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.

NZ4WD - - CUNNING ‘PAINT/WRAP’ HACK -

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.

Dip­ping?

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.

Big Brown

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.

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