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Question Of The Day: Sheetmetal Engraving – Is This The Next Big Style Trend?

Question Of The Day: Sheetmetal Engraving – Is This The Next Big Style Trend?

Every year, I walk away from SEMA noting a particular style trend that seems to grab everybody’s attention. Last year, it was using copper accents in place of chrome, brushed aluminum, or whatever have you. This year, as I entered the halls, I wondered to myself what would I see that I would not be able to look away from. I found my answer in the South Hall, in between the entrance and the Mopar exhibit, in the form of a gold Nissan GT-R and a silver Subaru WRX STI: body engraving.

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sema-2016-th_231 sema-2016-th_235This isn’t a three-dimensional wrap. This is the work of someone with a Dremel tool and the patience of a saint, working countless hours etching these designs into the body of the car. We can’t even scratch our own initials onto our tools without the result looking like we sneezed halfway through the process, yet the results speak for themselves here. And it wasn’t just these two cars, either. sema-2016-tues_67

While we believe that the full-body engraving pretty much renders the car, truck or bike down to a rolling sculpture, we wonder if there is merit to detail engraving as part of a design, such as part of a graphic. For example: picture a 1970 Dodge Challenger with the T/A stripe along it’s flank. Now picture that stripe outlined in black against any color you wish, and inside you have engraving that shows silver details. Or even if you look at the silver STI…imagine sections of blue body panels in-between the heavily-worked sections above the headlight, around the fender flares, and near the hoodscoop.

Even if it isn’t your cup of tea, you have to admit that the amount of craftsmanship that goes into engraving a project the size of a vehicle deserves some accolades. At American Force’s outside display, a Ford was getting engraved with a very detailed layout of American soldiers along the entire length of the truck. We’d need the world’s quietest garage to hope to come close to what this guy was able to accomplish with crowds flowing around him, while answering tons of questions.

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What do you think, readers? Is body engraving a random thing that appeared out of the air this year, or do you see merit in the metal work?

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10 thoughts on “Question Of The Day: Sheetmetal Engraving – Is This The Next Big Style Trend?

  1. Chevy Hatin' Mad Geordie

    On bikes it is OK on a showboat – but on cars it just looks stupid and hints at the driver’s taste for women’s clothing….

    1. Chevy Hatin' Mad Geordie

      Quite right – dents are usually free and if you don’t wash your car you can’t even notice they’re there,,,,

  2. Stich626

    not a chance !!!
    You can’t etch prime than seal then paint. as it be to thick, so this is translucent paint straight over metal, it won’t last.. The color coat will fail..

    Another show only wow trend..
    60’s lace paint even when lacquer paint that checks and spider cracks will last longer..

  3. Shawn Fox Firth

    As an accent , The whole car is Too Much I have a ’67 Toronado that I’m in the middle of and I think As an accent perhaps along the wheel well arches and along the tops of the fenders , it’s like Make-up on a chick looks great with restraint Too Much and she looks like a Street walker . ..

  4. Tom P

    Actually the gold and silver cars weren’t engraved into the body , the guy showed me the photo album. it was very thick coats of primer that were put over the car and carved, then wrapped. It was really stunning to see in person. Not sure what fraction of it insurance would pay for a door ding though! I admire the extreme patience but it isn’t for me.

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