Lowcountry Wraps Goes “Plum Crazy” Purple All Over a Plymouth Duster
Lowcountry Wraps may be a new company in the field, but owner Frank Metzger is a seasoned installer who grew his passion for wrapping friends’ vehicles into a business.
And he recently made a mark on the Pro Mod circuit – a big, purple mark.
Frank and his team wrapped a modified Plymouth Duster using ORACAL® 970RA Premium Wrapping Cast Film with RapidAir® Technology. He selected color 406 violet metallic for the body, which is a near-exact match for Mopar’s signature color for Plymouth vehicles: “Plum Crazy” purple.
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ORACAL® 970RA film is a 4-mil, premium wrapping cast PVC film with a built-in protective clear coat layer to simulate the appearance of factory-applied paint. It conforms over curved surfaces, rivets and corrugations, and does not require an overlaminate. This film was developed for long-term, complete wraps of fleet and motor sport vehicles and is available in 96 colors including gloss, matte and metallic finishes.
Mopar, a leading supplier of parts and tools designed expressly for Chrysler automobiles, sponsors vehicles in the National Hot Rod Association’s Professional Modified (NHRA ProMod) Drag Racing Series of events throughout the United States. The Mopar ProMod Team modified the Duster to add a 2000-horsepower engine and a custom, carbon-fiber body made specifically for drag racing.
Lowcountry Wraps covered nearly every surface with the ORACAL® 970RA film. The body was wrapped in purple and bumpers were wrapped in a chrome color. The head- and tail-lights and markers were also wrapped. Only the hood was left unwrapped because it would likely come in contact with alcohol fuel and the team didn’t want to risk discoloration of such a fine wrap job.
Frank selected the ORACAL® 970RA film for several reasons including ease of installation, application suitability and cost. “The ORACAL® 970RA film was easy to work with, compared to other vehicle films I’ve used in the past,” said Frank. “Because of the film’s RapidAir® Technology, installation was quick and easy. With one person’s assistance, I was able to wrap the entire car in about two days.” ORAFOL RapidAir® Technology includes an advanced, air-release liner to facilitate quicker, easier application. Lowcountry Wraps found the RapidAir® Technology in the ORACAL® 970RA film to be especially beneficial since the team was wrapping the vehicle in large pieces. “Because the car is racing at speeds of more than 200 miles per hour, it’s important to have as few seams as possible, so there’s a reduced risk of separation,” said Frank. “The RapidAir® Technology made it possible for us to use the entire width of the vinyl – meaning we had as few pieces as practical – and it was easy to install.”
Wrapping a racing vehicle is also more desirable than painting it. According to Frank, vinyl film is about half the weight of paint. Also, it can be done in significantly less time since installers don’t need to wait for the paint to dry, to apply the next layer. Additionally, vinyl film is more economical than paint.
The Mopar ProMod Team was enthusiastic about the color and appreciated the fine wrap job by Lowcountry Wraps. Many race fans didn’t believe it was a wrap instead of paint.
“I’m a believer in ORAFOL materials with RapidAir® Technology and look forward to continuing to use it in a variety of wraps,” said Frank.
It's a bird, it's a plane, it's Super Beetle!
You may have heard about VWvortex’s latest project car; the Super Beetle.
The project was led by Jamie Vondruska and according to his official project blog, “It started innocently enough over drinks with the head of Product Planning at Volkswagen of America, Rainer Michael and the Chief Product and Marketing Officer Tim Mahoney (both car guys by the way) asking me what we’d do with a Beetle if we had our way.
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So I told them we would give it 500hp and we’d take the Golf R all-wheel-drive system and transplant it into the Beetle. They of course laughed and said, “You can always dream.” To which I told them no, it isn’t a dream, we could actually do that… Now to put my money where my mouth was.
So how do you go about creating the ultimate Beetle? After asking himself that very question, this is what Jamie came up with:
1. Give me lots of power. A Stage IV upgrade to the 2.0T would get us 500hp while keeping the weight over the front end reasonable.
2. If we’re going to get that power to the ground, we’re going to need AWD from the Golf R.
3. We’re going to need some BIG brakes to scrub that power off.
4. We need suspension upgrades to not only get the ride height right, but to dial in corner weights and balance.
5. Wheels. Something motorsport inspired but new and different.
6. Seats will need some upgrades to keep us firmly in place while hooning this thing.
7. Some exterior upgrades – there isn’t much available yet, but there are a few pieces we might be able to work into this to give us a new look.
8. Since it is a Beetle, we need a unique color that invokes a bit of history and speed.
Several different sponsors came together to help create the Super Beetle. APR took care of the horsepower, the Golf R AWD transplant and the Volkswagen Racing big brake kit. According to Stephen at APR all of this would be “No problem”. H&R Springs was called for the suspension. Not only were they interested in being part of the project, but Roland at H&R offered up space in their booth at SEMA if the car could be done in time. This gave Jamie and everyone involved less than a month to turn an ordinary Beetle into the Super Beetle.
