While at SEMA we took a few minutes to interview some of the detailers of The Detail Mafia. Today we feature Rich Sharon who is a detailing enthusiast turned mafia member and owner of Big Bear Total Fitness. We discuss his journey into automotive detailing.

The Interview:

Jody: All right, welcome to another episode of mafia memoirs. My name, Jody Sedrick, my partner is
Rod: Rod Puzey
Jody: And we have
Rich: Rich Sharon of Big Bear Total Fitness in Big Bear, California
Jody: Yep and we are doing a live from SEMA 2018, we are doing some pre-recorded things so that we can share the story of Detail Mafia members and guys that are affecting an influence the industry and we have a guy that has a unique story, because not only is he a detailer, a trained detailer, but he is all muscle.
Rich: A little bit.
Jody: So, so tell us about your story because you actually own a gym.
Rich: I do, it’s called Big Bear Total fitness in Big Bear City, California, in the mountains. It kind of just happened, kind of crazy. One day a man, Renny Doyle, came in, we sat down, got a little bit of a membership. He would sit across riding the bike and I was at my desk and we just start talking. It was like, instant friendship. Started talking to him going over what he was doing, doing classes and stuff. Hanging out almost every day he was doing classes. So, After about four or five months of that, him and Diane decided that I needed to get trained up in detailing.
Jody: You got the bug.
Rich: I got the bug! I actually have a couple of Corvettes. And the story, I bought a Kmart polisher and I was detailing one my corvettes in the garage and it looked Bad Ass until I hit the sun.
Jody: Nothing like the sun to bring out the swirls.
Rich: Oh God, I was so proud in the garage and then I go outside, oh man. So I shot over to Renny’s shop. I said, Hey Renny I think I messed my car up. I polished it but it looks like crap. He looks out the door and says “Oh no it doesn’t look that bad”. I said no “it’s bad”. I went over to my gym which is behind his shop. Him and Diane come over a little bit later, and I’m sitting at my desk. I could hear them coming up. Diane’s, like holy freak Rich, Renny don’t ever put a polisher in that guy’s hands. I mean you could look in the sun and you could literally see swirl marks, white swirl marks all down the side of the car.
Jody: Ah man!
Rich: Renny said it actually can be fixed and he told me to bring it over. We’ll show you what to do. So, he got me hooked up. I spent, I think, the first time about sixteen hours.
Jody: Oh wow!
Rich: 3 to five hour days. He was gone. And he said, “how’s it look”? I said, “I Don’t Know”. He said, “Take it outside.” I said, “Do I have to” g? I get it outside and it still, probably about seventy-five to eighty percent, polished, looking good. but I still, I’m like you guys and Renny, that perfection part. Renny, he said “Well, you got two choices, You can live with it, it looks okay and most people will never know. Or,
Jody: Or
Rich: Or, you can do it again.
Jody: Let’s fine tune your skills.
Rich: Like I said, well, what would you do? He said, “My car wouldn’t look like that, anyway. My car, I would redo it. That’s up to you.
It’s thirty-year-old paint. So I said Okay. So the next one only took me about eleven hours to redo the whole thing
Jody: So you re-did it again in 11 hours.
Rich: Yeah, so I had twenty-six, twenty-seven hours into detailing the Corvette.
Jody: Oh wow
Rich: People, people. At the gym would come up and they always ask “did you paint this”? “Did you do this”? No I just detailed it and I maintain them.
Jody So so you went from that to be invited to be one of the members of the Air Force Once detailing team.
Rich: I did
Jody: From, from us being outside that group of people, not knowing that story, you’re just another one of the detailers:
Rich: Yea, well you guys,
Jody: I had no idea
Rich: You guys come out, you know, and I was impressed, you guys, do computer stuff, you know and I worked alongside you Rod and you just kicked ass you know. For me when I was out there. I have a lot of respect for what these guys do learning and training and doing all that stuff don’t tell these guys that I’m very proud of all of them, a lot of good guys.
Jody: And you hit on something really, really big, it was our first time going to AFO and you have sixty-three
Rich: Professionals
