A car bodyshop owner looks to have made a famous mechanics prank finally become a reality by customising customer’s wheels – with tartan paint.
Tony Winters, 35, has been cleverly modifying car owner’s alloys with a paint-job which has long been the butt of jokes for unsuspecting garage apprentices.
Motorists can have a variety of fetching tartan patterns permanently sprayed onto all four wheels for £240 at Sovereign Bodyshop, in Corby, Northants.
But while the shop may not have taken actual delivery of the elusive shade of paint, thanks to specialist equipment imported from America the effect is proving just as effective to Tony’s amazed customers.
Tony, who started his bodyshop business four years ago, said: “I know the jokes about tartan paint but with this piece of equipment we can get that effect and it does look really good.
“I thought that with Corby’s Scottish population, it could become popular and be a real winner.
“I’ve been doing some research and there are hundreds of tartans in every colour combination.
“We obviously couldn’t recreate them all but we can certainly get a good tartan effect with the new equipment.
“I’m hoping it’s going to catch on because it’s something different and it’s a bit of fun.”
It takes patient Tony eight hours to intricately spray the criss-crossed horizontal and vertical bands on to all four wheels.
He first coats them in one layer of paint, putting it into a “hydro-dipping” tank before finishing with a coat of lacquer.
He added: “I have a great artist called American Dewey Franklin, who works with me on customising vehicles but it would take him much longer than the kit we have to achieve the tartan effects doing it freehand.
“Obviously that makes the job a lot more expensive.
“With this kit we can get the results people want much faster and cheaper.”
Petrolhead and self-confessed boy racer Keith White, 31, from Northampton, is one of Tony’s regular customers.
He said: “Being Scottish, of course I think this is brilliant. I’m thinking of getting the pattern done on my Golf GTI.
“It’s hilarious that tartan paint is now a reality.
“I’ve always liked that joke, it reminds me of the Inbetweeners when Will does work experience at a garage and goes looking for tartan paint and a long weight.”