's wax formulas functions mostly as a carrier. It is the vehicle used to keep the polymers and oils on your car's surface. Only a small portion of your vehicle's shine comes from the "wax" (i.e. carnauba) itself. Carnauba is translucent at best with only minimal light reflection.

    Modern folklore propagates the myth that increasing the Carnauba content of a wax will make the wax "better". This is marginally true at best. Increasing the Carnauba content up to a point (30 to 37%), will increase the waxes durability but will not affect the shine. If the Carnauba content is too high (40% or more), the result is a rock-hard, wax brick. You simply would not be able to apply it to a vehicle! Be wary of manufacturerers that claim high (40%+) wax contents. They are either lying or they include softer, cheaper waxes (beeswax, palm wax, paraffin) in their formula.

    We do not use any beeswax, Montan wax, Palm wax or paraffin in our formulas. We pack our waxes with the maximum amount of Ivory Carnauba possible. If we put in more Carnauba, the wax would be impossible to apply. We have never quoted a content percentage because it really isn't important.



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  3. #2
    Super Member ScottB's Avatar
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    Q: What happened to Pinnacle Paste Glaz for light color vehicles?

    A: When I launched Pinnacle in 1992, I started with Souveran Paste Wax for dark color vehicles and Paste Glaz Paste Wax for light color vehicles. In layman's terms, Paste Glaze contained a high polymer content for a brighter shine which compliments light colors while Souveran used wetting oils to increase the carnauba's natural jetting factor or darkening characteristic. Over time we found that we could put more polymers in a liquid product. The amount of wax in Paste Glaz was actually inhibiting the amount of shine we could produce. Liquid Souveran was introduced to compliment white, silver, grey, beige, light yellow and light blue finishes. It contains a base of Brazilian Ivory Carnauba for transparency but is packed with highly reflective, crystalline polymers.

    [B]CMA (Terri) was former co-owner of Pinnacle Souveran Wax. It has since been purchased in full with rights belonging to PBMA (Capt Max) only. While the ingredients and design have changed very little to nothing since being designed, it has only seen a 10.00 price increase over the years. I think you must applaud a product that has been "king of the hill" so long, and most will note almost every other company still holds it as the challenger.


  4. #3
    Super Member ScottB's Avatar
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    My hope is we can have Captain Max place his comments here on the product Souveran Wax, and more importantly how he moved the line with cleaners, polishes, ,SS, SSII, and now the XMT line also.


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