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Vehicles + Vinyl

Best Unique Vehicles of 2009

Winners from the 2009 Vehicle Graphics Contest’s Unique Category

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First Place/Best of Show

Fabricators
Mario Munoz
Lynn Wilkerson
Great Big Signs
Kyle, TX
(512) 262-2157
(wind sculpture)
Jim LaPaso
Kyle, TX
(512) 396-4041
www.lapaso.com
Client
Freebirds World Burrito

For the third consecutive year, Great Big Signs claims the competition’s Best of Show designation. This is the second grand-champion entry Wilkerson and Munoz have produced for Freebirds World Burrito, an Emeryville, CA-based, Mexican, quick-casual chain. They created this van’s sculptural graphics to promote a new Austin Freebirds location, and, in keeping with Austin’s status as a music mecca, a guitar became the obvious thematic element. “Libby”, an edgy adaptation of the Statue of Liberty, reprises her role as the vehicle’s central character. Libby comprises formed fiberglass with a copper-patina faux finish.
Great Big Signs crafted the truck’s graphics with 1Shot® lettering enamels with hardener and automotive-grade clearcoat, which they applied with an Iwata dual-action airbrush applied over an Oracal Oramask stencil. The shop also plotter-cut the window decals using Oracal film. To craft the 3-D guitar, a rendition of a Gibson Hummingbird, they built a fiberglass neck and MDO and HDU guitar sculpture, which they installed over an interlocking, welded-steel armature. To make the piece a kinetic sculpture, the shop contracted Austin artist Jim LaPaso to build a stainless-steel sculpture of musical notes that spins with the wind in opposite directions. Wilkerson hired Jay Gordon to install the sculptures and create the “breakout” effect.

Second Place

Fabricators
Ryan Fisher
Timothy Gray
BigAutoWrap.com/Grayphics
Santa Barbara, CA
(805) 899-2385
www.bigautowrap.com
www.grayphics.com
Designers
Timothy Gray
Grayphics
(hand illustration)
Laurie Hill
Doodles I Do
Santa Barbara
www.doodlesido.com
Client
JDK Enterprises
www.seenoahsark.com

See Noah’s Ark, a nonprofit, animal-welfare organization, built this one-of-a-kind ”Boaterhome” rescue vehicle that provides land and water, rescue-vehicle capabilities – and, of course, serves as a powerful promotional tool. Using Hill’s hand-rendered illustration, Gray scanned the artwork into Photoshop and modified it to scale to match the 38-ft.-long vehicle. BigAutowrap.com produced the graphics using Oracal’s 3951RA film, which it printed on a Roland SolJet Pro III XC540 solvent-ink printer, and Oracal’s 290 clear overlaminate. Because the wrap required installation on such a behemoth vehicle, Gray and Fisher rented space at Oxnard, CA-based Gibbs Trucking to perform the installation. Gray said, “Because the boat is a pod within the vehicle’s chassis, we had the very complicated task of wrapping the boat separately from the carrier while making sure the graphics matched on both surfaces.”

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Third Place

Fabricator
Flipside Graphics
Wausau, WI
(715) 848-4291
www.flipsg.com
Client
Flipside Graphics

Although this could be construed as a shop vehicle, the artistic delivery of this shop promotion strays far afield from the typical inhouse graphic by incorporating a graffiti-like sensibility. Russ Voigt, Flipside’s owner, and Aaron Jaeger produced the graphic with 3M’s Controltac film on a Mimaki JV-33 printer. 3M’s 8518 glossy overlaminate protects the surface. To aid surface preparation and installation, they used 3M’s Primer 94 and torches.

Honorable Mention

Fabricator
Arizona Designs
Maple Shade, NJ
(856) 482-2288
www.arizonadesignsinc.com
Designers
Jeff Chudoff
Brian Ryan
Arizona Designs
Client
Anonymous
Selling Price
$4,500
 

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