Your Pink Car

February 13, 2007

 

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Want to own a pink car but can’t afford the latest Nissan Micra C+C?

Want to paint your own car pink but can’t afford an expensive paint job?

 

Skeptics, and well intentioned family and friends will persuade you that its not a good idea to paint your car pink.

Then there are the ‘pink miscreants’. For those fortunate enough not to have met their acquaintance, they represent an amorphous, but sufficiently well defined group of people sharing one universal trait.

They deplore pink with a vengeance, ridiculing the pink motoring and gadgetry aristocracy at every opportunity. Be prepared for their poisonous pink preaching. They revile all the gorgeous new pink car stuff, like the pink tool kits, pink tax disc holder, pink mats, car seats, covers etc etc. All great gifts for Valentine’s Day.

 

We are told daily that appearance is, or isn’t everything, depending on who is doing the telling and for what purpose. Valentine’s Day is an occasion that seems to bring out these moments of truth, but we shall leave that for another day, another post, which will be full of poignant pink platitudes.

 

The focus today is on getting your pink car or car pink, by wealth or stealth.

 

Nobody could argue that a dull car is visually appealing or economically more valuable than one that dazzles. Who would deny they expend at least some minimal effort on making their boats, motorbikes or cars look good?

 

The exterior of your car is what people notice first, depending of course on how badly you have trashed the interior.

 

Just wander into a dealer’s yard and see how much they invest in preparing the appearance of cars they showcase.

 

International style guru and recently appointed patron saint of ‘pink car auction’ Lady Penelope of the Thunderbirds fame, will tell you that first impressions count. The paint job on that hairdo of hers reflects perfect resurfacing, and has proven to be extremely resilient, surviving many explosions intact. All in the day of a pink lady’s work.

 

The pink miscreants will look at you cluelessly when you quiz them as to how much Lady Penelope’s Pink Car FAB1 is expected to fetch on ebay. Nor would they have any idea as to how to put a value on Penelope Pitstop’s pink car or Charlie’s Angels pink van. They will probably rant on witlessly about Paris Hilton recently running out of petrol in her pink car.

 

They may impolitely point out that you are not in fact either Lady Penelope, Penelope Pitstop, or Paris Hilton, nor do you have the kudos of American idol star Kelly Clarkson to successfully flog a pink Ford Mustang Shelby GT500.

 

Forgive them their ignorance, for they don’t understand the pink psyche, and have probably never embarked on the bold adventure that you are about to. Visualise the worst thing that could happen, namely that the result looks hideous.

 

Have a look at some of the custom painted pink cars around. You will see more and more of them driving around the streets. Pictured above is PinkCivicChic’s Honda SI 2000 and Boospinkleer1’s custom 1997 Chevrolet Cavalier. There is also a Honda Civic Pro 1992 up for auction on Trademe. These proud owners have invested their hearts, souls and ingenuity into their cars, and often the result looks even better than some of new releases from the major car manufacturers.

 

In talking about value, distinguish what is valuable to you from the concept of ‘market value’. Put very simply, market value is the price which would be negotiated in an open market between a knowledgeable, willing but not anxious buyer and a knowledgeable, willing but not anxious seller, both acting at arms length.

 

This hypothetical buyer/seller must of course be operating in a rational manner, much like the way that most of us females behave when bidding on ebay auctions and trading in pink possessions and gadgets. Mobile phone dealers whose stocks of hot pink Motorola V3 razors have run out may be better qualified to inform you of the sociopathy or psychopathy of this breed of consumer.

 

On a completely different level, painting your car pink may be invaluable to you if the results fill you with pink pride. Your enterprise may generate pink consultancy and assorted colour therapy based business opportunities, cultivated by select individuals with enough insight to recognise your artistic genius.

 

But painting your car pink may not improve its economic value, especially if you do a pedestrian paint job on a plain car.

 

On the other hand, if you are the owner of a rare collector’s car, like a Fiat, Cadillac, VW or mustang, it can add a lot of value to your car.

 

Admittedly, a big selling point of a car is having a mechanically sound and regularly maintained car.

 

But remember Lady Penelope’s pink car didn’t even have an engine, was made over 40 odd years ago in the 60’s (projected 80 odd years forward in time to the year 2039), and she could still afford a chauffeur. But you have to bear in mind that Penelope’s cars had wings, six wheels, a perspex roof (perspex is coming back into fashion) and she was an internationally acclaimed multilingual London spy.

 

But even those gorgeous pink pedal cars on ebay are valuable even if they can’t get you to the corner store

 

Would the owners of cars sporting those disgustingly ugly spoilers be able to quantify exactly how much added functionality they get from these monstrousities?

 

Get a professional to beautify your car for a princely sum, or if you can’t afford that, arm yourself with some decent manuals, DVDs and the right products and attitude.

 

There are plenty of good resources on the market.

 

If you are prepared to be realistic and invest time, effort and enthusiasm, you can stamp upon your beloved car your own unique individual signature, and experience the sense of accomplishment other proud pink car owners have. You may end up with an exotic car worth considerably more.

 

There is nothing magical about the term spray painting. It just refers, unsurprisingly, to a technique of painting that uses a device dispensing paint on a surface via spraying. Intuitive isn’t it? You point the gun at the car, and when you pull the trigger fluid comes out of it as you pull the needle back. Sound too simple? There is a bit more to it than that.

 

A few basic tips:

 

** access good resources and advice on painting, including paint shops that specialise in car refinishing.

 

** understand the different methodologies and techniques, tools required, and follow the processes diligently

 

** always remove any surface grit, grease and films that have built up on your car, which may not be visible to the naked eye, using a wax or degreaser. It is essential to have a clean surface to paint on. This has to be done before you start sanding, otherwise you could further ingrain greases and salts into the surface via the sanding process.

 

** equip yourself with the tools you need, such as a spray gun and compressor, by renting or buying them.

 

** Clue yourself up on sanding, polishing and correction of surface body work. This can requires good fillers, and be a laborious and time consuming process, but is necessary for a good finish. Make sure to use decent products. There are some nifty products like enamels that assist you to spot depressions and uneven surfaces, ensuring you have a smooth surface once youv’e sanded down your primer.

 

** If you don’t know anything about paint, learn how to mix and apply your primer, colour and clear paint coats, paying particular attention to time intervals.

 

** Just as you would mask anything else you paint, it is doubly important to mask those parts of the car with tape that you don’t want to paint, like your windows. Spray paint has, as the term suggests, a tendency to fly everywhere and isn’t fussy as to where it lands.

 

** Bear in mind that cars made from the mid 80’s onwards are made from thinner metals and have thinner bodies, and acrylic urethanes have become standard in the industry.

 

** When choosing a pink colour, try and resist selecting the shade from a paint swatch. Find a pink car whose colour appeals to you and note the paint colour code. Depending on the car, it is usually found on the inside of the driver’s door jamb plate. You can now get factory colours for cars built back in the 60’s.

 

There are different technologies for body painting and like all technology there is always innovation in both design and technique.

 

In the experimentation and improvisation phase you may serendipitously produce the Rembrandt of all car paint jobs, setting a new benchmark for style in autopainting. But as a beginner try to curb your enthusiasm, and stick to conventional procedure as religiously as possible.

 

There are a range of spraypainting devices with varying levels of sophistication from the more primitive pressurised aerosol spray cans, to more hand held paint sprayers, expensive air compressors and other special equipment.

 

Once you have mastered the basics, you can explore other options, play around with graphics, flourishes and other special effects using your creative spark.

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