03-17-2017, 07:31 PM
It's never too late - A story of a GT3 revival and full body clear wrap
There is an assumption that unless your car is brand new, it’s “too late” to put clear paint protection film, and there is some merit to it but it also is not concrete. There are several options on what you can do with your prized possessions current and future conditions that requires thorough evaluation and planning with a capable operation. In the case I present below, we decided that while this 997.2 GT3 wasn’t perfect, it also wasn’t out of reach to become perfect and kept that way. In our favorite color, black, with 45k miles on the clock, the owner fully intended to continue enjoying this visceral vehicle but didn’t want it to chance compromising the condition any further. That’s where we came in.
There were some other plans as well, such as some enhancements to the soundtrack from the 3.8L as well as changing up the look of the vehicle with powder coating the wheels to a satin black for a more aggressive appearance.
First order of business was removing the originally installed partial clear bra. I have several gripes with a partial bra set up, especially on any body style 911. They do not provide sufficient coverage for the slanted, low front end and detract from the beautiful curves of the fenders. Another important aspect is the installer, which in this case, was subpar as you will see below..
Razor marks in the finish on the fenders, rather than trimmed safely away from the panel and wrapped over. These fortunately were removed with careful wet sanding, avoiding repaint.
Solid line etching where the partial bra ended on the hood panel, attempts to remain after removal.
With the original bra removed and full vehicle prep completed, we can see what we were up against with the condition. 997 paint tends to have a medium to soft finish, allowing heavy marring and damage like shown to occur…
The condition may look alarming or hopeless, but with the confirmation of paint depths and all original surfaces, I was confident we could get it looking proper before we moved forward with clear wrapping the entire surface. This next photo is a rough 50/50 photo shown after compounding before polishing – hence the haze still seen.
The paint correction process was completed, which returned this GT car back to looking refreshed and new again as you can see below.
Next was reviving the interior with steam and leather treatment. Steam is the proper way to get alcantara surfaces cleaned up, also removing the nappy feel to untreated alcantara.
Now it was time to break her all down and get ready for the clear wrap, using my in house certified technicians, it was properly disassembled, wrapped and re assembled without issue. We also removed the wheels to get changed from the chipping OEM painted finish to a durable powder coated satin black. The hood was removed to do a thorough paint touch up on a few areas past the original partial that were damaged, it was also wrapped off the car to give a consistent full access wrap over.
While it was in this state we also went ahead and removed the factory exhaust and header set up to install a full Innotech Performance system, giving this GT3 a near F1 sound on the street. Here is a before and after shot.
The clear film was done mostly custom, some templates were used as they can be modified where necessary. However, there is nothing wrong with a custom install with the reassurance from your installer that they know the proper trimming techniques and have experience doing so..extensive experience. Fear mongering that custom is damaging because of removing parts or cutting paint is simply untrue and is possible. Fact is, even with template installs, trimming is still often needed, so you will still want your installer to properly equipped to do it properly. With that said, the pictures will show the entire process of the film install process and its end results with invisible appearance.
The following photos show the end results of the custom install. The door handle surround usually would have an edge outline around it which just risks dirt and lifting over time. This is now avoided with the film tucked neatly behind the handle assembly not allowing contaminants underneath or an unsightly line.
Here is the joining on the passenger door and rear quarter panel, no lines or edges to be seen. Wrapped over and tucked under.
No outline around the Porsche crest or GT3 badging
All tucked behind and under the taillights as well as the engine compartment jam
Now for the overall finished results, showing the same depth and gloss as bare paint but protected against penetrating damage – to a very tall extent, clear film is still a sacrificial barrier, though it is unlikely to get paint damage from road debris.