News & Information

The Best DIY Ceramic Coating For Your Car

There are several ways to protect your daily driver from exposure to harmful elements. Whether you opt for old school carnauba wax or have hopped on board the hybrid spray-on products bandwagon, drivers across the globe have multiple paint protection options at their disposal.
However, ceramic coatings for vehicles are quickly gaining momentum – especially those of the DIY variety. Today’s DIY nano-ceramic coatings are far superior to those introduced about five years ago. And just like any other consumer high durability product for best ceramic coating, there are some that offer exceptional value and produce superior results and some who are not as effective.
So – let’s introduce you to the top 10 ceramic coating products for cars that the average do-it-yourselfer can apply. In the information below, we’ll provide you with 10 great high-quality car care products that are marketed as ceramic coatings, either a hand-applied nano-ceramic product or spray-on ceramic coating.
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I’m basing these observations on my experience with the classic 1955, 1956 and/or 1957 Chevies, so these will be based on this genre of automobiles. Let’s talk about buying a car at an auction. The statement: ‘As-is, where is” is real! You have bought the car no matter what condition it is in, so if you are going to buy a car at an auction, at least be there and view it in person. Not that you will know EVERYTHING about what you are buying, but at least you will have a chance to see what is there and what is being represented. However, buyer beware!!! But if you are buying a car off the internet, HAVE IT INSPECTED or go and see the car. We just saved a fellow over $100,000 by having a VERY POORLY REPRESENTED Corvette inspected. He was happy. I’m going to talk about different aspects of buying a car and what to look for, and in no order:
1) The paint…Ask yourself if the paint is nice, respectable, and in the condition you would expect for the dollar amount being requested. Is it the color I want or will I have to paint it either because the price reflects a new paint job, or it is just not done very well. Look for rust. This is the worst thing you can get involved in when buying a car. Some will say “this car has no rust”. I’m going to say, just about every car has rust, it’s just to what degree. Even fiberglass Corvettes have a steel frame and steel components, so l say look it over carefully.
2) The chassis…Look at it on your hands and knees and if possible, up on a hoist. Remember, this is your $$’s being invested (and yes, it is an investment) so take every opportunity to get a good look at things. Now, I’d like to visit the subject of why one 1957 Chevy is $24,000 and another is $120,000. Really quite simple and here’s what happens. The model of the car is critical. A 57 Chevy 4 door sedan is usually worth less than a 57 Bel Air convertible or even a Nomad. Just the way it is. But the condition of the car is key. No Rust---key ingredient.
The following in no order:
1) We talked above about the body and frame, so let’s get into the frame (chassis) in particular. Find out if the frame is an original frame (which is about free), or is it special such as an Art Morrison, Roadster Shop or another custom chassis. This can dictate a price value above a regular framed car…Thus the PRICE. Powder coating vs. painted. My theory is that to powder coat, this car should be a show car and not one being used on gravel roads or driven daily. Once it is powder coated, any welding on it is very difficult. When it is painted, welding can be done afterwords. Just think about the process or what has been done by the previous process. Once it is powder coated…if you drive it and get a chip in the coating, it usually will migrate, and the powder coat will start peeling off and form rust under it. Look at car trailers that have the tong coated or painted. Look at what happens there. Usually all rusted up. That’s what happens to a chassis!!
2) On this frame, there is suspension, obviously, so look at or find out about the springs, the steering, the shocks, new bushings, etc. It might have been all upgraded to, for instance, tubular ‘A’ arms, drop spindles, lowered springs and such. Even some shocks can be very expensive --This can affect the price.
3) Brakes: are they 4-wheel disc, drum rear/disc front, or just stock drum/drum. Some are very costly and others are just the normal cost. Thus price.
4) The body and trim: There are usually three types of metals on the vehicle. One at a time: Stainless…Can be confused as chrome if it is done VERY nicely. Most side trim is stainless. This can be polished and have the dents taken out but if this is not done on a high-end car, you will see it. Not necessarily a deal breaker, but it will always have to be done right. The term ’Tripple-Show-Chrome’ is just that. Copper, nickel, chrome. It’s a process that is very expensive, and as a restorer nowadays, it can take very long to get this done. Other chrome is either ‘driver quality’ or original. The best sparkly chrome is more expensive—Thus price. Then there is ‘pot metal’. This can usually be detected by experience. Hood ornaments and other intricate parts can be pot metal and can be re-chromed, but quality work is expensive. Pot metal can sometimes be identified by the ‘pitting’ on it.
