Why do we enjoy and go through so much work to prepare our cars?
Long term investment
Preparation for resale
Discovery of worn or damaged parts
What does Concours d'Elegance "Tour" preparation involve?
"Tour Class" preparation involves detailing your car through meticulous and
intense hand cleaning and parts replacement to OEM (Original Equipment
Manufacturers) standards for personal pride, improvement, and investment
purposes to produce a near perfect specimen as it originally arrived from
the manufacturing plant, no matter the current age or how many miles are on
How often should a Concours participant clean their car?
This depends on several factors:
Whether or not the Porsche is regularly garaged or exposed to the
Use of automated car washes
Colors sensitive to exposure (e.g. red/black)
Hardness and durability of the wax used
How long does it take to prepare a car for the Tour class?
The full process can take twelve or more hours to complete, but will help
to make your car competitive and score reasonably well at any Porsche Club
What are the basic steps in car preparation?
- Polish or prep
How should I wash my Porsche?
Use a good quality car wash liquid. Wash from the top down. Use a clean
white terrycloth face towel or microfiber wash mitt - be sure to remove the
tag to prevent scratching. If you drop your wash cloth on the ground, don't
try to rinse it out - use another one. To help speed the drying process,
sheet rinse water onto the paint rather than spraying. Dry with a towel.
Wash wheels and tires separately using towels, sponges, brushes, etc.
reserved for use with wheels and tires.
What are some cleaning tips?
After drying the car, walk around looking for contaminants bonded to the
paint (e.g. tar, bug jerky…) that needs to be removed before you
start the polish and prep step. Remove adhered contaminants using body
solvent (a hazardous chemical item - wear gloves and apply carefully).
What are some polish or prep tips?
Use good quality materials with clean applicators and clean towels to
remove residue. As for using Paint Cleaning Clay, Be sure to follow the
manufacturer's recommendation for use. (Note that clay does remove
contaminants from paint. However, the problem with clay is that the
contaminants you remove end up in the clay and you can end up putting
contaminants back on the paint if you don't replace your clay on a periodic
What are some waxing tips?
The choice of wax depends on the normal use of the car. Zymol's Hard Carbon
Wax produces a superior shine, but requires more rigorous application
effort. For daily drivers, which require more frequent cleaning, prep, and
waxing, Griot's "Best of Show" Carnauba Wax is an excellent choice, as it
produces a glistening shine, is easy to use, and provides months of paint
protection.. "Liquid Gloss Poly Wax" by Griot's is another good option and
delivers unparalleled protection.
What are some dressing tips?
The last step is dressing items like bumper trim, door handles. Use caution
when applying any product. We like another Griot's Car Care product…
"Vinyl & Rubber Dressing".
Using the right materials is important. That means a clean, good quality
cloth or special applicator pads when applying cleaners, polishes, and wax.
Always use good quality cloths for removing products, and use a micro-fiber
cloth for the final polish and for touch up with detail spray. Always work
one small section at a time. Avoid circular motion when applying and
removing cleaner, polish or wax - use an aerodynamic front-to-back motion
and apply moderate pressure. Be sure to thoroughly remove all residue. One
more thing - use the recommended detailing spray with a clean cloth to
remove bird droppings from your paint as soon as you can - be a little
cautious as some bird droppings can contain gritty material that may
scratch your paint if you're not careful.
What are some tips for good results?
Avoid circular motions when using cloths - strive to work in aerodynamic
front-to-back strokes in keeping with natural air and water flow over the
The goal is to remove dirt through cleaning before any final
dressing can be applied.
Work in the correct order - start with the gentlest possible treatment
when dealing with problem areas. Work your way up to the strongest/harshest
materials only as needed, and always make sure the material you're using
won't cause damage.
Use your sense of touch avoiding finger pads to detect contaminants.
Always check the area you're working on by looking at it from several
angles to make sure you've dealt with all the defects you found in your
initial inspection. If at all possible, do this under a sunlit sky, since
Concours judging usually occurs outdoors under natural light.
Do not over-clean or strip areas beyond OEM grading expectations.
Always wear soft clothes, and remove personal jewelry. Ladies with long
hair should tie it up in pony tail for safety.
Always wear surgical supply or detailer's gloves based on allergy
preference and use eye protection when spraying or working with any
Store all chemicals in child-proof, non-freezing area above 40 degrees
for safety and longevity.
Never decant chemicals into odd bottles. Always and only use
OSHA-approved containers. Some chemicals may react with soft plastics in
unapproved containers and cause damage to local surfaces in contact.
Always drape an old bath towel as a fender cloth to protect and pad
work surface when working under the hood and in door sill areas.
