Tom Wilson
February 1, 2011

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Next up was a detailer. Thankfully Ford used simple one-step paints back in the Fox days-no clearcoat-and seemingly three quarters of those Foxes were black. Painters and detailers love black because it has more pigment than any other paint. Black goes all the way to the primer, so you can carefully cut off the top layer to expose a much fresher layer beneath. That's what our detailer did for us, starting with a 2,000-grit-sandpaper roughing, followed by buffing with rubbing compound, and finally waxing.

This requires a practiced hand, so don't shop this job strictly on price. A good job will take one man a long day at least, so plan on spending several hundred dollars. Also be aware that only so much that can be done by cutting paint. There is, after all, only so much paint on the car, and not much can be done about crazing or thin spots. The urethane bumpers and other soft spots can also pose problems. They will probably respond best to considerable hand-detailing with rubbing compound and wax.

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If you're bucks down, this job is mainly labor-you can tackle it one fender per night in the garage. Some technique is required, and you really do want a good electric buffer for a job this big, but it's a place to save some money while growing your skills, if you're so inclined.

We're tickled with our results. Sure, there are some swirl marks from the compounding, and we spent another day with our Mother's gear, cleaning up little corners missed by the detailer, waxing the door jambs, hitting the plastic parts with spray protectants, and so on. But the transformation is incredible. The DOA paint is now showroom shiny and smooth-and we can still say it's original.