Our Cars: Should I repaint the Lincoln?

town-cow-paintjob-questionmark As I pointed out recently, my ’92 Lincoln Town Car is getting pretty ratty. I’ve been waffling on whether to plan on simply retiring the old girl at some point and continue driving it into the ground, or begin pumping some resto-mod funds into it. I still genuinely enjoy driving the Town Cow, but a newer replacement would offer better gas mileage…and a big ol’ Easy Button to press. Either way, it’s time to stop being a cheapskate; one way or another, additional four-wheel transportation expenses are on my horizon. The Town Cow’s most egregious issue is the horrid appearance. Call me shallow, but driving around in something that looks like a refugee from the police tow lot is depressing, and saps my enthusiasm for making other improvements. I saw a Maaco commercial on TV a few nights ago, and the idea of giving the Lincoln a new exterior finish has been tickling my pituitary pleasure center ever since. I talked with one of my more knowledgeable “car guy” friends, and he said that my car is no candidate for a bargain spray job, with it’s disintegrating clear coat, flaking mylar “chrome” and crazed facia. A properly prepped and sprayed commercial paint job is going to run me $3-4K on the low end, and anything less would be worse than nothing at all. Doing it right either commits me to extensive self-prep or spending some serious bucks. One of my buddy’s suggestions to reduce the cost is to remove and refinish the flexible plastic panels myself with SEM Bumper Coater, a single-part “flex coat” that is designed to adhere to plastic well and is DIY friendly, unlike a base/clear combo, which takes a very knowledgeable painter to get right. The problem is that Flexible Bumper Coater is a low-gloss black or gray finish, not a body color match, so an OE-looking paint job would be out of the question. And flat black and dark maroon would be a horrible combination. But what if I went with another body color? That might not be such a bad idea. I might want to ditch the elderly, conservative, entirely too staid Dark Cranberry Metallic for something with more pop. What would a satin black lower half look like paired to a bright, one-part (i.e., cheap to apply) color above? Fire engine red? Electric blue? Kawasaki Team Green? I began playing around and quickly ‘Shopped the photo above on my lunch hour. Although…if I really wanted to change the look, if I wanted to go really crazy, I could go beyond a one-part primary color and do some sort of bass-boat-esque ’70s metalflake, or really Vegas-y Gold Spectra-Chrome. …Okay, perhaps not. I’m getting ahead of myself. For that much money I could just have the bumpers painted to match. What do you, dear readers, think I should do?

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