RANCHERO RES­CUE

Part 2: From Doomed to Re­newed

Muscle Car Review - - Contents - By Rot­ten Rod­ney Bau­man

Part 2: From doomed to re­newed

About a month ago, while we were strolling around the grounds of the old fam­ily com­pound, we touched on the topic of long-term stor­age. That’s what led us to the open­ing of a 40-foot ship­ping con­tainer. Locked in and for­got­ten, this time since 1989, Un­cle Gary Bau­man’s low-mileage 1969 Ranchero GT (12,155 miles to be ex­act) had lan­guished long enough.

As long as proper steps are taken, a tight con­tainer can pro­vide fairly safe stor­age. Some­how, how­ever, this one’s roof had sprung a steady leak and the poor Ranchero sus­tained a se­ries of sum­mer­long steam baths. With its con­tents left unchecked, con­tainer No. 2 be­came the tomb of doom.

With the con­tainer doors opened for the first time in 29 years, the near-new/old Ranchero was loaded and hauled

“Now it’s time we turn our at­ten­tion to the Ranchero’s cos­metic needs”

to River­side, Cal­i­for­nia’s Ed Martin Garage for a me­chan­i­cal eval­u­a­tion. Sure enough, time and con­di­tions had af­fected the com­po­nents we ex­pected: cool­ing sys­tem, fuel sys­tem, brakes, and so on.

At the time of this type­writ­ing, all me­chan­i­cal is­sues have been tended to, as we wit­nessed in our Part 1 last month (July 2018). Now it’s time we turn our at­ten­tion to the Ranchero’s cos­metic needs in­side and out. For this phase we called in a sec­ond ringer, Ricky Pope of Soft Touch Auto De­tail­ing, also in River­side.

Pope is a bona fide de­tail­ing pro­fes­sional. His reg­u­lar clien­tele in­cludes the area’s new-car deal­er­ships, but more and more lately he is in de­mand with the col­lec­tor­car crowd. We had to wait for our ap­point­ment, but now it’s our turn. Pope’s mis­sion is to re­store and pre­serve the Ranchero’s orig­i­nal fin­ish, bright­work and in­te­rior trim.

Based on his vis­ual in­spec­tion, Pope es­ti­mates this to be a two-day job. Along the way we will see some fa­mil­iar tools and house­hold clean­ing prod­ucts used. At the same time we’ll em­brace this op­por­tu­nity to try out the lat­est in pol­ishes, waxes, and clean­ers from Moth­ers. Sim­ply watch­ing these pro­ce­dures won’t make us pro­fes­sional de­tail­ers, but we can surely take a tip or two from Pope. Amongst his mix of tricks we might find some­thing useful for our own de­tail­ing needs.

Now, of course, there’s still a less-tech­ni­cal side to this story. My fa­vorite un­cle hasn’t seen his near-new/old Ranchero GT since the last time he parked it, 29 years ago. He knows we got it out. He knows we’ve been work­ing on it. We all know we can’t let it die again. There has been some dis­cus­sion about a big auc­tion some­where, but maybe there is a hap­pier end­ing in store. Very soon, when we drive it up Un­cle Gary’s drive­way, we shall see what shall be.

“Maybe there’s a hap­pier end­ing in store”

1 Just to give you an idea, here is what we have re­ceived from Moth­ers. Yes, it’s a lot. The job at hand will re­quire a lot, but we cer­tainly have ev­ery­thing we need. To fur­ther sweeten this presweet­ened deal, we’ve been loaned a brand-new Flex...

2 On a com­plete de­tail job like ours, Pope likes to be­gin with in­te­rior bright­work and trim. For this story we fo­cus mostly on the de­tail­ing of the Ranchero’s ex­te­rior, but be­fore we start with that, look at this! Af­ter work­ing late last night, Pope...

3 To­day we start with a dulled­down, dried-out fac­tory fin­ish. The hor­i­zon­tal sur­faces are pretty far gone, and we know the paint is thin. On that note, let’s be­gin at the begin­ning with a needed bath.

4 In the mix with Pope’s new stock­pile of Moth­ers prod­ucts is a gen­er­ous sup­ply of Moth­ers-brand mi­crofiber pol­ish­ing cloths. These are wash­able and re­us­able, and a notch or two nicer than oth­ers we’ve worked with. The tags are a lit­tle scratchy but...

5 In­side the Moth­ers bucket is one of Moth­ers’ wash mitts. Made from mi­crofiber che­nille, they are very ab­sorbent and very, very soft. At the bot­tom of the bucket, just out of view, is a grit guard. It’s a pretty com­mon de­tail­ers’ tool and keeps the...

7 Used in straight strokes and folded of­ten as we go, this hunk of clay con­tours nicely to the up­per­most shape of this quar­ter-panel. This is also a Moth­ers prod­uct, from our 200-gram Cal­i­for­nia Gold clay kit. Used in con­junc­tion with the Car­nauba Wash...

6 Be­ing some­what am­bidex­trous, Pope of­ten uses both hands. Here, ei­ther form of mi­crofiber is safe for our pur­poses. We know that later on we’ll be us­ing an ag­gres­sive rub­bing com­pound, so this time a fresh­mixed batch of this same slip­pery so­lu­tion...

9 As the sec­ond day of the job wears on, it has be­come clear that we will need a third day if we’re go­ing to bring these dead hor­i­zon­tal sur­faces back to life. Al­though play­ing with clay can be fun, this has been hard work. On this par­tic­u­lar job, it...

8 From the Moth­ers Speed line, this 2.0 clay is a good fit for the Ranchero’s flat­ter ex­panses. The busi­ness end that con­tacts the fin­ish is easy to rinse by tread-like de­sign. For a lu­bri­cant we have switched to Moth­ers In­stant De­tailer as the com­pany...

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