Last Saturday technician Chris Kirk headed to Griot’s Garage weekly Caffeine and Gasoline event to demonstrate the proper care of you leather, specifically to classic vehicles. Below is what the VP of the event had to say about the day.
Happy Leather Day!
Out Saturday, October 5 tech session was more than we expected. We gathered at Griot’s Garage to learn about leather restoration, repair and maintenance from Chris Kirk of Sameday. But there was more in store.
Griot’s monthly Caffeine and Gasoline event was in full swing when we arrived The lot was full of street rods, sports cars, Euro tuners, even what I think was a Panhard Dyna. Because the weather was gorgeous, many of our JRDC members came in their beautiful Jags:
- Ray Papineau’s white with light blue “T-top” XJS V-12
- Famed pipe organ maker Paul Fritts’ Regency Red XK120 OTS
- Bob Book’s red XJS
- Will Humiston’s 1970 E-Type OTS, driven top-down from Port Townsend
- Art Anderson’s red XK8 convertible
- Kurt Jacobson’s white XK120 OTS
- And I thought I saw an E-Type coupe, too
It was fun to have the Cascade Austin Healey Club of Washington join us, led by their Technical Coordinator, Frank Hosick. Except for the plastic club name badges, the members of both clubs were pretty much alike.
Sameday’s Chris Kirk parked his mobile shop in one of Griot’s two demo bays. My XK120 became the “before” example for the presentations. Chris used my well-worn (gouged, dirty, discolored) upholstery to show what he can start with and bring back to life, which I will do, now that I know what can be done. He explained how he does to handle gouges, cuts, restore the color, clean the leather and treat it to keep it looking good, and the things we can do. You can find out more about Sameday at www.sameday-usa.com.
Chris went into detail about leather: How manufacturers can camouflage defects in the natural hides, how they make “split cowhide,” how to tell the difference between leather and vinyl, how leather treatment products are tested and much more. He warned us about the dangers of exposing vinyl to leather treatment products and vice versa, and being careful with using steam, which sometimes can separate the applied finishes from the base leather. Chris demonstrated the use of the Griot’s products leather-care products he uses in his work.
Chris also explained the body and alloy wheel repair work that he accomplishes on the car at the customer’s home or work, which is quicker and often cheaper than a body shop would charge. He can match paint and upholstery colors using a spectrometer more quickly and inexpensively. New JDRC member Rich Conrad brought his wife’s non-Jaguar daily driver to the event so Chris could look it. He had to leave his Jaguar Mk1 at home in Port Angeles.
After Chris’ segment of the session, Guy Devivo of Griot’s Garage demonstrated on the hood of my white XK120 how to use the vast array of Griot’s body care products, polishers, hand-polishing and so forth. Driving my car home, I could clearly see the difference on what I thought was a somewhat clean and shiny car. Now I have to finish the job Guy started.
It is clear there is always something new to learn about caring for our Jags; both the right way and the wrong way. On the Griot’s website you will find many YouTube DIY videos www.griotsgarage.com/category/videos.do?nType=1 and can download the Detailer’s Handbook www.griotsgarage.com/category/product+information/detailer%27s+handbook.do?nType=3 .
It must have been a successful session because there were still Jaguar and Healey club members in the Griot’s lot as late as 2:30 p.m.
Kurt Jacobson, VP Technical