WE GAVE YOU AN OPPORTUNITY TO VOTE FOR AN EXTERIOR WRAP FOR THE DRIVE PERFORMANCE WRX (DP WRX) ON THE DRIVE PERFORMANCE WEBSITE HOME PAGE. PERHAPS YOU HAD A CHANCE TO SEE THE CAR AT A COUPLE OF THE EVENTS THAT WE ATTENDED FOLLOWING THE INSTALLATION. HERE'S HOW IT TURNED OUT.
The Wrap, and a Couple of Other Exterior Items
Once we had firm direction, we chose Innovative Signs, Inc., of Waukesha, Wisconsin, (www.innovative-signs.com) to wrap the car. The selection was based partly on the enthusiasm that the staff had for working on the car.
Planning involved consulting with Innovative Signs to determine design parameters – what could and could not be done on the wrap itself.
The wrap's installation took three days.
Photo: Brett Hogue
Photos: Brett Hogue
With the final design in hand and the DP WRX in their shop, the staff at Innovative Signs measured and compared the design's layout to the vehicle. The layout had to be adjusted for colors to carry over from one section of the car to another, and the vehicle's curves had to be taken into account. Problem areas such as mirrors, hood scoop, the areas around the fog lights, and others were identified and adjustments made for them in the layouts.
The design then was printed on 3M™ Controltac™ graphic material, allowed to dry, then laminated to help protect it from the elements. The material stretches and can be reattached numerous times without losing its adherence qualities.
The wrappers laid out the printed sheets on the vehicle with the backing still in place. After centering the pieces and marking them for position with masking tape, they peeled off the backing and attached the pieces to the car. Then they worked with the wrap to pull, stretch, and smooth it, heating it to help it stretch where needed.
There are more curves on a vehicle's body than most people might think, so smoothly applying a wrap is a time-consuming process.
Once the major panels were attached, the wrappers added smaller pieces as well as pinstriping. At the end of the process, the wrap was heated lightly to reactivate the adhesive.
Later, at headquarters, we added vinyl logos and our Badge of Ownership. Our badges include a "1" for the magazine's first car, and our two icons are those for performance and motorsports. We'll be adding more later.