Jody: men and women fast and they’re like two women out there that we’re just kicking it out of the park like Diana. And it just was a phenomenal experience to work side by side, shoulder to shoulder all week, and I don’t think people realize the amount of work that goes into Air Force One, the B29 and the other vehicles at The Flight of the Museum (Museum of Flight) I mean, we’re putting in hours
Rod: Oh yeah were putting in seven in the morning till seven and you’re upside down, pushing a piece of aluminum all day long.
Rich: pushing with everybody and able to get after it at our age.
Rod: That’s it. I was gonna comment on that there’s only a few of us, there were a handful of people that were over about forty-five and I’m not gonna brag, but I think the old guys out did the young guys.
Rich: We kicked their ass.
Rod: We have to we can’t look bad
Rich: You know, it is kind of a pride thing. I’m not gonna be there one there that’s not giving 100%
Jody: Yeah that ain’t happening.
Rich: I don’t want somebody to say yeah he’s over 60
Jody. Yeah
Rich: No that ain’t happening.
Rod: That’s a very good distinction. There’s a lot of guys over forty that are over forty doing this. I mean, there’s, there’s, Prentice and some of these guys that have been around they’re doing this. Renny my God. Renny, he’s been doing this. I think he was in diapers. You know, and he’s still doing, he’s still doing it, you know, with just as much vigor, but the thing is, the cool part the products that we’re using nowadays and the tools that make it easier to do, than that old…
Rich: Simonize, that little rotary thing you put that much pressure on it was a very humbling experience. You get there for the first time and I’m telling you like, oh yeah I get to detail Air Force One and you get that and it’s like “holy shit”, there’s sixteen other planes out we’re doing this in a week, yeah, so, you know it’s an awesome experience. You know, any of the guys here, any of the team will attest to it. They didn’t make me feel like I was inadequate.
Jody/Rod: No, No
Rich: I didn’t feel like any less of a detailer than anyone them always when I would go over before I got trained detailing, they treated me with that kind of respect you know as I was learning. They were just right there and it’s probably one of the greatest things about The Detail Mafia is the support level.
Jody: That was one of the real obvious things for me because I was out there and I started out polishing this way, right, because I’m right-handed and I was like, oh, this is the way I should do it, right? And they, they were watching me, Scott Macha, and they’re like, are you right handed or left handed? Because they were watching the polisher walk a bit.
Jody: They’re like why don’t you switch hands so I switched to left on the handle and all of a sudden I had awesome control. They’re like, much better. All right, we’ll put you on this section of the plane now, right? But, before I was kind of struggling a bit. And just that little of “Hey if you try this made a big difference:
Rich: A little tweak. Yeah we talked about that.
Rod: The first half of the day I didn’t even know there was a button, I was holding the button and these guys are watching my forearm, is just pa pow, pa pow. And these guys are like you know there’s a little button to keep it going
Rich: That was my experience, I trained with Keith Duplessie, and I’m like the same way. I’m like “do you get cramps”? And he’s like what do you mean”? I can hardly hold that trigger and he reaches over and says push that little button. And I was like that “son of a bitch Renny didn’t tell me about that” So once I got that you know it became a lot easier.
Jody: yeah that’s great. I tell you it’s been a joy getting to know you and working with you. Appreciate you taking some time to visit with us on Mafia Memoirs. And that’s the fun thing about Rich and the other detailers there’s always a story behind the story and that’s really what Mafia Memoirs is about sharing the story of the detailers, the guys that are just enthusiast and those who have become professionals like you. And the vendors and suppliers that are affecting the industry. Thank you guys, for joining us for another episode of Mafia Memoirs way. We’ll catch you on the backside.

Mafia Memoirs is a production of Zenware and RoadFS The Official Software for The Detail Mafia.