Since I've owned my truck, I've wanted it to have Hockey Stick stripes on it like the old Camaros, and like many of you have on your SS's. I am aware of the vinyl kit available, but I wanted my stripes to be somewhat unique, and I had a certain look in mind when considering the stripes.
So, after consulting a friend of my Parents' who does a lot of body work on his own time in his personal paint booth, he tried to convince me that vinyls would look just as good as paint, and last just as long, but he wasn't convincing enough, and we decided to go with the paint route. He wasn't very confident in his ability to tape off the stripes, but I was confident because I've seen his work before, and he's painted the very same stripes on his '69 Camaro. So we began taping, I was sure to be very close by so I could give my two cents when necessary.
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After several hours of trial and error, mainly due to his own perfectionism, here's the driver's side taped.
It would be 4 long days before I would see my truck finished as he does body work on the side, and is putting an LS1 in his '77 Formula as well (barely seen in the background of the photo above). On about the 3rd day I went to his paint booth after work to see how it was coming, and I showed up just as he was about to start painting the base coat, things got pretty hairy at that point. The driver's side had been wrecked long before I bought the truck, and had been painted. So, I stood and watched as he started painting on the driver's side, then stood and listened as he began getting irritated, apparently the paint from the repair was "lifting" as he applied the new paint for the stripe. For those who don't know (I certainly didn't), lifting is when you spray a coat on something that has been previously painted and the new paint reacts with the old paint and basically starts pulling the old paint off the panel. This was obviously very concerning for him, and certainly for me. He assured me that lifting can be worked around by simply painting it "dry" which I guess means painting several very light coats that must dry completely before applying the next coat. I guess if he was unable to manage painting it dry, the next option was to strip everything, new paint, old paint, back to bare metal. The driver's side turned out to be really difficult, aside from the lifting, he also had sagging and fisheyes, but I guess the passenger side went very smooth.
But, after a few sleepless nights, and many nightmarish rides with my girlfriend, as my SS is my DD, this dream had finally been realized.
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Unable to be seen in the above photo, the reasoning for my desire to have the stripes painted rather than stuck on, is that I really wanted them to be a specific color, the base being white but the clear on the stripes being Pearl. The color in the sun is actually very close to the color of the racing stripes on my Dad's '72 Chevelle SS (also painted by the same guy) so that's kind of cool, in my opinion.
Now, what about the gap? This was one of the most difficult decisions of my life, to be perfectly honest. I searched for hours upon hours on Google and websites trying to find ideas, and get the look that I really wanted, which was to be reminiscent of the '69 Camaro SS, but alas I was unable to find EXACTLY what I wanted. What I wanted was a displacement badge like the old plastic 350 badges, but it seems no one makes one that says 364, and obviously that was never a factory badge. I did consider having one custom made, but most websites require a minimum of a crazy number of emblems to be made, or they're really expensive for just one on other sites. Besides, I found a badge that I wanted to try before going the custom route, depending if I was happy with it or not.
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This being the badge I wanted to try, it is actually designed to be used on a '68 or '69 Camaro SS as an aftermarket badge and is cut from 0.09" stainless steel with 3M double-sided tape on the back. And I know, she's very dirty, but we've been getting a bit of snow here in South Dakota lately, and everything is a mess. Anyway, upon receiving the badges I became very worried. Prior to ordering them, it hadn't occurred to me that these might have a slight curve to them to fit the Camaro fenders, but they certainly do, it's definitely not an extreme curve but it did cause some concern. So, I went to the shop where I work and stuck them on, they don't sit completely flat on the fenders but it's pretty close and they seem to be stuck on very well. If they end up falling (or flying) off, I will just custom order the exact emblems I wanted in the first place, and be done with it. I also wanted to point out that the Pearl in the stripes can be seen pretty easily in the above photo.
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Here she is outside, I like the look of the badges much better outside, but I will say I didn't expect them to be quite so shiny/reflective when I bought them, although I should have known because the website clearly states that they're cut from mirror-polished stainless steel.
So there she is, after all the time it took us (mostly him), the stripes are finally complete after the addition of the badges, which came one full week after the paint was finished. I hope you guys like the outcome, I'm very happy with how it looks, and now my truck is unique to the other SS's where I live.
Thanks for checking her out!