Ferrari F50

Having previously worked on the owners F355 Spider, Porsche and Mercedes, I was asked to return to complete a similar job on his pride and joy.. a Ferrari F50.

The Ferrari F50 was designed to commemorate Ferrari’s 50th anniversary in 1996.
The 12-cylinder, 4.75-litre, rear-mounted engine slams out 520 horsepower, flashing the car from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 3.7 seconds and taking the carbon-fiber body to a top speed of 203 mph.
Only 349 F50s were made in Ferrari’s factory near Modena in northern Italy. Ferrari declaring 175 having been reserved before the car was introduced.

The surface area on this iconic car is vast… The attention to detail required in the engine/boot compartments, the long flowing curves and the tricky air-intakes/vents made for an epic task. Because of this, and the nature of the car (full carbon fibre body), I called upon a good friend, Rob Leys, to assist in the detail.

The brief was to enhance, add gloss, clarity and depth of shine whilst removing some light swirling without compromise to the already thin clearcoat.

It is worth mentioning at this point that some of the following photographs are mine, and a handful are Robs. Having owned my Sony a100 D-SLR camera for five years now, I was keen to get my hands on Robs Nikon and compare the two. Needless to say, I barely took any photographs on my own unit.. The Nikon felt much more refined, user friendly and professional?! I am proud to announce I am now the owner of a Nikon D90 with an Nikkor AF-S 18-200mm f3.5-5.6 VR II lens. (Watch this space!)

Product (difficult to list this really as between us we were mixing and matching throughout the detail..)

  • 3M Glass Cleaner (a great new product!)
  • AutoSmart G101
  • AutoSmart Tardis
  • AutoGlym Vinyl and Rubber Care
  • Belgom ALU
  • Brilliant metal polish twins
  • Clearkote Red Moose Glaze
  • Chemical Guys JetSEAL 109
  • Dodo Juice SuperNatural
  • Jeffs Werkstat Prime
  • Menzerna 85RD 3.02
  • Menzerna 203s
  • Menzerna 106FA
  • Meguiars APC
  • OptiSeal
  • ONR
  • Swissvax Pneu
  • Zaino Z8

Vehicle inspection..

Before I’d even unpacked my kit, Rob was stuck in and making a start on the engine bay..

I on the other hand was making a similar approach but on the luggage area upfront..

“luggage area” being the important word here.. Cases, bags and holdalls removed to be treated.


Carbon Fibre areas treated to Jeffs Prime and plastics dressed where appropriate.

Rob had finalised the engine compartment and we’re now working out the next best approach..

Before and after series on the exhaust silencer..


Wheels, arches, panel gaps and badges cleaned with AutoSmart G101 and various brushes..

Flies softened on the front end to later be removed..

As the sun was on our side, once the vehicle was washed, decontaminated and dry, we could see what we were up against..

Moved inside and blown dry to remove water from panel gaps and crevices etc..

Taped up and let the games begin!

Polish and pad combinations were tested.. Initial findings were the paint was quite hard! Requiring a mix of 85RD 3.02 and 203s to make an impact and at the same time finish down nicely while keeping clearcoat removal to a minimum.

I got stuck in on the front end and O/S; Rob tackled the N/S and worked his way around the back.

An attempted 50/50 by me on the upper bonnet. (The Nikon camera captured the ‘red’ much better than my Sony..)

O/S upper bonnet before:

N/S upper bonnet after:



A series of nasty deeper scratches dotted around..

Before on the O/S rear quarter (look at the carbon fibre weave!)

and after:

Front bumper before:


It was around this time we called it for day one.. ~9 hours teamwork on the first day; looking forward to the larger shandy at the Local and a medium-rare steak to fill us up before bedtime..

Taken outside to check our work:

Day two.

Headlights and engine cover polished with spot pads and Menz 106FA:

Prior to attacking the perspex cover already on the car, we got hold of a spare so test runs and combos could be done on here first (replacement covers are £15k alone!!)

An in-action 50/50:

Once we were happy with the machine work at hand and after an IPA wipedown, we put the F50 back outside into the suns path to check our work..

…..coming together quite nicely now!

Werkstat Prime applied to all under carriage CF areas and remaining areas in the luggage/engine compartments..

3M finishing pad loaded with Clearkote Red Moose Glaze to add the richness and gloss to the paint..

Supernatural applied and allowed to cure..

Alloys sealed, glass cleaned, tyres and arches dressed..

Exterior grilles protected with OptiSeal. Prancing Horse badges cleaned and protected. Interior wiped and leather cleaned. Doorshuts polished and protected.

Some final tooth pickery work and tidying up and we’re about there..

…..what can I say? Awesome, huh?

Massive thanks to the owner for allowing the job to go ahead and also to Rob for lending a much needed helping hand.

Thanks for reading.. Hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed working it ;)