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PLASTIC FANTASTIC
Our project car gets the vinyl wrap

This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!

Published on Wed, Sep 12, 2012

By: The LACar Editorial Staff

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Our MINI project car gets the vinyl wrap treatment

Words and pictures by Roy Nakano The LA Car Gallery features the work of Lyle Beckwith, the creative force behind Vinyl Styles of San Carlos, California. Vinyl wrapping (wrapping a car with vinyl) is becoming almost as popular as vinyl rapping (the turntable LP scratching variety). LA Car had an opportunity to have Vinyl Styles wrap the interior of its MINI project car—and to try vinyl wrapping ourselves. The subject of the wrap is the dashboard of the R56 second generation (third generation if you count the original from the 1960s) MINI Cooper S. For a small car, the MINI is fitted with relatively high quality hardware inside and out. A glaring exception, however, is the dashboard, which has an inordinately high usage of silver-colored plastic pieces begging for a nicer finish. A number of MINI owners have had their dash panels wrapped by Vinyl Styles. LA Car joined the crowd.

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We want the interior to match the Pepper White exterior

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The MINI before the vinyl treatment

From time-to-time, Vinyl Styles goes to various cities to wrap customer cars in flocks. We took the usual route for small scale wrapping, and sent the pieces to Vinyl Styles in San Carlos. This requires removing the pieces—a feat that’s a bit more complicated than one would think. Thanks to the world of YouTube, however, a few owners have provided step-by-step instructions on how to complete this process. The cost of having Vinyl Styles do the work will come out to about $200, including labor and materials for the two dash panels and two door pulls. We can vouch for the workmanship, which is top notch. For comparison sake, Vinyl Styles let us try our hand at vinyl wrapping the center dash pieces (see photo). After we completed our work, we can say with confidence that Vinyl Styles does a better job (the photos don’t show the wrinkles we left, even after using a hair dryer to soften the vinyl).

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Before and after the wrap

Having completed our interior enhancement project, we are believers in the merits of vinyl wrapping. Spending a little extra to have it done right is a sound investment. A well-done wrap should last for years. The best part about vinyl is that you can take it off or change it to another color. Beckwith warns that it’s easier to do so if you remove it within a couple of years—particularly if the car is exposed to the outdoor elements. While vinyl can stay on for decades (car companies, after all, have been using vinyl as a substitute for paint since the 1969 Mustang Mach 1), it’s easier to do so at an earlier stage. You can find out more about Vinyl Styles at its website: vinylstyles.com.

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The finished product

To view a “how to” clip on removing dash panels in a MINI, click here. To view a clip on removing MINI door pulls, click here. To view the LA Car Gallery on Vinyl Styles, go to Wrap Artist: The Art of Vinyl Styles. PROJECT CAR 2010 MINI Cooper S (R56) AEM-21-699-1 DRYFLOW Cold Air Intake systen 6-speed Sportronic with sequential manual mode, paddle shifters and FES Auto sport mode modification Southern Audio Systems subwoofer Dash and door panels by Vinyl Styles

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