Seven years & going strong – it’s almost hard to believe it’s already 2016, but it is, and there’s no turning back the clocks now. We’ve come a long way since our last Year in the Rear View, and we can’t wait to see what this new year has in store for us. But, as always, it’s time we take cruise down memory lane through an assortment of features, projects, events & adventures that got NorthWest Auto Salon to where it is today.
FEATURES & SPOTLIGHTS
It was an award winning & record setting year for the shop, with more cars coming through our roll up doors than ever before. We had some exciting buzz surrounding NWAS in 2015; between unveiling our new demo car, getting caught up with Mr. SaabKyle04 himself, and taking home the gold for Best Detailing in Best of Western Washington, it’s been a wild 12 months. Of course, picking features for the blog is never easy, but some things are just too good not to share, so here’s what made the cut for 2015.
Ever since the Model S first emerged in the Pacific NorthWest, we’ve been lucky enough to clean up & condition some of the finest examples Tesla has to offer. Straight out the gate in 2015, Tesla dropped their highly anticipated & “insanely” upgraded dual-motor P85D variant, putting a lot of high-powered gas guzzlers on notice. Before January could even unfold, we had a D in for a New Car Detail, XPEL ULTIMATE paint protection, and some custom blacked out vinyl accents. The updates were minimal, but it still made for one of our favorite Tesla features of the year.
Bright blue isn’t typically the first color that comes to mind when people think of exotic cars, let alone Porsche, but between the Azzurro Dino Speciale that showed up late in December & the Mexico Blue Turbo S we had in earlier this year, it’s a hue that we’re growing fonder of with every arrival. Upon relocating from Plano to the PNW, this Porsche 997 came through for New Car Detail & plenty of XPEL ULTIMATE paint protection — have a look for yourself!
While it didn’t technically happen in 2015, we never revealed the STEALTH wrapped Ferrari 458 Speciale until well into the new year. It was an extensive install, requiring quite a bit of custom patterning to ensure maximum coverage & extreme attention to detail. It’s not all satin finish either — look closely & you’ll see that the center stripe and trims remained glossy to bring a little contrast to the finished product. For a better idea, check out our youtube channel to see a quick video montage of the process.
Picking between performance or creature comforts is a difficult decision to make for anyone in the automotive market. For one client, the only question was “why not both?” In full endorsement of the “2 is better than 1” mindset, we treated a brand spanking new Chevy Corvette Z06 & Tesla Model S P85D with New Car Details, XPEL paint protection & even a dynamic duo photo shoot — it was quite a way to start the new year.
As many of our fans know, we’re no strangers to STEALTH wrapping Teslas. We’ve done more Total Coverage installs using XPEL STEALTH on the Model S than any other car in NWAS history, and the end result is always a sight to see. Even though Tesla Motors discontinued their original deep blue, we still put together a stunning take on the #STEALTHMODE look with a brand new Black Pearl variant; we even completed the look using one of Avery’s latest films, coincidentally also named Black Pearl. The wrap job provided a subtle change to the standard Model S aesthetic without cheapening the appeal — but don’t just take our word for it, have a look for yourself!
Of course, no year would be complete without seeing one of our all-time favorite Quattro cars. That’s right, none other than the notorious Audi RS4 Avant that calls the NorthWest its home. As some of our readers may recall, the RS4 Avant received quite the spread during an extended 2013 stay when it came through for a Connoisseur Detail; back in the spring of 2015, the reconditioning wasn’t as extensive, but we did equip the Avant with a fresh, custom patterned XPEL ULTIMATE paint protection package.
A few days before the RS4 Avant took off, we also found ourselves face to face with a brand spanking new Porsche 991 GT3 needing a little TLC & PPF. We’re all p-car fans here, so when one of the latest performance variants arrives fresh off the lot, it’s always a good day to be at work. We haven’t had the chance to wrap up a new RS model yet, but check out the install that’s keeping this GT3 pristine whether it’s cruising the town or tearing up a track day.
