The only thing more destructive to a car's interior than a dog is two dogs. The owners of this car love their dogs and take them to the dog park daily, so it takes a toll on the interior. I spent some time bringing this A4 back to life recently, and the results were highly satisfying. I snapped these pics close to the end, so you might see a few hair fibers, but I think I removed them all by the time the job was complete.
Before and after
More after pics
Tyson Hugie put a neat little video together showcasing his recent visit to my garage and a few other aspects of his recent stay in Calgary. The video features some questions he asked me about the garage. If you are interested in watching, I have posted it below.
In 1986, I was 14 years old and completely obsessed with cars, mostly Porsches. As I explained in an earlier blog post, my parents had purchased an electric typewriter and I spent hours on that thing churning out sophisticated sounding letters to car companies requesting "literature". One day, a delivery guy showed up on the doorstep asking for my father. My dad signed for the big package and then said it was from Porsche. It was three black boxes, each with a die cast of the 1986 model lineup and a fancy brochure. It was sent from Porsche headquarters somewhere out East. I have held on to them all this time, but unfortunately, the 911 model is long gone. That was a great day and it shows how mighty the pen can be (or electric typewriter in this case(!
In 1984, my parents purchased an electric typewriter. I would spend hours at that thing knocking out letters to every car dealership on the continent. I was quite proud of how sophisticated my letters sounded and I did get a decent amount of responses. What I was after was brochures.
Recently, I was going through my collection of over 300 brochures and I came across this handwritten note from a sales person named Ken Lust, who worked for a local Mercedes dealer in Calgary. I have been trying to track him down via the Internet with no luck. I called an Audi dealership in Edmonton as well as two Mercedes-Benz dealers, but can't find him. I wanted to personally thank him for taking the time to send me a brochure as well as for the kind note. The fact that he addressed me as "Mr." when it would have been quite obvious from my writing style that I was a kid is pure class in my opinion.
I have been holding on to a pile of brochures from the 80's, 90's and beyond. I'm not sure what I want to do with them. They are all quite special to me, so today I took some time to take a photo of each cover. I think I'll hold on to the very special ones and let the others go. Either to a collector or maybe even the recycling bin - I'm not sure yet. At any rate, here's a little video along with a photo gallery of the 300+ brochures I have collected over the years. Let me know if any stick out to you.
Here's a gallery of the collection:
I had a lot of fun putting my touch on this little Golf R finished in Indium Grey. The owner reached out via my website to see if I could perform a detail on this well-maintained hot hatch. I have never detailed a Golf, so I accepted the challenge. A friend from Saskatchewan was in town so he joined me for the exterior wash and assisted me in capturing some great video footage using my new DJI Osmo Mobile gimbal. The final results on the car were highly satisfying as was the video. I hope to see this car back in the RAD environment at some point because I would like to give it a full detail including a polish and coating.
My buddies at QuickJack sent me these cool wall hangers recently. I used to store my QJ frame units horizontally under my Thule roof box, but now I have them hanging vertically on the opposite side of that big wall. I took the opportunity to repaint a large portion of the wall and install some shelves I had in the basement. Things worked out great. Here's a video as well as some photos showing the progress and final result.
It took me an hour to haul the centre section of my Swisstrax floor onto the driveway, clean the garage floor and then set things up again. I used to "snake" the floor in long sections, but the Swisstrax doesn't have the flex or strong connections for that, so I have to break it up into 3x4 or 4x4 sections and stand those sections up against a garbage bin to power wash both sides. Here is a little photo gallery that demonstrates the various steps in my floor tile cleaning process.
I invested northward of twenty hours in a 2015 Mercedes Benz AMG E63S this past week. I put four or five hours in each day for four days and the results were highly satisfying. The car belongs to a friend in the neighborhood and he recently purchased it from the original owner. It was well maintained, but a few areas had been neglected, especially the wheels. I put my arsenal of Adam's Polishes products to the test as I took this remarkable machine through a litany of detailing processes including decontamination, polishing and coating with ceramic spray. The video does a nice job of highlighting all the details that went into this project. I hope you will enjoy and feel free to leave and questions or comments you may have.
I was growing tired of the constant polishing necessary to remove the swirls that inevitably formed on the A, B, C and D pillars of the SQ5. The plastic material Audi uses is so highly prone to scratching and marring. I took the car to Thompson Graphics a few weeks ago and had them apply SunTek self-healing PPF to each of the trim pieces and now I don't have to worry about them.
I had this annoying squeak coming from the brake pedal. It worsened in recent weeks, so I had it in to the dealer and they were able to lube up the mechanism and now the squeak is gone. Thank goodness. Here are a couple of quick vids to show the before and after. The squeak you hear in the "after" vid is my shoes, not the pedal.
The dealership recently changed their service loaner policy, but I still get a loaner. What's crazy is their insurance carries a $10,.000 deductible and you have to pay extra if you want coverage for damage or a rock chip in the windscreen. Can you believe that? At least I got a nice vehicle for the day:
A little while back I had a set of bucket decals made up by the boys over at @customdecals.yyc They made me three sets, actually. Since I only needed one, I did a little giveaway contents on Instagram. Here's a quick video revealing the two winners!
