Recapping Mike Phillips’ 2-Day Autogeek Detailing Class

Last weekend Mike Phillips brought his 2-Day Autogeek Roadshow Detailing Class to Dr. Beasley’s HQ in Chicago, IL. Here’s a quick recap of the weekend:

THURSDAY

Mike landed in Chicago around 9AM and made a beeline to Dr. Beasley’s so he could unpack his vast array of equipment. We were amazed at just how much he had flown in from Palm Beach—buffers, pads, microfiber towels, polish, compounds, you name it, it was there in massive quantities.

Supplies for Autogeek's Detailing Class at Dr. Beasley's

FRIDAY

Class kicked off bright and early at 7:30 AM sharp. The cars being worked on for the morning portion of the class were an Infiniti M35 and a Lexus ES, both with swirled-up black paint. Mike said he would have students working on the cars by 8AM, and he kept his word! By 8AM, the class was hands-on giving both cars a waterless wash.

Once the wash was complete, Mike taught everyone how to use a clay bar to decontaminate the paintwork prior to polishing. Everyone was amazed by just how filthy these seemingly clean cars were after feeling them with a plastic baggy and seeing how dirty the clay bar was after rubbing it on the surface. 

Mike Phillips showing class a clay bar

Once the decon was complete, Mike was ready to get the students on buffers. He started us off with a 6″ short throw random orbital perfect, for beginners. But before the class got to work, Mike showed the importance of buffing a test spot before tackling the entire car. From doing a test spot, Mike discovered the Lexus had soft paint, so he had the class just use a finishing polish. 

There was one major surprise during polishing—a couple students came to Mike with black stains on their polishing pads! Turned out the Lexus had a single stage respray on the back fenders.

Jim Lafeber demonstrating PlasmaCoat

Once the buffing work was done, Dr. Beasley’s founder and President Jim Lafeber dropped in to show the class how to protect their work with Dr. Beasley’s PlasmaCoat. But just before the demo began, Garage Squad’s Bruno Massel dropped by to say hello!

Mike Phillips, Jim Lafeber and Bruno Massel

He even got hands-on with a buffer as we moved on to our next test cars!

Bruno Massel buffing a car

Those next two cars were a Volkswagen Golf R and a Subaru WRX, both in blue. This time students used a rinseless wash to clean. Following the rinseless wash, the class upgraded from clay bars to Nanoskin mitts and towels for the decontamination process. 

Once decon was done, Mike got students on long stroke buffers as he took them through the Rupes Bigfoot Paint Polishing System, going over the gear-driven Mille, the Duetto, and the iBrid Nano Polishers. Once the cars’ swirls were taken care of, the class used Dr. Beasley’s wet-applying Formula 1201 on the Golf and Nano-Resin on the WRX. 

Our final car was a beater of a pick-up truck provided by one of the students. Perfect for a one-step cleaner/wax! This portion of the class allowed students to pick their own tool to use, and pretty soon the truck looked pretty great for what it was! 

Once the truck was finished up, Mike took the class through a few miscellaneous topics. First was a headlight restoration demo. Mike used a student’s Ford Taurus with some oxidized lights. On one headlight he hand-sanded, which achieved decent results. The other he machine sanded with multiple passes, then had our shipping manager Tony Morales seal the work with Dr. Beasley’s Headlight Coating. 

Next up was a wet sanding demo. Using a test hood, Mike took the class through the complexities of this aggressive correction method. It’s no simple process, with dozens of steps involved. Still, it was great to see such an intensive procedure first hand! 

With that, the day was over. Mike handed out certificates to those only attending the Friday class and made sure to get photos with everyone. 

SATURDAY

On Saturday we started off with a full hand wash of the test vehicle rather than a waterless wash. The test vehicle was pretty classy—a Rolls-Royce Dawn. First students cleaned the wheels and tires, then the fabric convertible top since we’d be coating it later. They then foamed up the car, washed it, and jumped into mechanical decontamination.

Once the Rolls was decon’d, Mike showed the class how to polish glass.

After that, the class foamed up the car again to get rid of all the muck from the glass polishing. While the convertible top dried, students also hand washed and decontaminated a fairly beat-up Toyota Avalon. They also did a chemical decontamination, but because the paint was black we couldn’t see the “bleeding” effect.

Thankfully, a student brought in his white Lexus so we could really see the iron bleed off. Using some fallout remover, students sprayed the finish liberally until streaks of purple emanated from the paint. It smelled awful but it was great knowing all that contamination was being removed. 

Students then got to work buffing the Avalon using FLEX buffers and Sonax polish. We were originally going to do a two-step compound/polish process with this car, but once Mike saw how soft the paint was we stuck with just the Sonax EX-406 polish. The class then coated the paint with Dr. Beasley’s Formula 1201.

Now that the Rolls’ fabric convertible top was dry, Mike used some fabric protectant to give it a layer of UV-resistant, hydrophobic protection.

It was then time to start buffing! Mike had the class cover the convertible top so it didn’t get hit with polish, then showed off the various buffers that make up the BOSS system. 

This time the class actually did go through a two-step process, starting with the BOSS Correcting Cream followed by the Fast Correcting Cream. Once all the swirls were out, students coated the Rolls with Nano-Resin.

It looked incredible afterwards. 

For the final car, a gargantuan Ford F-150 Raptor was driven in. The class taped up its extensive plastic trim and covered the bumper with towels. We then used a one-step cleaner/wax on the entire truck, which definitely took some time considering the vast surface area.

Once the truck was done, Mike did his wet sanding demo again for the folks who weren’t there yesterday. Certificates were handed out, and the 2-Day class came to a close. 

WRAPPING UP

Mike came back on Sunday to conduct SV (Skills Validated) testing for the IDA and pack up his gear so it could be flown back to Palm Beach. We were surprised to find out the two detailers taking the SV test that day had flown out from opposite coasts—one from New Jersey, the other from California! 

All in all the Roadshow class was a smashing success. Everyone in the class was 100% game and ready to work as a team. We couldn’t have asked for a better experience!

Want to learn some tips and tricks from the class? Check the blog next week!