With the paintwork complete, it was time to hang the bodywork and get the graphics on. The body panels are as received from J’s Racing, the paint shop did some light sanding before paint, and that was about it—fitment was spot on. This is where the extra up-front cost of a top-quality body kit manufacturer saves you in the long run. Stay clear of replica body panels, as you’ll pay more than the difference to have a body shop make them fit. Our rear quarters are held on with 3⁄16-inch aluminum rivets with large1⁄2-inch heads, where possible. These are readily available from stock car suppliers in multiple colors; the black ones we used look great and help distribute the clamping load to reduce the risk of cracking. Should a panel get damaged on track, it’s a simple matter of drilling out the rivets and installing the replacement panel.
One thing about the J’s Racing GT kit is there is no way to get a floor jack, even a low-profile race jack, under the side skirts at the ride height we’re running. However, with air jacks fully operational, getting the car off the hoist was an easy affair—simply extend the jacks and lower the hoist to the ground. I really like having the air jacks on board. For example, to transport the car in the 20-foot trailer, I had to leave the front bumper off to clear the ramp, which meant installing the bumper at Signage Source. With the car up on the jacks, I could get at all the mounting points with ease, and installing the front end was no big deal.
Which brings us to Signage Source, our graphics partner and experts regarding all things print/cut/stick. What differentiates Signage Source from the rest of the industry is the combination of the latest printing technologies and materials and a dedicated staff of experts in the signage field. Take, for example, the HP LX800 Latex Press that can print on 126-inch-wide material, that’s 10.5 feet wide at 1,200 dots per inch. This allows vehicle wraps to be done with minimal overlays, improving the appearance and life span of the installation. The ability to evolve a project from concept to design, manufacturing, and installation makes Signage Source a one-stop shop for my car printing needs.
While bare carbon is often a sought-after finish, I much prefer that all the body panels be color matched. It protects the resins from UV exposure, and, in my opinion, it just looks more complete. However, painting carbon panels often requires multiple primer/filler coats to fill in all the pinholes that show up when prepping the surface. Having dealt with this with carbon panels in the past, I opted to have our Challenge carbon-fiber trunk wrapped. What’s great is I was able to have it covered where it’s visible and leave it bare under the back half of the Spoon roof. Be sure to remove items like the third brake light during application to avoid any visible edges and reduce the risk of peeling.
In appreciation of Yokohama and Advan’s involvement with the project, I have fitted the car with the traditional Yokohama/Advan livery. Applying those stripes on such a complex aero kit is not an easy task and is where a professional installer makes all the difference.
While some companies will supply decals, often they aren’t the right color or size for your vehicle. After rounding up all the digital versions of my decals, I had Signage Source print them out to my specs and had them design me custom number boards as well.
In one short afternoon Signage Source transformed project S2000 from blacked-out test mule status to full-on race livery, and with the exterior complete, it’s time to focus back on putting the rest of the car together.