View Full Version : Lowrider Magazine - Project FearleSS

Michael Stoops
Sep 6th, 2013, 02:31 PM
A few weeks back we had the privilege of working with Lowrider Magazine on their Project Fearless, a 1968 Chevy Impala that they're currently building. Recently shot in all black but from from final assembly, Lowrider asked us about doing a wet sand and full buff out on this black beauty. So we called in a few friends, namely Kevin Brown (buffdaddy.com), Joe Fernandez (superiorshine.com) and Derek Bemiss (detailwerks.net) to help out Meguiar's employees Jason Rose, Mike Pennington and myself. This is a big car, and it was going to be a big project. We needed some big guns!!! We can't thank these guys enough for offering to help out; we couldn't have done it without them!

Don't miss the time lapse video at the bottom of this post - it's pretty awesome!

We had a fair bit of dirt nibs and orange peel to deal with.



Tools of the Trade - Part 1.

We started out doing some testing to see what overall process would return the most efficient removal of orange peel, dirt nibs and other issues while providing a surface uniform enough to allow for minimal buffing time to return the paint to a high gloss finish. We started with 1500 grit hand sanding.

We worked up to 3000 grit DA sanding to maximize our sanding mark refinement.

This is the sort of finish we obtained with the test area. This is after compounding with M100/wool pad/rotary buffer. There is no finishing polish at this step.

Once we determined the process it was time to get to work.....and maybe even have some fun along the way.

On Day 1 we even got some help from the painter and shop owner.

Kevin Brown doing his thing.

Early stages of hand sanding....... not good enough. Not even close. Keep sanding!!

Much better! A nice uniform 1500 grit sanding pattern, done by hand. This has effectively leveled the paint and it's time to start the refining process.

Some areas presented a bit more of a challenge as tighter radius concave sections needed some extra care.

Normally you want to have a foam backing pad behind the sandpaper, but this radius was too tight. Kevin is moving the sandpaper mostly side to side here, not back and forth as that could leave finger groove pressure points. That would be bad.

Joe Fernandez working the roof, and keeping a close eye on his progress.

Jumping well forward in the day now, and Mike Pennington hand sands the tricky area at the bottom of the C pillar. The rear quarter panel line peaked here, with a very tight radius curve sweeping up as the C pillar came down to meet the quarter panel.

Refining the hand sanding marks with a DA sander - 1500 grit finishing disc followed by 3000 grit finishing disc.

We can't forget the dash, painted at the same time as the rest of the car and so sanded at the same time as the rest of the car. Mini air tools come in really hand here!

At the end of the day the car no longer looks black, but more of a gunmetal gray. With sanding refined to 3000 grit we've even got some halfway decent gloss returning. But the car is supposed to be black, not gunmetal, so we've still got a lot of work ahead of us.

Tools of the Trade, Part 2.

Day 2 and it's time to start compounding. Derek Bemiss was on hand for this process and, here, he and Mike Pennington discuss some small areas that still show some issues.

Jason Rose, in full protective gear, using M100 on a 4" foam cutting pad to work the tight areas at the base of the C pillar.

Now we're really getting some shine back!

No, Joe didn't stand in one spot for two days - in the earlier picture above he was sanding on the other side of the roof! He constantly inspects as he goes, putting his critical eye and massive skill set to constant use.

M100 Pro Speed Compound - it did everything we asked of it on this day, and more. Great stuff!!

The team in full attack mode.

Kevin doing his thing. Again.

Jason and I continue working on that gloss, eradicating sanding marks on areas large and small.

Joe works that tight radius where the C pillar and quarter panel top create a very tight radius concave curve.

A bit more experimentation to remove light buffer swirls, and we decided that M205 on a foam polishing pad with the rotary set to roughly 1000 rpm was the ticket.

Mike and Mike..... but, um, where did everyone else go? Well, this is Day 3 of the project and the other guys could only offer up so much time. Mike and I are here all the time so we continued on without the rest of the crew.

As a final step and just to really make things pop, we gave the car a quick once over with M205 on black foam finishing pads via G110v2 DA.

After almost 3 full days, plenty of sand paper, M100, lots of sweat and plenty of good times, we end up with this:

And this:

And this:

A couple of days later a flat bed trailer showed up to reclaim Project FearleSS and haul her away for final assembly. We couldn't resist taking a few more pictures out in the sunshine as she was loaded onto the trailer.






Off to get an interior, drive train and everything else installed. Looking forward to seeing the finished car on the show circuit in the coming months! And a huge Thank You! to Lowrider Magazine for allowing us to assist with this critical part of Project FearleSS.

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Detailing by M
Sep 17th, 2013, 03:46 PM
Nice N Cool Job!
Don't forget to post the Mag pics too!

I've never experienced Nibs like those. How were those handled? Any De-Nibbers used?

(I still wish I could have stopped by... for the pizza)

davey g-force
Sep 17th, 2013, 06:44 PM
Wow, beautiful work guys! :xyxthumbs

Those reflections are so crisp without orange peel!

Sep 17th, 2013, 08:39 PM
Fantastic work! Full marks to all that took part in this massive correction job. That paint looked quite nasty to begin with, with quite a bit of everything wrong with it!

Great turnaround!

Sep 18th, 2013, 03:18 AM

I see work like that and I'm speechless...


Sep 18th, 2013, 05:52 AM
That much talent and years of experience in a two-car garage is pretty impressive on it's own merits.

You could probably read the wattage of the lamps on the ceiling in the reflections on the hood.

The song "Clarity" comes to mind.

Sep 18th, 2013, 06:39 AM
I've gotta find a way to slip my car in there when the dream team gets together do a project like this! AWESOME JOB just seems like an understatement.

Paint correction is not a process, it's an art when performed on this level. Congrats Mike, Mike, Kevin, Joe, Jason, and Derek!


Sep 20th, 2013, 10:27 AM
the best of the best working together, man i loved to be there just to watch this all star team work magic lol :worship

Superior Shine
Oct 7th, 2013, 03:12 PM
Much FUN!! I was flattered to have been invited to help.

Nov 4th, 2013, 01:12 AM
It's awesome team's art! ;)

Nov 4th, 2013, 01:58 AM
Where's the Lowrider girls ????

Superior Shine
Nov 6th, 2013, 09:44 PM
Where's the Lowrider girls ????
At the free clinic getting checked out.

Superior Shine
Oct 28th, 2014, 05:44 PM
Just heard that this car is going to be at SEMA 2014. It is still in the building stages but should be done for SEMA!!!

davey g-force
Oct 28th, 2014, 07:48 PM
Please post some photos for us Joe! :db: