Miami Car Styling, Customization Trends

Miami-Car-Styling-Customization-TrendsWhen it comes to the latest car styling trends in Miami, the best and most recent changes can be seen on the street and at local car shows. After all, what’s the point of all the work and changes if you don’t get a chance to show it off to everyone?

Imitation can be the best form of flattery, and the car modification world is no exception to the rule. People looking to modify their cars constantly watch and feed off each other, getting new ideas all the time from each other’s creativity. No surprise, trends tend to pop over from car to car as everyone jumps a new trick and adds just a little something to make it their own.

This Door Goes Up
One of the first big trends lately is the scissor door design. This is not a new idea. In the 1970s Lamborghini’s scissor door design was what really brought the feature to the forefront.

In the 1980s the DeLorean luxury sports car continued the trend, and Back to the Future made it even more famous after the car company went bankrupt in 1982. However, despite the fact that gullwing doors have been around a long time, it’s becoming a significant new Magic City trend this year on a wide variety of cars – and trucks.

Marrying Old With New – A Different Kind of Hybrid
Another car fanatic favorite is the old car revamped with a new engine and unheard of power under the hood.

The classic body is retained, even enhanced with chrome features, but under the hood everything is modern and far better in performance than anything produced by the original manufacturer. No surprise, this includes a number of kits with nitrous boosters as well for fast launch.

This style continues to be heavy within Cuban-influenced neighborhoods, and here’s why; Many of the knowledgeable residents have families who spent years in Cuba keeping old 1940 and 1950 American cars going, due to bans on imports. It’s definitely part of the culture, all the way from home Havana to New Havana Beach.

Is It a Car or Jet?
Side flares and venting are popping up quite a bit. Whether for actual air intake, heat dissipation or just for decorative effect, they are popular. Everybody with a car to show off seems to want them.

The styling typically includes a slit of three vents on the side of the engine cavity right after the front wheel on both sides. Some creative versions have the flares and vents on the rear of the car before the rear wheel, particularly on higher-end cars.

Customized Car Logos
A far subtler detailing feature that has cropped up includes customized car logos and brands. Whether they be the typical metal-appearance feature or solid paint color lettering, these badges are just enough to offer a unique look if placed properly. These can look gaudy – sometimes intentionally. There’s a fine balance– the pros make it look easy with a perfect setup. LED and small accent HID lights are the way to go for better visibility.[T1] 

Setting Shade and Light
Lighting is also a go-to feature for making a car look special, but the very large xenon bulb trend is fading away. Instead, streamlined units that match the car’s body and enhance its shape are being professionally applied and used. At night, done right, these lights bring out the car’s shadowing and accents, making it an eye-catcher for an evening parade presentation or an attention-getter at the intersection.

The above clearly details that the latest Miami car styling trends are more than usual about subtlety and substance over appearance alone. You’d think matte black color wraps would make more of an impression but vinyl wrap colors still tend to be neon, chrome wrap or colors that reflect the natural world.

Rather than the latest flashy cosmetic feature, the latest cars show a toned-down desired for functional uniqueness. That’s a much harder styling challenge to achieve, and therefore can be even more admired and appreciated.

Comparing Vinyl Wraps and Decals for Motorsports

Comparing-Vinyl-Wraps-and-Decals-for-Motorsports (1)When a car goes careening down the Daytona speedway in a NASCAR race, hundreds of thousands of dollars of work went on behind the scenes to get that car in race-worthy shape. All of that money has to come from somewhere, and in the racing industry it comes from sponsors. That’s why vehicle crews need to make a decision – vinyl wraps or decals.

A car is plastered with logos of companies that put their money behind the vehicle. In NASCAR, a company will pony up $250,000 and $2 million for an advertisement placed in a wheel spot or on the back bumper, and upwards of $5 to $35 million for a primary long-term sponsorship.

While your team’s sponsors may not shell out the amounts NASCAR sponsors must pay, the reality is they pay you well for sponsorships. To ensure they get what they pay for the logo, numbers and design need to be read clearly. Understand the benefits and drawbacks of both options.

