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How to restore faded plastic panels, motorcycle or car

This article details how to restore faded plastic panels on your motorcycle or car back to their former glory. I had this issue some time back with a dirtbike and all of the bright red sidepanels and mudguards (fenders) had gone to a very feminine pink! Sun exposure usually does this and fades the panels over time.

Please note, this method requires the careful use of a sharp blade. It’s a technique that will work but requires a bit of dexterity. Practice on old panels first if you really want the best results.

OK, so let’s see what we need for this:

  • A Stanley knife blade, brand new, also known as a box cutter.
  • (OPTIONAL) Some 1200 grit ‘Wet or Dry’ sandpaper with water.
  • A clean rag, lint free.
  • A tin of alcohol.
  • A hot air gun.

The basic method is to remove the top layer to get down to the fresh plastic below by scraping over the whole area until the colour is uniform and as original. Hold the blade at 45 degrees to avoid ‘digging in’. Once finished, you’ll find a few lines created by your scraping, so you’ll need to scrape in the opposite direction and at 90 degrees to make smooth.

Optionally, we can now use some fine grade ‘Wet or Dry’ paper with some water to go over the whole panel. Use a minimum of 1200 grit as this will not leave scratch marks. This stage is not always required but may improve the final finish. Dry off the panel before moving to the next stage.

Using a clean rag, add some alcohol to it and wipe over the panel. What we are doing here is removing the impurities before we melt the top layer of plastic. Impurities can cause lumps, cracks or blisters and this stage avoids that.

Now we move on to the hot air gun. These are very common in hardware stores or online and can be picked up very cheaply, there are some links below.  Use the hot air gun and heat the panel until you start to see some reflections appearing. Don’t overdo this as you might deform the panel. Keep the hot air gun moving so you don’t concentrate the heat in any particular area.

As you can see from the video below, we now have a new-looking shine on our panel. By practising this method, you can save lots of money and restore even the most worn-looking panels.



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Porsche 911 Turbo (996) for sale

Porsche 911 Turbo (996 Twin Turbo) for sale in absolutely stunning condition. This is an unbelievable performance machine that is also suitable as a daily driver.

996 911 twin turbo porsche

It’s a reluctant sale as I have owned this car for over 4 years now and it has never missed a beat. I’ll be genuinely sad to see this car go. She is finished in a deep metallic blue with a beautiful matching dark blue full leather interior. This colour combination is much more tasteful than some of the others you’ll find out there and was definitely my first choice. Paintwork is in excellent condition and all body panels are straight as you can see from the photos.

Handling is fantastic and I have just put 2 brand new Porsche approved (N rated) “Continental Sport Contact 2” tyres on the front. The rears have done just a few hundred miles and are also Porsche approved “Continental Sport Contact 2″ (nitrogen filled), so all tyres match and have lots of mileage left. I had the wheel alignment checked on a laser rig when the fronts were fitted last week, just to be sure all is setup exactly right. The car is sitting on 18” Turbo alloys that do have a few scuffs but show off the huge red calipers very nicely. Braking is excellent.

Performance is exhilarating from a standard 911 Turbo, but this one has been remapped to give over 500BHP and 1.3 Bar of boost. The car starts first time every time, idles beautifully and behaves perfectly around town.  On the open road the car transforms into a real monster and the 4 wheel drive just makes the car so grippy that you’ll never come unstuck, even in the wet. The gearbox is Tiptronic so you have the benefit of both an automatic box AND manual shifting via the thumb paddles on the steering wheel for when you are feeling sporty.

For those who don’t fully know the 911 Turbo, it has 2 seats in the rear which can accommodate children and smaller adults. My oldest is 13 and she still fits comfortably, you can use this to justify the car to your spouse if you need to 😉

This year’s MOT has just been carried out and the car passed with flying colours, so there is a full 12 months of MOT on the car.

A service has been done on the car less than 500 miles ago at PCT Cars, an independent and well-known Porsche specialist. During this service I had front discs and pads sorted, anti-roll bar drop link and 2 wiper blades fitted. She is running on fully synthetic oil and doesn’t lose a drop.

The 911 Turbo is the one supercar that really can be used daily. She returns consistently over 20mpg going up to 30mpg on a motorway run.  Road tax is a meagre £225 for a year (remember, you’ll pay another £200/yr on top for later models of this car or other supercars). Insurance was £350 this year fully comprehensive for me, so running costs are really quite low.

Here are the specifications of this remarkable car:

  •     Porsche factory fitted Sat Nav (PCM system)
  •     Manufacturer fitted alarm and immobiliser
  •     Factory fitted phone integrated to PCM (needs sim module)
  •     Colour screen
  •     Radio (PCM integrated) with Multi CD changer (in trunk)
  •     Spare spacesaver wheel and tyre
  •     Locking wheel nuts
  •     Climate control
  •     PSM (Porsche Stability Management)
  •     Electric sunroof/windows
  •     Alcantara headlining
  •     Electric memory seats

I have the relevant manuals and codes for the PCM system (one each for the radio and navigation).

Originally supplied by Lancaster Porsche in London, this car has had the following services:

  •     13,258 miles – AFN Porsche
  •     24,950 miles – AFN Porsche
  •     32,389 miles – Hatfield Porsche
  •     39,349 miles – Chiswick Porsche
  •     43,598 miles – Chiswick Porsche
  •     48,573 miles – Chiswick Porsche
  •     51,051 miles – Clive Manning Porsche
  •     55,239 miles – MDL Specialist Cars
  •     59,459 miles – PCT Cars Porsche Specialist

Quite a full and healthy maintenance record as you can see, all stamped up properly in the guarantee and maintenance book which I have. I also have plenty of bills and MOTs. Everything works as it should, sunroof, windows, lights, alarm, hydraulic rear spoiler. This is a very sorted car and I would challenge anyone to find a better example.

So, all in all, a stunning supercar with comprehensive service history, last owner for 4 years, cheap running costs and the prices of these future classics are just ready to go up like the model before it. A sensible and affordable proposition, so if you are looking seriously at 911 Turbos then this is the one that ticks all the boxes. It’s clean, has the right paint and interior colour combination, is extremely well looked after and is ready to use without spending any money on.

I’m based in Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, 10 minutes from either Junction 4 or 7 of the M6 and 15 minutes from Junction 9 of the M42.

To avoid the non-serious buyers, test pilots and scammers there are strictly no test drives without cash up front. No foreign buyers or telesales please.

Price reduced to £23,750 or nearest offer.


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The maddest intersection on earth?


We have all seen those Russian and Asian videos where there are some simply lunatic drivers whizzing through crossroads at breakneck speeds. This one really takes the prize though, as pedestrians, riders and drivers all compete to get as close as humanly possible to each other.

Well OK, it’s a heavily modified mix of video clips run through the ubiquitous Adobe After Effects, but this is one creative video truly worthy of a watch!


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21st century car parking

Well, it has been hinted at in film-making and it makes absolute sense (if you see a future for wheeled personal transport that is). This radical car parking and valeting solution is as automated as it gets for now and is available in Liechtenstein. Pez dispensing aficionados get ready for a treat.

Well it’s a damn site more impressive on an engineering level than this early 20th century solution to parking but is it really a step in the right direction? My question has to be do we need to queue for the robotic arm now? Do you think that this is the future or merely something that solves the wrong problem? Let us know below.

If you are just after some modern parking ideas, then you may want to check out this luxury apartment car storage idea too: