Saturday, May 09, 2015

The Story of the Stripes

Those who have watched my progress on trying to do some detailing on my MINI know that one of the things I did was put on some new stripes. Technically this is the third set of stripes on my MINI. When I bought it, the MINI had the "factory" stripes on it. If you have looked at those closely, they are white with a black pinstripe that is printed on the vinyl.

For the second set of stripes that I put on, which I went with both bonnet and boot stripes, I had plain white vinyl cut for the main stripe, with a gap of about 3/8-inch and then a plain white 3/8-inch pinstripe (I'm guessing on those size, but they were thin). I was told at the time that my gap and pinstripes were thinner than what a lot of people did, which was fine with me - more you-ification.

Planning for this third set actually started about 3 years ago, maybe more, when I spotted the first stains starting to appear on my stripes. That was followed by the first cracks appearing.

One fall day I was watching the NCSU Wolfpack playing football on TV. I'm pretty sure this was in 2012, during O'Brien's final season. I'm not sure why, but I noticed that the helmets looked nice, especially the stripes on them. I probably noticed because NCSU tends to put together some questionable uniform packages, so it was nice to see something that looked decent. As I sat there watching them play I thought, "hmm, if the stripes look good on the red helmets, I wonder if they would look good on my red MINI?"

That started the process of figuring out how to emulate the look of those stripes. For quite a while, I was thinking I would do them as a big center stripe (ala Viper style) just like the helmets. The problem was I am not a big fan of the center stripes on a MINI, preferring the more traditional bonnet stripes.

I found a picture of the helmet by itself and used that to pull off the relative dimensions of the stripes and the gaps in between the stripes. Once I decided to go with traditional stripes, I took some measurements of the existing stripes and figured out how I could do the new ones in such a way that the current gap would be covered by the new vinyl. I did that just in case there was some paint fading that I could not address. As it turned out, my paint held up fine with no fading.

In the end, my MINI, which is inspired by the NCSU Wolfpack, now has stripes that were inspired by the Pack as well. I'm probably biased, but I think the design that worked so well on the helmets also works well on the MINI, so I'll put this down as a successful project.

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