What began a century ago as a simple furniture polish laboratory and plant in the garage of founder Frank Meguiar, Jr., now spans four generations of Meguiar family stewardship. Celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2001, Meguiar’s, Inc. has become one of the world’s leading surface care products companies, providing highly specialized products for almost every conceivable type of surface.
In his wildest dreams, it’s doubtful that Frank Meguiar, Jr., could have foreseen what his first bottle of furniture polish in 1901 would evolve into over the next 100 years. When he first began, he made one bottle of polish at a time using an eggbeater. Eventually, he was able to produce enough product at night with his family, to fill the orders he would generate the next day to pay for groceries.
From his first bottle of furniture polish, Frank Meguiar, Jr. was steadfastly determined never to sell a product unless he was convinced it was the very best of its kind on the market. To this day, Meguiar’s follows that dictate and, as a result, has generated millions of enthusiastic users around the world.
When Frank Meguiar, Jr. passed away in 1950, his three sons, who were his business partners, took the company to the next level. Maurice, the oldest, was the sales manager. Next came Malcolm, who shared his Father’s love for formulating and created most of the formulations that the company continues to market, including Meguiar’s Cleaner Wax, which is the No.1 selling liquid car wax in America. The youngest of the three brothers, Kenneth, was in charge of production. It was the perfect partnership, and through their efforts and leadership the company thrived through its second generation.
The arrival of the first horseless carriages turned Frank Meguiar’s attention to the automobile. Made out of wood, they were initially coated with the same finishes that were applied to furniture. It was an easy transition that set the course for Meguiar’s pre-eminence in the car wax business today.
Through the early years, Meguiar’s Mirror Glaze polishes and waxes, intended for professional use, were primarily used by car manufacturers, car dealers, body shops, and detailers. Most custom painters polished their customer’s automobiles with Meguiar’s products, so the majority of cars put on display in car shows reflected finishes achieved with the use of Meguiar’s professional-line products. As car shows became prevalent in the 60’s, the masses of people attending them began to recognize that it was the use of Meguiar’s polishes that created the brilliant, high-gloss finishes. Growing numbers of people began pressuring retailers to stock Meguiar’s Mirror Glaze products.
Compelled by the demands of these enthusiastic fans, the family formally introduced its Meguiar’s brand of consumer automotive products in 1973. Today, the Meguiar’s range of products saturate the consumer marketplace.
At last year’s 50th Anniversary of the prestigious Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, the most famous car show in the world, 21 of the 25 Best of Class winners and the Best of Show winner all used Meguiar’s products to achieve their flawless perfection.
Internationally, Meguiar’s ever-expanding global operations include its headquarters in Hong Kong and its subsidiary offices in Toronto, Paris, and Sydney. Meguiar’s intense focus on training and performance, as well as product quality, have captured the respect of carmakers worldwide. Meguiar’s serves as a consultant to most of the major carmakers around the world on paint quality and paint correction issues in their assembly plants and at the dealership level. In addition, Meguiar’s often provides private label appearance car care products to car manufacturers to sell under their own name through their dealership parts departments.
Today’s high-tech, clear-coat finishes require a complete re-education on how to keep these new finishes in “show room” condition. Meguiar’s provides in-depth training through its own, on-site technical facilities, mobile training centres, detailed technical data sheets and training videos.
Meguiar’s technicians work closely with the automotive paint manufacturers, car manufacturers, car dealers, body shops and detailers to keep their products state of the art and user friendly. This provides the competitive edge for Meguiar’s consumer products.
While Meguiar’s corporate headquarters are in Irvine, CA, they manufacture their products in their 200,000-sq. ft., state-of-the-art production facility in Memphis, TN. Meguiar’s now manufactures more than 300 different cleaners, polishes, waxes, conditioners, and protectants for homes, cars, boats, trains and planes, and almost every other type of surface. Continuing Frank Meguiar, Jr.’s tradition, each Meguiar’s product carries the promise of being the very finest of its kind.
My experience of car detailing (by Letitia Mace)
Before moving from ponies to cars, I won numerous “Tack n Turnout” awards in riding club events, simply because I like to be well turned out. I switched my attention to my cars, but was never happy about the results. I tried various products, but all left white residue in crevices and tar spots on paintwork. Finally I decided to do some serious research on the matter, and ultimately came upon Meguiar’s. Following their instructions to the letter, I used clay, paint cleaner, polish and wax on my car, and never looked back. The results were what I had always been looking for. Onlookers were amazed and many thought I had actually purchased another Jaguar!
I cleaned several Jaguars for friends, on the understanding that they purchased a bottle of each Meguiar’s product I required, but I kept the remaining product as payment for the work done. I advised them to stick to Meguiar’s if they wanted to maintain the standard of the car as it was when I’d finished it. Most of them had not heard of, or used Meguiar’s before. Those who had heard of Meguiar’s, thought other well publicised brands were superior and wanted to know why I used Meguiar’s. I told them the over-riding advantage of Meguiar’s was the absence of white residue in the crevices, and the fact that Meguiar’s sold a complete range of compatible products, and I believe that you should stick to one brand, as products will have been designed with a similar base and will work in sympathy, rather than against each other, producing a better result.
