Vanning is a compulsion, an obsession, an occupation, an affliction, a fascination, a fate. It is not a hobby. Those who do it, must. Those who don't, think it's a waste of time. For me it is a calling.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


When Von Dutch first laid out a custom free form design most people don't know why he did it. He was working in a shop where they were nosing and decking cars.(removal of hood and trunk chrome) ,as will happen one car had some flaws in the bodywork, the grinder marks showed through. Dutch had an idea. He got one of his dads liners ,loaded some paint and covered a mark. then went to the other side of center and made another line.. this process continued till he created the first center design on a hood. Custom Pinstriping was born to fix bad bodywork The reason I mention this is that I had to do such a job today. Fact is this technique is fast becoming a specialty of mine. I cant tell you how many times I've been approached to "fix" a screw up in a paint job. Bug and rock chips to flaws in a new paint job. There is no such thing as a perfect paint job. The best painter has problems. So the alternative to a repaint is a cover of some kind. Enter the pinstriper. I have gotten pretty good at designing stripes to cover flaws. Actually this is a skill that you should work on if you want to be a well rounded striper. It isn't as easy as you may think. The idea is to stripe over the flaw and have it look like it belongs there. I learned something from Dutch that I have followed since I started. His basic philosophy is that a car has a basic shape that has forward motion. A vehicle looks like it is moving even when it sits still. They have horizontal lines that flow from front to back. Pinstriping should complement these shapes not work against them. A stripe design should have a front to rear flow. you don't put a vertical design in the center of the drivers door do you? Stripes should accent the lines of a vehicle , not overwhelm them. you don't want people to see only the stripes. so covering flaws can present unique problems. Scratches and flaws are usually in difficult places to work stripes onto . A while ago i saw Ed Roths beatnick bandit 2 and there was a fly painted on top of the front fender. it looked cool. Ed had a thing about flys. It was hiding a place where a wrench got dropped on it. not a unique solution, many a bug has covered a chip. but imagination is the key. Here are the bike parts I did today

above: flaw around gauge insert and on tail edge of fender. below after

For fun I then went home and worked on this can that is destined for the Detroit Auto-Rama pinstripers jamboree ,this coming weekend. I need a life.


Ken Mitchroney said...

I don't know, The life looks good from here. At least your not in Animation. Hummm, come to think of it, I'm not in it either. Nice work pal.

Melissa said...

like to get in touch w/u. You did my Willy's Sedan Delivery at the Turkey rod run some years ago. Like for you to do my Rat Rod now. My email is