No, it’s not a real race car. When I first decided to make a NASCAR replica for marketing purposes, I considered using a real race car and converting it to make it street legal. Totally impractical, as it turns out. Instead, I bought a new Monte Carlo, the most successful model in the history of NASCAR.
“Monty” is a 2007 (the last year they were made) factory stock Monte Carlo SS with 5.3L, 303HP, 8-cylinder engine. I liked the idea of leaving the internals and interior of the car completely stock, while adding custom wheels, spoiler and graphics to create the illusion of a race car.
I designed the graphics myself, creating them in Photoshop as a single 8 foot by 16 foot sheet, had the sheet printed on vinyl and applied it myself. I then added a set of 2007 “contingency” sponsor decals. These are backup sets of sponsor decals that are issued to all race teams in case the original stickers are damaged during racing. Monty is sporting a set of the sponsor decals that were actually issued to NASCAR race teams in 2007, the model year of the car.
The greatest challenge was designing a 2-dimensional graphic that continues around the 3-dimensional curves of the car in a predictable way. After doing this project, I’ve noticed that other vehicle wrap designs almost never attempt this.
My other challenge was in getting “Monte Carlo” across the lower front and lower back of the car, as they do in NASCAR. They can do this easily, but my license plate is right in the middle of the only place that the name can go. I was quite pleased with myself when it occurred to me to order a personalized license plate “NTE CAR” and use a license plate typeface called “penitentiary gothic” to add “MO” just before the plate and “LO” just after to spell “MONTE CARLO.” This remains my favorite detail on the car.
As a marketing vehicle (sorry), the car get lots of attention, which is fun for me and great for my clients.