That’s a wrap
Charlotte Pearson ventures into the world of vehicle wraps.
When you buy a new car the colour is just as important as the make or model.
But after a couple of years, or even months, that well loved vehicle could seem boring – especially if you see a more exciting shade pull up next to you at the traffic lights.
So what can you do? Well, as an alternative to a respray, or a new car, you could get in touch with Darren Keeble, creative director at MotoFX, for a vehicle wrap.
“It isn’t permanent, when you are bored with it you can take it off and have the original colour or have another one put on. It also protects the paintwork underneath,” Darren explains. “You can have pretty much any colour you want, we have swatches or can print them for you.”
And it doesn’t stop there. You can also choose from prints such as crocodile, to effects like matte paints or brushed chrome – as seen on the Lamborghini Aventador Darren has worked on.
“The car was red and I used the silver brushed aluminium. It was hard and there was quite a lot of waste as it had to be matched up perfectly but it is a great car and worked really well,” he reveals.
It may be his favourite but Darren has worked on a number of other supercars.
“I have worked on Ferraris, Aston Martins, McLarens, and Bentleys,” he lists. “I was also the first person in the UK to put a wrap on a Mercedes SLS.”
Darren has worked as a sign writer for 23 years and has been wrapping vehicles for the past ten years when it first started to evolve.
“People are starting to be a lot bolder with it now,” he reveals. “If a wrap is done well you can’t tell the difference from paint, not even on the joins.”
Based in Sussex doing vehicle wraps and custom race graphics has seen Darren work all over the world – and work on more than just cars.
“I have done work on boats and commercial wraps on vehicles. I have been to Florida on a freelance job and spent a couple of days there working on a massive boat for someone,” he says.
The vinyl wraps come in 1.5 metre wide rolls, and are cut and applied by hand.
“You have to be really patient to get it right,” Darren explains. “It can be a little nerve-racking when you have an expensive supercar, but I know what I am doing and can spend up to half-an-hour just looking at a part of a car to figure out the best way to apply the vinyl.”
In relation to price, a respray on a car can cost up to £7,000 whereas a wrap can range from £1,000 to £5,000, with little details, such as a wrap just on the roof and wing mirrors, costing from £500.
“If you take care of a wrap it can last two to three years, it has a life span of eight to 12 years, but most people want to change it after a couple of years anyway,” he says.
So what has been the most interesting project he has worked on?
“Well the oldest was a 1955 Rolls Royce. The guy lived in Brighton and wanted a change,” he recalls. “I used a variochrome orange with a candy pink flip. He wanted just orange but I thought it looked a little flat and the variochrome looks different in different lights.”
A job can take from two days to a couple of weeks depending on the type of car or if it is a full wrap or commercial job.
Alongside cars, boats and vans it seems that nothing is safe from Darren.
“I used a wrap on my barbecue, turning it from a boring green to silver and I am going to put a wrap on my fridge as I couldn’t get a black one. My friends always joke ‘don’t stand still too long around Darren otherwise he’ll wrap you’,” he laughs.
But working on car wraps is something that Darren finds incredibly satisfying.
“I like to be different and unique. I enjoy giving people something they wouldn’t have had before,” he enthuses. “People come and pick up their cars and just can’t believe they are the same ones they dropped off.”
So if you love your car but fancy giving it a face-lift MotoFX may just be able to help.
February 27, 2014 Motors and Gadgets