The first production model of the 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 rolled off the line at General Motors’ Bowling Green, Ky., Plant in November 2022. And it didn’t take long for automotive enthusiasts to seek protection for their new 670 horsepower beasts. Just two months later, in January 2023, Finishing Touch Detailing and Paint Correction in Maryville, Tenn., got to work on a Torch Red model of MotorTrend’s Performance Vehicle of the Year.
Owners David and Hope Francis, lead paint protection film (PPF) installer James Burger, shop manager Zach Roberts and lead paint correction tech Daniel Herman all contributed to the project. The job took six days with two days of pre- and post-prep work. Applicators installed XPEL Ultimate Plus PPF and a ceramic coating post-PPF installation.
David Francis, who used a Roland GX640 Camm-1 Pro Series 64-inch plotter for all of the panels, says, “The front bumper required 15 pieces of PPF alone. I stopped counting pieces of film after 50.”
PPF: How much of the car did you install PPF on?
James Burger: All of the painted panels, with the exception of the rear bumper, were covered in XPEL Ultimate Plus PPF. The rear bumper was not covered because XPEL’s Design Access Program (DAP) does not have a rear bumper pattern, and the customer did not want to risk cutting on paint for a bulk installation. We placed rear splash guards behind the rear tires in the meantime until a full pattern is released for the car.
PPF: What tools did you use?
James Burger: DAP, XPEL Ultimate Plus PPF, a black squeegee and a small blue angled squeegee; Roland plotter, two five-gallon tint kegs (one with slip, and one with tack); and race ramps to elevate the vehicle and plenty of lighting.
PPF: How did you decide which elements to tackle first?
James Burger: We typically install front to rear. This was how I was trained, and I continue to do so. I start with the front bumper or sometimes the hood first.
PPF: In terms of installation difficulty, how would you describe this installation?
James Burger: Some of the Z06 panels are similar to other C8 Corvette models. However, some panels, such as the front bumper, have been given a more aggressive look and sharper angles. There are sharp edges near the vents on each side, which makes wrapping them very difficult. In DAP, I modified the pattern in several places to get maximum coverage. DAP only had a Z07 Performance Package front bumper which is similar. The more aggressive front bumper proved difficult, but as more Z06 models come through the shop, we fully expect to have our installation methods perfected.
PPF: What were the difficult elements of the installation process?
James Burger: Difficult aspects of the installation are tacking the PPF on to fresh paint, debris control and it being an unfamiliar vehicle. Our process is similar to every other vehicle we work on because we get awesome results with it. We systematically clean our PPF bay, remove all badging, wash the vehicle, use a clay bar, wipe each panel with isopropyl alcohol and then plot and weed the pattern. Finally, we apply PPF at the front of the vehicle and work our way to the rear.
PPF: Can you share tips and tricks for those tackling the car for the first time?
James Burger: Tips and tricks are extending the PPF edges in DAP along the front bumper and around the vents for maximum coverage. For the most part, all panels were pretty simple.
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