Best Unique Vehicles of 2010

These unconventional rides turn heads
Oct 10 Unique 1.jpg

FIRST PLACE/BEST OF SHOW

Fabricator
The Wrap Shoppe
Phoenix
(623) 203-6807
www.thewrapshoppe.com
 
Designer
Jeni Crawford
 
Installer
Todd Wendell
TW Graphics
Phoenix
(602) 486-7337
www.twgraphics.net
 
Client
Todd Morrison
 
Morrison, a Morgan enthusiast (Morgan is a maker of British exotic cars), had his 2009 Aero 8 wrapped with a supersized Union Jack – probably to the dismay of rare-car traditionalists. After having photographed the car, Sergio DeSoto, The Wrap Shoppe’s owner, created a custom template using Adobe’s Photoshop and Illustrator. He also hired a mechanic, who specializes in European exotic cars, to disassemble necessary parts.

DeSoto said, “Geometry plays an important with a wrap design like this because of the fenders’ severe angles. To create a congruent design, we had to design at a 45° angle, rather than the typical, 90° approach. To make it work, we printed and installed the wrap one piece at a time, which required 40 hours and double the vinyl that’s normally required for a wrap. “ Wendell added, “We had to work very slowly with the body curves and flared fenders. Air-release media make the job easier, but they’re thinner than traditional films and require a careful hand.”

The Wrap Shoppe printed the project on its Epson Stylus Pro GS 6000 eight-color printer on 3M’s Controltac with Comply air-release media, and protected the graphics with 3M’s 8518 glossy overlaminate, which fabricators applied on a Seal 62 Pro laminator.
 
SECOND PLACE

Fabricator
SkinzWraps Inc.
Dallas
(214) 741-4259
www.skinzwraps.com
 
Designer
Nicky Zervos
 
Client
Medora Snacks
 
Freeport, NY-based Medora Snacks wanted to make a graphic splash on a limited budget for its unique Corners snack chips, which combine popped corn and tortilla chips. For application on a Ford F650 commercial truck – the shop’s first such wrap job, according to SkinzWraps’ Trevor Pockrus – the shop output the wrap on its Epson Stylus Pro GS 6000 with Avery MPI 1005 Supercast Easy Apply RS air-release vinyl. Avery’s DOL 1060 glossy overlaminate, applied with a Seal 62 Pro laminator, helps the graphics retain their crunch. The shop similarly fabricated the graphics on the “bag” that projects from inside the truck’s tonneau cover. Installers handled their work using Avery and Lidco squeegees and a propane torch. He said the truck made the rounds throughout NYC.
 
THIRD PLACE

Fabricator
Signfarm
Nokesville, VA
(703) 753-0899
www.signfarm.com
 
Designer
Scott Lewczak
Signfarm
 
Installer
Scott Lewczak
 
Client
Cheerwine
 
Selling Price
$6,000
 
If you’ve never been to the Southeast and sampled Cheerwine, the ruby-colored, cherry-flavored soft drink native to Salisbury, NC, head to your nearest gourmet food market or soft-drink store. If it’s unavailable there, book a plane ticket to the Piedmont region. It will be worth it.

This wrap design embraces the growing trend of graphics that mimic a trailer’s interior. To lay out the project effectively, Lewczak built a scale model and photographed each section closely. Then, using Photoshop, he merged five photos into one to create an ultra-high-resolution image. He printed the wrap on Signfarm’s Mimaki JV3-160SP solvent-ink printer using Arlon’s DFG 4560 GTX air-release vinyl. To help cure the film, Lewczak incorporates body-shop heat lamps, which he likes because they evenly heat large surfaces. To protect the graphics, he uses a proprietary, clearcoat method.
 
HONORABLE MENTION

Fabricator
Bulldawg Graphics
Athens, GA
(706) 548-0656
www.bulldawggraphics.com
 
Designer
Brett Swartz
Bulldawg Graphics
 
Installers
Chris Carchow
Tim Hodges
Sheila Lemke
Bulldawg Graphics
 
Client
Shannon Johnson
 

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