Rare Iso Grifo Win Shocks Owner

ORANGE COUNTY, CA October 8, 2014 — Orange County automotive detailer Rigo Santana of Xtreme Xcellence stepped away for a minute after putting the final shine on the front bumper of a restored 1968 Iso Grifo, when the judges at the Pebble Beach Concours D’elegance placed a 2nd Place Ribbon on it during Monterey Car Week. The owner, Sergio Arredondo, was so overcome by winning that at first he mistook the winner’s ticket for a point deduction he expected to receive for a small dent in the door.

Santana, known throughout Orange County as an automotive paint correction specialist, and vaunted member of the Official Air Force One Detailing Team, talked the owner out of repainting the rare Italian make, which had been sitting up in a garage for 26 years.

“I assured him I could repair the original paint, which was cloudy from oxidation and neglect, so that it would look better than a re-spray,” says Santana. “I don’t think he believed me at first, but I knew I could bring back both the paint and the chrome on the rims.”

The Iso Grifo is one of only 400 built by the Italian carmaker Iso Rivolta between 1963 and 1974; and the Pebble Beach Concours D’elegance winner is one of only 200 known to still exist.
The results of Santana’s meticulous paint correction techniques were so good the judges thought the vehicle had been repainted and several judges asked Sergio afterwards how he got the spokes and the rims to sparkle like diamonds.

It is all in a day’s work, according to Santana who used a Heavy Metal Polish on cotton towels cut into strips, so he could get in behind the dull, colorless spokes of the wheels, even into crevices that don’t show.
“It took me about an hour and a half on each rim, but to see the results and to have it win is why I love detailing cars,” says Santana. “It saved Sergio thousands of dollars in a re-spray.”
Santana says Arredondo has done a lot of restoration work on the vehicle aside from Rigo’s exterior correction, and with the car show experience somewhat new to him, he never expected to win. “The car looked great, but we were both stunned when it won,” laughs Santana who says Arredondo was so excited by the recognition.  
For more information on Rigo Santana’s paint correction work on the 1968 Iso Grifo, 2nd Place winner at the Pebble Beach Concours D’elegance, contact Rigo Santana at (714) 472-3001.


Official AFO Detailing Team Putting Final Preservation Stage on Presidential Jet

ORANGE COUNTY, CA August 5, 2014 — Orange County’s Rigo Santana of Xtreme Xcellence Detailing, has been handpicked out of thousands of detailers nationwide, as a member of the celebrated Air Force One Detailing Team led by master detailer Renny Doyle of Attention to Details. Rigo and the team are headed to Seattle August 11-16 to put the final touches on a 10-year biennial detailing and paint restoration project on the original Air Force One presidential jet. The team will round out the trip by detailing for the first time since its retirement in 2003, one of the world’s first supersonic airliners, the Concorde “Alpha Golf”.

Many of the prestigious 35-man veteran detailing team has made the trip before, but none of them has tackled the Concorde before. “I am honored to be working on such a significant project as detailing Air Force One,” Santana says. “Getting to work on the Concorde is a double bonus for me.”
The Concorde’s substantial length at 204-feet and the iconic shape of its slender delta wings and fuselage are certain to provide a significant challenge this year, just as Doyle’s 10-year AFO restoration project nears its end.
“We used to detail Air Force One every two years, but we have moved into a preservation rather than restoration stage with that historic plane,” says Doyle, whose Attention to Details Network began restoring the presidential jet in 2003. “We will thoroughly detail AFO this year, but after several years of cleaning, restoring the paint, and applying long-lasting protective products, we expect it to be in much better condition this year than in the past. Also, the permanent covered exhibit will be finished next year and the plane will no longer be exposed on the tarmac, like it has the past few years.”

The Concorde Alpha Golf however, will still live on the tarmac. “The team has learned a lot while restoring Air Force One about how destructive torrential rain, elemental contaminants, oxidation, and UV fading can be on the
surface paint of a car or an airplane,” says Santana. “The Concorde has been out of commission since 2003 and without a detailed cleaning or wax for over ten years, the exterior surface must be remarkably vulnerable.”
The Air Force One plane was a flying Oval Office for four U.S. Presidents including Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon. The Boeing 707-120 also entertained many international VIPs such as Nikita Khrushchev and Henry Kissinger.

