You can never go wrong by putting iconic rally stripes on your Camaro. The only problem is everyone else has the same idea and it’s easy for your car to become lost in the crowd. When Bret Voelkel of Air Ride Technologies decided to build a killer first-gen Camaro−one to replace the one pilfered a year ago−he didn’t want it to blend into the scenery. Instead, he wanted the car to be emblazoned with unique touches to make it stand out from the rest. One of his ideas was to do something a wee bit different with the “same old, same old” rally stripes.
Last year, the crew at Precision Coachworks, a hot rod building company also owned by Bret, built a killer ’70 Chevelle as the Goodguy’s giveaway car which incorporated bare-metal stripes. The stripes were a hit on the Chevelle and with everyone who saw it in person, so he and the the crew at Precision decided to try them out on their new ’68 Camaro.
The most important step is starting with a good foundation. Since the stripes will be bare metal, there’s no way to hide bodywork or repairs. Also, of paramount importance, is to have the right tools and correct materials on hand. So, if you want to try something different on your Camaro, read along and see how Precision Coachworks nailed down a killer look that’s slightly off the beaten path.
When you’re working with bare metal it has to be as clean as possible. The use of an etching primer will help the other chemicals obtain a surface to bond to. Not doing this will prevent the paint from adhering properly and will promote peeling or flaking. It’s very important that the areas of your bare stripe be as perfect as possible since the clear will accentuate any flaws that are there. The crew at Precision used 80-grit paper in a straight line to get the effect they desired, but the possibilities are endless. You could try a crosshatch pattern or even circles to emulate an engine-turned look. We also think this would look cool as a hockey stripe or bumblebee nose stripe. Be creative.
Once you have the look you want, treat the metal with DuPont MetaLoc, (PN 2305) then immediately rinsed with de-ionized water. This will provide the clear with a proper bonding surface. Once the metal is completely dry it can be cleared. After that you can treat it like any other paintjob. Tape off the stripes, lay down your color, then bury it all in a few coats of clear.
By now you’re thinking, “Are we ever going to make the stripes?” Well, I’m glad you asked. Way back at the beginning you established exactly where your stripes were going to go, now it’s time to tape them off in that spot. Really take your time here. Hang your panels perfect, take your time, get another set of eyes, take your time, double check everything, take your time, and most importantly, take your time! After you’ve spent so much time and care getting to this point it would be a shame to get them messed up now. Did we mention that you should take your time?