Preparing for the First Concours of the Season
As is customary for NNJR the first judged concours event of the season is planned for the first Saturday of May. That is just about 3 months from the delivery of this edition of “Porschsforus.” The focus of this article is to give you an idea of how to get your Porsche ready for the concours season, including how to use the resources offered by the NNJR Concours Group.
Starting with February there is one event each month leading up to the May concours that can help you get ready. In February the “Dent Man” event will give you an opportunity to have any door dings or other minor dents removed by the expert. You will be able make an appointment to bring your Porsche to Flemington Porsche and have the “Dent Man” work on it at a discounted rate.
The Gathering of the Faithful event in March is an opportunity to get together with the “Concours Clan” to talk Porsches. The concours judges will be there for a workshop and will be glad to give you pointers on preparing your Porsche for the first event of the year.
In April we will be hosted at the Paterek Brothers Porsche restoration shop in Chatham. The Patereks are internationally recognized in Porsche circles. Ray, John, and John’s son Andrew have a bag of tricks to solve most any exterior or interior preparation problem you might have. You can bring your Porsche to the Paterek event and get guidance on how solve your natty problems. You will also learn a lot from the discussions and demonstrations in response to the problems of other participants. You might get solutions to problems you didn’t even know you had.
Once you have taken advantage of the services outlined above, it is time to go through the detailed cleaning needed before you head to the concours event. NNJR region level concours normally include judging divided into three areas of your Porsche: Exterior, Interior, and Storage. There will be a separate judge and score sheet for each of the three areas. At PCA Zone and National events, Engine Compartments and Undercarriages may be included depending on class.Â This article is focused on preparation for the first event of the season, which is designed to be a new member friendly regional event where only the basic three areas of the Porsches will be evaluated. The following are guides for preparation of the Exterior, Interior, and Storage areas of your Porsche.
A good first impression as the judging team approaches your Porsche is an important factor. The condition of exterior usually has the biggest impact on this first impression. All exterior washing, drying, polishing, and waxing must be done in a well shaded area or indoors.
- Washing: Clean the wheels first using a wheel cleaner designated for the type of finish on your wheels. Polished or anodized alloy wheels can be damaged by acidic cleaners. Using a high quality PH balanced car washing product and a clean cotton cloth, give your Porsche body exterior a thorough wash starting with the top and working down to the rocker panels. Wash one or two panels at a time and then rinse thoroughly. Dry the exterior with 2 well worn clean cotton bath towels. Dry the exterior glass with the first towel starting with the windshield, and again starting at the top dry the body panels. Then with the second dry towel redo the exterior glass, and the body panels. Also open the doors and lids, including the fuel filler and dry the door jambs, edges, bottoms, lid edges, and fuel filler door and cavity.
- Polishing: Using a mild polish, do all of the body panels, door jamb and edges, and wheels.Â Polish should be applied using a well worn piece of cotton toweling. Put a small amount of polish on the cotton cloth and rub it in a linear fashion in the direction air flows over the car. Do about a one or two square foot area at a time, rubbing the polish until it almost disappears. When a panel is finished, use an old cotton tee shirt to remove any remaining polish. And then go on to the next panel, again working from the top down. For best results you should do this before each concours. Every time you polish your paint the finish gets a little shinier.
- Waxing: For a show car, a good quality carnauba paste wax is usually best. It is not as durable as some other types of wax but gives the best gloss finish of the different types on the market today. For a Porsche that is kept clean and is waxed several times a year durability is not an issue. Again using a clean piece of well worn cotton toweling, apply the paste wax sparingly to one panel at a time. Use clean dry cotton tee shirt material to do the final polishing. Again start with the top and work down polishing linearly in the direction the air flows over the car.
- Trim: For exterior rubber trim and tires use a non-silicone vinyl and rubber product. You don’t want it to be shinny, but it should look black and clean. For older Porsches with aluminum trim, use a mild polish to brighten it up.
There are three major parts to the interior of a Porsche:Â the glass, the dash and instruments, the upholstery including the headliner, and the carpeting.
- Cleaning Glass and Dash: Using a good quality automotive glass cleaner clean the inside of the windshield, side windows, and rear window. When you have finished, do it again, and then do it one more time. Have an assistant stand outside the Porsche as you dry the interior glass for the third time to point out any smudges. Each time you finish drying the glass wipe off the dash, instruments, and steering wheel.
- Cleaning Upholstery: For vinyl and leather upholstery use water based upholstery cleaner (like a saddle soap). Apply the cleaner and be sure to pull open the pleating seams of the seats to clean out any dirt that has worked into that area. Go over the cleaned upholstery with clean damp towel. Also clean the brake, clutch, and brake pedals at this time.
- Vacuuming the Carpeting and Fabric Upholstery: Thoroughly vacuum the Carpeting and any fabric upholstery. Once this is done, avoid getting into the Porsche except to drive it to the concours site. For the drive it will be good to have some sort of lint free floor mat or small rug on the driver’s side of the floor.
Storage includes the luggage compartment, glove compartment, side pockets, hinges, and latches.Â The luggage compartment includes the jack, the tool kit, spare tire, and battery for air cooled cars.
- Cleaning the Luggage Compartment: Remove the spare tire and tool kit from the luggage compartment. Thoroughly vacuum the entire luggage compartment. Clean the underside of the lid. Make sure all dust and dirt is cleaned out around the hinge area of the luggage compartment. Clean all dirty grease from the hood latch area. Wash the spare tire and wheel. Check the condition of the tool kit. Make sure the tools and the tool bag are clean and free of rust stains. Make sure the battery and terminals are clean and free of corrosion. For judging, only the spare tire, tool kit, the jack, and possibly compressor should be in the trunk.
- Glove Compartment: The glove compartment should be clean and empty except for things that came with the Porsche (Owner’s Manual, fuses, and possibly a sun roof manual crank).
- Door Pockets: Door pockets should be completely empty and free of any dust. The door latches, striker plates, and hinges should be clean and free of any dirty grease.
Once all of the above tasks are completed your Porsche is ready to go to the show field. You have probably expended 6 to 10 hours to get to this point.Â You still have about 2 hours work to do after get to the show field. We will cover that process in a future article.
Please feel free to contact us at concours@nnjr-pca with any questions.