Our Evil 8.5 Mustang is now a fully functioning racecar with a few solid laps already underits belt in competition, but before it made its maiden voyage the car needed a little color. Rather than send it out to be painted and spend more time away from the track we decided to have a 3M vinyl wrap applied on the car from SoCal Wraps. This wrap will make Evil 8.5 stand out in the lanes and have more durability than your standard paint job, and that’s a great thing on a racecar.
Before a single piece of vinyl is cut for the wrap, a design must be created, and to do this one of the experts from SoCal Wraps, like Dalton Hutton, needs come take a look at the car. “We go to the customer and take measurements of the car’s wheel base and also get a measurement of where the door is on the car as we take photos. This is done so when we begin the process we have the correct size scaling for the car based on these measurements, it helps to ensure everything will look correct when we print the wrap and apply it.”
After Hutton has taken all of the pictures and measurements he will return to SoCal’s shop in Fontana, California, to import everything into Photoshop so he can begin the design process. One of the first things he must do is decide what scale he will do all of the renderings in as he designs the wrap. Usually Hutton will use a half-scale as his base since the file size is much easier to manage. After the scale is chosen, the fun begins as the design takes shape. “I will crop out the entire body of the car where the wrap is going to be applied to and then begin working on the design. I send the draft to the client then for review and revisions, if needed,” Hutton adds.
When the final design has been approved the car is locked-in for an installation date and all of the files are setup to be printed. The 3M vinyl material used is 54-inches wide, so SoCal can print the files at 51-inches for the sides and other parts of the car. The extra area allows for adjustments if they are needed during the application process.
A color sample print is done to make sure they are correct based on the design. Next, the wrap is printed over the course of a few hours, and after the printing is complete it sits for another two-hours at it goes through the out-gas process. When it has sat long enough, the laminate for the wrap is added along with the reflective overlays, then the panels are cut out.
When it’s time for the wrap to be applied to the car, Hutton gives the installation team the computer generated layouts so they can see how the wrap will go on the car. “We send two techs out to install the wrap. They begin by pulling the backing off, then place the wrap on the car based on the layout. They use a squeegee to apply the wrap, remove any bubbles in the wrap after its been applied, and make any cuts needed to make the wrap fit,” Hutton says.
If you’re looking for a way to get a custom look for your racecar without all the hassles of caring for an expensive paint job a wrap is the way to go. A full car wrap like the one we had added to Evil 8.5 from SoCal Wraps will stay looking good for years while keeping the same great finish with no extra up keep.