Before the summer got in full swing, our boy Alex put in some serious work polishing up his personal police cruiser to test the limits of Gtechniq on a daily driver that spends most of its life outside, exposed to the elements. With the paint looking as close to pristine as possible for a decommissioned patrol car, it seemed only appropriate to spotlight the Vic as an interlude to our favorite festivity on the bricks — the 8th annual Red Square Car Show! Steelhoover’s setup is definitely a unique one, and unless you’ve already scoured his instagram, it’s probably worth checking out the write up.
Speaking of RSCS8, the Red Square Car Show marked the first “official reveal” of our latest shop demo car, the NWAS rally-inspired GLA 45 AMG. As a rolling presentation of services we offer & practical design application, the rally GLA is akin to everything we stand for, from build quality, to performance, presentation, and of course, originality. The car took quite a few late nights to reach it’s current state before showtime, but with the help of a dedicated few it all came together. It might not be to everyone’s personal taste, but there’s no denying it”ll grab your attention.
If you’re looking for the embodiment of rolling mildew, look no further – we had that in last year too. Moldly cars are a common problem for many a northwest driver, but we’ve got solutions for every spore’d out scenario. After assessing the damage, we helped this extra slimy Golf TDI make a full recovery. Think you might have car mold problems of your very own? Have a read & see how bad it can be if it’s left to fester long enough.
Our GLA45 AMG wasn’t the only quick Mercedes to grace the shop with its presence this year either. Amidst the heat of summer, we welcomed in a brand new, minimally spec’d AMG GT-S for a customized Full Frontal XPEL ULTIMATE paint protection package. While it might not pack as much punch as the SLS Black Series, the GT-S is still a stellar blend of new Mercedes design language, honed performance, and uncompromising quality — by far, one of our favorite Mercedes visits of the year.
Youtube is an essential internet component these days, and while we’ve put quite a bit of effort into curating some of our very own content, few automotive channels can compare to the level of passion SaabKyle04 has for presenting the automobile in it’s rawest form. So, of course, you can understand our excitement when we heard the driver’s seat of youtube himself wanted to come take a peek at Blake’s personal project, the “Mr. Sandman” Citroen DS21. Over the course of just a few days, Kyle uncovered & captured every inch of the car and even took a little time to document another gem from the Siebe Collection, a VW 21-window Samba. So far, only the Citroen review has surfaced, but it’s a great watch. If you haven’t yet, head over to the post & check it out if you haven’t yet!
Turn-key fast comes in many different flavors these days, with or without a warranty. As far as factory-backed performance goes, we reckon you’d be hard pressed to find a better tire melter than Callaway Cars latest take on the Z06. Clocking in with a beastly 757 HP, it’s got to be one of the quickest Bow ties on the road today; more importantly, it’s exactly the kind of car that needs top-tier protection to coincide with the blistering performance it can put down. ULTIMATE protection to be precise. After a quick prep & some supplementary patterning, this brand new Callaway got just what the doctor ordered.
Another modern automotive monstrosity we encountered this year stopped by for a visit on its journey home to Canada. The NISMO GT-R is right up there with the rest of them as far as the serious power-per-dollar-under-a-warranty argument goes, equipped with more tech than the average driver even knows that to do with. In typical new car detail fashion, we made sure the latest version of Godzilla was fully equipped to take on the road ahead, with plenty of XPEL ULTIMATE paint protection & window tint from Prestige Film Technologies.
While we didn’t complete as many full color change wraps in the past year as we normally do, we cranked out infinitely more custom strip packs for vehicles of every variety and even a handful of commercial vinyl installs. Coincidentally enough, one of our most favorite stripe packs came to us right around the same time as “Back to the Future Day” with none other than the film’s infamous hero car, the DeLorean DMC-12. Even though this particular example wasn’t in the most pristine condition, we did our best to breathe some new life into the DMC in the form of a custom Hot Wheels inspired stripe pack. We even had one of the scale models on hand for a proper reveal photo shoot!
For our final full-car feature of the year, we were excited to show off another heavy hitter from the modern American muscle spectrum, a brand new Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat. The Hellcat came in looking for some cutting-edge surface protection plus a few aesthetic updates, so we hit it with one of our latest & greatest service offerings — a Gold level coating package from Ceramic Pro. We didn’t just stop there either; all the badges got blacked out, and we installed a wild one-off dual vinyl stripe pack utilizing Avery’s newest fluorescent green wrap film. The finished look might be too loud for some, but there’s no denying that it’s definitely eye-catching. Have a look at the photo set & get a feel for the details that really make it stand out.
