Resto Corner with AMD Auto Metal Direct
The graphic packages on muscle-era Mopars ran the gamut from simple to...well, stupendous. When we consider the various ways graphics were put on ’71 Chargers, for instance, or ’71-’72 Road Runners, there were several options, some simple, and some complex. And anyone who has ever tried to put ’71-style billboards on a ’Cuda can tell you it might teach you a new cuss word or three. While great companies in the aftermarket offer excellent products, car owners in sunny climates find another issue endemic to stripes—sun fading and cracking.
Jeff Richey runs a body shop called Affordable Auto Paint in Ft. Pierce, Florida, and has been Mopar-focused as a hobby since working in the family Dodge franchise as a child. Jeff learned how to stripe in the old days, gave it up when it fell out of favor as a customizing trick, but has recently begun striping again. This was to meet the need of being able to add a clear coat over the final paint. Now, if you are building a 1,000 point concours-judged ride, you will be using the factory stripe package for accuracy, but if you are building a street car and want a professional replica of the factory graphics, Jeff is going to show us some tricks.
One important note is that virtually all stripe packages work off of 1⁄4- and 1⁄2-inch widths, either for spacing or for the colored areas. Jeff had a ’74 Dart Sport 360 tribute that he was working on when we came to see him. This model used a twin longitudinal stripe that went from 1⁄2-inch at the front points, to a wider three-stripe girth over the rear wheel well before ending again with a fixed ¼, ½, 1⁄4-inch combination at the end. Over a two day period, the car was carefully taped and striped.
To begin, we taped off one side of the car the first afternoon, using a photo for reference; we painted this the following morning, and then had the other side ready to duplicate. While we used the paint booth for this, if you are careful, you could likely lay the stripes down with other spray products. It goes without saying that you will want to mask the remainder of the car to prevent overspray.
How well does it work? Jeff’s 383-powered ’68 Charger took a third place finish at the Mopar Nationals some years back, and the judges told him the painted on Scat stripe was a big plus. So here we go...
Affordable Auto Paint
Fort Pierce, FL