Because purple is NOT the new black!
Want to save thousands respraying your knockabout 4x4? Then you might like to follow Cunning Hack columnist Richard Soult’s lead.
Returning to New Zealand a few years ago and having owned a black Range Rover in France, I agreed to buy my Father’s Toyota Prado. The price was inviting and, still being based in France and needing a vehicle on arrival, it was a “no brainer”. There were just two problems. One, it was purple, and two, it was petrol!
I lived with it for a few years and did many trips down to the South Island, exploring and finding new routes and being continually surprised at what a stock standard Toyota Prado was capable of.
When I launched www. 4X4Explorer.co.nz in July, I was faced with a dilemma. I really wanted to have a vehicle that was still stock standard, looked the part and would be recognisable on the trails. I couldn’t afford to buy a new truck and got a few quotes for having the Prado sprayed or wrapped. The quotes all came back at between $ 3,000$ 5,000... I didn’t want to spend that amount of money on a truck that I thought I would probably change within a couple of years.
Then I made a breakthrough! I was on the Internet one evening and came across a product called “dip”. It’s basically a rubber coating that is sprayed on and will peel of again. The more that I read about it, the more I became convinced that it was what I was looking for. The principle advantages of “dipping” are as follows; • It protects the original paint
from scratching and fading. • It is cheap and easy to apply. • Preparation is having a clean, grease free truck. Definitely no sanding involved. • Limited masking. • It can be removed by simply peeling it off, to reveal the original paint. Suitably impressed, I bought a few aerosol cans of various brands and colours and set about painting the truck. I had originally had the idea of painting it orange and black in tribute to the Land Rover G4 series and had been told that orange photographs well in all light conditions. You’re also easy to find if you get into trouble... After a few attempts, however, I decided that the truck was going to be all matte black. Having two different colours meant masking and I didn’t like the rough texture of the orange that I had bought.
Spray and walk away!
So the date was set and Saturday morning I cleaned the truck with washing up liquid and headed off to Supercheap Auto to buy the paint. I bought 20 aerosol cans at around $ 25 each and came home to start work. The day was a typical Auckland day, with sunshine and showers, so quite a few breaks. By the end of the afternoon, I had a new truck! A few tips on dipping. Get a rubbish bag and put it in behind the wheel to protect the brake discs. Minimal masking is required and any overspray on the glass can be wiped of with a cloth. The more coats that you put on, the easier it is to peel off, so don’t be afraid to use it all up. If you get back with some “bush rash”, simply clean the surfaces and spray some more on! To complete the look, I removed the running boards, which made it look as though the ‘old ‘Cruiser had had a lif t. I also removed the front nudge bar and the tow bar, which had seriously been compromising my exit angle.
To complete the 4X4Explorer look, I took it to Jeremy at Big Brown Industries, on Auckland’s North Shore, who added the signwriting for a great price and provided a great service. So, for around $ 600 I managed to turn the purple Prado into a vehicle which turns heads and that I might now end up keeping for quite a while longer.
The finished article. Very pleased with the result! Very capable but not really looking the part. Trying out different colours and brands.