1989 Chevrolet S10 - Stripe Design - Vehicular Tattoos

Adding a set of stripes to your paintjob isn't as hard as you might think.

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If you are looking for a way to add a little style to your vehicle's exterior, one of the best options out there is to adorn it with a set of stripes. Most factory and tuner muscle cars received a set of stripes to let you know they had some more muscle than the other stockers out there. While this was almost the normal thing for the factory to do in the '70s when factory muscle was waning, by the time we hit the '90s stripes were almost a thing of the past.

With the release of the late-model muscle cars, namely the fifth-gen Camaro, we have seen resurgence in SS stripes. The cool thing about stripes over other painted details is the simplicity of the design allows them to be added to a multitude of vehicles, not just the ones they came on. We wanted to show how easily a set of stripes could be applied to anything, so we decided an S-10 truck would be a perfect canvas. We had the truck sprayed in a single stage yellow back in 2007 by our local Maaco. The paint has held up exceptionally well, but we were starting to get a little tired of how plain it looked. The painting procedure is pretty standard, which we will get into later, but the design phase is where most of the decision-making and stress will occur, so let's delve into that a bit deeper.

If you look at any of the stripes Chevrolet put on cars, they all have the same basic theme—a large stripe with a small key line surrounding it. To be more precise, the key line and its spacing from the larger stripe seams to always be either 1/8- or 1/4-inch. That will actually make things a bit easier to layout, as one of the most common tape sizes for graphics is 1/4-inch.

1989 Chevrolet S10 Aggressive Designs 2/32

Before we took our truck to the paint shop we decided to buy a roll of 1/4-inch tape and test out a few different types of stripes. We have seen the two SS Chevelle-style stripes on S-10s before, so we wanted something a bit different and also something that went on the side of the vehicle. Two options came instantly to mind: either the mustache-style stripe that is found on the '68 Camaro or the Baldwin Motion scheme from its second-gen Camaros. After laying out the Baldwin style, it just didn't accent the truck's lines as well as it did on the Camaro, so we tried the mustache and that one worked great.

Now that we knew our style, we took our time and laid out the stripe to the best of our ability. This allowed us to determine the proper size and layout for the truck. Once we were happy, we measured everything, took a few pictures, and peeled it off.

We took our truck, pics, and notes to Aggressive Designs in Santa Fe Springs, California, to have the owner, Seth Boldman, and his crew show us how to do a flat black stripe right. Seth built a pretty wicked second-gen Camaro that actually has a Baldwin-Motion scheme, in a bright green and flat black. We were at a show when we stumbled across the Camaro, which led us to spark up a conversation about how he got his flat black so flat. Fast forward a few months, and we were at his shop with a freshly washed truck and our camera gear.

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