1985 Mercedes-Benz 380SL Paint Restoration

Sometimes it makes sense to repaint a vehicle who’s finish is long far gone from ever being its former glossy look. Other times its to change a color from someone’s previous failed approach to restore a vehicle, and so a repaint to its original color is in order. In either case the finish in question has been determined no longer suitable or in bad shape. In this detailers opinion, no paint can create a skin crawling feeling and face of disgust like a chalky and dull single stage paint. Crazing, oxidation, water spots and failed wax on, wax off residue can make for quite an ugly sight. This brings us to the story of a very special 1985 Mercedes-Benz 380SL that was brought to us by a client.

The Mercedes painted in a once  shiny Signal Red, was bought brand new and was bequeathed to the son by the once proud owner. So with a vehicle that has basically been a part of the family for decades, and was still being enjoyed by the next generation in the family, the decision was made by the owners to see what could be done to revive the now lifeless looking SL. The owner called us at SweetCars and made arrangements to have us check out the vehicle to see what could be done.

When the vehicle arrived, upon inspection it seemed to appear as if all hope was lost for this Mercedes and a repaint was already being strongly considered by the client. But after close inspection and using my Delfesko paint gauge, I could see that there was much life left in this old family roadster. So after consulting the client about what could be done on our part to bring back the car to life, the work was agreed upon and the client was excited to hear that it could stay original without having to repaint. So it was scheduled for its transformation.

On this vehicle, the paint was of course thin on some edges and every precaution was taken to not take away too much, but just enough to reach our goal of restoring the paint finish while preserving as much as possible. Since single stage paint is notorious for oxidation and to avoid the vehicle from becoming a chalkboard once again, it was decided to coat the vehicle with 4 coats of Ceramic Pro 9H and 1 coat of Ceramic Pro Light. So I grabbed my trusty RUPES Bigfoot LHR21ES and began meticulously paint correcting the finish. My prognosis was correct, this Mercedes was in dire need of an intense correction and not a repaint, which would of cost three times as much. The other expense avoided that was much appreciated by the owner was replacing the driver’s seat. The bolster was badly worn and donning some old sticky duct tape. I contacted our good friend Ryan Lamson at Revived Interiors and he was able to repair the badly worn bolster with his magical abilities.

The results were a transformation that was truly remarkable and we were sure that we would get a positive response from the client. When the client finally came in to see it, he immediately welled up with tears and the smile on his face confirmed that we had succeeded in our goal. Overwhelmed with emotion and surprise of the transformation, it was great to hear that it looked just like he remembered it back in the 80’s.

Here’s some pictures of the Mercedes, enjoy! – Mike Cardenas


Lamborghini Huracan: XPEL Ultimate Paint Protection Film & Ceramic Pro Gold Package

When the Lamborghini Huracan was first made available to customers as the replacement for the Gallardo, many of us detailers were anxious to get the opportunity to work on the latest and greatest nimble bull from Lamborghini’s stable. A customer of ours in Michigan contacted us about scheduling his Huracan for XPEL Paint Protection Film and Ceramic Pro. So several months passed once the order had been placed for the Huracan and it finally arrived in the Spring, ready to undergo some extensive work at SweetCars. Delivered by enclosed trailer, we quickly began with prepping the vehicle for protection and gloss by performing paint correction and installing a full front clip in XPEL Ultimate. The coverage would include mirrors, full fenders, bumper, full hood and rockers which would be wrapped around edges were applicable for a seamless look. PPF or Paint Protection Film is always installed prior to any glass coating. By it’s design, Ceramic Pro does not allow things to stick to it as it smoothes out the hills and valley on a paint’s surface or “Anchor Pattern” to keep dirt, contaminants and even graffiti from adhering to the finish.

Once the XPEL process was finished, it was on to installation of Ceramic Pro. This Lamborghini was to receive a Gold Package which includes 4 layered coats of Ceramic Pro 9H, 1 coat of Light, wheels coated, exterior glass coated and the interior was protected with both Ceramic Pro Leather and Textile. Once the Huracan was corrected and donning its freshly installed XPEL film with Ceramic Pro applied to all surfaces, it was now ready and protected for years and years to come. Click on the images of the Lamborghini Huracan and enjoy the process!

Contact your SweetCars Detailing representative to book your appointment for XPEL Ultimate and Ceramic Pro on your vehicle for the perfect combination of protection!

Visit http://www.xpel.com and http://www.ceramicproamericas.com for more information

Aston Martin DB9 Paint Refinement & Coated in Ceramic Pro

For many years now, SweetCars has been utilizing some type of glass coating protection to our customers. But none have been as successful as Ceramic Pro. The abilities and performance that Ceramic Pro provides is world’s above what many other coatings can muster. The durability is hard to beat with a 9H hardness that provides a lifetime of protection against light swirls, UVA/UVB, environmental factors and a resistance to chemicals, graffiti and damage from water spotting. Our clientele has certainly experienced the benefits of having their vehicle protected with one of the most advanced coatings ever produced. After all, there is only one Ceramic Pro and their vehicle deserves the best!

This brings us to this of many vehicles we are going to feature on our blog from past projects we’ve done at SweetCars with Ceramic Pro. SweetCars is proud to be a hub location for it’s North American market and we are dedicated to providing the highest level installation possible for Ceramic Pro.

