In the opinion of many automative enthusiasts, the best car color wrap jobs are the ones that create a car you can spot from a mile away; they’re the vinyl wraps that leave a car looking like high shine chrome or neon green or with a polychromatic color change finish. Other people will argue that the ideal vehicle wrapping involves a more demure finish that creates an exterior indistinguishable from a car sporting standard auto paint.
But there’s a third type of car wrap that is also well worth your consideration, and that’s a clear coating that can hardly be seen at all, even on very close inspection, that is not meant to alter the appearance of the car at all, but is intended to protect and preserve the existing paint and the underlying exterior of the vehicle. Clear protective car wrap is a great way to ensure your vehicle remains looking great and maintains its value even as you enjoy driving it around every day.
If you’re on the fence as to whether clear protective vinyl wrap for cars is worth the expense and reliable enough to keep your car’s exterior safe, maybe you’ll trust the instincts of internationally celebrated car guy Jay Leno? Leno recently had his 2017 Ford GT supercar wrapped with clear film, and the vehicle was left looking as good as new. (Which makes sense, because it is.) More to the point, this clear vinyl wrap will keep Leno’s extremely rare, valuable vehicle looking new for many years to come.
First, for some perspective, let’s talk about the 2017 Ford GT a bit.
The 2017 Ford GT sold for between $400,000 and $450,000, depending on when you placed your order and the options you chose. And I do mean sold in the past tense, not sells; if you want a 2017 GT, you’ll be buying one second hand at this point, because all of these supercars are off the lot, as it were. The company built 500 2017 GTs (in an initial run; more might be built and sold later), and in fact they got so many applications to buy this half million dollar car (give or take) that they were forced (or posable giddily empowered) to turn down thousands of hopeful buyers.
The 2017 Ford GT has a 647 horsepower rating, which is amazing for a 3.5-liter V6 engine. It also has a stunning top speed of 216 miles per hour. (A 2017 Ferrari 488 GTB just barely sneaks past 200 MPH, for your reference.) How does the car muster so much speed and force with an engine that, on paper, is nothing special? Design and materials, of course. The latest Ford GT has a body constructed almost entirely out of carbon fiber. The body was designed to create ideal down force and minimal wind resistance, channeling air past, over, and through the car with such efficiency that drag is hardly even a factor, at least until you hit the brakes hard and the active rear wing flips upright to add air braking. (Yes, just like a plane uses after touching down on the runway.) The wing is in near constant motion as the car drives, constantly moving up or down based on speed to recalibrate the effective shape of the GT and ensure smooth, controlled motion.
I think I can sum up this part with two facts. A prototype of the 2017 Ford GT won 2015 24 Hours of Daytona race; another 2017 GT forebear won in 2016 at Le Mans. In case you didn’t know, those are major international auto racing events.
So the point is this: people who were lucky enough to spend around four hundred and fifty thousand bucks on a highly exclusive, amazingly powerful and capable new Ford GT care about their cars and can be trusted to take good care of them. Investing a few thousand more dollars to help protect the exterior of a gorgeous car is an expense will worth incurring, but so too can clear protective vinyl wraps help preserve the appearance and value of any car. I hate to put it in just these terms, but the way to think of it is, well, if it’s good enough for Jay Leno’s 2017 Ford GT, then clear car wrap is probably good enough for your car, too.
Now take a look at the actual wrap job that Leno’s GT got, courtesy of the show Jay Leno’s garage (and duPont Registry):
Notice how after the GT has been completely wrapped, it still looks brand new, with the colors unchanged and with the auto glass still 1oo% optically clear? That’s what great protective wrap does: it disappears. But after a few years, when thousands of impacts caused by bits of gravel, sand, and other road debris have scratched and chipped away at the exterior of this handsome vehicle, Mr. Leno can always have the clear coat removed and replaced, at once restoring the car to its mint condition.
Of course, knowing Leno’s car habits, he’ll probably have parked this one in his capacious garage long before that happens and will instead be driving around in some newer, faster, more powerful car. Perhaps one powered by rockets or fission or something.