By Al Engel
Many an hour I have spent de-bugging the nose and side mirrors of my white cars. As many of you may have noticed, all my cars are white. The Vettes (’86, ’92 & ’99); the Q45s (’90 & ’92); the Auroras (’95, ‘98 & ’01); and the Transports (’90, ’93, &‘95)… all white. All of these cars were "bottom breathers". That is, the air intake for the cooling of the radiator is below the bumper. No front grill work. Therefore, the frontal presentation of the car to the air, and the bugs flying in same, is all white bodywork.
Bugs are tuff little buggers (I guess that’s how "bugger" got it’s name… sorry, poor attempt at humor). When they go "splat" on the nose of a white car, they make a particularly tough stain to remove, and these bottom breathers have a lot of white, frontal area to splat upon. The longer they stay plastered on the paint, and the more sun & heat absorbed, just makes the little buggers more difficult to remove. Some variety of bugs actually will permanently discolor some paints with a yellow stain. Removing bug guts from the front of my white cars has consumed many an hour. I developed some unique de-bugging techniques, chemicals, and potions… but in the end, elbow grease and time were the only things that really were effective in debugging the bumpers.
Then came Zaino. I have found a Zainoized white car is so smooth, so slick, so slippery, that kamikaze bugs still go "splat", but their guts just slide off the paint with a spray from the hose nozzle. The real stubborn buggers come right off with the first swipe of the wet sponge. Amazing. What used to take ½ to 1 hour debugging the nose of the car has become an easy Spray, Wipe, and Chamois (SW&C) event.
The same benefit described above also applies to the rocker panel areas with road grime, tar and general "crud" thrown onto the rockers by those wide profile tires. Being from Pennsylvania, we encounter many groundhogs (gophers to you non-Pennsylvanians). When a Vette’s Goodyears roll over the numerous groundhog road kill events scattered along the Pennsylvania roadways, the wrap under design of the C-5 bodywork becomes the repository for the ground-hog’s guts…very tough stuff to remove. Even this road kill splatter is easily hosed away with a well Zainoized rocker panel. No more lying on your back, rubbing off the gopher guts from the rockers. Just SW&C and you’re clean as a baby’s bottom. What about brake dust? That black stuff that sticks to your front wheels like glue? Same drill. SW&C a Zainoized wheel, and it’s clean. It’s really amazing stuff. Even if Zaino did not produce such a great looking shine, it would be worth it just in improved cleaning capabilities.
So, in the winter, when the Vette is living in the garage, I fire up the garage heaters and Zaino anything that doesn’t move. If you decide to stop on by in February and chat, just make sure you keep moving or you might have Zaino applied in places you may not appreciate! In the summer, I spend little time on appearance maintenance of the white fleet, and the cars look great. Just quick SW&C and they are super clean, shiny and ready to kill more bugs.
I’m sure when Sal Zaino came on by the NGCA meeting, many of you were skeptical of his claims. I have been using his stuff for a number of years, and in my humble opinion, it’s the best. Easy to apply, relatively cheap, very durable, provides a finish that’s "slicker then snot on a marble", and best of all…. Bugs and gopher guts don’t stick! There’s a whole "process" and a specific order in which the various Zaino products are applied. Sal Zaino explains it best on his web site and if you are interested, go to www.zainobros.com. You will learn all you need to know to become a 1st class bug killer.