What Is a Vinyl Wrap?
A vinyl wrap goes all the way around the vehicle, covering the entire painted exterior surface from bumper to hood. These take the place of a paint job, offering advertising as well as a strongly designed cohesive look. Wraps can be stretched and pulled for a tight, even look.

What Are Decals?
Decals are stickers of various sizes that cover just a portion of the vehicle. Similar to wraps, decals are designed as temporary additions to the car. Because they take up a smaller portion of the vehicle’s surface, decals do not have to adhere to the curves of the car’s design. Because of this, they are printed on less durable vinyl than auto wraps.

Benefits of Vinyl Wraps
Vinyl auto wraps offer a number of benefits, including:

  • Gives the look of a custom painted car, for a fraction of the price.
  • With primer and curing needed, wraps are easier to replace than paint.
  • It’s easier to change up sponsors’ names or placement.

These benefits make vinyl wrapping the better choice for many racing vehicles. Though they do cost more than strategically placed decals the strong look can push a marketing campaign and offer strong branding.

If a vinyl wrap is further covered with clear protection film it protects the vinyl film even more from track-caused damage.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Decals
Because sponsors are constantly changing, especially for smaller-scale racing, many racing teams opt for decals since they are simple to change and cheaper than wraps. However, they do have some drawbacks including:

  • Less durability
  • Inability to conform to the curves of the vehicle
  • Often higher long-term cost with regular replacement

In other words, decals cannot replicate a custom-painted look. For young racing teams, the lower cost understandably makes decals more attractive, but bigger, long-term thinkers can benefit from thinking the decision through.

Which Option Works Best for Racing?
While both vinyl wraps and decals are used in the racing industry, consider the longevity of the effect and the overall look of the design. The design on a racing vehicle must be strong enough to endure the rigors of the track, and damage from debris coming at a high rate of speed at the vehicle. When professionally installed, vehicle wraps can provide greater longevity than decals. Also, vehicle wraps give the look of a custom paint job, which are more professional looking than a car covered in decals.

Your car may not race in Daytona – yet – but your sponsors still deserve the best for their logos and images. Because of the greater durability, ability to cover the entire vehicle and overall ease of use, vinyl car wraps are ultimately the better choice for racing vehicles.

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Vinyl Car Wrap Tools Used by the Pros

Vinyl-Car-Wrap-Tools-Used-by-the-Pros (1)Wrapping a car is both art and science. It requires creativity, skill and an understanding of the science behind the film. Pros have certain needed tools for the task. Those tools below do not comprise a comprehensive list but they are used extensively to make the wrapping job easier.

Heat Guns and Torches
Skilled installers use advanced heat guns to control the amount of hot air produced. These have built-in infrared thermometers that display surface temperatures for vinyl vehicle wraps. You won’t find a pro using a torch or hair dryer – ever.

With a calibrated heat gun, wrinkles are removed, the vehicle wrap stretches without warping and the vinyl wraps over channels like bumpers, doors and hoods without having to cut the wrap or having to use different pieces.

Snap off Blades
While there are many types of cutting blades for auto wraps, many pros use snap-off blades at two different angles. These blades cut partially through the film without reaching the paint and help make straight or curved cuts easier and more precise. Often, the blade is replaced three to five times during a project but a blade point can be easily snapped off for a fresh new blade.

Felt Edge Squeegees
The squeegee is an essential tool for professional car wrappers. Many types of squeegees are available, but people who do this for a living use squeegees with a felt edge to avoid scratching on the film.

Over-sized Magnets
The pros also pack magnets in their arsenal. These are must-have implements for holding the panels on a vehicle. That way the film can be trimmed into sections while the backing paper is removed. Magnets, generally with soft edges, are also used for the application of graphics and can be used instead of masking tape to position the material on a vehicle. Plus, they eliminate vehicle and graphics damage risk.