A client of ours in South Florida heard of us joining the Ceramic Pro team at SweetCars and when the opportunity arose to get one of his vehicles out to Indiana, he presented us with this beautiful Aston Martin DB9 for paint correction and protection with our Ceramic Pro Gold Package. The paint underwent intense paint refinement and was then coated with 4 coats of Ceramic Pro that were intensely layered before applying an additional coat of Ceramic Pro Light once the 9H had set for 12 hours. Wheels were removed and coated with Ceramic Pro 9H to provide easy cleaning and protection against harmful brake dust. All exterior glass surfaces were coated with Ceramic Pro Rain to give extraordinary hydrophobic properties and increased visibility. Interior surfaces were coated with Ceramic Pro Leather on the interior leather surfaces and Ceramic Pro Textile was installed on all carpeted surfaces. This makes the interior easy to clean against spills while providing long term protection as well. Here’s the finished Aston Martin DB9 in Ceramic Pro. Simply click on the images to see the results.

Contact SweetCars at 260-207-2277 and make your appointment today for Ceramic Pro!

Visit http://www.ceramicproamericas.com for more information

SweetCars: 22PLE Factory Authorized Center of Excellence & Pricing


In the summer of 2011, SweetCars Detailing was approached by 22PLE to try their VX1 PRO. The results were extraordinary! 22PLE VX1 PRO and VX1 offered gloss that was unmatched by anything else we’ve ever used before. The durability was also something that added to the quality of the product. At that time, high end waxes and taking numerous steps for paint correction were en vogue. Glass coating was not as common in the United States as it had been in Europe and Asia. The quality and results we were achieving with 22PLE were enough for us to make it our go-to coating. Since then, SweetCars has been working closely with 22PLE in support of these amazing products. Together, our two companies have come a long way since then. From our days of using VX1 PRO to the present time being the first studio to introduce and name the new but exclusive ZX Mistico Elemento. So what is 22PLE?

22PLE ZX Mistico Elemento, photo by Isaac Fingerle for SweetCars

22PLE ZX Mistico Elemento, photo by Isaac Fingerle for SweetCars

22PLE is product based on the highest quality Silica available today. Unlike a wax or a sealant, when exposed to air 22PLE literally turns to glass. Hence the name 22PLE, (that’s name you see in the reflection of the logo on a surface). This glass surface makes the vehicle’s finish highly hydrophobic which gives optimal water beading and gives the surface a resistance to light swirls and scratches. Once applied and cured, the coating will give a wet-look gloss that is breathtaking. The coating can be safely handled and washed after 24 hours but takes about 5 days to fully cure. Before glass coatings became available, paint was being painstakingly corrected and then it was totally up to the client to maintain that corrected finish. Unfortunately, waxes and sealants don’t offer much in terms of scratch resistance, and with old habits being hard to break, the finish was back to it’s old state in a matter of months. Glass coatings such as 22PLE give clients a fighting chance to maintain that paint corrected finish.

Mini Cooper S coated in 22PLE ZX Mistico Elemento

Mini Cooper S coated in 22PLE ZX Mistico Elemento at SweetCars. Photo by Isaac Fingerle for SweetCars

SweetCars is an authorized and factory approved installer by 22PLE. Our experience and performance with 22PLE has made SweetCars an approved Center of Excellence by the founder and developer of 22PLE. Your vehicle will go through an expertly performed process which ensures a proper installation of 22PLE. We also provide trim restorative treatments using 22PLE VR1, coat wheels and calipers to resist brake dust using VM1. When coating wheels and calipers, we remove all wheels and then they are cleaned, polished, prepped and finally coated with 22PLE VM1. With wheels removed, the suspension and wells are also detailed. Wheels are then re-installed and torqued to factory specs.

Lamborghini Diablo VT coated in 22PLE VX1 PRO. Wheels coated with VM1

Lamborghini Diablo VT coated in 22PLE VX1 PRO. Wheels & Exhaust coated with  22PLE VM1   Photo by Mike Cardenas for SweetCars

SweetCars is the first detail studio to offer ZX Mistico Elemento from 22PLE for the ultimate in gloss with extended durability. At SweetCars, we are more than just an installer of one of the best glass coatings on the planet. Our contributions to 22PLE and in-field testing of upcoming products make us one of the leaders in the glass coating.  Count on SweetCars for knowledge, experience and our commitment to excellence in every installation. This is the SweetCars difference!


*paint correction not included in pricing

22PLE VX1 PRO Application ——————————————- $400.00 USD

22PLE ZX Mistico Elemento ——————————————– $500.00 USD

22PLE VM1 Wheel Application —————————————– $200.00 USD

22PLE VR1 Trim and Plastic Restore ———————————– $100.00 USD

22PLE Maintenance Package (Wash & VS1 Final Coat)—————–$75.00 USD

Call us at 1-260-207-2277 for information and scheduling.

1969 Pontiac GTO Detail


This gallery contains 28 photos.

In the world of muscle cars, the Pontiac GTO has always held it’s ground as one of the best ever. And of course, many will argue about which model or year is the most significant. Last summer, we had a … Continue reading

2009 Maserati GranTurismo S Coupe Detail


This gallery contains 59 photos.

Introduced at the 2008 Geneva Motor Show, the Maserati GranTurismo S was much improved from it’s previous 4.2 liter engine to a  4.7 liter V8, with 434 horses coming from the engine that was created in conjunction with Ferrari. The … Continue reading

Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren Roadster Paint Correction Detail


This gallery contains 64 photos.

Developed by Mercedes-Benz and McLaren, the SLR was created at a time when Mercedes owned a good portion of McLaren Group. The SLR or “Sport Leicht Rennsport” was built in England at the plant in Surrey and would behold a … Continue reading