Restoring a 1958 Mercedes 220 to its former glory

mercedes 220S

Detail My Ride in Gqeberha was recently given a 1958 Mercedes 220 to detail.  On arrival it was obvious that the vehicle needed some tender, loving care.

The paint had faded, the interior coach work was old and dull, the sealing rubbers on the doors and windscreen were perished and the rubber mat on the door lintel was faded and cracked.  Much of the chrome work was also in a poor condition not to mention the white walled tyres.

Luckily Detail My Ride makes full use of the best detailing products available.

We spoke to Shawn Heath, owner of Detail My Ride, to find out which products he used to give this classic car a makeover.

Detailing Products

“One of the biggest problems with restoring really old vehicles is the rubber sealing around the doors, boot and other areas.  It is almost impossible to find replacement rubbers but luckily Swissvax have developed a product call Seal Feed which will make even the most cracked, hard and discolored rubber look and feel like new,” says Shawn.

Back in 1958 plastic dashboards and arm rests didn’t exist.  In the case of the Mercedes 220 they were made of wood.

“As you would expect, the 64 year old wood that been exposed to many years of sunlight had deteriorated terribly. Once again Swissvax came to the rescue.  In this case we used their Wood Polish.  This is a carnauba wax created specifically for lacquered precious wood.  Once the application was complete the wood work looked just as it must have when it came off the production line,” says Shawn.

Finding tyres for an old car is relatively easy but because the vehicle isn’t used very often, the tyres are often quite old when they arrive for detailing.  Like many luxury cars from that era, the Mercedes 220 has white wall tyres.

Shawn says that Swissvax has a product specifically for bringing out the best in old white wall tyres called Pneu White

“Swissvax’s Pneu White is so easy to use.  One spray and a good wipe down and the yellowing typically found in old tyres is replaced by the original brilliant white,” he adds.

Fabric Cleaning

Six decades of body oils, dirt, sunlight and wear and tear left the fabric on the seats and door panels in a rather disgusting condition.   Three different products were used to clean and restore the upholstery , carpets and door panels.  Once again, Swissvax came to the rescue with Fabric Textile Cleaner that is designed for cleaning large surfaces of fabric.

“Fabric Textile Cleaner is mixed with carbonated water and if offers a really deep clean without leaving any water stains. We also used Scholl Concepts Spam which is very useful for removing any stains.  This ready to use spray on cleaner also leaves a pleasant fragrance,” says Shawn.

Colourlock’s Alcantara and Fabric Cleaner was another of the fabric cleaners used.  This highly concentrated cleaner is great for really tough stains.

“Even I was impressed by the results. The dirty grey fabric was back to its beautiful sky blue original look,” Shawn exclaimed.

Bringing out the shine in the paint work

The Mercedes 220 had been repainted and although the vehicle had lost its shine, the paint was fairly modern and this the appropriate products were used.

“We went through four steps to get the Merc to shown room condition,” said Shawn.

The first step was to give the paint work a rotary polish with Scholl Concepts Shock To Cut rubbing compound using a Navy Blue Spider Pad also from Scholl Concepts. Shock To Cut is specifically designed to remove the deepest and most severe paint imperfections.

Next step was to use an orbital polisher with Scholl Concepts S17+ High Performance Compound and a Purple Spider Pad.  This combination is excellent for the preparation of heavily scratched and weathered paintwork.

Step three once again involved Scholl Concepts products and an orbital polisher.  In this case the S30+ Premium Swirl Remover and an Orange Polishing Pad to remove the polishing marks from the previous polishing activities.

Lastly Swissvax Concorso wax was used to create a deeply reflective surface, exceptional water repellency as well as protect the paintwork for many months to come.  Concorso wax has a 50% content of the best carnauba wax available and is used by luxury car manufacturers around the world to show case their products.

Shawn concluded, “We turned a tired old lady into Cinderella. Knowing which products to use, particularly when you use the best there are, makes a very big difference.”

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