Wounds and scars are usually considered as the trophies of glory for warriors of the past and the present. There is no better proof of gallantry battles than such physical marks. The same could be true for race cars, especially those who had been fielded in prestigious competitions like the Le Mans.
Those scratches, worn tires, dirt-ridden wheels as well as those patinas – are all proof that a race car managed to conquer the roads and the challenges that go along with it. Worn-out they may be, but these battle-tested race cars are a symbol of pride not only for drivers but also for owners, fans and enthusiasts as well.
Consider the Aston Martin DBR9 that campaigned in the 2007 Le Mans. As driven by David Brabham, Darren Turner and Rickard Rydell, this number 009 Aston Martin DBR9 -- powered by a 6.0L V12 engine and wrapped in iconic Gulf Livery -- completed 343 laps to win the GT1 class and place fifth overall. This hardly fought battle against main rival Chevrolet Corvette C6.R has been considered as such a very important event to Aston Martin that the same DBR9 remained untouched today at its Heritage Center.
Yes, untouched! It still has those brake dust, dirty wheels, worn tires and soiled body. Despite its murky look, the Aston Martin DBR9 looks very cool. After all, this car was able to complete and win Le Mans, and the proof lies with its physical nicks and marks.
Yet, there are people who want that kind of look on their own fancy cars. This is where Swedish tuner WrapZone and partner Scott Kepple come in. In fact, WrapZone and Kepple have managed to “tarnish” race cars – a Porsche 911 GT3 RS, a Volkswagen Beetle and Dodge Charger -- with their own artificial wraps, making them look like real racers that underwent grueling laps on the track.
However, vehicles wrapped with these fake scratches and grimes never really earned them. They look cool and credible, but a facade is all they have. These cars never earned a name for themselves – they never won a race and didn’t even go to races. Unlike the iconic Le Mans DBR9, their patina, dirt and scratches were bought, not fought.
So, these “tarnished” vehicles are really posing as battle-hardened and race-worn veterans, hiding underneath a mask of fake success. But then, this marks the expansion of the art of customization, from offering luxury and performance to delivering a tarnished battled look.