story and photos by james morrison
edited by leo dijkstra

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Many, many years ago, my friend Chuck started a website called 928 Registry. One of the first things I read on the site that really caught my fancy was the LAST US GTS. What a story and what a car! Custom everything, super expensive (almost 2X the cost of a "regular" '95 928) and a crazy color to boot. It’s a color that, quite frankly, has been in vogue for the last several years.
About five years or so later, it became clear that the chances of this car surfacing again anytime soon were slim and none. Not to mention that even if it did surface, I would unlikely be the first to see it and probably couldn't afford it anyway.

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!

GAME ON!
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They laminate up a bunch of green and come over to the house and my air conditioned garage and get to work. The wrap is harder to work with than normal wrap because it’s twice as thick. My good friend Jim Willman - who is the Membership Chairman of the 928 Owners Club - comes over to help take parts off the car. We get as much of the trim off and lights out as we easily can. Tail lights, fog lights, headlight buckets, tray at base of windshield where the wipers come out, rear window trim, door mirrors, rear wiper arms, wing, tail lights...You get the picture. We get this thing torn down as much as it reasonably possible in a garage, without getting too deep. This allows my ‘wrap artists’ to get in to all the tight places, so they can hide the fact that this car is wrapped instead of painted.

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!
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We end up with a total of four days of work over a two-week period, and close to seventy hours of labor. Of course, I also had twice the material cost as well. So, the price they quoted me was to do this all out and to give them a car to show to others interested in having the same to their rides. Thus I got a very, very good deal on this, but they can do this same wrap on a 928 for $4500! I think a single layer full car wrap by these guys would take half the material and far, far less time, and would achieve the same stunning results, and would be in the $2500 range!
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Many "car guys" have looked at this car and thought it was painted. When I tell them it is a wrap, they look REALLY CLOSE and they STILL don't believe it! It is THAT GOOD!

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!
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James Morrison is the President of the 928 Owner's Club. Many thanks to him for sharing the story on this awesome car.

http://www.928oc.org/
 


Comments

Joe Sharp
01/02/2014 20:49

OMG, that 928 is to die for! Great Great work!

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pablo
01/02/2014 21:46

Thanks Joe! We thought so too...wait until you see the next 928 we've got in store.

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