It surely is a daily occurrence that we get calls to wrap cargo vans, trucks, and all other sorts of usual prospective wrap projects. Then there was the day that we were enlisted for a classic car wrap on a fully restored 1932 Buick for the Bulgari collection which was to be one of the centerpieces for the Buick Nationals 50th Anniversary car show event. The start of the project began with a personal tour of the 27 acre Bulgari Allentown Classic Motor Car facilities and park which house an extensive collection of American classic vehicles. What an amazing sight, as we were enlightened on the many stories behind the 100+ car collection of vehicles from the early 1900’s. Every specimen represented in fully restored fashion and elegantly presented upon the glossiest epoxy floors we have ever seen. For those not familiar with the Bulgari name, the facility is owned by Nicola Bulgari, whom is the great grandson of the founder of the Bulgari jewelry empire. So why would a billionaire not have a garage full of supercars, you may ask?
Nicola grew up in Italy during the 30’s and 40’s and always had a fascination with American vehicles and culture. In many ways, Nicola and his restoration team essentially “save” countless auto treasures from deteriorating to a rusty end. Some notable vehicles in the collection include the taxi from the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life,” a 1940 Buick Estate Wagon owned by Bette Davis featured in the film “Now, Voyager,” the Buick pictured on the cover of Peter Paul, and Mary’s greatest hits album. Mr. Bulgari has a specific affinity for classic Buicks.
At the end of our tour, the IDWraps team was shown a 1932 Buick which was in the process of being restored. This vehicle was selected to be the promotional centerpiece of the upcoming 2016 Buick Nationals event to be held at the Bulgari Park in Allentown, PA. What started out as a full print classic car wrap project, eventually turned into a mix of digital films and color change films by 3M. As much as out team wanted to apply modern techniques and design to this car; it was eventually decided to stay faithful to the era of the vehicle’s model year.
Yes, this was a very curvy car. We’ve had our share of VW Beetles, and many other extreme compound curved vehicle body types, but this classic car wrap was different. The base color selected for this project was 3M’s 1080 matte Indigo which was undoubtedly tested to its mechanical limits. 3M publishes a 150 percent stretch limit on this film, and we needed every inch of conformability for this project. One glance at the front fenders would make any installer scratch their head a bit. The other challenge was the finish quality expectations. This wrap was to be installed with an absolute white glove show quality level. Unlike many daily driver color change projects, this one had very little tolerance for seams and no tolerance for exposed OEM paint. Couple this elevated standard along with 80+ year old paint; we were in for a challenge.
The printed portion of the classic 3M Vinyl car wrap installation included the Buick National event and various sponsorship logos which were printed on 3M IJ180Cv3 using our HP L360 latex printer. The prints were then laminated on our Seal Base 62 laminators with 3M’s 8519 luster laminate. This finish gave the printed graphics just the right amount of “pop” while retaining the classic design for the museum quality restored vehicle.
The vehicle was delivered and showed to rave reviews, receiving a great deal of press coverage at the event which was attended by over 2000 exclusive Buick Club member collectors from around the world, along with General Motors executives. Thousands more got to see the Allentown Classic Motor Car facilities and show when the gates to the event on the final day.
Projects like the Bulgari Buick surely can be a challenge, but in the end, the completed vehicle delivery is always a highly gratifying experience. It also helps when your classic car wrap project is covered by several local media outlets, including a television broadcast which started with the news anchor sitting in the wrapped vehicle. Now on to the next challenge 🙂
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