All automotive paint jobs require extensive body preparation and the right environment to get a top-notch, show-winning result once you've mixed just the right color in the first place.
We all like to think color choice is simply a matter of citing OEM color codes, but paint has color variations that, to the discerning eye, could totally mess up the results.
Christian Wagner is a 28 year-old self-confessed VW/Audi fiend from Germany who works as an air-ride installer. He's had his fair share of project cars and is always looking to take things to the next level. His first car was a B4 Audi 80 that served him well for many years until it was eplaced by a 3B Passat that went through three bare-metal spray jobs ("Just because..."). It was replaced by a Mk4 Golf before a beloved 4F Audi A6.
Embedded in the tuning scene, Christian loved visiting car shows around Germany and beyond, absorbing ideas and being inspired by a range of things to do to his own car back home. Most recently that car was the A6, until he spied a 2009 B8 A4 TDI 2.0L Avant at his local Audi dealership.
Unfortunately, it was a case of "Looking good from afar but far from good," and close inspection revealed scrapes, dings, dents and bumps that ruined the otherwise blank canvas.
While others might overlooked the flaws, the Christian knew exactly how much prep work was ahead of him. And given that it would probably receive numerous resprays over the next few years, the bodywork needed to be perfect. Its condition gave him some bargaining power with the salesman and he worked out a deal on the spot. "I really liked the Avant so sold the A6 to focus on the new car," Christian said.
He took a few days to assess what needed to be done, but with a 170hp 2.0-liter turbo-diesel under the hood, dragstrip prowess wasn't on the cards. Christian was happy to keep the motor stock, but the exterior he had to bring sexy back. And given that he worked at wagnair.de in Frammersbach, Germany, he had to get the Audi up to speed in terms of its appearance in time for Worthersee 2012. Christian knew what he was doing when it came to painting it, so he beat, pulled, filled, sanded and rubbed every imperfection to the high standard he wanted before spraying the car in its factory hue. Anything plastic was finished in gloss black, as was the roof, while US-spec bi-xenon headlights were added, plus a dual-exit exhaust from the quattro model.
As time got nearer to Worthersee, Christian haggled a deal with vinyl experts Car Film Components (CFC) and several sheets of Brushed Titan vinyl were in his hands. That was the easy part. The hard part was trying to stick it on!
Disclaimer: if you struggle to remove air bubbles from your cell-phone screen protector, don't try to wrap a car yourself. You've been warned!
Wrapping is arguably as labor intensive as body prep and paint application, if not more so. If you ponied up your heard-earned cash for vinyl, you need professionals to stick the damned stuff on. They also need patience, a heat gun, water sprayer, air-bubble remover and other vital tools.
Christian was smart enough to employ the services of Steve from Showtime Design to wrap it, and the result is superb. But it's just as well he removed all the bumps and imperfections at the start.
From there, things escalated as the WagnAir boys moved fast to take care of the stance with a BagYard Supreme air-ride system, which gets its lowering ability using the Accuair E-level Touchpad control.
The car was lowered over a set of 20x9.5" forged MB Wheels Turbine rims with 245/30 Falken tires. The visual effect is intense, filling the wheel arches and rendering them the perfect accompaniment to the 'industrial' look of the car.
And while there was no extra power, he still added Audi S7 front brakes with 400mm discs and calipers painted teal, with the rears kept stock.
Teal was a masterstroke. Its vibrancy offsets the Brushed Titan and is the cornerstone of the interior, covering the beautiful Audi RS4 seats and S-line steering wheel. There also a matching the teal leather shift knob and gaiter.
In the trunk, past the teal trimmed rear seats, is the air-ride hard-line setup, with a five-gallon air tank and two Air Zenith OB2 compressors. Again, anything else that's plastic was painted black, and the audio comes from a Clarion amp and subwoofer.
"Most people think the car is in primer and ask what color it will be,' Christian smiled. "It's not my first project, so many people are wondering if I'll do more to the car," he added. However, he doesn't have anything else on the cards, happy with the results of his striking creation.
2009 Audi A4 TDI Avant
Christian Wagner Frammersbach, Germany Works at WagnAir
Works at WagnAir
Engine: stock 2.0L four-cylinder TDI
Brakes: Audi S7 front brakes with 400mm discs, teal calipers, stock rears
Suspension: Bagyard Supreme air suspension with Accuair E-level and Touchpad, five-gallon tank, two Air Zenith OB2 compressors, hard lines
Wheels & tires: 20x9.5" MB Wheels Turbine forged wheels, 245/30 R20 Falken FK452 tires
Exterior: US-spec bi-xenon headlights, quattro rear muffler, body wrapped in Brushed Titan vinyl, plastic parts and roof painted gloss black, tail lights wrapped in red vinyl
Interior: Audi RS4 seats, S-line steering wheel, teal leather retrim, plastic trim painted black
Audio/visual: Clarion subwoofer and amp
Thanks: wagnair.de, Markus from MB Wheels