I have also casually introduced many people to Meguiar’s in car parks, as they admired the condition of my Jaguars, and naturally asked what I use to clean them. I am always amazed that so many so called car enthusiasts do not know the difference between a wax and a polish, and as I always have my Meguiar’s kit in the boot of my Jaguar, I often demonstrate on the spot!
I don’t believe that a wax and a polish can be successfully combined in one product, as one is removing and the other is replacing.
I love cleaning cars, and would in many ways prefer to do this full time, rather than sitting in front of a computer screen, but currently the computer comes first, and I have to clean my Jaguar as time allows. I know from experience, that I can pick out faults in paintwork which others cannot see, and in most cases I can rectify, or at least improve them.
A few points I have learnt from my own experiences
- You can see the difference between a clean car which is dirty and a dirty car which has been cleaned!
- Giving a previously uncared for car a thorough clean can actually highlight imperfections which would have been hidden by the build up of grime.
- Every spot of rain on your car acts as a small magnifying glass, intensifying the UV rays and heat from the sun!
- You can tell by the feel of the paintwork when it needs topping up with wax – the resistance increases when rubbed with a cloth.
When I purchased my 1997 4 litre X330 Sovereign 3 years ago, it was a Jaguar at the end of its life and looked nothing like the car it is today. Finished in Spruce Green (a very dark metallic green) with cream hide interior, I could see the potential of this car and welcomed the challenge of bringing it round to its former glory, most of which has been documented and published in “Brucie’s Diary” within my monthly online newsletter. I’d already had some ‘practice’ on other Jaguars, and settled into using Meguiar’s products as a matter of course, so I knew what to use, the method/procedure, and how long it was going to take.
Starting with Meguiar’s clay and Quick Detailer, I spent at least 2 hours on every panel (twice that on bonnet, roof and boot). I have read stories on Forums of people claying the whole car in one day. I don’t believe you can get a decent result in that time. Did they stand back periodically to view their work? Stop frequently to check the smoothness with their hand and eye? I found frequent breaks were necessary to maintain consistency and not get tired and rush the latter part of the job. I would hazard a guess that I could still find imperfections in their paintwork which will mar the end result.
I spent a similar amount of time using Meguiar’s Paint Cleaner, and following up with Meguiar’s Polish. I opted for the 3 step kit as I felt that this would be compatible and work in unison to achieve the best result.
I now know, and tell other people, that if a car has been properly prepared, waxing is the easiest and quickest part of the entire job. After spending weeks (literally) properly preparing every part of the car until it is silky smooth, the wax just glides on, and several layers can be applied in one afternoon. The result is amazing and so rewarding.
At each stage of the preparation the car looks so much better, if done thoroughly, the results are clearly visible and it is tempting to leave it at that and just apply wax, but it pays to carry the process right through to the end and do the job properly, if you want the best result.
Despite advice that it is unnecessary, I wax my car as often as time permits, which is about once a month, using one of the Meguiar’s high grade wax products, sometimes reverting to Qikwax in between, for a quick fix.
I love driving my car in the rain and watching the water beading and sliding off of the bonnet in trails. Afterwards, when it is dried, the dirty water leaves flow lines, so it is possible to see the flow of the air across the car, as if it had been in a wind tunnel – it’s fascinating to study it. It isn’t something you see on ordinary cars in car parks, so it points to a highly maintained paint finish!
Washing my car is so easy because it is so highly glossed – takes no time at all, and the dirt just falls away. When I wash other people’s cars, it is like washing sand paper!
When I recently drove up to the North of England in horrid weather and a well meaning friend came out to help me wash my car, he had a brush for the wheels, which I prefer not to use, but I over-looked it in this case. Fortunately, he used the brush on half of the first wheel and then reverted to a microfibre cloth. When I questioned him he said he didn’t need it – the wheels were so highly waxed that the dirt just fell away!
I used the same principle for the wheels as I had for the body. Most wheels are sealed in some way, mine are powder-coated and lacquered, so I thought “whats good for the body will be good for the wheels”. I prepped them with clay, paint cleaner and polish before using a high grade wax and I top up as often as possible (approx once per month).
To cut down on stocking lots of products, I currently use Meguiars ultimate tyre gel on all rubber and exterior plastic. The interior, the chrome and the glass are kept up to the same standard as the bodywork. Current project – engine bay. Prepped with Meguiar’s engine cleaner and protected with Meguiar’s engine dressing.
It took me 2 years to bring my Jaguar Sovereign up to its present standard. When I first owned it nobody took any notice of it. Now, whenever I pull into a carpark or fuel station, people go out of their way to walk across and commend me on the condition of my car! I did it because I love cars and wanted it to look its very best, but the compliments are the icing on the cake and give me the incentive to keep up with its maintenance when perhaps it is cold outside and I would rather be indoors! They bring a smile to my face, and it’s been worth every minute spent on the car !!
Of course, I want my car to look the best it can, but I did all of this primarily to protect it from corrosion, as I believe that the quicker and more effectively you can repel dirt and moisture, the better.
When you are working on the car yourself and live with it full time, the process is gradual and you are in danger of forgetting quite how big the improvement is, but the attention my car now attracts is proof that it looks a hundred times better than it did when I purchased it!
Someone recently said to me …
“We knew it was you, before we even saw what car it was, because it was so shiny!”
Visit the Meguiar’s website for full details of their complete range of car care and detailing products.
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