In 1953 when Kurt Ziebart moved to Detroit, Michigan, he was astounded by the number of very rusty cars there. In his job working on Packards, he had hands-on experience dealing with the victims of corrosion. Recognizing the problem, Ziebart partnered with Joseph Szilagyi and developed the first rustproofing process for automobiles. Ziebart understood that you had to get the product into the car’s many enclosed crevasses and developed a line of tools to get into difficult areas, even if it meant drilling a few holes to access them.
After developing the system, he approached the auto manufacturers; however, they were not interested. So he launched his own indecent company in 1961 and the business grew quickly, with an investment group buying out the business in 1963. The growth continued, reaching 650 stores in 37 countries in 1979.
In the mid-twentieth century, auto makers had little concern with rustproofing, and building cars that wouldn’t rust out was a back-burner concern. This of course led many classic cars to an early grave. But what Ziebart understood was simply that the best way to deal with rust is to never let it get started. Over the years, a host of rust-prevention products have been introduced to stop rust in its tracks, from heavy rubberized undercoatings to zinc-rich primers to oily fluids pumped into body panels.
But one rust-prevention product that has stood the test of time is Cavity Wax. It goes by a host of brand names and even product names like Fluid Film, Noxudol, MPHD, or simply Cavity Wax, and is sold by a host of reputable manufacturers. This thick, gooey substance is often a clear or amber color, but we’ve seen it offered in black as well. It has superior wicking characteristics, enabling it to seal metal seams.
Once applied, the material does not wear off easily and displaces water during application, providing years of protection from water and salts. Most brands include rust inhibitors that stop any existing rust from progressing while stopping new rust from ever getting started. Join Mark Simpson as he discusses the benefits and application of Cavity Wax on classic cars.