story and photos by james morrison
edited by leo dijkstra
Then, I saw the movie RockStar, which featured a band that was a ‘tribute’ to a popular band. It made me think: how about a ‘tribute’ 928? I could buy a black on black '95 GTS - probably the most common flavor of GTS from any year actually, so should be easy to find. Perhaps one that needs a little paint and interior work, and I can fashion some sort of ‘Tribute’ GTS and catch a little piece of the history that is the LAST US GTS!
2008 rolls around and by this time I have checked with several of the best shops in town on a color change. It is quite clear they won't touch this project with a ten-foot pole. So, I have to start thinking about other ways to change the color of the car; or take it to a cheaper paint shop and expect the work to be iffy. This does not sit well with me, so the cost is going to be quite high.
And… Lose job… Forget about project for a while! Get new job (eventually), and start thinking ‘Tribute GTS’ again.
Early 2012 arrives and I find what I believe to be the best donor car. It is a late '95 GTS, production number 51. Hey, that’s interesting! My 928 Owners Club membership number is 51! WOW! I buy the car for what I think is a song. Then, a friend has a heck of an adventure getting it from San Jose, California to me. The water pump seizes, and they hit a deer at more than 80mph in west Texas!
Finally, six months later, the car is fixed and looking better than it has in probably a decade or more, and I am enjoying its beautiful new black paint. Then the thought hits me: How about a wrap? It will change the color and protect this beautiful paint!
I contact a place that does vinyl wraps. We talk about colors and there is no color even close. Nearly a year goes by and the young man I spoke with says he is opening his own shop and thinks he has a solution to my color issue. The closest color he can find from all sources is a matte green pearl-metallic. Well, matte won't do. Ruthless Wraps of Austin to the rescue! He has a machine that will laminate a clear gloss layer to the matte layer and that just might work!
The first day of the wrap is quick and painless. They come over and spend about 4 hours wrapping just a few parts to be sure the edges will adhere and lay down properly. All goes well, and they come back a few days later for another big wrapping session. Over a two-week period, the car is transformed from black to green!
Once the wrap began I had Robert Budd make some custom purple carpets for me. His custom carpets are completely amazing. Now we are talking about other tweaks to the interior to try and capture some of that LAST US GTS feel. Some sort of treatment to the front and rear seats, rear center console, front center armrest, door inserts, shift lever, and steering wheel.
So, I have the interior left to do, and it will be quite some time before I get to it. But, I am so happy with the exterior that I just had to share.
The car is known as Green Mamba and, while not a perfect color match to the LAST US GTS, it is damn close and - frankly - looks amazing!