It really wouldn't be a proper hot rod article if I didn't talk about the paint. I also couldn't do one if I didn't talk about this art that is slowly dying off. Pinstriping will be some of the most unique, beautiful art that has ever adorned the sheet metal of any vehicle. Proper pinstripe jobs are done by freehand so their imperfections are what makes each one so one of a kind.
The talent, time, and dedication of the pinstriper makes them the most incredible artists in the world. A steady hand and an eye for incredible detail are what makes the perfect striper. There are even annual contests to see who has the fastest and most steady hand of those who still practice this craft.
It's a talent my dad had learned and did really good at. Me, not really. My hand was never steady enough to lay down even a simple striping. I really didn't have much patience because of it, too, and is why the art is beginning to steadily die off. It also doesn't help you can get a “pinstripe” off eBay, but that's not really a pinstripe. If it's not done by hand, it will never be a true pinstripe.
The paint jobs were also some of the best I had ever seen at a hot rod show. That should be expected when you're looking at “America's Most Beautiful Roadster” contenders. Flakes, air bush, clear coat tricks, and traditional hot rod flames, you name it and you'd see the finest examples in the country.
This was pretty neat to look at. They took traditional pinstriping and added something that has started to gain some popularity. The silver is not paint nor is it silver leaf; what's been done is that the bare metal has been rough sanded to give a slight pattern and masked off in the shape seen here. Another neat trick to do is take some tinted clear and spray over an area you've roughed up to give it some color and protection. This example might have a clear over it, but I'm not sure as I wasn't able to get a closer look thanks to the ropes put up during the show.
Another cool trick that has been around for a while is painting with fabrics or lace that have patterns in them. The paint or even the clear will go through the parts of the pattern that aren't closed off by the cloth. This is the achieved effect and you ccan make some really nice designs. This is a trick that has been used since the 60's and 70's but looks to be gaining in popularity once again.
Yes, there were cars with flame jobs on them! However, I'm not a particular fan of this style of flame job as it comes out very “stringy” looking. I prefer a fatter flame that covers more area. I get that preference from my Dad of course.