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December Edition

The MidShip Report©: 

Chips, Slips, and Dips


[by john miller; John-M1@ML1media.com]

Goodbye, Mr. Chips. (Subtitled: Chips Ahoy!) No, not the cookie..although…a chocolate chip cookie does sound good right now….focus…FOCUS. Yes, the chips are gone. I refer to the front end of the Boxster, which I inflicted unspeakable damage to (paint-wise) during my 7500+ mile rambling roadtrip around North America this past summer. Even though I cleaned, scrubbed, re-cleaned, ‘clay-bared’, and polished the front end of the car, it looked like CRAP. It had achieved what I call a snowflake effect----in addition to several larger rock divots in the front bumper, tiny white specs were everywhere as a result of the road-blasting chipping away of the paint to the primer or the plastic surface itself. The photo’s (1 & 2) are the 'Before' shots. Photo 3 is an 'After'. Reflections make it difficult to see the effects of before and after in a photographs, but trust me. The results are EYE POPPING. Every place where the paint was damaged has been repaired. Even the spots where the plastic had been damaged have been improved, if not repaired. And how did I get from CRAP to EYE POPPING? Courtesy of Dr. Colorchip(™).

I noted in the (previous) coverage of Porsche Parade 2007, a paint chip repair vendor had a table set up in the hospitality area and, for a perfectly reasonable sum, was selling a kit to repair paint chips---which I bought. By chance, I happened across Dr. ColorChip himself in the Parade hotel parking lot, applying the paint repair to the front bumper of PCA-Chicago’s Bob and Wilma White’s black 911 RUF. The 2-step process looked simple enough (in experienced hands) and I figured that I’d be thrilled if mine turned out half that well. Which doesn’t mean I wasn’t skeptical. I’ve tried several paint chip repairs before. I purchased the genuine Porsche 2-stage paint chip repair kit. I’ve been to several concours schools and learned the proper handling of micro brushes and tooth picks. Let me cut right to the summary: I used the Dr. ColorChip kit to repair all those other ‘repair’ efforts I made, and it corrected all of them.

The kit comes complete: Matching seal grey metallic paint, a bottle of blending (‘pre-fast’) solution, several paint applicators, a microfiber towel, and even a surgical glove to wear during application. The process is indeed simple. Dab on the paint, smear the dab flat with the edge of the gloved hand, and let dry. Once dry, remove the excess using the Pre-Fast blending solution and a clean cloth. Simple as it sounds, I was still skeptical enough that my first repairs were far enough under the front of the car that had it turned out like my previous experiences, I wouldn’t have to look at it (and scowl) for the remainder of my lifetime with the car. Much to my amazement, the repair worked exactly as described, even with a complex metallic paint color. The application of the paint resembles all the previous attempts at paint repair…i.e., no matter how carefully I attempted to apply the paint, it always looked like CRAP. And true to expectations, dabbing on and ‘smearing’ the Dr. ColorChip paint looked exactly like all the other attempts….which is to say CRAP.  But that’s where the comparison ends. I applied the Pre-Fast solution as instructed and using medium pressure, rubbed the painted area. Like magic, the excess paint came off and the repaired area remained painted. The process is not terribly quick, but the results are nothing short of spectacular. The instructions noted that the paint needs a week to ten days to cure and harden to a shiny finish---which it did. I was so enthused with the results that it became addictive---I didn’t take the Boxster out of the garage for 9 consecutive days (to minimize re-cleaning it), and proceeded to touch up a few sections each day. I’ll continue the effort in the Spring. One point that isn’t noted in the instructions –the ability to spot the imperfections in the paint is largely dependant on the illumination---finding the smaller paint chips in ordinary sunlight seems best, fluorescent light seems worst. You can find more info on Dr. ColorChip a www.drcolorchip.com.

Rallye 5 capped an exciting rallye season and featured what seems to be the (unwelcome) staples of the PCA-Chicago Rallyes: Rain and closed roads. Rallye 5 – Flatlander’s Again, was informally christened (by the Rallye Master, Susan Shire, no less) as the “There’s-no-flippin’-way-to-get-there-from-here” Rallye. Photos 4&5, the start point of the rallye, displays all the typical elements –the cars, the people…and of course, the umbrellas. And, as usual, the rally itself was not without causing the occasional slip. Perhaps a better title might be been ‘timing is everything’. As I’ve noted many times before....in Rallying, done is done. My navigator, Lee Lichtenstein and I plodded around the north suburban route with excellent efficiency—navigating past the construction zones, managing to avoid most of the traps, but missing horribly on one leg when it came to timing---we made an ‘against better judgment’ decision to ‘save up’ some of the pauses and burn them all at once later in the stage. Of course the only thing ‘burned’ was us, when we arrived at a checkpoint two minutes early due to not having taken the pauses when issued. Point taken, lesson learned…for next years Rallye season.
The vegetable kind. What did you think? Did you attend the Oktoberfest party presented by Rizza Porsche? Or the cocktails and cars event at Napleton Porsche? I didn’t think so. So few PCA members seemed to be aware of these two events. Both were great opportunities to visit a dealership get up close to the Porsche model lines (and enjoy some hors d'œuvres and drinks). The Rizza event even featured live German music. Sadly, the turnout was light, in spite of a nice collection of new and old Porsches on display (photo's 6-11).
Two particular cars that caught my attention were this 911 and Boxster with paint matching gauge faces (photo 7 & 8). The face plates are an ‘in-you-face’ shade of Guards Red and Speed Yellow. Eye catching or eye straining?---you decide.


Elsewhere on the ML1 site is coverage of Rennsport Reunion #3.  Those of you that know of the Rennsport events will want to take a glance at that. Those of you not familiar with the Rennsport Reunion will want to take and entire afternoon to browse the text and look at the hundreds of fabulous photos of this All-Porsche event…and by ‘All’, I mean ALL.




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