Pinstripes and staying presentable

gkieser92

Member
Just recently I obtained my first "overland-type" vehicle, a 1997 Lexus LX450. This was my dad's vehicle, and it is in prime shape. It has never seen dirt and he kept it detailed constantly, so the paint has only a few nicks from use over the years. I took it out to a local OHV area, and it performed flawlessly. I did pick up a few pinstripes, though. I am in a quandary, in that this will be my daily driver to a professional-level job, as well as be a family hauler 99% of the time. In that role, I need to keep the vehicle clean, presentable and low-profile. Pinstriped paint will not cut it, especially since I just upgraded from a car with bad paint. If my wife thinks I am going to scratch it up, then off-pavement driving is a no-go. Basically I need to keep it looking like a mall crawling soccer-mom mobile, but still use it. To that end, I need a strategy to protect the paint for the occasional off-pavement trip.

I have thought about the following:

Using the film that car transporters use on new cars being delivered. It's relatively cheap, and I could peel it off when I get home.
https://mbrmarketing.com/body-shop-supplies/car-transport-wrap

XPEL Tracwrap-pretty expensive, meant for track days
https://www.xpel.com/shop/paint-protection-film/tracwrap

Road Wrap Paint Protection Film - seems intended for protecting hot rods for road trips.
https://www.calcarcover.com/product/road-wrap-paint-protection-film/1218

I'm not interested in permanent protective films or wraps due to cost and they don't age well. I want something temporary for a couple of day. Has anyone used these products or somethings else.
 

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Deleted member 9101

Guest
Ceramic coat it and you'll avoid the smaller, lighter scratches.
 

billiebob

Well-known member
Just recently I obtained my first "overland-type" vehicle, a 1997 Lexus LX450. This was my dad's vehicle, and it is in prime shape. It has never seen dirt and he kept it detailed constantly, so the paint has only a few nicks from use over the years. I took it out to a local OHV area, and it performed flawlessly. I did pick up a few pinstripes, though. I am in a quandary, in that this will be my daily driver to a professional-level job, as well as be a family hauler 99% of the time. In that role, I need to keep the vehicle clean, presentable and low-profile. Pinstriped paint will not cut it, especially since I just upgraded from a car with bad paint. If my wife thinks I am going to scratch it up, then off-pavement driving is a no-go. Basically I need to keep it looking like a mall crawling soccer-mom mobile, but still use it. To that end, I need a strategy to protect the paint for the occasional off-pavement trip.

I have thought about the following:

Using the film that car transporters use on new cars being delivered. It's relatively cheap, and I could peel it off when I get home.
https://mbrmarketing.com/body-shop-supplies/car-transport-wrap

XPEL Tracwrap-pretty expensive, meant for track days
https://www.xpel.com/shop/paint-protection-film/tracwrap

Road Wrap Paint Protection Film - seems intended for protecting hot rods for road trips.
https://www.calcarcover.com/product/road-wrap-paint-protection-film/1218

I'm not interested in permanent protective films or wraps due to cost and they don't age well. I want something temporary for a couple of day. Has anyone used these products or somethings else.
BUY A SECOND VEHICLE !!!
 

pith helmet

Well-known member
man, my brown gmc sierra is off-road nearly every day in the southern jungle and gets pinstriped to hell and back; privet hedge, blackberries, etc. a quick trip through the $5 wash makes it 90% better. the one or two times i took it to a detailer they made them disappear completely. in my case i cant be concerned with it so i just go and don't find it to be a real problem. i also find a good protective coating of mud helps. 😊
 

pith helmet

Well-known member
i would expect not to have a big problem with that light color, either. i am a big believer in using what you got, it wont last forever, regardless.
 

Shovel

Dreaming Ape
Get yourself a high quality, corded polisher (seriously just spend the money on a high end one they're worth it) and paste wax. Grab a cold beverage and get comfortable with recreational detailing. That's not sarcastic I actually really enjoy cleaning and repairing things as a moment of zen.

