Hooniverse Asks: How do you wash your single-stage paint?

My 1974 Mercedes-Benz 280 is painted in a gorgeous dark blue hue. Well, most of it is gorgeous. There’s two areas where it needs some love. The driver’s side doors, specifically the lower sections, appear faded compared to the rest of the car. Still, when given a proper wash and wax, the rest of the paint on the Benz shines like a mirror. But when waxed, the towels will start to wear some of the blue. That’s because my car was painted in a single stage. There’s no clear coat to protect it. And I’m tired of having a car with such a paint job.

Friend of Hooniverse Matt Farah has a car with a similar paint job. His, however, is applied to his 1988 Lamborghini Countach. Ammo NYC’s Larry Kosilla was invited out to give that paint a cleaning, and he talks about what it takes to properly care for such paint work.

Do you have a vehicle with single-stage paint? If so, how do you wash it? What are your techniques for taking proper care of your vehicle’s exterior? Sound off below.

7 Comments

  1. I have several cars with single stage paint. They receive the same gentle neglect as my clear coated cars.

  2. Those of us with old, faded lacquer like to use the word “Patina” quite often

  3. I once polished a burgundy 1971 Volvo 145 and ended up with driving a pink-reddish 1971 Volvo 145 for a couple of years. Spiky learning curve.

  4. My ’74 Alfa Spider has single stage paint and I treat it like any other garage queen – waterless wash process as needed. Yeah, she gets driven, including to/from Monterey a couple of years ago, but I don’t let her get seriously “dirty” so a good waterless wash is all she needs. But man oh man can she produce brake dust. Mercedes/BMW/Audi have NOTHING on the brake dust this little Italian girl produces!! I use a good, safe, iron reactive wheel cleaner (Meguiar’s Ultimate All Wheel Cleaner) along with a soft brush and a full water-from-the-hose rinse after a couple of long drives. Disclaimer: I’m the guy in the first pic and in the video with Jeff working on the Benz. Yep, I work for Meguiar’s.

  5. I remember using rubbing compound and Classic Car Wax on my red Renault Dauphine when the Texas sun would fade it to tomato soup red. About every 6 months. Same with my 55 Vw bus in olive and celery green (never did know the real names of the colors).

  6. Does driving it in the rain count? if so, then my answer depends on how long ago it rained. The Corolla was getting so bad that washing it removed more paint than dirt.

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