5) Let’s go to the interior—Upholstery—is it appealing? Is it original? Is it very nice or just so-so. This can be a nice original re-do, or a nice leather, or even a nice vinyl. Should be appealing to you. Carpet, door panels, dash, headliner—look them all over and decide if it’s what you like. The interior, if it is not what you like, can get very expensive to change. Don’t be fooled by thinking it is leather when it isn’t. There are some very good vinyl’s that can look just like leather.
6) Other interior things that make a price go up or not: the steering column, for instance, is it original or not. Price can dictate such a thing too. Original column’s—well you expect it to have a column, but some might be chrome, have tilt, have cruise built in, have an additional indicator in it and so on, and can add as much as $1,000 to the price. Dash—is it a padded dash? How about the stereo. Usually, the stereo does not add much to the price, but some stereo’s now can be very expensive. SIDE NOTE: I like to have a great stereo in my car. Play it to show-off at times, then while driving down the highway, just play it like a normal radio. Lately I have ‘blue tooth’ capability in the radio. Anyway, the dash is an area that could raise the price of the car.
7) Wheels: now this is personal preference AND are what I call ‘bolt-on items. Don’t like the wheels—bolt on new ones!!! Same with the tires. Some will like wide white walls, raised white letters, gold line tires and even red line tires. Believe it or not, all are available. AND, everyone expects to have wheels and tires on the car, but such things are usually overlooked. By this I mean, the tires can be very old, if the car has not been driven. Find out the dates on the tires. This date is when the tire was manufactured, but the age of the tire starts when they are mounted, and the inflation process started. Documentation is very important in this arena.
8) Exhaust: Now here’s something to consider. I’ve done exhausts systems for $600 and now, just the other day, I ordered a system (not including labor to install) for $2,600. Will this affect the price of the car? Well, maybe not, but it sure separates the men from the boys, as they say. Some things to keep in mind: Vehicles are only original once. As soon as you restore or upgrade such things as a larger engine, bigger transmission, new paint, upgraded interior, disc brakes, then the originality is off the table. I usually tell people, don’t be afraid to get a car and just have it or drive it for a year or two and say to yourself: “This is the car I want, and I am going to upgrade it and make it exactly like I want”. OR: have it for a year and say, this isn’t what I thought, sell it for a little bit over what was paid for it, and make a bit of a profit. One of the neat things about this hobby is the variety of interests. I’ll explain. I have 18 cars. Most are ready to run and go to a show. All are insured and will start right up. I am doing 3 frame-off restorations as we speak (two in the work, and one on the way). I like to buy, fix up, drive for a year or two, then sell. Not everyone does this. Some have one car and drive the heck out of it and just enjoy that aspect of the hobby. Others have them fixed up and just store them for display. They don’t usually sell any, just have them and don’t even let anybody in to see them. They enjoy them that way. Another collector I know lives on a gravel road, has 5 collector cars, and drives them every day --- in the Summer. Another guy I know has about 50 cars and as many bikes. All jammed in a garage with no room to move. He is building a new ‘showroom’ for these beauties next year. But for now, he is just collecting!!! Another collector is buying high end cars and has us making them nicer and they will most likely just sit around. To each his own. In summary, make this an enjoyable time of your life. Do what you can afford and enjoy this hobby with the support of your ‘better half’. Titles: Well, here is another aspect of the hobby. Now, usually at an auction of any quality, a title is with the vehicle, OR at least if not, it is announced as a ‘parts car’ or “This vehicle is being sold on a Bill of Sale”. One instance I know of the car was sold as a parts car, and the buyer then came back to try and get a title, so be careful if you are in that game. If you buy a vehicle that does not have a title I have the following advice: Get the title issue resolved before you invest any dollars into it. Because there might just be an issue that precludes a title from getting issued. In North Dakota, it is not impossible to get a title issued, but it takes a bit of time and a bit of leg work. Keep in mind also: Storage – where can I store this vehicle once I get it. I know guys that have built garages well ahead of purchasing. AND I know guys that will buy the car and just plan on having it set outside. To each his or her own. Anyway, just enjoy the hobby at any level you can. “BUYER BE AWARE”!!
George Masters, President, Master Restorations, Minot, North Dakota 

