The Pantera Place
"Your de Tomaso Connection"

Clay Bar

by Mike Dailey

The Clay Bar cleaner system has been around for awhile and I decided to see how it would work on my Pantera. The Clay Bar system is advertised to remove contaminates that apparently imbed themselves in the pores of the top layer of the paint.  Apparently some contaminates will not be removed by normal cleaners and waxes.  The pant job on the Pantera was done in 1991 and I was interested in the impact of the Clay Bar on an older paint job.  The following are steps that I used:

Click images to view

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I used Mothers California Gold as is was the only brand I could find.

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The package has the clay bar, Mothers Instant detailer (used as a lubricant) and Mothers Cleaner wax.  The kit includes instructions on how to use the system. 

The first step is a complete washing of the car with car-wash-soap and water and then drying (I do not wash my car but it was clean before I started the process). 

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The next step after the washing is to spray a small area with Mothers Instant detailer.

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The Instant detailer provides a lubricant for the clay to slide on.

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The clay bar is glided over the paint surface using the lubricant to make it slide easy.  If contaminates are present you can feel the drag on the clay as they are removed.

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After the section is done the lubricant is spread around the area and some very slight residue of clay is left.

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The lubricant and clay residue is polished off with a soft cloth.

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I like to use Meguiar's Cleaner Wax as my normal first wax step.. 

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The Meguiar's Cleaner Wax is applied. 

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The area is polished with wax using a soft damp tarry cloth towel. 

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The area is then polished with a soft tarry cloth towel to remove the wax.

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Next, I use Meguiar's Carnauba wax for the final shine.

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The Meguiar's Carnauba wax is applied. 

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The area is polished with wax using a soft damp tarry cloth towel. 

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The area is then polished with a soft tarry cloth towel to remove the wax and to obtain a high gloss. 

The normal sequence would be to clay bar small areas, clean and buff in steps until the complete car is done.  Then the larger areas are cleaned with the cleaner wax the the final wax applied.

When using the clay bar on the Pantera I didn't find many contaminates.  I'm not sure if the excessive times that I've used cleaner wax on the car removed all of them or the paint is just clean. 

I did find that when I used the clay bar on the hood of my silver 1986 300ZX Turbo the results were amazing.  I could feel and hear the clay bar removing "stuff" from the paint.  The paint felt super, super smooth after the cay bar treatment.  The clay bar had the biggest impact on the flat horizontal surfaces like the front hood, the top between the T Tops and the top of the back spoiler.   The 300ZX original paint looks like new and has been waxed and cleaned a bunch too, so I'm not sure why the clay bar had less impact on the Pantera paint.  The other difference between the two cars is that I never wash the Pantera and it is never driven in the rain or gets wet if I can help it.  It is only cleaned with a damp towel and waxed and waxed.    


After completely finishing the Pantera and then standing back, the results are also impressive.  It appears that even when the clay bar is not making a cleaning noise or has drag it is still cleaning and super, super polishing the paint. The Pantera has a much more pronounced wet look and more depth to the paint.  If you have seen the Pantera on the website you can see it was pretty shinny to start with, but now it looks super shinny and wet.