Car Detailing for a Petrolhead…

At Auto Curators we love the fact that our car detailing client list is diverse. We’re lucky enough to count women, men, companies and collectors as Auto Curators loyalists. Today though we’d like to introduce you to a petrolhead! Pete Osborne is a Tour Manager, and founder, at Petrolhead Tours. He has been planning, booking, and running driving holidays full time since 2009.


How many, and what cars have you owned since you started driving?

I started driving in the USA when visiting family in North Carolina. Probably best not to say how old (or rather young) I was! But just before my seventeenth birthday my mum and step dad bought me a 9-year-old Nissan Micra 1.0. I had 4 one hour lessons. I took my test 5 days after that birthday and passed the first time. That was 26 years ago, and I’ve owned somewhere in the region of 70 to 80 cars in the interim.

Of those, which has been your favourite car, and why?

Hard to pick a favourite. I had several Porsche 993’s, including a Turbo. But my favourite of those was my Carrera 4S. The car I owned for the most prolonged period was my little BMW 130i (with lots of upgrades)! I had it for over four years. Other cars came and went during that time, but the 130i just did everything. Sadly I sold that just after my daughter was born as it simply wasn’t big enough for all of her paraphernalia.

What do you love most about your current car(s) and why?

We currently have a Mini Cooper S (my wife’s car), a BMW X3 M40i (the family bus) and my work car is a BMW M240i.

The Mini is just a lot of fun to drive, despite being the five-door version. I bought my wife the JCW Tuning Kit for Mother’s Day last year, so the car now has a little more power and a very fruity exhaust. The X3 is supremely versatile. It’s swift when I’m on my own and need to get somewhere in a hurry on the back roads, but it’s also quiet and comfortable when we’re going out as a family with two kids and the dog, bikes on the tow bar, roof box on the top… The list goes on!

Tell us a little bit about Petrolhead Tours. When and how did the company start?

Petrolhead Tours started in late 2015 when I left my previous employer. Between the last two roles, I’ve been running driving tours full time for over a decade now. My partner-in-crime at Petrolhead Tours, Dan Hale, was previously a customer of mine. When I knew I was going to set up Petrolhead Tours, I also knew he was the obvious choice as my right-hand man. He’s an excellent driver, friendly, calm under pressure, resourceful, and authoritative when necessary. All these skills are crucial for our tours to be successful.

About the tours… What’s your favourite tour and why?

My favourite tour? That’s the impossible question to answer. Probably the last one I went on! Every tour is fun, and none of them is perfect, so whenever I run a tour, it’s better than the previous one. I’ve completed ninety tours in the last decade, and I’m still finding things I can improve. No laurel resting here!

We typically run between eight and ten tours a year. Some of those are public tours, open to anyone to book from our website, and some are private tours we put together on request from various motoring clubs and organisations. Two of our favourites are the “Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Ferrari Owners Club” and “Alfaholics”.

Tell us about your clients…

Our clients are many and varied; the vast majority are addicts and come on tour with us again and again. Age wise they are anywhere from the early twenties to late seventies. They are men, women, couples, brothers, best friends, all sorts! But they have one thing in common; they’re all petrolheads.

About the cars… Do you have a fleet of cars you use for tours? And do your clients drive their vehicles or hire yours?

On our tours outside of Europe Dan and I tend to rent suitable cars locally. We rent Corvettes in California and big 4×4 SUVs in Canada. For our UK & European tours, Dan and I have a matching pair of BMW M240i’s. His is blue, and mine is orange. Similarly, on our UK & European tours, our clients bring their own cars. Typically from manufacturers like Porsche, Ferrari, Aston Martin, Lotus, Lamborghini, Audi, and BMW. Our tours further afield tend to involve hire cars for practical reasons!

About the car detailing… And choosing Auto Curators

When we last updated our tour cars to the M240’s we decided to try both PPF and ceramic coatings to see what the results would be and make our own minds up about whether those specialist car detailing services were worth the money. Having had an established relationship with a few automotive detailers we decided to go with Auto Curators as they’re simply the most experienced in the business. What Paul doesn’t know about PPF and detailing isn’t worth knowing. Since having both our tour cars done, Dan and I have been so impressed we’ve had our personal cars done too! That should tell you all you need to know.

The PPF on the front bumpers and bonnet, in particular, have proved invaluable for defence against strays stones and other road debris flicked up by trucks and tractors and everything else on the road.

The ceramic coating just makes it so much easier and faster to get the cars clean again when they return from a 3000-mile tour. They come back with road grime, tar, rubber, dust, dirt, and dead flies, but none of it sticks for very long. The most obvious sign of this is the front number plate, which (untreated) takes almost as long to clean as the rest of the car!

Petrolhead Tours is gaining momentum with an increasingly varied and passionate following, and as a result, we’re planning and running more tours than ever. We’ also aim to replace our tour cars again soon, and without a doubt, the new cars will be going to Auto Curators again straight from the dealership on day one!


Want to know more about Petrolhead tours? Visit the website!

If you would like to know more about the car detailing services we offer, contact us HERE.