Car Care Lessons revealed by Cinderella and the Knight in Shinning Armour

Ok, this blog I admit will be a stretch, but stick with me and in the end you will learn the practical lessons revealed by these figurative and imaginery stories. Before I get into the fairy tale let me share a true personal story to set the stage.

My enthusiasm for cars started many years back around the time I got my first vehicle at age 16. I remember spending many hours on the weekend getting my s10 blazer (Blaze-N as it was known) prepared for the sunday cruise down MLK blvd to a local car hangout spot, McGreggor park in Houston, TX. I was a part of a mini truck club back then called Lower Elevation and me and a few of the club members would get our trucks all shined up, fall in line and cruise out to the spot to see and be seen.

Back then we knew our vehicles had to be clean and tricked out if we were going to turn heads and break out of the clutter, I mean the competition was fierce. You had guys cruising in to the park from all sides of Houston to show off their rides. Sure, we wanted to get the respect of the other cruisers but really, when I think about those days and why we poured so much of our after school and summer job money into our vehicles, spent countless hours customizing and shining them up and burned through tank after tank of gas to roll around the city with no particular destination, it was all for the females. You see, if you spotted a young lady that you wanted to talk to and you rolled up in a clean ride, chances were pretty good you would leave with the phone number. Back then, we were trying to collect as many numbers as possible. Now lets introduce the imaginary tale of Cinderella and the story of the Knight In Shinning Armour.

Let’s start with the Knight. Every young girl has this fascination of finding her Knight in shinning armour. The story originates back to the tale of a gallant knight  who would ride to the rescue of his fair maiden. He would save the day and they would ride off into the sunset right? Then you have the story of Cinderella, who was a lowly young girl that had step sisters. The step sisters got the best of everything while Cinderella only got the left overs and hand me downs. With the help of the fairy god-mother however, she gets to go to the royal ball with the chance to meet the Prince. To increase her odds of being noticed, the fairy god-mother turns a pumpin and mice into this royal shinny carriage for Cinderella to roll up in…still with me?

What does all this have to do with car care and the importance there of you ask? Well, what brought all this on was the fact that I recently did some research to discover when car owners first began waxing their vehicles for shine and protection and also on what type of vehicle was wax first used. What I found is this. Automotive wax and the process of waxing a vehicle to shine and protect the paint dates back to the age of horse drawn carriages (Whips). The owners of the carriages would use wax to protect the paint on those carriages because back then the paint came at a premium. You can read the full article here on the Automotive Finishing site (http://www.afonline.com/automotive_wax/).  This is where my “Aha” moment came!

You see, my wife is a singer and stage play performer and happens to be performing in the musical of Cinderella. During the carriage scene when the fairy god-mother turned the pumpkin into this shiny carriage, all the previously discussed topics above hit me at once and I had a nice laugh to myself. So here are some conclusions I came to for laughs.

1. Cinderella, or the fairy god-mother at least, understood the importance of standing out and looking your very best when you roll up on the scene, even before you enter the ball. Pulling up in the shiny carriage was tactical.  This would get the folks to talking and perhaps all the hooplah would reach the ear of the prince and he would want to find out who is this Cinderella that came rolling up to the royal ball in this shiny, tricked out carriage. This strategy seemed to work pretty good for us back in the days of McGreggor park…lol.

2.  Why did the knight have to be in “shinning armour”?  Again, because he knew that if he rolled up on the dame in distress in a dull dingy carriage, she would very well just take her chances and wait for the next cat to roll up. By the way, I dont believe the shinny armour mentioned in the story was battle gear, I think it was a tricked out carriage that would in today’s world resemble the “knight rider shelby mustang” image below. The knight knew he had to stand out from the moment he pulled up to successfully take the damsel off the market, so he came with his A game. He left nothing to chance including how shiny and polished his carriage was looking when he rolled up.  After all, he was trying to win over the damsel in distress right? 

Now even if this blog was a stretch, realistically we can all agree on 3 things:

1. Your vehicle is an extention of you! when you walked on the lot to pick out your ride, you did not pick out the dirty less appealing vehicle in the back, you picked out the one that was sparkling in whatever color you desired and you imagined yourself rolling around town behind the wheel. Why not keep it looking it’s very best with a consistent automobile detail regiment? Rolling around in a clean and nice looking ride sure makes paying the note easier vs. riding around in one that is an eye sore to you and everyone else and on top of that you are still making payments. Take pride in your ride, preserve it’s appearance.

2. Automobiles are not cheap, you made the investment when you purchased it. Protect the value of your ride like the carriage makers did back when paint was at a premium. Have you considered the cost of having to repaint your vehicle? Believe me it is not cheap! Also, even if you decide to trade it in or sell it used to upgrade to a new vehicle, you will lose money on the deal because appearance is everything. If your vehicle appears to be well maintained and look good, you will get more on the tade in. If you are selling it as a used vehicle, if it looks nice it will sell faster and for more money than one that looks neglected.

3. Finally, you simply feel better when you are behind the wheel of an uncluttered, clean and shiny vehicle and it does not hurt when people notice and compliment you on your ride.

These are the secrets learned from Cinderella and the Knight in Shinning Armour.

Until next time,

D. Smith (Owner-Operator of  TheGlossBoss.Com and Whip Appeal Auto Blog)

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