I was stoked to put my touch on an Azores Orange McLaren 720S yesterday. Washing a machine of this caliber was exciting, but I also realized how intricate a job it was once I got rolling on it. There are so many tricky nooks and crannies that just don't exist on a "normal" car. I put six hours of passion into it and to say it looked amazing is an understatement. Once it was clean, I applied a layer of Adam's Polishes Ceramic Spray Coating. I look forward to its return in the Fall, or possibly sooner. Here's a video I put together along with a slideshow of images captured on my DSLR. Enjoy.
I finally mounted my summer wheels. This is an annual process that usually happens in early to mid-May, but this year I ended up putting it off to June for the first time ever. My Quickjack makes the process quick and easy, but I inevitably spend hours detailing the winter wheels which involves prying each and every stone out of the treads. It is a painstaking process that leaves me with blisters every year, but it simply must be done.
I enjoyed a few magical hours on Father's Day pampering my SQ5. It is currently coated with Gyeon ceramic coating and I have been trying to find the time to polish it off so I can apply a fresh coat of Adam's. I decided to layer the Adam's atop the Gyeon and see how it goes. The application process was very easy and the results are absolutely stunning. The shine coming off the Daytona Grey Pearl paint is unreal.
That evening, my family and I went out for dinner and I was very proud to roll up in my Adam's coated SQ5.
I had the pleasure of detailing a 2013 Audi RS5 last weekend. I spent around 8 hours performing an interior/exterior detail on this remarkable machine. I picked it up from the owner's house after work on Friday and drove it back to my place. I enjoyed every second of that trip. Once in my garage, I began returning it to showroom condition, which wasn't too hard considering how well this car is maintained. Although it sees regular winter usage, the owner is meticulous in the maintenance of this car. I encountered some hardened tar deposits in the wheel barrels and some mild salt staining on the carpets, but I have the tools and products to solve both of those issues. After a very thorough wash, I spent a bit of time working out some scratches in the clear with a one-step Adam's polish and their orange foam pad. I was impressed with the results and I enjoyed this project from start to finish. The owner swung by in his R8 Saturday night to pick the car up which was quite an awesome sight. The Miltek exhaust on the RS5 rivaled the sound of the R8.
You have to check out this video released by the media team at Crown Rally. It is amazing in so many ways. I am thrilled that I was able to experience an event such as this.
Followers of my Instagram will know that I recently participated in Crown Rally 8. This was an exciting event that saw 101 awesome cars drive from Chicago to a stretch of highway along the Tennessee/North Carolina border known as the "Tail of the Dragon". This event kicked off with a launch party at a car collectors' garage in Chicago on Thursday, May 30th.
I was invited to be a co-pilot by a fellow Audi enthusiast by the name of Jason. Jason resides in Chicago and is the proud owner of a 2015 Audi R8. He extended this invitation to me some time ago and I decided to take the plunge and accept his generous offer. I flew to Chicago on Thursday, May 30th to meet up with Jason and meet the rest of the rally teams and begin an 800-mile trek South to a stretch of highway known as "Tail of the Dragon".
In typical RAD Garage style, I put some videos together that will showcase all the amazing times I had while chasing the dragon! I also constructed a webpage called "Crown Rally" that dives into my impressions of this experience a bit. I hope you enjoy the videos and visit the Crown Rally page.
Here's a project I have been anticipating for a long time and finally got around to tackling. I ordered two slabs of Kaizen foam made by Fastway. I don't have an extensive collection of exotic tools, but the tools I have are now super organized. Here's a breakdown of the three drawers I customized using this innovative and easy-to-work-with layered foam.
This is the big drawer in my 56" Craftsman rolling chest. There is an awkward channel that runs along the middle of the base to strengthens the structure, so I was able to carve out a niche so the slab of foam sits flush on the base of the shelf. I burrowed out cavities for all my main tools. Because Kaizen comes in 48" lengths, I had to add a portion on the left side to fill the entire space. It came out great.
This drawer houses my collection of drivers. The most fun part of this project is laying out your tools in a pattern prior to tracing. I am looking forward to having much more organized tool drawers now.
This drawer houses a variety of useful tools including my sockets. This gallery illustrates the process you use to trace, cut, and burrow out the cavities for each of the tools. I found the entire process very satisfying and the results are highly pleasing.
After an extremely cold and busy two weeks, I was able to spend some quality time in the garage. My car was absolutely caked in dirt and grime so it was cathartic to finally perform a proper wash. When temperatures are below zero, I cannot perform a 2-bucket wash because the water freezes on my driveway creating a dangerous situation, but the weather has been much more cooperative lately. So, a number of hours was spent removing the last two weeks of winter build up. This wash took longer than I anticipated, so I ended up finishing with a quick and easy application of detail spray. Had I had a bit more time, I would have applied a coating of "Ceramic Boost" by Adam's, but I needed to go get coffee.
At this point, the car is already dirty again, but with continued cooperation on Mother Nature's part, hopefully I will be able to perform more routine washes so it doesn't get as bad as it was.