George Masters Newsletter 

Who wants to belong to a club and not hear from the President or it’s officers?  Not me, so here are a few upcoming letters from the Board.   Ya know, this is the 30th year for our club.  I can’t believe how the time has flown by.  Being at this helm from the beginning, I saw all of The ‘ups and downs’ of this wonderful organization.  Some, back in the day didn’t like how things were being done or handled, but those dissenters either fell in line, or just went away.  I look back at things and how they are now, and I truly believe the club is “in step” with the decisions and how things are going.  We’re just having fun!!!   The Wednesday night cruises are still a hit.  I like the relaxing mood of the evenings.  We come around 6, and some are already there. .   By the time 6:30 rolls around, some go on a Broadway cruise, but quite a few, just stand around and visit…look at cars and just hang around.  I like to be having a choice.   Starting in May, we will remain Wednesday night cruises, and have our monthly ‘pot luck’ meetings at the clubhouse on the 1st Thursday of the month.  Should work out well.   There is the NODAK car show coming up in April.  Friday, the 19th of April is the move in and it will be our first show of the season and it’s indoors.  We welcome all members to display your pride and joy!   Plan on it if you can!!!   It looks like a bang of a summer with each little town around us having a show.  I like these little town shows and I go to the ones that I can!   I hope you get to enjoy this hobby this summer.  Get those cars out because them sitting and not being run—well that just isn’t good!   I want to thank everyone who chips in to make the club as good as it can be.  The Richters have agreed to do this web site: Home - Dakota Cruisers website and have it going pretty well.  But it’s not a one man or two man show.  They are looking for inputs from all members.  That’s how the web site can be fun and useful.  Try sending something to them…maybe a picture of your car or cars.  That would be a great start.   So, keep the few ways we try and communicate to all of you in mind via a number of ways:  Facebook at Dakota Cruisers Car Club or the Hotline at 701-852-5277 (KARS), or the web site as mentioned above.   This is a start to getting a newsletter to you members, so I hope you enjoy and give us some input.  For now we are trying to get this to you quarterly. Thanks to all.  
George Masters, President
March 19, 2024

Dave Alberts Newsletter 

Welcome Cruisers to the latest version of our club newsletter. I am Dave Alberts the Treasurer of the club. Hopefully we are going to do a newsletter quarterly and provide updates on whats happening with the club and other events. A big Thank You to Marvin and Irene Richter for putting the newsletter together and sending it out. We would prefer to do it electronically but will mail them out if you don’t have a email address. Ok, a little about me for those that don’t know me. I moved to Minot for work in Feb. of 1995, one of my customers was a man by the name of Ed Volk. Ed used to be very active in the club. He and I were talking about cars one day and he mentioned I should come to Hardees on a Wed. Night and check it out. So next thing I know I have joined the Dakota Cruisers in May of 1995. I have been a Board Member, Vice President, Board Member again and now your Treasurer. I have met a lot of great people in this club and am happy to say a lot of very close friends. My wife Melody is the one behind the scenes you don’t see very often, except helping out in a big way at club events, she always takes on whatever I volunteer her for. I am a Ford guy, but have a weird affinity for International Harvester and odd AMC’s.
Dave Alberts, Treasurer
March 19, 2024

Blaine Klein Newsletter

Hello fellow Dakota Cruisers! I am Blaine Klein, the newest elected member of the board. I promise to do my best to help maintain and improve our club in any way I can. If anyone has any ideas that you would like me to bring to board, I would be happy to do so. We have been members of Dakota Cruisers for several years and have met so many great club members and other car enthusiasts. We look forward to the Cruise Nights, Motor Magic, Season Finale, the Board meetings & swap meets, local area car shows and all the other great events throughout the year. My wife and I are both retired and we reside in Surrey. We are a definitely a “Ford” family. We enjoy collecting Ford trucks, Mustangs and memorabilia. I would like to thank everyone who attends our club’s events and helps make them so fun and successful. Blaine Klein, Board Member March 26, 2024