On its final flight from New York to its new home at the Museum of Flight in Seattle, the Concorde “Alpha Golf” broke a speed record of 3 hours, 55 minutes, and 12 seconds, flying at twice the altitude of most commercial jets at 60,000 feet, and traveling at twice the speed of sound.

Doyle says he is proud to share the experience with Santana. “I have carefully selected my team because there is no room for mistakes in detailing these multi-million dollar airplanes,” he says. “I need people who will accept nothing short of perfection and Rigo is one of those people.”

For more information on the 2014 AFO & Concorde Alpha Golf project at the Seattle Museum of Flight, contact Rigo Santana at (714) 472-3001.

IDA Features Article on Xtreme Xcellence, Orange County Auto Detailing Specialists!


Xtreme Xcellence, and Rigo Santana are honored to be featured in an article for IDA for auto detailing in Orange CountyThe article features the team’s precise work with paint correction, and mobile auto detailing in Orange County.


Desperately seeking a solution for how to repair the paint on his wounded Beamer, Roger hit the jackpot when he bumped into Orange County auto detailing professional, Rigo Santana of Xtreme Xcellence.”


Read the full article, “Paint Correction Miracles” at - CLICK HERE


For professional detailing services you can trust, call the mobile detailing experts at Xtreme Xcellence to schedule one of our Orange County auto detailing services today!

Orange County’s Xtreme Xcellence Auto Detailing

Get’s the Most From “Detailer’s Weekend” Event

Any detailer who thinks that after 10, 15, or 20 years, they can’t possibly learn anything new about detailing by taking a refresher course, or periodic re-training is like a winning Super Bowl quarterback who thinks they no longer have to practice with the team to keep winning. I feel very fortunate to be part of Renny Doyle’s Detailer’s Network because he places so much importance on working as a team of like-minded professionals.

I just returned from a 6-day “Spring Detailer’s Weekend” at Renny’s Detailing Success in Big Bear, CA, and there were as many veteran detailers there as there were younger professionals. I can assure you no one was bored or rolling their eyes with derision. We stayed much too busy getting better at what we do!

The rapid-fire evolution of auto appearance products and equipment technology directly affects detailing technique. The downside to technological advancement, however, is the difficulty in keeping customers apprised of their options. They hear about greener technology and durable coatings and waxes, but the messages can be confusing. Since some options are more expensive than traditional methods, customers aren’t sure whether the newest is necessarily best for them.

On Tuesday, we discussed implementing a profitable European model called “Open Garages”, where we open our shops periodically to customers for demonstrating new products and techniques to customers. There is nothing more effective than showing a customer the difference between using traditional chemical-based products, and a newer, greener, more innovative product, or technique.

On Wednesday, we got a good inspirational session on role-playing sales techniques. Sales is a part of the business you rarely learn in most detailing classes, but let’s face it. Without new customers, you see no growth and we discussed ways to educate our present clients in how our continuous training could help them protect the value of there vehicle - without wasting thousands of dollars in a new paint job with our detailing techniques.

By Thursday, we got into hands-on technique. Hand and machine sanding, and scratch removal are intricate, precision processes. When you consider that the thickness of an automobile’s clear coat is less than the thickness of a dollar bill; and over the lifetime of a car, you would never want to remove more than 25 percent of that thickness; you can understand why a process called wet sanding or grit sanding sounds harsh. Add to that a powerful electronic machine that if misused, could burn through the clear coat and paint down to the metal. You can imagine the importance of knowing what you are doing when color-correcting an $80,000 vehicle. I would say that the car owner driving a $10,000 car wouldn’t appreciate it either!

Some fine instruments on the market today actually replicate natural hand-movement, but handling different types of polishers, and understanding under what circumstances to use one over another requires knowledge of each option. With the ever-widening option in polishers on the market today, I don’t think we can ever learn too much about the processes.

Friday, we covered interior detailing. All detailers know that people eat, drink, smoke, play, and sleep in their vehicles. They haul everything from a dirty gym bag full of smelly socks, to garbage, pets, wet beach towels, and muddy boots. Sometimes cleaning the inside of a vehicle with it’s carpets, fabrics, and upholstery; and all its nooks, crannies, and decorative trim, is very time-consuming. We shared ways to get this process down to a science without sacrificing quality. On Saturday, we applied the same theories to quickening our exterior detailing services in order to increase the number of vehicles we can handle in a day.

