The Ferrari 458 "Italia" derives its name after it's country of birth,
Italy. That is quite a boastful statement from Ferrari,
considering the masterpieces of automobile art that the country
has produced. Names like Bertone, Pininfarina, Ghia, Otto Vue,
Maerati, Lamborghini, Alfa Romeo, and of course, Ferrari. This
form of Italian is an universal language at any car show,
anywhere in the world.

Ferrari's latest prancing horse is a thoroughbred, toned through
years of Formula 1 experience. The new bodywork is wrapped
tightly over a track ready chassis. The new 4.5L V8 produces
570 horsepower, requiring a new dual clutch 7 speed
transmission. The 458 is a new, more civil, more powerful,
more breathtaking Ferrari.
Pininfarina sculpted a masterpiece in designing the Ferrari 458. It is gorgeous! It is even more so when painted solid gloss black (Nero for those that
parlare L'italiano).  Despite the improvements made to the exotic Italian, it's paint finish was not befitting the famous prancing horse logo. The black
paint, stretched over the curvaceous body accentuates two problems: Colossal amounts of surface texture (Orange Peel), as well as a good amount of
sanding scratches. Probably cause? Perhaps the factory workers took a break for some
vino instead of properly fixing a run in the paint. The focus of
this detail was to create a smoother paint surface by reducing its texture via wet sanding and machine polish. This reduction of surface texture would
also improve the reflective quality of the
nero paint, increasing gloss in the process.
Excessive paint texture, often
referred to as “Orange
Peel” has become an
increasingly more prominent
feature on today’s modern clear
coats, even on carefully built
exotic supercars from Italy. This
is mostly due to ecologically
friendly water based paint
systems.

Orange Peel often starts in the
base coat (color coat) although
leveling and subsequent  
smoothing of the clear coat (top
coat) will remove or reduce the
appearance. Since the factory
applied paint is somewhat thin, it
is wiser to reduce the texture
rather than remove it completely
and risk long term damage to the
paint system.
Ferrari’s are typically delivered
from the factory with
substandard paint finishes, often
marred with sanding marks and
microscopic surface scratches
(commonly referred to as ‘swirl
marks’) which are typically
created during the polishing
process or through poor
handling techniques.
This Ferrari was no exception.
In addition to the massive
amounts of texture, the surface
was marred with millions of sub-
micron scratches which diffuse
light instead of reflecting it
evenly.

The diagram and picture to the
right show how the marring acts
to reduce reflection.
Please follow along in the following articles and pictures that document the transformation of this beautiful Italian
exotic from just another car into a work of art worthy of the phrase Bella Macchina.
Page 1) The Detail
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