Our Miata Earns Its Stripes

Update by Ed Higginbotham to the Mazda Miata - Sunburst Yellow project car
Feb 2, 2016

We laid down a black base coat first.
We quickly found out that brushing on ElastiWrap is much more difficult than brushing on paint.
In the end we're proud of our art car with all its flaws.

Ever since we started campaigning our low-buck Miata in 24 Hours of LeMons events, our entry has always been noticeably lacking a theme. Sure, themes aren’t needed to go fast and tend to be on the silly side, but if you attend a 24 Hours of LeMons event, you’ll understand why we really wanted one. These events are about fun first and speed second.

With that in mind we wanted to give LeMons twist to a recognizable livery. Eastwood offered to send us few colors of their ElastiWrap—their version of plastidip—and we thought that sounded like the perfect starting point for a low-buck play on one of BMW’s Le Mans art cars, specifically, the livery completely covered with multicolored stripes streaking down the car.

To start, we thoroughly cleaned every inch of the car’s body, masked off the areas we didn’t want to paint and hooked up the spray gun that Eastwood provided. We then proceeded to lay down four coats of black for a base.

After the black had thoroughly dried, it was time for the stripes. We decided to use colors that represented our magazine, so we opened cans of red, yellow and silver. All that was left to do was brush. Easier said than done. We quickly realized that ElastiWrap is much more difficult to brush on than paint. It’s thinner and tends to run, yet it dries quickly. That meant mistakes were not uncommon and are fairly visible even after immediate action taken to fix them. But in the end that actually added to the character car, after all, we were going for an obviously low-buck knockoff.

In the end we’re proud of our art car with all its flaws. We’ll be debuting it this weekend at the 24 Hours of LeMons ‘Shine Country Classic at Barber Motorsports Park. Want to check it out in person? Come on by our paddock space at the track.

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View comments on the GRM forums
Jerry From LA
Jerry From LA Dork
2/2/16 7:32 p.m.

Whew. No papier-mache heads. I'm good.

Jerry SuperDork
2/3/16 7:55 a.m.

That's...quite ugly.

NickD HalfDork
2/3/16 8:44 a.m.
Jerry wrote: That's...quite ugly.

Glad I'm not the only one thinking it. I know they shot for the BMW art car but did they get 1/4 of the way through and realize that was a lot of stripes to lay and decide to call it finished?

sosp197 New Reader
2/3/16 9:21 a.m.

Really? a notch beyond Butt Ugly. I don't think Eastwood will be giving you any more paint.

Rupert Dork
2/3/16 10:48 a.m.

I hope the body you started with was already truly awful!

jstein77 UltraDork
2/3/16 10:52 a.m.

Well, at least it'll peel off easily.

Marjorie Suddard
Marjorie Suddard General Manager
2/3/16 11:05 a.m.

Uh, it's a joke. We actually know that horrible bodywork and handpainted stripes do not an art car make.


Brian MegaDork
2/3/16 11:27 a.m.

Perfect for a LeMons car.

Ed Higginbotham
Ed Higginbotham Editorial Assistant
2/3/16 12:33 p.m.

Yeah. That's kind of the point. It's supposed to be a terrible art car. And yes, we can peel it off and do something else next race.

Stefan (Not Bruce)
Stefan (Not Bruce) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/3/16 12:34 p.m.
Marjorie Suddard wrote: Uh, it's a joke. We actually know that horrible bodywork and handpainted stripes do not an art car make. Margie

TopGear UK proved otherwise... :)

ncjay Dork
2/3/16 12:40 p.m.

I would have left it almost like this. I really like the black on yellow. For the next paint job, if you choose to do a different one, just tow the car over to the local kindergarten and let the kids get crazy.

Dr. Hess
Dr. Hess MegaDork
2/9/16 7:39 p.m.

RIP, Miata.

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