An Evening of Classic Cars and Auto Detailing in Harpenden.
Quite by accident, I began my discoveries into Car Detailing in Harpenden on a warm July evening when I was visiting 'Classics on the Common'. This is an annual event where you'll find the craziest line-up of classic cars and customised vehicles from all around Hertfordshire and beyond. Among the many exhibits, I found a display by a local Car Detail specialist from Harpenden, who was only too willing to explain the differences between valeting and Auto detailing services.
In the USA it seems that Auto Detailing and Valeting are regarded as being much the same thing but, here in the UK, there is a distinct difference. You will find valeting services everywhere, from the independent mobile operators to those you find in your local supermarket or shopping centre car parks. They do a great job and provide a convenient service but, when it comes to trusting someone to bring the sparkle back to your precious classic or performance car; car detailing is what they call it in Harpenden.
Car detailers, or Auto detail specialists, are more like a rare breed of craftsmen who will meticulously clean, polish, wax and protect your treasured vehicle inside out until it looks like it did in the showroom. My car detail expert on Harpenden Common told me that they use a variety of expensive detergents, detail clay, waxes and polishes for exterior detailing, but these are applied only with special cloths and applicators. Deep cleaning and careful polishing of all paintwork, chrome, windows and wheels are all necessary to remove contamination, road film and dirt. It's obvious that the average car valeter could never complete such a task within your 20 minute shopping trip.
Interior car detailing, my Harpenden specialist says, involves the painstaking work of vacuuming and steam cleaning upholstery, whilst the dashboard, interior panels and instruments are given a spanking new cockpit shine. Where car engine detailing is required, I only needed to ask my Harpenden friend to elucidate on the merits of high pressure steam cleaning and degreasing agents.
Auto detail specialists in the Harpenden area are quite rare although some have mobile vans and will come to you if you have the space or garage facilities. They'll usually have an in-depth knowledge of paint codes, treatments etc. and a great love for the vehicles they work on. They need to in this game because car detailing involves a combination of professionalism, dedication, patience and effort.
I said goodbye to the 'Classics on the Common event' at Harpenden and thanked the car detail experts who appeared to have a real passion for their work. Hopefully, after reading this, you won't be taking your Bentley through the local supermarket auto wash ever again.