Never As Easy As It Looks: Radical Paint Work (And Other Fun With Old Cars)

I am an absolute sucker for super-trick paint. Lowriders, 1970s street machines and disco vans, old hot-rodding fades, metalflake that looks more appropriate on bowling balls than it does on the hood…that’s the stuff that grabs my attention and holds it. Every SEMA, I spend way too much time over the lowriders…these are the cars that are wearing paint jobs that are laced-out, scaled-out, and I do not want to even hazard a guess as to how much these paint jobs actually cost. I just know that it requires miles of tape, an art degree, the patience of a saint and confidence that you can’t possibly ever screw up. Oh, and we should probably mention a hand that is as rock-steady as a an old Western good guy’s shooting hand just before he punches a hole or two through the bad guy.

Among many projects that are going on with the Canadians that film Cold War Motors, the early Ford Econoline project is one of them. The stub-faced 1970s van is wearing a metric ton of tape all over it and that means that the paint booth is going to be occupado for the next several months as the details start coming together. It begins with root beer brown candy paint and goes from there, with layers being peeled one by one as the paint gun makes it’s sweeps. Patterns cut from a beer box, and a bunch of friends nearby to make you question your decisions…and to blame if somebody screws up while peeling the line tape off. That’s how these paint jobs come out like they do!

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