Back in 1914, Ford Motor Company sold their Model T to customers in any colour they wanted, “as long as it was black!” Fast forward a hundred years, the situation is still dreadful. If you are in the market for a new car, you are limited to six colour choices; more if you’re lucky. Colour pallets are pretty much the same across the board which doesn’t help much. So what can you do, if the company won’t offer you the car in the colour of your choice? Why cover it in a vinyl wrap.
How does it work?
What started life in advertising, has now taken off in the field of car customization. A wrap is nothing but a sheet of printed vinyl with adhesive on one side with colour choices as varied as there are cocktails. On offer is anything from a retina-scalding chrome to a Batmobile-black in matte. And personalisation is the new buzz word. You can have whatever it is that gets your fancy. Want to plaster the Nyan Cat all over your supercar like Deadmau5? Or go all Arab on your SUV with the gold? It can all be done.
Mukul Dewan of 3M Car Care in Delhi who specialises in car wrapping says “there are no limits” Just make sure you don’t get carried away and end up with something looking like an ice lolly. Plus you don’t want to turn up for that big job interview in a radioactive green banger, but it doesn’t mean you can’t. Matte and brushed looks are the most popular these days, although Mukul tells us, “the camouflage pattern is gaining ground”. Now there’s an idea for your Scorpio.
Of course, it costs money and prices depend on how much real estate you want to cover and amount of detail in the design. Thankfully you don’t have to rob a bank, not just yet. A simple no-nonsense single colour wrap starts at `190 per sq. ft. while a brushed finish one can go up to `550 per sq. ft. A custom printed one starts from
`450 per sq. ft. On the other hand, a set of racing stripes only cost five grand. There’s even a clear wrap which is useful for when the neighbour kids decide to play Pablo Picasso on your bonnet. And that’s another advantage - the protection against scrapes and scratches.
It doesn’t void your warranty either, because no mechanical changes are made, and when you do decide to drop that carbon fibre look you were drooling over, it’s easily peeled off in under three hours to reveal the original paint. And to make sure it lasts long, park the car in the shade when not using it, and clean it regularly.
Wrap Vs Paint
Wrapping has a leg up on a paint job when it comes to design and time. A wrap can match any paint scheme that you can think of, and takes less time to apply. Where a full repaint will take a minimum of ten days thanks to sanding down the old paint and priming up the surface, a car can be completely wrapped in three! The only prep the car needs before a wrap is a thorough washing and drying. And since a wrap isn’t permanent in nature, it doesn’t affect the car’s resale value like a wacky paint job, which makes it the better choice. Although if you are changing the car’s colour, it may need to be reflected on the RC.
How do I do it?
1) In a well-lit place, clean and dry the car. Remove lights, logos and door handle.
2) Start one panel at a time, measuring it at the widest point. Add six inches to measurement and cut the wrap to size.
3) Start sticking wrap from one edge to the other, ensuring at least two inches of excess on all sides.
4) Use a squeezy to press down on the wrap in long smooth strokes.
5) Cut wrap around the edges leaving enough to turn under. Make neat folds around the panel edges. This is the time-consuming bit.
6) Finish by glueing the edges with a gel sealant. Repeat for the entire car.