HONORABLE MENTIONS & MONUMENTS
As always, there were a handful of projects over the last year that are still reaching the final stages of completion, and thus, they didn’t make the cut when it came time to post up. Of course, we’ve posted a few in-progress shots of said various vehicles here & there on social media, so if you’re dying to see more be sure to follow along. For now, take a peek at a few of our favorites along with a handful of shop-centric stats to follow.
CATS EXOTICS FERARRI F355 SATIN WHITE VINYL WRAP
There have been a few projects that managed to stay almost entirely off the radar in 2015, and the satin white & mint vinyl wrap we installed on Cats Exotics F355 was definitely a big one. The installation went quick, and currently, the only thing keeping it out of the studio for a final photo session is a fresh set of custom wheels. Once the finishing touches get added on & the look gets completed, rest assured, we’ll have a gallery up for your viewing pleasure.
ACURA MDX MATTE METALLIC SUNFLOWER VINYL WRAP
As strange as it might sound, one of our most unusual vinyl wrap installations hands down last year goes to none other than a brand new Acura MDX. It arrived straight from the dealer an owner who was ecstatic about personalization. With a distinct idea in mind, we set forth wrapping up the MDX with Bruxafol matte metallic sunflower yellow, trimming it out with a chrome delete & a custom two-tone stripe pack. Be on the lookout for more images of the MDX dropping in a gallery update in the coming months!
BMW I8 FULLY COVERED IN XPEL ULTIMATE PPF
We also managed to round out the year with a visit from one of BMW’s latest & greatest, the i8. In an effort to keep the futuristic hybrid spotless for years to come, we covered every inch of exposed paintwork with XPEL ULTIMATE self-healing paint protection film. While it wasn’t the fist i8 that we’ve had the pleasure of caring for at our facility, it was the first we’ve had the chance to completely protect with PPF — here’s to hoping the next Total Coverage i8 install is ready to go STEALTH.
BY THE NUMBERS
2015 was one of our busiest years yet, and as we move into the new year, the appointments are already starting to pick up steam. While we’re excited for all the customizing, detailing, reconditioning, and wrapping the 2016 may hold, now seems like the perfect time to run the numbers on what’s keeping the hustle alive & well here at NWAS.
HAND WASHES PERFORMED: 153
PROTECTIVE COATINGS APPLIED: 40
NEW CARS DETAILED: 58
VEHICLES TINTED: 156
TOTAL VINYL WRAP APPLICATIONS: 39
TOTAL XPEL PPF INSTALLS: 262
INSTAGRAM POSTS THIS YEAR: 563
GOOGLE+ PROFILE VIEWS: 4,780,041
UNIQUE SITE VISITORS: 326,186
UNIQUE SEARCH QUERIES FOR “NORTHWEST AUTO SALON”: 358
FAN FAVORITES & TOP PICS
Sharing highlights from our day-to-day workload has always been a big part of our social media presence, and truth be told, most of our clients & fans love seeing their vehicles progress via our various channels. It’s not easy to choose what gets shared or what doesn’t, so we weigh our options largely on what our fans respond to. If you haven’t peeped any of our feeds in quite some time, take a peek at the gallery of random shop & fan favorites below to see what you may have missed.
Accolades, Adventures & Events
While 2015 didn’t offer us many chances to escape the daily grind, we made good use of our free time both on & off the proverbial clock when we could. As mentioned before, it was an award winning year in more ways than one, and while we didn’t make it down to Vegas for SEMA, we still had plenty of fun getting out to a few of the 2015’s top automotive events. Chances are we’ll be sneaking out of the shop more and more in 2016, so be sure to inbox us an invite to your next event if you’re looking for guest appearances.
