NuFinish - History of car detailing

Wikipedia defines the art, and yes it is an art, of car detailing thusly:  (the act of) performing thorough cleaning, restoration, and finishing of a motor vehicle, to produce a show-quality cleanliness and polish.


Detailing can be performed on a vehicle's exterior and/or interior.

It used to be a great weekend tradition; roll out the Kingswood/Falcon/Valiant onto the front lawn, get out the hose, spray the living daylights out of it, and leave a wet and dirty rag on the grass.

But where did the art of detailing come from? It’s fair to say that the Flintstones were never spotted washing their car and the Romans weren’t known for polishing the chariots. Oddly enough, it was chariots that were given the wash and polish first, as far as history shows. This goes back to the 1880s, with horse drawn carriages painted in a special lacquer based coating. Although of a high sheen these would fade with exposure to the elements. A German town named Bischofsheim had some canny people who figured out that animal fats, rendered into a special paste, would allow that coating to stay bright and shiny after the paste had been applied and then wiped away.

The late 1880s, as we know, saw the first petrol powered vehicle released by two men that would form the backbone to Mercedes-Benz. It was a year or two later that a company that still exists today, Menzerna, released a range of pastes and compounds to aid in the upkeep of the external parts of the horseless carriage.

The turn of the century also saw a name that exists today join the party. This one though, started with furniture polish. Frank Meguiar Jnr was the inventor and the company is well known worldwide.

But perhaps it was the invention of the car wash that has the biggest connotations of detailing, in the broader sense of looking after the outside of a car. As it turns out, it was something we still see today, especially with Australians utilizing the great range of products from Nu Finish. In Detroit, in 1914, the “Automated Laundry” for automobiles was opened. The link from the past to now is the procedure. One man with a bucket and cloth to wash, a second to rinse the horseless carriage, and a third to dry the automobile. Sounds familiar?

As time passed, automation made the process less human labor intensive but the love and desire to be hands on remains. Nu Finish has a great range of products that harken back to the simple bucket and cloth and that’s still an effective way of cleaning the two- and four-wheeled pride and joy. But there are occasions when time backs up and a quick yet effective way of getting the paintwork to look great is needed. This is where a bottle of Nu Finish Rapid Shine steps up.

Science has proven that foam based formulations can be highly useful in providing a cheap yet quick way of getting into paintwork, lifting out dirt and dust and other contaminants without damage to the paint and clear coat. This is exactly how Nu Finish Rapid Shine works; it’s a 443mL bottle with a spray trigger, and the nozzle converts the liquid within to a spray on foam coating. It results in a no drip and no streak surface that requires nothing more than a damp cloth to gently massage the foam into the paint in a circular motion.  The formulation has the Rapid Shine dry to a fine haze without powdery residue that can be found in other products but has lifted out the contaminants. Another clean and DRY cloth should be used to buff the paintwork to a high sheen, with a further wash and application just four weeks later to maintain the surface. What’s more, it’s suitable for chrome and plastic exterior trims as well.

Nu Finish works hard to ensure their products are suitable for Australia’s unique road and driving climates. We’d love to hear your thoughts on our products and the ease in which Nu Finish Rapid Shine has been used. Contact us at our blog comments and don’t forget to stay in touch via Nu Finish’s social media.