Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Wrap Evolution

After a number of years in its current guise, it was time for Bond to have a little bit of a face lift. As much as I like sports cars in a red, sometimes it's good to be a little bit different. Not that the final colour choice will be a one off, but certainly in the Bolwell siblings locally it will be. As for a wrapped Bolwell, of that it will certainly be a first.

Somewhere down the line of the colour update process I decided that wrapping the car was going to be a better option than going for a traditional paint job. A couple of reasons for this. The really useful one is that having the car wrapped is a lot less deadly on the bank than having the car painted to an equivalent standard. The other is I don't have enough space to store an engine if I was to have the engine bay done as well. So a superficial wrap it would be. And having seen plenty of wrappings at different Targa events I knew what the end result could be like (see below, though it turns out I was wrong. I underestimated how good a wrap job could be). The other advantage of the wrap product is that matte colours, chromes, carbon fibre and the like are all a lot easier to achieve this way than with painting. And there are so many effects to choose from.

So homework has to be done to start coming up with colour schemes that are going to work. And while my sketching and colouring in got some evening time, nothing compares to actually seeing colours in the light of day (and then hoping they look good on the car as well as a little patch of card). I thought of the classic Martini and Gulf racing colours, but went with a much simpler pattern. Matte Grey Aluminium and Matte Dark Gray from the 3M range. No chromes or carbon fibres here.

Body preparation is key to getting the final product looking good. This required the numerous fibreglass cracks to be cleaned up, along with stone chips, flaking paint, aerial holes and other slight disfigurements to the body. This explains the case of measles on the car in the below pic. To this end, apologies to Ben who found more issues with the paint then were evident at first appearance.

While we were at it, a nose job was had as well. This involved creating a softer, more rounded shape instead of the existing concave shape. This was easy to do as the bonnet had already been used to create a mould with donor bonnets now being found on another Bolwell Mark 7 and also a Corvette Stingray. Before and after rhinoplasty shown here.

With the conclusion of the fibreglass work, the car was in a position to be wrapped. After searching through a couple of the car wrapping companies I knew of and some I didn't, I decided to entrust Ben Patti of Perth Vehicle Wraps ( http://perthvehiclewraps.com.au/ ) to do a good job with the Bolwell. Having seen some of his work both in person and on line, I was happy with this choice.

Wrapping over decals gives a great visual effect. This detail type also resides within the door sills of the car showing the Bolwell brand.

Part of the service that Ben provided was final detailing of the car in order to wrap it, along with stripping it back enough of door seals, catches, windows and the like to do a top quality professional job.

And then the wrapping was able to commence.
The wrapping process involves rolls of a special vinyl placed over the car (and pre-positioned with a light adhesive) before being smoothed into place and heated where joins and edges exist in order to finish the positioning and stretching of the vinyl. Where particular edges are needed, a "cutting tape" is placed and then lifted through the wrap, giving a clean edge, with the easy removal of the excess then taking place.

The detail to make sure the wrap clings properly in all the right places is critically important, particularly around edges, seams and crease lines of the vehicle. Due to the age of the existing paint, this process ended up taking a little longer than planned as the paint was flaking off under the adhesive when it was being positioned. This involved a lot more work for Ben to get right, but I'm thankful for the extra time and effort he had to put into it in getting the project done properly.
And not just the wrap, but the extra details that went into the car. The time spent to re-colour the brackets and screws from red, wrapping door hinges, the grill surround, re-creating badges. Just so many little things that made a massive difference in the end.

So a couple of weeks later the car was ready for pickup. With much anticipation I went north to Quinns Rocks to pick up the car. Now because of the extra detail that went into the job, the car still required a bit of reassembly upon arrival. To be honest, this was a good thing as it enabled me to see the professionalism and perfection that Ben puts into his work.

So after a couple of hours of reassembly and final touch ups, the car was ready to go. And it looks beautiful.

I would like to thank Ben and Nicole from Perth Vehicle Wraps for the amazing and professional finish they put on the car. For the extra time they took to do the job right, the detailing involved, their frustration with some of the job and especially the final product. It is beyond what I was expecting and the car is a completely new beast because of it.
Now I just wish I could drive it.

Before and after.

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