Starting the cold winter months off with a quick trip down to sunny Scottsdale, AZ for the Barrett Jackson Collector Car Auctions is always a good idea, and this past year was nothing short of a party. There’s always a ton of action happening up on the blocks, a wide variety of automobiles to ogle over, as well as endless rows of memorabilia, collectables, and just about everything in between. It almost takes a full day just to get acquainted with so much to see, so it’s pretty easy to lose track of time just wondering the lots of bought & sold vehicles, lending a guess at what’s selling for what. If you’ve never experienced Barrett Jackson for yourself, head over to the blog & get a feel for the experience. You never know, maybe we’ll bump into one another wandering around West World this year!
For the 8th consecutive year, we returned to UW along side Cats Exotics for the Red Square Charity Car Show benefiting PAWS. Thanks to a strong turnout and beautiful weather, the show went off without a hitch, with plenty of donations and support rolling in for a great cause. We’ll likely be back at it again this year in just a few months time, so keep your eyes on the official Red Square Car Show facebook page for updates, and be sure to check out the coverage from last year incase you missed out.
At long last, November of 2015 marked the release of our XPEL Dealer Spotlight video, a project that we shot & produced in collaboration some months prior in the hot summer sun. It’s a quick, insightful look at the people, products, and processes that make our paint protection installations truly unique to the industry, and we’re excited to finally share it with you all.
King5’s Best of Western Washington Winner for “Best Detailing”
As for accolades in 2015, we had a few big wins that are definitely worth noting. Thanks to the endless support & appreciation of our clients, friends, and fans, we managed to scoop up a “Best of” for the Detailing category in King 5’s Best of Western Washington this year. It was a close race early on, but we managed to pull away with a lead & take home the gold!
A Show Stopping Finish at Pebble Beach Concours D’Elegance
While it might not have made blog headlines, we’re quite proud of the insane level of dedication our fearless leader showed earlier on in 2015 at Monterey Car Week. After months of preparation and reconditioning, Blake journeyed down to Pebble Beach for a few intense days of rigorous concours prep with none other than the first ever competition Shelby GT350, the 5R002. All the long hours and sleepless nights paid off in the end too — the 5R002 ended up taking home a prestigious “Best in Class,” award as well as Road & Track’s “Car We’d Most Like To Drive.”
NEW SERVICES & PREVENTATIVE PROTECTION
With the continued growth of the business, we’re doing our best to accommodate the requests of our clients while providing top-notch results, utilizing only the best products on the market. 2015 marked the inclusion of a few new treatments to our a la carte options, as well as the arrival of a brand new protective coating option to the pacific north west. We’re keeping our lips sealed about services may be unveiled in 2016 for now, but be sure check out what new options are waiting to further satisfy your detailing & car care needs below.
We’ve been following the developments of Ceramic Pro for quite some time, and after rigorous testing & growing demand, we’ve opted to add the full arsenal of Ceramic Pro protective treatments to our current rotation. Developed as an industrial coating by the Nanoshine Group, Ceramic Pro products can offer incredible levels of scratch resistance & shine while exhibiting superhydrophobic qualities to ensure your vehicle stays cleaner for longer than ever before. For more details on the package options, head over to our service listing or have a look at the product spotlight & discover what a Ceramic Pro protective coating can do for your vehicle today.
As part of our a la carte upgrades, we took our rock chip repair & paint touch-up to the next level in 2015 by offering full-service, in-house color matching. Now, as part of any regularly scheduled detail package or reconditioning treatment, clients have the ability to roll in our paint touch up & rock chip repair treatments to help take care of any pesky, unsightly surface conditions in one fell swoop. It’s billed hourly and quoted on a case by case basis, so rest assured you’ll only get paint touch up in the areas that matter most to you. Interest in having your own vehicle assessed for paint touch-up or want to learn more about our rock chip repair service? Head over to the FAQ for further reading or fire off an e-mail & we’ll do our best to assist.
ONWARD INTO 2016
Well, that just about wraps it all up for another year in the rear view – 2015 was quite the journey, and there’s already a lot in store for NorthWest Auto Salon in the coming months as we move deeper into the future. We’ve got a few new service concepts on the horizon that we’re toying with, along with new merchandise & some major upgrades to the website that are sure to make it much easier to craft the perfect care package prior to requesting a quote – but we’ll save that for another day.
Thanks for reading!