The weekend ended on a fun note with free ski or snowboarding lessons. For a resident of Southern California’s sunny Orange County, we prefer to keep our skis on the water!

Now, we're back in town as your preferreed professional Orange County mobile detailing specialists, and ready to help YOU.

Do Not Try This at Home: Let a Professional Detailer Apply Your Interior Coatings

Every time I apply a protective coating to a car’s interior, especially leather and fabrics, I wonder that any car owner would attempt to do it themselves. There should be a “Do Not Try This at Home” warning label on most over-the-counter coating products. There are simply too many ways to get into trouble and many more benefits to using a professional detailer like Xtreme Xcellence to do it.

The simplest reason is the sheer rigor needed to clean thoroughly the initial surface, before applying the coating. Only a professional detailer would understand the importance. Have you ever purchased those peel-off adhesive wall hangers deigned to hold a 10--pound painting? The directions say to “thoroughly clean the surface” first, but most people do not. The care needed to prep properly the surface before peeling off the paper and pressing it to the wall is not there with most Do-It-Yourselfers. When the adhesive pulls away from the wall taking a 3-pound picture with it, the average person thinks the product was defective.

Your vehicle’s interior fabrics should be completely free from dirt particles, chipped paint, grime, or hand oils in order for the coating to bond with the actual leather or fabric surface of your car seats. If not, the coating adheres instead to the dirt particles, oils, or grime on the surface, weakening its bond and durability. A good detailer is inherently committed to perfection. They would never leave a surface only partially prepped, or at some point say, “That’s good enough”. It is just not in their nature!

The second most important reason car owners should use a professional detailer for applying a coating to their interior fabrics is their lack of knowledge about different fabrics and how a product will respond to it. You run the risk of ruining your fabrics if you use the wrong product. A licensed, qualified detailer, especially one like Xtreme Xcellence who has a special certification for the application of coatings, will not require this step.
The average person will need to conduct a “test” against color fading, presumably in a small, inconspicuous area, to make sure the product doesn’t adversely change the color or texture of the fabric. Imagine the shock if you get a positive response to a test area never exposed to sunlight, but when applied to an area exposed to natural UV rays, suddenly you have a serious difference in the color. Now you have a disaster!

Another potential problem is the deceptive marketing of some DIY products on the market. Let us take leather for example. When a car owner chooses leather interiors, they are opting for luxury and comfort but the prone areas of your vehicle, whether they are leather or vinyl, suffer from the same spills, accidents, and constant friction of sliding in and out of the car as other interiors. The leather used in luxury automobiles is made of several natural and synthetic materials, coated with a very fine emulsion that gives them the desired color, and topped off with a protective clear coat. Unfortunately, product advertisements lure DIYers in with talk about “feeding” your leather seats as if it were the same as maintaining a good pair of cowboy boots.

Since they already have that manufacturer’s coating to protect them against wear and tear, and prevent them from drying out and cracking over time, why “feed” an already protected surface. You don’t need to “feed” the leather; you need to further protect it long-term, against external forces that will wear away that short-term coating.
Also, your interior consists of a variety of materials and surfaces from hard plastics to metal, wood, glass, vinyl, etc. These areas should be masked off from your treatable non-fabric/leather surfaces so you do not contaminate those surfaces with your upholstery coating. This is a tedious job and the average DIYer will usually try to “work around” those areas, making them more susceptible to contamination.

There are other reasons ― a long list of reasons, as I said before why a car owner needs the services of a professional detailer to apply interior coatings. We have access to more “tools of the trade” than the average DIYer; we have available a set of professional-grade coating products that cannot be bought over the counter that are safer, more durable, but also more selective in their application. Professional detailers work at a higher level of industry standards than the DIYer; and we have more systematic procedures that help determine what product is needed for any given project, how much, and how often it should be applied.

Finally, for anyone who has ever used an over-the-counter- product for their dashboard or other surfaces, you will notice an abnormal “wet-look” that will sometimes literally wipe off on your hands and clothes. A professional detailer will leave your interior looking
pristine, like it just came off the assembly line!