Branches and bushes won't meaningfully scratch slippery waxed paint. If you run against something stiff enough to damage waxed paint it's probably going to leave a crease too, so try to not be careless in where you run the vehicle. And bring some garden shears and a machete with you, trails need maintenance and it's all our job together to do it.
 

llamalander

Active member
It's true that a few pinstripes could look bad on an everyday vehicle,
but when you add MaxTrax and a tire carrier on the back--everything changes!
As long as you look like your about to leave civilization instead of coming back to it every scratch is a mark of cred. not weakness!
The only way to fix the paint now is accessorize! 35" tires! Giant Steel Bumper! PATCHES!
 

Paddler Ed

Adventurer
I suppose I'm fortunate to work in a loactaion where what you turn up to work in, and how it looks, are secondary to what you do at work. Helps as well I work for an agtech firm.

I can turn up in anything from our 27 year old Land Cruiser (which has no clear coat on the roof or bonnet), to the 41 year old Daihatsu ute or 43 year old Land Cruiser ute, never mind the motorbikes, and the boss doesn't care. In fact he laughs and will ask me about it.

Realistically, anything you do to it taking off road will leave a mark. I often drop mud or dirt in the carpark, but that doesn't matter.

One of my jobs in the UK I'd regularly turn up to work with a canoe on the roof having not bothered unloading it from the weekend, or in preparation for going for a paddle that evening.
 
Eventually you will want to sell that Lexus LX450. That is the time to work on the pinstripes. My F150 got really striped from desert travel for 7 years and had 240,000 miles. I found that trying to sell an obviously off roaded and well used truck was a no go. 2 hours with polishing compound and wax and it sold for my asking price in 5 days. Until then buy a car to keep the bosses impressed with your neatness. Enjoy the Lexus LX450 for what it will do and polish it later.
 

gatorgrizz27

Active member
If the thing is in truly pristine shape, I can understand wanting to preserve the value of it as it’s been insane what they are going for lately.

However, if you’re only concerned with your bosses and wife’s opinions, I’d just get over it and use the vehicle as you want to. If you’re not driving clients in the vehicle (like a real estate setting), you’re not showing up in a total beater or completely covered in mud where the windshield isn’t visible, who cares. If somebody comments on scratches you can tell them about your trip from the weekend and what a great time you had.

I bought an LR3 last year for $5k and within a week it was fully scratched. My wife’s comment was “you’ve already destroyed that thing” to which I replied “I paid cash for it and am using it as I intended, it hasn’t hurt anything.” It’s been no big deal ever since.

Don‘t roll it, don’t break it to the point where she has to drop you off and pick you up from work. Otherwise, don’t worry about character marks from exploring. It‘s actually less noticeable as it becomes totally covered in scratches, rather than just one long one that looks like somebody keyed it.
 

Shovel

Dreaming Ape
Here are 3 vehicles (ignore the red Patriot I just got that one recently) that have together covered 15 years in my possession exploring all over the Western states, never worrying about pinstripes other than just not being a complete tool running down excessively narrow trails or crashing through brush that could be avoided or prudently trimmed. Those are the most recent photos I have of those vehicles so they represent the condition of the paint AFTER all this exploring.

I do get out of the drivers's seat periodically to stack a rock, to spot myself, to trim back a season's foliage growth (on legal routes), etc... the reason I'm taking time to type that out is a lot of people simply don't do those things but I think they're an important part of trail and vehicle stewardship, and I don't know a lot of people who get enough exercise so not wanting to get out of the seat periodically isn't a great excuse unless you suffer a bonafide handicap.

Anyway that's what frequent cleaning/waxing and some sympathetic driving will do for your paint. Don't spend too much time worrying about it just drive smart, maintain smart & enjoy. Safest place for a ship is harbor but that's not what ships are for 🚀
 

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MOAK

Adventurer
Just now read this old post. I repainted our 450 eight years ago and went with a top color that would not show the pinstripes unless one gets really close and inspects it. The bottom color is rust oleum which I can easily touch up when it needs it. Then, I thought, wait just a minute, the OP cannot be serious with his question. You’re choosing to drive a 24 year old vehicle. It isn’t going to be perfect. A couple of pinstripes here and there aren’t going to matter to any normal human being. If it does matter to your boss, I’d find another boss. 67EC27D5-125D-4425-AA14-051A8EC48BC9.jpeg
 
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