M ercedes-Benz is one of the world's premier automobile manufacturers. In addition to being gorgeous, these vehicles have class leading levels of luxury and performance. In an effort to ensure our treasures remain as beautiful as they were on the showroom floor, the Los Angeles Section put together a joint tech session with Section 8 of the Porsche Club of America on that subject.
The session was hosted at Haas Entertainment Systems in Culver City. Haas Entertainment has been a So Cal staple for audio and video for over 30 years. They cover the entire audio and video spectrum; vehicles, homes, and businesses. Haas Entertainment is a first rate establishment and we consider ourselves quite fortunate to have been given access to their facility for this event.
The tech sessions began with Mike Hansen of International Aero Products going over the particulars of their car care product line. International Aero is one of the largest and most well-respected private jet detailers in the world. International Aero started three decades ago. Its founder, Jonathan Saltman, began the business detailing airplanes at an airfield near his home in Long Beach, California. Over the years the company grew to become one of the largest private airplane detailers in the world. For those wondering "What does a private jet detailing business have to do with cars?", keep reading.
Aero's products were developed to protect the paint and handcrafted leather interiors of $100M private jets. It's easy to see what the interiors have in common, high quality materials that include fine leather and wood, but consider the exterior. Think about the environment the paint on one of these jets has to go through. A jet can sit for hours on a 120°F tarmac in the middle of the desert while waiting for a passenger. During takeoff, its 100+ degree paint is hitting bugs the same as our cars, except at a much faster speed. Once airborne, they increase their altitude to 40,000 feet where they regularly cruise between 300 and 500 MPH. Have you ever noticed those long trails behinds planes? Those are called "contrails". That's short for condensation trails. Those trails aren't smoke from the engines. They're formed when the moisture in the jet exhaust mixes with cold air and freezes into ice crystals. At that altitude, it's commonly between minus 40° and minus 70° F. Jets are regularly pelted with ice crystals at 400 MPH. Despite the environment, the paint on these jets holds up.
Now you see why the products used to detail the paint on a private jet can do wonders for our cars. Unfortunately, the products that are used to keep the paint pristine on a private jet are usually sold in 55 gallon drums. The key word there is "usually". Aero provides products originally formulated to protect custom jet aircraft in reasonably sized, 16 ounce spray bottles. If you want larger amounts, they also sell it by the gallon.
After hearing about Aero's products, Sean McMullan of Crayford Coachworks provided a paintless dent repair demonstration. For those that don't know, paintless dent repair is the process of removing door dings, and dents without requiring the car be repainted. Sean took an MBCA Los Angeles Section member's car and removed dents while we watched. Aside from the fact that the member had dings and other imperfections removed for FREE, watching Sean work was incredible. No, you probably can't do this at home. That guy who approached you in the Home Depot parking lot probably can't do it either. After watching Sean, it's clear that an EXPERT is needed.
Sean has been at this for over 30 years, so if you're in So Cal, and you're in need of these services, I recommend you contact someone like him. Sean said he starts the job by taking a look and then informing the customer if he can do the repair. If he can, that customer has just hit the jackpot. Why? Your car was painted by Mercedes-Benz. Unless you spend a fortune and replicate their process, the next time it's painted, it going to be worth less. If it's spot painted, it's REALLY going to be worth less.
Another benefit is a paintless dent removal service can do your car in a couple of hours. Some, like Sean, will do it at your home or workplace. No rental car, no wondering if the painter took your car out for a joyride, no fillers under the paint, no overspray, no color match issues, no concerns about fade, and the car will be worth more. Here are a few other "no's". "No", the dent won't pop back in due to temperature changes. "No", removing the dent won't unexpectedly crack the paint. "No", there are no gotchas or surprises. If you use a professional like Sean, the only thing you can expect is a straight car.
Watching Sean work and answer questions about the process was time very well spent.
MBCA Los Angeles member Todd Liberman also gave a demonstration. Todd's specialty is fine automotive detailing. Todd captivated the crowd, demonstrating what he does, how he does it, and why. Going through an entire car could have taken days, so he focused on specific areas.
For example, the dirtiest part of most cars is under the hood. In addition to being dirty, it requires special care. Most of us know you can't just open the hood and spray everything in sight with a high pressure washer. Todd showed us how he goes about properly cleaning this delicate area. Under the hood, Todd covered what things to clean, what to stay away from, what products he uses and how they should be applied.
The area of "what products to use" is always tricky. Many detailers show up with generic bottles filled with unknown liquids. They typically will not reveal specifically what's in the bottles. Todd had some generic bottles and products whose labels were taped over, but he told us what supplies he used. Todd's demonstration also covered exterior and interior car care.
In addition to the technical presenters, two dealerships also participated; Beverly Hills Porsche and Mercedes-Benz of Calabasas. Beverly Hills Porsche brought a new 911 GTS cabriolet. Daniel Montell from Mercedes-Benz of Calabasas brought a new S550. Earlier in the day, representatives from both dealerships gave vehicle technical demonstrations, answered questions, and provided test drives.
After the tech session, Jeff Haas invited us into his corporate viewing room where he explained his specialty; professional audio and video for vehicles, homes, and businesses. The viewing room was fabulous. Like a theatre, it sloped downward from the entryway to the front. The center seating area sat seven people across and was four rows deep. In addition, there were individual seats along the side walls. In the rear of the viewing room was a bar, and the screen resided up front. The screen was 5 or 6 feet tall, and between 10 and 12 feet wide. Both the audio and visual exhibition were truly outstanding. The video was brilliantly detailed with rich colors. It was a quantitatively better image than standard high definition technology. The audio featured massive bass and clear treble without a hint of coarseness or grain in the presentation. Anyone considering a residential, commercial, or automotive entertainment upgrade should consider interviewing Haas Entertainment for the job.
After Jeff's presentation, we wrapped up the event and raffle gifts were given from the presenters, car clubs, and dealerships. The gifts were fabulous. Guests were given products, services, hats, shirts, calendars, gift certificates, and a fortunate Porsche owner was given a watch from Mercedes-Benz of Calabasas
Over fifty participants enjoyed professional car care demonstrations hosted by a chic audio visual solution provider. We met new friends, learned about Mercedes-Benz and Porsche product offerings, were given gifts and provided refreshments. We owe a special thanks to our sponsors:
Jeff Haas of Haas Entertainment - www.haasentertainment.com
Todd Liberman - ToddLiberman@mac.com
Sean McMullan of Crayford Coachworks - firstname.lastname@example.org
Mike Hansen of International Aero - www.InternationalAero.com/
Beverly Hills Porsche - www.beverlyhillsporsche.com
Mercedes-Benz of Calabasas - www.calabasasmbz.net
Thank you, one and all.
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