While I love the ‘B5 Blue’ of my Dodge Challenger, with the size of the car it feels a bit overwhelming at times.

We were in the USA last year and I decided to order some stripes for the Dodge, and pick them up while we were there. Sounds simple!

The reality is, there are so many different designs, it was really hard to choose. And that’s not including the colour choices. With the brand I went for, there were 20 colours (or should that be, colors?) to choose from.

I went for matt black in the end – my wheels are matt black, and there’s almost no chrome on the car, so matt black seemed like a good choice.

But then the stripe set I chose offered some text for the side stripes of the car. More decisions – what text to get put on it. After much debating, I asked for the very original text ‘Challenger’. A simple choice in the end.

Then while in the USA, I got them delivered to our hotel, not really thinking just how big that box would be. It was freaking enormous. Remember these are the side stripes, front bumper, bonnet, roof, boot, rear bumper. The size of the box was huge, and it was only after taking it out of the box and squeezing it down that I managed to get it into my suitcase. Just.

So stripes got home, time to put them on. The months went on. And on.

Finally, after almost six months of having them, a friend who had put many stripes on cars called me on it, and we nailed down a weekend to get it done.

Can I just say I had no idea just how long this would take. I can see now why the cost is quite high to apply stripes to a car, and do a decent job.

We started with the sides – the easy bits first – and then moved on to the front bumper and bonnet. Hours went by lining the stripes up to make sure everything was perfect. The bonnet was the worst bit, but then the roof was to come.

Looking very slab-sided


Bruno and Jolene line up the sides

More time on the roof, and then it was knockoff time.

Lined up beautifully

Another spare day came along, and we got stuck into the boot and rear bumper. This included the rear spoiler – wrapping the vinyl all the way around it. I Googled it – just two nuts to get the rear spoiler off, surely a five-minute job.

Rear spoiler off at last

Yeah, right. There were two nuts, and they did take five minutes. But then there’s also some plastic clips to release. In the end, the easiest way to get these was for me to lie in the boot with the lid shut, with a torch and screw driver, and pop the clips while my friend pulled up on the spoiler.

After much work, the spoiler popped off, and we got to work wrapping it.

Rear spoiler was wrapped by itself

The rear bumper was the easy bit – although I’m still not sure about the way the stripes line up at the bottom.

Still, it’s all done and I think it looks a whole lot better than before.

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Fred Alvrez
How on earth to start this? I've been car/bike/truck crazy since I was a teen. Like John, I had the obligatory Countach poster on the wall. I guess I'm more officially into classic and muscle cars than anything else - I currently have a '65 Sunbeam Tiger that left the factory the same day as I left the hospital as a newborn with my mother. How could I not buy that car? In 2016 my wife and I drove across the USA in a brand-new Dodge Challenger, and then shipped it home. You can read more on www.usa2nz.co.nz. We did this again in 2019 in a 1990 Chev Corvette - you can read about that trip on DriveLife. I'm a driving instructor and an Observer for the Institute of Advanced Motorists - trying to do my bit to make our roads safer.


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