prado 95 wrap wrapped vinyl front hood

My Land Cruiser Prado – Modifying It; Part 2

The 1996 Toyota Land Cruiser Prado that I bought in September was in very good condition. It has proven to be a solid daily driver, but it needed a few things to make it great. The first thing that needed an upgrade was the radio and suspension. Then there was the eyesore issue of faded paint on the hood and roof. It bothered me so much that I just had to do something about it.

Modification 3: Vinyl Wrap on Hood and Roof

This truck seems to have spent its life in a hot climate, which is why it’s rust-free. But with the good, comes the bad. The paint on the hood and the roof was very faded. In places, the clearcoat was almost gone. I really wasn’t sure what the right direction to fix this was. Having talked to a few detailers, they said that they couldn’t really save it but could maybe prevent it from getting worse. An autobody shop suggested a complete repaint because they probably didn’t want to bother with just a hood and roof repaint. None of those choices were great.

The idea of a vinyl wrap popped into my head, but I honestly didn’t know much about it. I started doing some research and it seemed to be an ideal solution. The cost was reasonable, as it is time (labor) and material (the wrap). The wrap would prevent further paint damage, and it took about a day to do it. It also gave me a chance to select any color I wanted, with the understanding that no single color will exactly match my existing paint.

There is a number of new production cars that are available with matte black hoods. There are also cars available with contrasting roofs. I tried to envision this in my head and decided to give it a try while keeping an eye on the budget. I went with a boring matte black as it offered a nice contrast to the faded silver. It was Instagram, of all places, where I found a local wrap place. The place, The Garage Wrap, is run by two great guys. They walked me through the process and answered all my questions. I scheduled an appointment.

Modification 3.1: Vinyl Wrap on A-Pillar and Mirrors

This was the picture of the wrapped car I received before I picked it up. I instantly loved how it turned out. But also I instantly regretted not taking the shop’s suggestion of doing a half-dip. A half-dip is basically a wrap of everything from the beltline to the roof: all pillars, mirrors, and the roof. But I went cheap, only with the hood and the roof. Right away I made a call and asked them to do the mirrors and the A-pillar. The guys said if they just add a wrap to the pillars there would be a match line. I was fine with that. This isn’t a show car Lambo and I wasn’t looking for perfection.

I was honestly blown away when I got to the shop. The wrap looked much better than I anticipated. In addition to looking good and protecting the paint, it also gave the truck a new personality. It wasn’t just an off-the-ship import anymore, it was something else. It was also at this time that I realized that I would be coming back to The Garage Wrap for more work.

Modification 3.2: Vinyl Wrap on Grill and Hood Cowl

The new wrap, and the contrast between it and the rest of the car, made for some interesting visuals. The first was that the hood cowling, which was still silver, really stood out. It also visually cut the black hood from the dark windshield and the roof. It almost looked like the hood was an unpainted panel. The cowl needed to be done. And similarly, the chrome grill was also now sticking out against the matte hood like a sore thumb, no longer visually blending into the old silver paint. The follow-up appointment fixed that. The grill, the hood, the cowl, A-pillars, mirrors, and the roof were now one continuing color. The whole thing turned out better than I expected.

I was nervous about how the wrap would handle New England winter. Third month into the winter and there are no issues. The only maintenance thing is that The Garage Shop suggested that I don’t use automatic carwashes, which was totally fine with me. I am very happy with the result and because this shop also does detailing and tints, I’ll be back there sooner than later.

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2 responses to “My Land Cruiser Prado – Modifying It; Part 2”

  1. Zentropy Avatar

    Looks great!

  2. word hurdle Avatar

    Looks great!