Today’s glance again at automotive record: Whatever occurred to Rain Dance wax?

Nelson County Gazette / Shade Tree Engineering

Monday, Aug. 9, 2021 — In my a great deal youthful days, I was a car fanatic. Because of to my deficiency of profits, I learned at an early age that you can conserve a whole lot of income by changing your very own oil and accomplishing other motor vehicle upkeep yourself and not spending an individual else to do it.

My first motor vehicle, a 1971 Volkswagen Kind III Fastback.

As a youthful car or truck proprietor, I acquired the fundamental principles of auto mechanics from some of the best — 3 associates of the Dickerson spouse and children. Youngest brother Earl was a calendar year behind me in school his more mature brother Damian was a couple a long time forward of me, and their more mature brother Connie labored at the Ford Assembly plant and lived in Bardstown. It was Connie’s household and garage on West Forrest Ave. that served as my classroom for Vehicle Mechanics 101.

I uncovered a good deal from the Dickersons, not only automobile mechanic basics, but also auto care, which includes the right way to wash and wax a motor vehicle. As a young car or truck proprietor, you preferred a vehicle that was very well-taken care of and looked sharp. As luck would have it, my 1st vehicle was a trusted but butt-unappealing 1971 VW Form III Fastback. No amount of washing and waxing was heading to genuinely enhance its control attractiveness.

Above time, I developed on the automotive essentials I learned from Connie, Damian and Earl I expanded my techniques and located my beloved products to clean and wax my motor vehicle. For my money, the greatest automobile wax was a item known as Rain Dance.

Rain Dance was offered as a paste or liquid wax, and it served as both a cleaner and a wax. The shine it furnished was deep and extraordinarily slick.

My 1955 Chevy Bel Air hardtop, circa 1982.

I employed Rain Dance on all my automobiles, including my 1955 Chevy Bel Air 2-doorway hardtop I purchased for the princely sum of $1,600 in 1979.

I savored the aged Chevy, but having married and starting up a household pushes motor vehicle priorities to the back again of the line a car results in being less about individual expression and much more about transportation from Stage A to Stage B. I seldom took time to wax whatever it was I was driving at the time.

I offered my 55 Chevy a number of years in the past, and finally I harbored the desire to have a further typical vehicle. Final Oct, I was browsing social media and noticed a thing that I could not believe that — a two-tone blue 1956 Plymouth Belvedere for sale. But not just any auto, but a person I recognized from my past.

For decades, the automobile belonged to a person I understood from our large college decades — Gary Brady. Gary owned the Plymouth for the duration of the several years I owned my aged Chevy. My Chevy was a scorching rod, even though Gary’s Plymouth was primary. After Gary’s unfortunate passing a few of years in the past, his Plymouth ended up in the fingers of an Elizabethtown guy who determined to market it last year.

1956 Plymouth Belvedere V-8 2-door activity coupe

Immediately after searching more than the vehicle and a very little haggling, the Plymouth was mine — which delivers me back again to my discussion about vehicle wax and Rain Dance.

When it arrived time to wax the Plymouth this cruising period, I thought I would return to my aged regimen from “back in the day” — go choose up some Rain Dance, park the motor vehicle under a shade tree, and wax it.

Sad to say, it was not rather that quick.

21st Century Trouble No. 1 — There’s no Rain Dance to be found — not the Rain Dance like I utilized 40 several years back, anyway. The brand name is owned by another business, but the wax merchandise I was familiar with is gone (with the exception of eBay, where vintage, unopened cans of Rain Dance wax convey effectively over $100 each individual).

Rain Dance: Gone but not overlooked.

Seemingly the Rain Dance manufacturer has improved hands several occasions more than its historical past. Previous entrepreneurs involve DuPont, Borden, and Armor All. But with my favorite wax no longer obtainable, I was off to the auto treatment aisle of a local elements retail store to obtain a ideal substitute.

21st Century Dilemma No. 2 — Car or truck waxes have gone large tech in a huge way. I imagined I could fall in the retail store, seize some wax, slash up an outdated t-shirt, and start waxing. But it is not so very simple currently.

Very first, you virtually will need a chemistry degree to figure out what type of wax solution to buy.

Very clear coat or no very clear coat? Do I require a wax with “advanced SiO2 hybrid nanotechnology?” If I did, would I even want to put it on my motor vehicle? And just what is a “synthetic hydrophobic wax?” Sounds like just one of the childhood conditions I was vaccinated from.

And it appears to be that in the 21st century, no self-respecting motor vehicle operator employs previous t-shirts to polish a motor vehicle — they market a wide wide variety of microfiber towels, terrycloth polishing cloths, and other fancy merchandise to assistance do the task. While I succumbed to the advertising and marketing and purchased a compact bundle of microfiber towels, I also dove into our rag box at dwelling for some worn out cotton bathtub towels and holey t-shirts. Previous practices die tough, I guess.

Two trips to the pieces keep later on, I had three bags of many chemical substances, compounds, and odd-sounding elixirs that have been supposed to make washing, cleaning, sprucing and waxing the old Plymouth a breeze.

I ended up narrowing the area to one merchandise brand name that was around in my youth. Several years ago, my Daddy launched me to Meguiars liquid wax. My father desired Meguiars above Rain Dance, and I utilized it at periods far too. Whilst browsing the a lot of models and abnormal goods, I identified the Meguiars name. It was reassuring that among the high-tech chemistry-laden wax goods on the shelf, a easy maroon bottle of Meguiar’s Cleaner/Wax was nonetheless available in the 21st century..

And just as it was quite a few years back, I uncovered that Meguiars is uncomplicated to use and so considerably, has completed a pleasant career bringing out the luster and restoring the colour of the Pymouth’s outdated paint. Although I strategy to check out some of the other new-fangled chemical compounds that seem like something from the set of Star Trek, for now I’m content to obtain an “old school” solution that even now does what it claims it does.

EPILOGUE. I’ve savored my reintroduction to the environment of vintage automobiles that the Plymouth has supplied. My spouse and I have loved the opportunity to go cruising Bardstown at the time all over again — even without the need of the reward of Dairy Chef, Riley’s Travel-in, or Burger Queen.

I have liked operating on the previous Plymouth, but that function brings with it some concerns I did not have to deal with 40 a long time ago — factors like rigid knees, sore shoulders, muscle agony and a creaky back again from all the bending, stooping and rubbing important to get the aged Plymouth shining once more. And not like my research for a new automobile wax, there is practically nothing at the vehicle elements retailer which is likely to assistance my aches and pains — other than perhaps a can of WD40.


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