Precision Guides and Templates for Vinyl Wrap
With measuring tools and measuring guides, pros get the exact measurement and perfect trim the first time around. They use circle templates with calibrated edges to measure.

Trim guides allow the person holding the tool to be positioned properly and deliver easy film tucking. Plus, they use windshield mirror mount templates to create a precise mount-cut with no light gaps. With straight edge rules, the pros can take precise measurements and draw or cut straight lines on demand.

Prep and Cleaning Tools
Other tools of the trade include materials for cleaning and prepping a vehicle for a car wrap. It’s important that the wax and any oil are removed, and the vehicle’s surface and grooves are clean. Solvents accomplish this along with low-abrasive scouring pads with a polishing compound to remove older brittle or chalky car paint.

Pros also make sure the vehicle is dry before the vinyl vehicle wrapping to avoid tenting. Single razor blade scrapers are used to remove any existing stickers. Once all of this is done, the wrap is installed. These prep steps ensure that the wrap lasts as long as possible.

From graphic design to vehicle preparation, the pros know the tricks and tools that make up the anatomy of a great car wrap. They turn wraps into works of art to be admired up-close.

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Project AU79: How a Lamborghini From Miami Became a Sensation

Project-AU79-How-a-Lamborghini-from-Miami-Became-a-Sensation (2)When Lamborghini unveiled its one-of-a-kind Aventador AU79 on June 16, 2012, people thought of the golden touch of King Midas. Lamborghini shocked its audience with this exotic car covered entirely in silky gold chrome film. It was a true piece of performing art.

The gold chrome wrap added a majestic allure that opened up a lot of eyes to new possibilities. Its price tag was $20,000 over the usual half-million price for an Aventador. The gold Lambo is definitely a car for those with deep pockets who like to cruise like royalty. Auto SuperShield was the first American company to wrap a car – Project AU79 – in gold chrome for Lamborghini of Miami and brought the idea to the dealership.

Chrome paint wrap film is a challenging material to work with and the process to encase a car in it takes much longer than a standard paint wrap.

The Inspiration and Buzz Behind Project AU79
According to Brett David, owner of Prestige Imports in Miami, “Lamborghini decided to pursue the AU79 Project because they think outside the box.” The grand idea for the AU79 project evolved from centuries-old allure of gold. And its name, AU.79 comes from the periodic table listing for gold. It was a match made in heaven.

Not only does the AU79 glitter, it has a 6.5 –liter, 692 horsepower V12 and reaches 217 mph with smooth ease. The gold Lamborghini AU79 has made a real buzz at exotic car shows, been used in motion pictures, turns heads wherever it shows up, and continues to make major cameos alongside celebrities.

The Lamborghini AU79 took home the People’s Choice Award at the Miami International Auto Show in 2012, made world news on CNBC and was featured everywhere – a viral vehicle.

The Impact of Project AU79
The AU79 revolutionized more than just the exotic car industry. Project AU79 has been open to artists implementing what has come to be known as the social experiment. Videographers, stylists, models and photographers use the AU79 for ideation, for contrast and counterpoint.

There’s even a digital platform where fans and owners can talk about the AU79 experience and their experience. The AU79 has had a strong influence on the custom car market.

Companies now specialize in wrapping supercars in an extra glitzy gold. The AU79 has inspired a new exotic car culture outside of Lamborghini. German company Carlsson began to add some golden flash to Mercedes-Benz models.

At the 2014 Geneva motor show, Carlsson displayed a Mercedes S-Class with gold applied to the instrument panel, windows switches, door cards and even the cup holders – and, of course, the paint.

At the 2015 GoldRush rally, a Pagani Huayra 730 S looked reptilian and sleek with its blue and gold carbon-fiber scales. It definitely achieved celebrity status. Driver Jovian Yoh and his copilot Sheena Monk brought a heavily modified Corvette ZR1 in gold camouflage wrap from New Jersey. Every single car was a show-stopper, and many were covered in dazzling gold.

It’s a trend that the Lamborghini AU79 has inspired. And while others have followed, the Lamborghini AU79 will always be the first.

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