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This refers to vinyl stripes that is...

A friend asked me to help him out with some stripes for his new 45th Anniversary 2009 GT. I thought I would take the time to highlight some things I have learned over time about vinyl stripes and how we addressed them in this project. Once you start looking at stripes as much as I have it becomes easy to pick out a good stripe job from a poorly executed one. This is by no means an exhaustive commentary but I thought some of you would be interested none the less.

Here is what his car looked like before...

And here are some pics of work in progress...

The color is satin silver metallic. The same color stripes that comes on the Shelby GTs. This vista blue / silver metallic combo is one of my favorites! I love the look of the metallic vinyls and they are relatively easy to work with given the right technique. They are also not very forgiving if you mess up because they are so thin. Often once the stripes set, you will not be able to lift them and reposition them without stretching and ruining them. Technique is the key.

Other non metallic vinyls are thicker which means that you can sometimes lift them and reposition them without ruining the stripe, but they are also harder to form over compound curves. Some of the easiest vinyl I have worked with to date is matte black. I have several projects in mind using this vinyl and I will post more on that later.

As I said before all stripe packages were not created equal.

Typical stripe packages take two and sometimes three pieces per side to cover the deck lid. This is done on purpose to make installation easier, it does however leave overlapped areas that often do not match up exactly, drawing attention to the "imperfection" in the applied stripes. This one is done in one piece.

All corners were rounded and each piece shaped to match the body pieces. Most stripes terminate on the face of the body panels as well, which is the way most factory stripes are done. I think it gives a much more factory look than just folded over into the body seems.

The rounded corners also serve the purpose of helping prevent peeling of the stripes. Sharp corners on stripes are easy to roll while washing, etc. The round corners prevent this from happening.

The rear bumper is all one piece as well. In other stripe packages this is often done as two to three pieces with overlaps visible.

The front bumper was by far the hardest to do but I was determined to do it in one piece. One piece was cut to fit the best it could but due to the compound angles each piece took considerable work to stretch the vinyl so that it fit correctly. The end result is a nice smooth stripe with no overlaps.

The portion below the lower grill has a painted section that is about 8 inches underneath the car. Sometimes on the right inclines this area is visible. Most stripes only stretch a couple of inches under the car. I ran these stripes back at least 6 inches so the end of the stripes could not be seen.

Finally, one of the biggest no-nos with stripes is to apply them so they are not evenly spaced around things like the faux gas cap, washer nozzles, or other body lines of the car. I took special care to ensure uniform spacing for a symmetrical look.

I was really pleased with how this project turned out! I have several more stripe projects planned so stay tuned!!!

MrFarmdog out! :grinbiginvert:
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