I gave my new "Foam Gun" by Adam's a try. It was quick and convenient, but in no way does it rival a foam gun that attaches to an actual pressure washer. But, since my family was asleep, using a hose attached foam system was great since it didn't make any noise. I did not use nearly enough soap, though. I had to shake it as I was spraying it to get the suds going. For what it is, it works.
I had my first opportunity to apply Adam's Tire Armor and I loved it. I sprayed the product onto the tire and then an applicator to spread evenly. It was incredibly easy to apply and the tires looked great. Because we are in the midst of a major "melt", I don't anticipate the tires looking good for very long, but I am thinking Tire Armor is going to be my new "go to" tire dressing.
I'm excited to be featured on the second in a series of videos produced by YouTube sensation, Pan the Organizer! His "Pan & the Organizers" series features viewers touring people through their detailing themed garage spaces. I am enjoying reading through the comments left by Pan's viewers and feel very proud that people seem to dig what I have created.
The best part of being featured on Pan's channel is the amount of feedback from his viewers. I will admit to reading each and every comment and I am so impressed with the amount of positive feedback my garage has received. Here's a sampling. Click image to enlarge.
Let me explain to you how cold and miserable February has been in these parts. The average daily temperature for last month was minus-19 and we had snow on 25 of 28 days. The mercury dipped below minus-30 on 14 occasions. This has made keeping the garage clean very challenging. I spent a few hours in there today cleaning up the mud and rocks that have accumulated over the past week or two. I am really hoping March will bring milder weather, because I don't know how much more of this I can take. At any rate, here's a video demonstrating the process I went through to bring things back to a tidy state.
Brandon Burrell is a remarkable dude. He says he enjoys "tinkering" in his garage, but what he does is so much more than tinkering. He has created a number of amazing custom vehicles over the years and maintains a strong social media presence that allows him to showcase his passion for everything custom with thousands, perhaps millions of followers. I was humbled when Brandon mentioned my garage was part of the inspiration behind his own garage. As you will see, he has created a space that is truly special and unique, and is the perfect environment to create and play with his toys. It has been cool getting to know Brandon and I am really enjoying following along with all his amazing projects, especially his current "cRAMbury" build featuring a 2019 Ram. I am confident you will enjoy his story as much as I have.
Name: Brandon Burrell
Location: Asheville, NC
Type: 2-car attached
Dimensions: 19' x 22'
Date of construction: Late-2014
Brandon refers to his garage as a "two civic" garage because of its modest size, but lack of acreage hasn't stopped him from accomplishing some remarkable custom builds. Located in a suburban area consisting of 600 homes, this garage is currently home to Brandon's #cRAMbury build which promises to snap necks at this year's SEMA show. He enjoys tinkering on his and friends' vehicles, detailing, and displaying various automobile paraphernalia along with his extensive array of Adam's Polishes products. I am pleased that Brandon agreed to this blog feature. I haven't known him for a long time, but in our conversations I have found him to be an incredibly down-to-earth car guy with an incredible eye for detail and his "automotive portfolio" demonstrates a ridiculously high level of vision, creativity and execution.
What projects have you tackled in your garage?
I currently park my #cRAMbury build in it. I use the garage to tinker on mine and friends' custom vehicles, detail my vehicles and some others from time to time. We have built three full custom Honda Groms, a custom motorcycle trailer (with speakers, lighting, etc), a Subaru WRX that was at the 2016 and 2017 SEMA shows, a 2015 Tundra that was at the 2017 SEMA show and a custom lifted golf cart in this garage.
Like most Canadians, I have a love-hate affair with Canadian Tire. On one hand, it is so convenient to drop by the local store and browse the aisles for whatever you may need. On the other hand, they have been known to stock their shelves with products of questionable quality. Whatever the case may be, I cannot help but get nostalgic when I stroll my way past the wall of car cleaning products at my local store. I remember scouring this wall as a young lad in search of the latest, greatest product that was going to help me perfect my car's finish. In fact, it wasn't until about six or seven years ago, when my obsession began to take hold, that I began sourcing products from other stores and sites on the Internet.
That means the Canadian Tire automotive cleaning products aisle has been a part of my life for the better part of 30 years. For that, it still gets my respect.
If you take a close look at these two photos, you will see some pretty decent products for sale. And, you'll see some not-so-good ones as well.
Who is Rick?
I'm just a suburban dad who loves garages, Audis, and detailing so much he blogs about them.
Custom Decals YYC
Geoff Wilkings Photography
Jay Leno's Garage Advanced Vehicle Care
OBSSSSD Premium Products
RaceDeck Garage Floors
Thompson Graphics Ltd.
In addition to showcasing my own garage, I enjoy sharing other amazing garages. Here are some spaces that I have featured on my blog:
Tyson's Acura Museum
Larry's Charlotte Showroom
Chad's "Next" Makeover
Gully's Dream Garage
Orland Park Audi Oasis
Cory's Industrial Arts Studio
Brynjar's Icelandic Garage
Pat's Controlled Chaos
Greg & Nancy's Place
Brandon Burrell's Toy House