Never work or spray chemicals into heated engines.
Use caution and do not over saturate delicate or aged engine parts with
Work in a 6-12 inch square foot area of attention at all times and do
not jump around work area; mind all tools used and return to carrier
What are some materials and equipment tips?
Dirty towels and cloths may be washed and dried as you would wash similar
items that you use in your household with one exception - never use fabric
softener! Also, never put your cleaning towels and rags away dirty - toss
them in the wash so they're ready for your next session. For those who
prefer a little help with preparation, polishing, and waxing, you may
consider purchasing a good quality random-orbital buffer (Griot's Garage
Car Care Products or equivalent). These machines are somewhat expensive,
but a random-orbital buffer will help you avoid burns and other problems
that can happen all too easily with standard sanders/buffers. When using a
buffer, be sure to use the appropriate applicator and polishing pads.
What are some tips for cleaning around the engine bay?
Start with about a gallon of water in a bucket. Add a capful of car shampoo
and a dash of Murphy's Oil Soap. Use a small, clean terry towel (facecloth)
and start near the front. Work your way around the engine bay, cleaning one
area at a time. Use Griot's "Engine Cleaner" as needed. For baked-on grease
and dried oil, Griot's offers a product called "Oil & Grease Cleaner".
In general, it's not a good idea to try and remove Cosmoline (a waxy
yellowish substance) on engine parts - its presence won't hurt during
judging, and it's really difficult to completely remove. For corroded parts
(fasteners, fittings, etc.) use 0000 steel wool to remove the corrosion,
polished parts look good to Concours judges. Don't forget to clean inside
the fan shroud and other areas which the judges may be able to reach into
during their search for less-than-showroom clean surfaces. Replace small
soft parts that are hard to clean or that have deteriorated. Don't use
dressing on hoses.
How should I clean the upholstery and carpeting?
Use good quality cleaning products such as Lexol or Griot's Garage
products. Apply cleaners and preservatives by spraying them on a good,
clean cloth. Wipe surfaces clean. Buff treated surfaces with a separate
Use "Vinyl & Rubber Dressing" on non-leather surfaces such as the dash
and door panels. Do not use ArmorAll because it contains
silicon, which produces a quick shine but can react with, and degrade
plastics over time. So, if you plan to keep your car a long time, avoid
When spot-cleaning carpeting, apply the cleaning product carefully, and
blot the spot; do not rub it, as rubbing may just spread the dirt or stain
around and just make things worse. Deep cleaning all of the carpeting is
best done with an (expensive) Automotive Carpet Extractor - leave this to a
How should I clean glass surfaces?
Use a good quality, clear cleaner such as "Foaming Glass Cleaner" or
"Window Cleaner" available from Griot's Garage. Use only lint-free,
high-fiber content paper products or cloth towels.
What are some recommended supplies for a serious Concours participant?
The preparation advice in this document (including products and tools) is
our own personal advice to help you
prepare your Porsche for a Concours event. Proper car care can be
complicated by different types of
materials (interior/exterior), types of paint work and previous
chemicals/products used on your car. All care has
been taken in creating this information, but when in doubt always use
Plastic Carrier or a Car Care Products Organizer Bag
Aloe Coated Vinyl Gloves or Disposable Nitrile Gloves
Baby Wipes (for cleaning hands)
Fabric shop towel roll
Blue Window Wipes
Pastel colors of Cotton or Microfiber Towels
Terrycloth or Microfiber Drying Towel
Cotton Dressing Pads
3 professional touch-up paint applicators
Set 4 Nylon Toothbrushes
Set 3 Detailing Brushes (nylon & metal)
Goo Gone adhesive remover
Spot Shot Carpet Cleaner
Engine Cleaner & Sprayer
Body Solvent for tar removal (Hazardous material; Use gloves!)
Solvent for tar removal (Hazardous material; Use gloves!)
Window Cleaner & Sprayer
Super Degreaser for dried oil, etc (Hazardous material; Use gloves!)
Grade 0000 steel wool
What are some recommended products to use?
These always vary by participant, but here's a good start:
Griot's "Car Wash"
Griot's "Speed Shine"
Griot's "Wheel Cleaner"
Griot's "Rubber Cleaner"
Griot's "Vinyl & Rubber Dressing"
Griot's "Best of Show" Liquid Wax
Wurth Glass Cleaner
Griot's ""Paint Cleaning Clay"
Griot's Assorted Microfiber Towels
Murphy's Wood Oil Soap
Griot's "Engine Cleaner"
Lexol Leather Cleaner
Lexol Leather Protectant
Zymol Hard Carbon Wax