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Practical Car Care for Corvette Owners: Anatomy of a Corvette Business: the C-Magic Story

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C-Magic's World Class™ Corvette Detail Kit.  Image:  C-Magic

"We describe the shine as '...deep and warm, with clarity unlike other polishes and with the ability to continue to add to these qualities in layering application coat after coat. Its ease of application will delight even old school purists. The ease of haze removal with our Detail Wax defies logic. Once we created the correct formulas for this seemingly 'magic' product, we decided to name it and the company, 'C-Magic'."  -- Kermit Dye, founder of C-Magic

© 2007 by Hib Halverson
No use without permission, All Rights Reserved

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Set the Wayback Machine for 2002. In the middle of that year, Corvette nut and car show enthusiast Kermit Dye started a company with the goal of developing a car care product which would be an improvement over other all other waxes or polishes and a significant improvement over many of them.

While the line between waxes and polishes has been blurred by marketing and misuse of the terms, fact is: a "wax" is a natural product, usually carnuba-based, and a "polish" is a substance obtained through chemical processes and usually has a synthetic-polymer base.

It is this writer's opinion along with that of some chemists and product formulators who develop car care products that, today, the best automotive exterior care products are high-end polishes. They are more durable than natural waxes and they don't yellow as they build-up on the surface to which they're applied. In fact, some polymer-based products work better with successive applications. Lastly, of interest to Corvetters whose cars are subjected to warm summer weather, the melting-point of most carnuba-based waxes is about 100 degrees. If your Corvette sees the hot sun at shows in the summer; you can bet that any carnuba-based wax you use won't be very durable.

C-Magic "World Class Wax" is the result of several years of research, funded by Mr. Dye and the company's other investors and carried out by one of the leading chemical companies in America. The first step was purchase and study of many hundreds of products from all over the world. While identifying a few outstanding traits in some products, the chemists and Dye's people,were unable to find one product which had all the qualities they desired, however, this benchmarking helped them define a dozen key properties a world-class car care product needed.

Since the company's stated goal was to advance technology in high-end exterior care products, the first key property was a modern, synthetic-polymer base rather than nature's carnauba. The rest were:

2) Warm shine, exceeding depth and outstanding optical clarity.
3) Good bonding capabilities.
4) Indefinitely "layerable"
5) Outstanding durability, defined as 6 months minimum protection.
6) Protect from sunlight.
7) Good durability in the hot weather.
8) Apply with, at most, two steps and no mixing of anything by the user.
9) Good results with minimal amounts applied and have fluidity.
10) Application by either hand or machine.
11) Not leave residue around emblems and trim.
12) Easy to remove.

Kermit Dye knew he could only achieve market acceptance by offering a superior product to others already available. He kept asking his chemists and product formulators "Can we advance the state of auto polishes as they're now offered?"

Once a prototype formula was developed, this polish went through an exhaustive test and validation. Some of this testing utilized production, C4 and C5 body panels with O.E. base coat/clear coat paint along with testing on older Vette panels which were painted with either lacquer or enamel. The finished product, Kermit Dye told the Corvette Action Center, "...delighted us in its ability to achieve the same results on either steel or fiberglass panels painted with either base-coat/clear-coat, enamel or lacquer finishes.

"We describe the shine as '...deep and warm, with clarity unlike other polishes and with the ability to continue to add to these qualities in layering application coat after coat. Its ease of application will delight even old school purists. The ease of haze removal with our Detail Wax defies logic. Once we created the correct formulas for this seemingly 'magic' product, we decided to name it and the company, 'C-Magic'."

After three years of benchmarking existing products, formulation, development and testing, C-Magic World Class Wax came to market in mid-2005. Typical of high-end products with growing customer bases, it sometimes can be hard to find, but discriminating Corvette enthusiast will know where to look. World Class Wax and other car care products are sold direct on C-Magic's web site at www.cmagicwax.com. It also can be bought "live" at major Corvette Shows from C-Magic's traveling product information staff. In addition, it's sold by the National Corvette Museum Store, Corvette Central and Corvette America.