Now obviously ORACAL doesn’t come in until step eight of Jamie’s super plan. So we are going to jump past all the nitty-gritty of swapping engine pieces, adding suspension and finding “inspired” wheels. Let’s skip right on ahead to step seven, exterior upgrades. Any Beetle enthusiast would notice the Super Beetle’s body looks a little different from your standard 2012 VW Beetle. The difference is in the bumpers. VWvortex was offered a complete front and rear bumper replacement from their friends at fifteen52 made by Japanese company Alpil Newing. Jamie wrote, “The Alpil pieces have a Porsche-esque design to them and would fit well with our performance theme. So fifteen52 rushed out one of the only sets in the U.S.”
Now comes the moment we had been waiting for; time to pick a color. The folks at VWvortex have “always been a fan of Volkswagen’s Rising Blue which is a signature color on the Golf R and Volkswagen’s own Scirocco race cars.” It turns out our 197M matte azure blue metallic is almost a perfect match to Volkswagen’s Rising Blue, and the fact that it has a matte finish just sweetened the deal. With just a day and a half before the car was scheduled to ship off to Las Vegas for the SEMA show, the installers got to work wrapping the nearly completed Super Beetle with ORACAL 970RA.
Jamie didn’t actually get to see the completed Super Beetle until it was in Las Vegas for SEMA. This is what he had to say after finally seeing the car in person; “The first thing that grabs you is the color. It looks great and in the sunlight it is amazing. This ORACAL Azure Matte Blue vinyl wrap is one of the best metallic films I’ve seen. There is some satin shine to it so it isn’t completely matte and the metallic gives off different hues of blue depending on how the light hits it.” Aw jeez, now you’re making us blush.
Despite the fact that there were still a few modifications to be made after SEMA, everyone’s hard work had already paid off. The Super Beetle won the Gran Turismo Best European Import Award SEMA 2012! What an accomplishment for Jamie, and everyone involved. The project is just getting started, and Jamie says he couldn’t be happier.
To see the full project details please read the Super Beetle Project blog.
Wall Graphics with a Message
Vehicle wraps and graphics tend to steal the limelight in the vinyl industry, so it’s nice to focus on some of the other creative applications now and then.
Custom vinyl wall graphics is a growing industry. Business and home owners alike are starting to realize the benefits of installing vinyl graphics over custom paint jobs.
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Vehicle wraps and graphics tend to steal the limelight in the vinyl industry, so it’s nice to focus on some of the other creative applications now and then. Custom vinyl wall graphics is a growing industry. Business and home owners alike are starting to realize the benefits of installing vinyl graphics over custom paint jobs. Fellowship Church in Plano, Texas is a perfect example of this. When faced with a very large empty wall across from their worship center they decided to dress it up with vinyl wall graphics. The church contacted Mike Napurano of NovoWorks, LLC, also in Plano, Texas.
After discussing the project together, Fellowship Church’s art department designed the wall graphics and provided them to NovoWorks print ready. Each graphic was roughly 7.5’ tall by 39’ wide. Because the church wanted the option to remove the graphics later down the road, it was necessary to use a product with removable adhesive. NovoWorks decided on 3169RA. They printed the graphics on a Mutoh VJ-1304 with Mutoh eco-solvent inks. Two days and two rolls of 3169RA later production was finished.
“When the idea from the project came up, I put in a call to our Oracal Rep Sam Featherston just to check on his feelings about using 3169RA for the project. As usual, Sam was great and provided valuable feedback to us. We love Oracal!” – Mike Napurano, NovoWorks, LLC
Next came the hard part; installing the massive graphics. The NovoWorks crew faced the normal challenges when installing graphics this large, including how to properly align all of the individual elements of the design. Mike said they also ran into the issue of only being allowed to do the installation during “down time” at the church. So, to overcome these challenges they simply took their time and took advantage of modern technology; they used a scissor lift instead of traditional ladders to help with the installation process. They took measurements of the graphics and ran masking tape on the wall as reference levels prior to installing. Mike and his team were thankful for the air release technology in 3169RA. He said, “It made installation considerably easier than it could have been!” Working around the church’s schedule, it took a total of two days to complete the installation.
NovoWorks has received a lot of positive feedback from members of Fellowship Church, all of them commenting on how much they love the graphics. Mike has even heard from another local church who is interested in doing something similar, but on a smaller scale. So all-in-all this is one success story for wall graphics, 3169RA, NovoWorks and Fellowship Church alike!
Adding a little privacy... The ORAFOL Way!
For several years, ORACAL production and converting supervisors have shared an office with a view. Except the real view was THEM!
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Much like viewing rats in an experiment, co-workers, vendors and guests passed by, daily, looking through the window at them.
In an effort to provide more privacy, Dean Strohmenger, ORAFOL Senior Technical Support Specialist, designed, plotted and installed a creative global design with ORACAL® Series 8510 Translucent Etched Glass Cal.
As Dean prepared for the project, he kept in mind that the 43 inch x 92.75 inch window location is in an internal high traffic hallway within the company. It was important to create a design that was not only functional, but visually appealing as well.