REVIEW: Custom Shields – Protecting the Tesla Roadster

Everyone loves to have a clean, shiny car.  But most of us loath the task of washing our vehicles.  To help making cleaning our recently acquired Tesla Roadster easier, and to protect it for years to come, we visited Custom Shields for some TLC.  Check it out!

Years ago I had the privilege of working with Brad @ Custom Shields on a project, and was blown away by the quality of work he offered.  Over the years he has honed his skill to the point where he now provides service on-site to some of the most stringent of clients.  From high-line dealerships like Marshall Goldman Motor Sales, to private clients with car collections worth millions-of-dollars, Brad has gained a reputation as being one of highest ranked paint protection film (PPF) installers in Northeast Ohio.

These days it seems like Cleveland, Ohio has a plethora of detail shops to choose from, and I’ve had the opportunity to patronize quite a few of them over the years.  For this (new to us) Tesla Roadster we chose Custom Shields based on his PPF experience, as well as his ability to provide all the required services in a timely manner, and get us back on the road.  As you consider having similar work done to your own vehicle please give Brad a chance to earn your business, and be sure to mention you heard about him here!


When I first reached out to Brad @ Custom Shields my goal was simple: I wanted to make the car easy to keep clean and avoid stone chips.  As a minimum I wanted to get paint protection film on the car, but also some ceramic coating.  Brad suggested a full vehicle polish and paint correction first, and then provided guidance with regards to where the PPF would be most useful.

Brad was able to suggest how and where the PPF would be to give maximum protection, while still ensuring that the car looked good.  These days the PPF film can be laid so optically clear, and then ceramic coating over top, that you’d be hard pressed to tell it wasn’t just the paint.  But before anything happened, a paint polish was in order.


Here is a quick before/after shot, to show how the various micro swirls on the paint were able to be removed.  By enlisting Brad @ Custom Shields with this task he was able to touch every drop of Radiant Red paint, and bring it back to full luster.  Even after only ~5,500 miles and 8-years the paint was already showing signs of wear & tear.  Truth be told, even new cars off the showroom floor have swirls, so before you protect the paint, you’ll want to have it brought up to perfect standards.


Above are a half-dozen photos showing the work in progress, starting with the paint polish work aforementioned, and then the paint protection film going on the hood.  This film was installed on the hood, bumper, fenders, mirror covers, lower side rocks, and more! All told roughly 35-40% of the car is now covered in PPF.

While the Tesla Roadster was at Custom Shields we decided this was the perfect time to have window tint placed on the glass.  With a rating of 35% visible light, both side windows as well as the small inner rear window had ceramic film installed.  Ceramic tint offers greater cooling to the interior cabin, and the dark windows look great!

In the middle of all this work I paid a visit to the shop, located in Eastlake, Ohio.  Although the car wasn’t yet finished, some film was still being installed for example, it didn’t stop me from taking a quick video.  Here is a walk-around of the car, taken post-polish but pre-ceramic coating:


Sidebar: When I picked up the Tesla Roadster from Florida (See my blog post HERE for that adventure) is when I first noticed the letter “L” was missing most of the chrome from the rear badge.  Since that is the only chrome on the car, and I despise chrome, we had a custom vinyl logo made to replace the chrome bits on the rear.  You’ll notice in the final photos below that the 3D Tesla Roadster Sport chrome bits are gone, replaced with 2D matte black vinyl, which I personally think came out superb.

After less than two weeks the car was complete.  Brad @ Custom Shields had brought back the paint to its original luster, tinted three window panes, and laid down protection in the form of PPF and ceramic coating.  This coating provides a nano-ceramic barrier on the paint, making it not just easier to keep clean, but also more abrasion resistant.  Now the swirls will stay away for longer, plus washing the car is a snap!

Hope you enjoyed reading this blog post!  Here are the final results:



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