Paul Cowland

Paul Cowland


Project Car Builds

Project BRZ Part 3 – Tinting

24 Nov , 2014  

You know me…when it comes to tuning I like improvements from both ends of the spectrum. Some enhancements make the recipient vehicle work better… Others make it look better. Occasionally, you hit the holy grail and fit something that does both. But for me, whether it looks good, or works well, it’s all good!

This month’s update definitely leans towards the aesthetic end of the scale – which is no easy feat with a car that has the elegant profile of the BRZ. I love the look of this car, and really like the silver hue, but I still felt that I could make it ‘pop’ a little more with an age-old trick that I have been applying to my projects for over 20 years; window tinting.

Applied correctly, a decent window tint can really accentuate the lines of the car. Check most motor show concepts and brochure shots and chances are that the cars in question will be tinted. On a light colour like silver, it also gives you a stunning visual contrast between the glass and the coachwork, and that’s before you start factoring in the practical aspects like reduced UV damage to your interior fabrics and plastics.

Applying the magic tint this time would be the same two-man team that has been applying them to all of my cars for most of that time, namely Eric and Simon from Executive Tints in Burton on Trent. Over the last two decades, we’ve tinted showrooms full of cars together, as well as all matter of random projects from a Monster Truck to a Knight Rider replica. Put simply, when I need top-level tints, I go and see these guys. But when you learn that I am in queue alongside Jaguar, Land Rover, The Ministry of Defence and all manner of other blue-chip names, then you begin to understand just how good they are at their chosen craft.

Talent is a given then, but the other essential tool in the Executive Tints arsenal is the quality of their materials. These boys only use US-sourced ‘technical’ films, which unlike their dyed equivalents, offer colour fastness over a much longer period of time, as well as the fact that they won’t interfere with radio reception like the oft-fitted metallic films can. If you have ever had tints fitted and suffered this latter problem, chances are that your fitter used this cheaper film.

As we caught up over a brew in their pristine and clinical premises the lads made short work of removing the door cards and protecting the interior. The door cards come off to allow the tint film to go as low down the drop glass as possible, so no unsightly lower edge will ever be seen. Having done many Toyobarus before, Eric and Simon already had an existing pattern, so creating the basic shapes was a rapid task. Choosing a darker tint for the rear, and using this to give the visual effect of making the lighter side tint look much darker than it is, they soon had the patterns cut, and set about heat-shrinking the double curvature rear window on the outside of the car, before moving it inside in order to fit it.

Cleanliness is the watchword before final fitting up, so all glass was removed of extraneous stickers and then scrubbed within an inch of its life before the tint’s backing film was peeled away and the film carefully applied, and where needed, squeegeed out to get the perfect coverage. Reading it like this, it all sounds easy, doesn’t it? It isn’t, but that said, the level of expertise and experience shared by these two craftsmen meant that it was also made to look that way. Eric and Simon work in an almost balletic ritual of movement that requires no verbal communication between them to know what needs to happen next – which means they talk incessantly about mountain biking for most of the time that they’re tinting…

To finish the job off, each window is heated, checked and checked again before a ‘Top Secret’ technique is applied to the top edge of the tint film on each of the drop glasses in order to perfectly blend it in. The result is a set of tints that not only improves the look of the car outside, but amazingly, due to the clever ‘one way’ nature of the film, is totally unnoticeable from inside. Unlike cheaper tint films, the interior isn’t gloomy at all, and when driving at night, the view at the rear and out of the sides is perfect. All clever stuff!

A massive thanks to Executive Tints for yet another amazing job! this must be about the two hundredth car we have done together now – and they still never cease to amaze me. If you’re anywhere near the Midlands and want a flawless window tint, you know where to go. And even if you’re nowhere near, trust me, they’re well worth the drive! Just look at the results for yourself!


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