Yup, that is no typo, for a third time Greg Lilly graces our page with yet another RICETASTIC build, a Subaru Impreza WRX STI. Look familiar?
That’s right, Greg’s STI has been here before, and in case you missed the feature, check it out here!
The first time we featured this Subie it was dipped in black and sat on SBC finished SSR SP3s. 19×9.5 +35 NR Disk up front and 19×9.5 +35 SL Disk in the rear with a slew of other modifications that made his STI sit pretty. Now, if you don’t know all that much about Greg, or missed his first feature then I’ll fill you in on a little fact about what he does on a daily basis. Greg owns a graphics and vinyl shop called Underground Graphics here in Houston, and as of late he has been experimenting with some new products. This time around, one of these products just happened to be some matte green 3M-vehicle wrap…
Backing up a bit, after our first shoot with Greg’s STI, he had decided that it was time to put the car up for sale and move on to a new platform. But after minimal luck selling, he started to get the itch for a change. So a few weeks ago Greg called me and told me that he was going to be giving his STI a new look and that 3M wrap was going to be the major components for the change. Now I am pretty certain that everyone that comes across our blog is familiar with, or has seen this wrap on cars before. I have to admit I was at first a bit skeptical, but when I saw the new look in person I was nothing short of impressed and I knew that a shoot was to commence.
So Greg filled me in on the reason for his change,
“As you can see, not much has changed this time around on the STI, the addition of a 3M matte military green vinyl wrap, 3M carbon fiber wrap roof overlay, a fresh set of SSR wheels in gold, Chargespeed carbon fiber bumper ducts and red gradient Bride seats (Gias for the driver, Stradia for the passenger) w/ carbon Kevlar shells. While that may not seem like a lot, as you can see, the “wow” factor has greatly improved.
(Wow Factor first time.)
(Wow Factor second time.)
This was the intention for the wrap, as well as truly finding out “what it takes” to do a proper wrap. I’ve had many calls over the last few months here at Underground Graphics regarding color change wraps. Many claim they can have their cars wrapped for $1500-2000 at various shops and having a rough idea of the amount of hours it takes to perform a full wrap I said to myself, “no way, the average rate is usually $3-4000.”
So, while I watched my black beauty sit in the corner of my shop garage under car cover, still waiting for a legit bite on a sale I pondered, “what if I use these gold SSR wheels that have been sitting in my shop for a couple months and do a flat wrap?” I took out the 3m Samples I had and picked out one bad ass matte green and thought,” this matte green and those gold SSR may look good together.” After the mind started to churn I realized that I was going in for another build, which made me realize that I need seats again since I sold the limited editions a few months back.
It all came together pretty fast, I had a good friend, Dak Rothberg (3M certified installer), help with the install (actually, he did most all of it, as I was just in awe of the work being done). We did this over the July 4th weekend, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, …approximately 30+ hours.
We pulled off the bumpers, headlights, taillights, door panels (to get the handles off), headliner (to remove the antenna), removed the body kit, removed all trim pieces, prepped the car, wrapped the car, and put it all back together. While I do absolutely love the look, it does come with negatives.
For one, I realized that I am waaay too busy to do a wrap like this. Although I’ll be offering the service in a new outsourcing venture with Dak, pricing will be what we expected, more than $1500-2000. But under the average, depending on the level the customer wants the “quality of install”. There are shortcuts, such as not removing the bumpers and just tucking into the seams, etc. Other things to note are, since it is a matte finish vinyl, fingerprints and outside elements (bird shit, rain, road grime, etc…) are all enemies of the finish. Heck, you can’t even wax it, unless you want it shiny again.
The vinyl also is very sensitive to scratches, even a simple light brush of the backside of your hand with fingernails will mar the look slightly. In just the past couple weeks, I’ve noticed a few areas that needed a little extra attention (edges peeling, a small wrinkle here and there, and small blemishes), but to the onlooker from two feet away, it does look like 100% like a paint job. It really is amazing.
And of course the pros are there as well, it’s removable and overall cost is still under that of a quality paint job but it will just take time to see how it holds up. Also, I’ve spent numerous class hours learning the details of the vehicle wrap, but have yet to see it in real life applications, therefore this was quite the experience.
The other changes are basically the same high-end parts I’m accustomed to using. The SSR wheels are the same size and offset as the last time but in a custom gold finish. The seats were an easy choice as well. I wanted interior of the car to stand out and what better color than red. The carbon kevlar on the back of the seats matches up perfect with the matte green finish and gold wheels. I think the red is the perfect contrast to the monotone grey interior.
So, while the Subie is still for sale the prospective lucky owner now has a few options on color. Price will stay the same as before and if it doesn’t sell, who knows, maybe it will change yet again. IN the meantime, the car will be back out for the rest of the season promoting my company, Underground Graphics.”
Greg’s new project is a C63 AMG and yes, the modifications have already begun and if they are anywhere remotely close to that of his previous builds it’ll be one badass machine.
And if you haven’t noticed by now Danh and I tried to mimic Greg’s first STI shoot, but at 6:00am in the morning the best you can ask for is something “close”, not identical. What do ya think? Deja vu?
All pictures taken exclusively for MaydayGarage by MaydayProPhan Danh.
Until next time.