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  • Writer's pictureRoger Maeda

Next Up - Race Paint from the Budget Handbook

If you've ever looked at anything that I own, you would know that I value function over form - So much so that my most prized possessions often appear to become the unfortunate victims of blatant neglect. As it turns out, even I have my limits. The 22-year-old factory paint on the Prelude has gotten to the point where even I can't stand its faded paint and its many body panels being a slightly different color from the next.

It's time to give the Prelude a fresh new livery. After a bit of research on various budget-friendly paint options, I've decided to do a full-chassis respray using an Eastwood product called Elastiwrap

Elastiwrap is unusual in that it technically isn't a paint. It's a sprayable semi-permanent rubber coating designed with long-term UV exposure and high heat in mind. Eastwood is marketing it as a removable vinyl alternative for people who are looking to quickly change the color of their street cars. While the coating is self-levelling, it has a much rougher matte finish than standard automotive paints. They do make a glossy clear coat to put over a few layers of Elastiwrap base coat, which seems to give painted surfaces the look of a plastic toy.

All of these attributes make this the perfect material for a racecar livery. Not only is it cheap, fast and durable, the finished product has a distinctive look that would instantly set it apart from other cars. When it comes to racecars, distinctive is good. Case in point, the old Takata Dome sponsored JGTC NSX, which every Honda fan remembers despite it looking like a gummy frog from an airport candy shoppe.

With that, I've just placed an order for three gallons of Elastiwrap base coat, surface prep and Eastwood's electric Turbine spray gun (which I'm also very eager to try out). If all goes well, I'll be up and making a mess in the garage in a week or so. Check back in a bit to read all about it here.


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