The Driver: Zach Hamel
The Car: 2011 Volkswagen GTI. Stage 2 Tuned by APR. DSG Upgrade, RAI motorsport turboback exhaust, Carbonio air intake sitting on Raceland Ultimo coilovers and 18×8.5 0.05 3SDM wheels.
Ok, so the first question is obvious Zach. Why? Why Plaid?
The decision to wrap the entire car plaid was done because I like to be unique and different. I knew that once the wrap was completed, that people would either love it or hate it. Outside of the Volkswagen community, most people don’t know that the wrap is a perfect match to the seats inside of the car. That is where the inspiration to wrap the car with plaid originated from.
Why did you choose vinyl over paint?
Choosing vinyl over paint was a no brainer for myself. The car was originally Candy White, which I feel is the best color that Volkswagen offers. I like knowing that if I ever want to go back to the original paint, I can peel the vinyl off and the paint will look as nice as when I first bought the car.
(OUCH!!COVER CANDY WHITE?!)
What are some of those most ridiculous comments/questions people have made/asked about your car?
Mostly, all of the questions that I have received are, “is that paint?” There is one instance that I don’t think I’ll ever forget. Someone was sitting in their car next to me and asked what I had done to the car. Before I had to the chance to answer, he said I know it’s not Plasti-Dip, it’s not a wrap and it’s not a paint job. This person had me baffled and when I told him it was a wrap, he didn’t believe me and was convinced I was lying. For the most part, the feedback I have received has been incredibly positive from the public. Most people tend to smile when they see it, which in turn makes me smile because I know they like it and have never seen something like it before.
What feeling do you get when you’re driving with the windows down enjoying the Florida heat?
The feeling of driving with the windows down is relaxing. I find driving as a whole extremely relaxing, minus the 5 o’clock I-4 traffic. The best drives in my opinion are late at night on a back road, with the windows down and radio off. Hearing the spool of the turbo and rasp of the exhaust is incredibly enjoyable and makes me love my car that much more every day I step foot inside.
What is one word that you would use to describe your car?
The one word to describe my car is unique. It’s a one-off custom printed plaid design by Carbon Wraps. The chances of seeing another plaid car is slim to none. I fully expect to see others in the future now that this wrap has been done. I’m very happy I made the decision to go through with wrapping the car. I had my doubts at first; “would it be too much?, “I think a full plaid car is going to be ugly.” But after completing the wrap and seeing it all together, I’m glad I did it and would do it again in a heartbeat.
Well, looks like that’s a wrap! Sorry had to do it.
The masterminds behind the wrap job:
It was printed and designed by Carbon Wraps in Winter Park, Florida. The design was recreated from a photo taken of the VW GTI seat. After creating a Vector pattern the design was then sized up to the GTI and printed with a Mutoh Valuejet 1624. The plaid design was printed on 3M IJ180Cv3 and laminated with a Satin finish.
Photos and Words by Elisabeth Danger
View entire set on our Flickr by clicking here.