When is a Paint Scheme Not a Paint Scheme?

buecherwrap-1By David G. Firestone

Although the commonly used term is “paint scheme,” paint rarely, if ever is used on the sides of cars. What is used is vinyl wrap. The schemes are printed on vinyl, and then applied to the car. This saves time, and weight. It also makes the complex schemes of today possible. Here is video of Kyle Busch’s 2013 M&M’s Toyota Camry having the wrap applied…

There are a number of places that will supply wraps, the biggest, and most well known is Pro Cal Professional Decals. Located in Concord, North Carolina, Pro Cal supplies vinyl wraps to many teams, including Roush Fewnay Racing, Hendrick Motorsports, Chip Ganassi, Richard Petty Motorsports, Stewart-Haas Racing, Richard Childress Racing, Kalitta Motorsports, and KB Racing Technologies. Pro Cal also does commercial vehicle wraps and signage.

I was able to get my hands on one example of a vinyl wrap, this Chris Buescher side from the 2014 Buckle Up 200 Pres. by Click It or Ticket at Dover on Saturday, May 31, 2014. Buescher raced the #60 Ford Eco-Boost Ford Mustang to an 8th place finish. This is a spare vinyl side from the car he raced that day.buecherwrap-1 buecherwrap-2I’m not sure why this wasn’t used, I’m thinking that the black that has rubbed on the side was why Roush Fenway rejected it. The wrap itself is huge, over 10 feet long, and about 4 feet high. It has 3M adhesive on the back to attach it to the car. It has additional decals for the door numbers, posts, and front of the car. buecherwrap-3 buecherwrap-4 buecherwrap-5 buecherwrap-6 buecherwrap-7 buecherwrap-8There are also decals to add some of the stripes. It also comes with a squeegee made by Lidco Products, a Saint Paul, Minnesota based squeegee company.buecherwrap-9 buecherwrap-10While the majority of NASCAR uses vinyl decals, we still call them paint schemes. The term “vinyl scheme” doesn’t sound as good. No matter what technologies we use to design a car, we will call them a paint scheme.

Next week I’m going to examine an odd racing suit.