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.