The Master Detailer

Cars Culture

When only 'better than new' will do

The nice people at Influx suggested earlier this year that they wanted three films off us.

One on minibuses, one on bubblecars and one on car detailers. Trying to find an interesting angle on minibuses was tough I’ll be honest, but we somehow pulled it off with the help of some very cooperative conversion type people in the wilds of Essex. The bubblecar project potentially could have been tricky, until we realised there was a Catalonian bubblecar rally in the Spanish sunshine in May, so off we went on a colourful tapas and toy car type trip for a long weekend, that ended up being a real giggle. The film that bothered me least out of the 3 commissions was the one on car detailers, because fortunately I know one. His name is Bradley Scott-Stevens and not only is he a brilliant high-end detailer working on some pretty serious metal, but he’s also a mate who lives 5 minutes away from us, and who I tend to run into on a semi regular basis in Tesco. In fact, a month or so prior to our shoot dates we ran into Brad in the frozen aisle, about half way between the fish fingers and the hash browns, and had an impromptu stand up production meeting about what the film might cover, where we’d go, and what cars we might see. After about 7 or 8 mins though we were starting to get chilly and were blocking access to the oven chips, so we decided to arrange a more business like meeting in the beer garden of our local pub the following week.

I’ll be honest and say that like many people, I thought detailing was essentially a posh wash for your car. Better than a platinum inside and out, and the reserve of only the fabulously wealthy and flambuoyant. While it’s certainly not cheap, I now understand that it’s actually not an extravagance, and is instead all part of the running costs of owning a classic car, or an expensive car that you want to increase in value and one day become a classic car. For example, if you buy a vintage Ferrari for £100,000 and look after it properly, you’d hope to see a return on your investment in years to come, but only if it’s kept in mint condition. You wouldn’t buy a Picasso (the artwork not the Citroen) and leave it in the loft or in a damp basement. You’d look after it, and what Brad works on are effectively 4 wheeled works of art. He also details boats, but let’s not confuse the analogy.

Every year, there are a few very exclusive international car shows where the best of the best are pristinely displayed at concourse events. The very finest examples win ‘best in class’ prizes, which add to the rich pedigree of the car and in turn it’s value. Cars like these need to be maintained and prepared to the ultimate standard, and this is where Brad comes in. He’ll travel to detail the vehicles of high-end clients all around the UK, he’ll fly to Europe to prepare cars for concourse events on the continent, and in September he was at the beautiful Salon Prive event at Blenheim Palace and managed to blag me and cameraman Matty in as well!

Bearing in mind tickets for this thing are about £400 a day if you can get hold of them, this was quite the scoop, so off we went with our lights, cameras and chinos for what they describe as a ‘garden party’ rather than a car show. Everywhere you looked there were stunning cars old and new and for one day only, we were in automotive heaven. Brad even managed to blag us full hospitality, so rather than a sandwich and a bag of crisps ‘meal deal’ lunch that we normally eat buffet style on the bonnet of my estate car, we were tucking into lobster and champagne in the elegant surroundings of beautiful Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire.

Brad is a master craftsman who has honed his trade and that’s why he’s so in demand, with his next available bookings being more than a year away. The film focuses on a day in the life of one of this country’s finest and most accomplished detailers. A look through the eyes of a true professional, but when all is said and done, it’s also just a great excuse for some unadulterated car porn, so stick the film on full screen, turn up the volume and enjoy!

We had a thoroughly pleasant couple of days in motoring heaven thanks to the master detailer, so we hope you enjoy watching it as much as we enjoyed making it.