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Discussion Starter #1
I have been thinking how to make my Insight a little bit different, but still keep it classy. 2003 Silver CVT.

First on my list is tint. I like the look of it, and it should help to minimize/eliminate the need for my occasional a/c use.

Second, I am contemplating some paint. I have always liked the look of the black roof that Audi has been doing on the newer ones. It makes the roof blend right in with the [tinted] windshield and rear window and really looks good. I think it would look good on an Insight too, especially since the molding around the 3rd brake light and between the front and rear side windows is black too.

I cant find any pictures of an Audi with a stock painted black roof, but it is along these lines:

http://img263.imageshack.us/img263/7759/mikebent2.jpg

http://i673.photobucket.com/albums/vv96/CrAzYfEEt23/six-three.jpg

How do you think it would look?

Also, any opinions on aftermarket paint jobs? I will pay for quality for sure. Can I rely on that for a lifelong good looking paint job?
 

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Just want to make sure I read your post right...

"First on my list is tint. I like the look of it, and it should help to minimize/eliminate the need for my occasional a/c use."

By painting your roof black would that not INCREASE your need to use the AC?

Not sure about the Audi's but the Mercedes have "Panoramic" roofs and some Porsche Targa's have the same but that is dark glass not paint.

My unsolicited opinion - spending money to try and make one car look like another hardly impresses anyone. To have a quality paint job on an entire car would likely run in the neighborhood of 3-5K unless you want garbage like "one day" or Earl Sheib. To spend money on something that will only serve to lessen the value of it only to temporarily bolster ego... does that make sense? Almost everyone wants to purchase cars as close to factory "new" as possible, VERY rarely will anyone pay a premium for any supposed upgrades or deviations from stock. It is an Insight, you could do all you want in terms of aftermarket stuff and it will still be an Insight. Putting a huge wing on a 4 door Civic doesn't make it anything other that a silly Civic contrary to many of the young kids around here... no the value is lessened.
 

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Just want to make sure I read your post right...
My unsolicited opinion - spending money to try and make one car look like another hardly impresses anyone. To have a quality paint job on an entire car would likely run in the neighborhood of 3-5K unless you want garbage like "one day" or Earl Sheib. To spend money on something that will only serve to lessen the value of it only to temporarily bolster ego... does that make sense? Almost everyone wants to purchase cars as close to factory "new" as possible, VERY rarely will anyone pay a premium for any supposed upgrades or deviations from stock. It is an Insight, you could do all you want in terms of aftermarket stuff and it will still be an Insight. Putting a huge wing on a 4 door Civic doesn't make it anything other that a silly Civic contrary to many of the young kids around here... no the value is lessened.

Paint it the colour of Jean Todts Ferarri 599! I would be impressed by that... but then I'm a junior member and not too far into old age yet!
 

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I'd favor the idea of solar cells on the roof with a protective covering to make it black, but cost and practicality would be a consideration. Given the money and/or effort expended on paint work it might well be a move in the right direction if enough power is produced to circulate air in the vehicle when parked to lessen A/C use, or do a slight trickle charge if parked long term.
If your region suffers from hail storms I'd pass on that idea and then again if the aerodynamics are messed with negatively then nix the idea i'd say.

Perhaps rather than conventional black paint [or even perhaps some tricky and pricy chameleon paint], for styling purposes you may consider vinyl vs. paint. The flat surface would make application of the vinyl sheets relatively easy. Vinyl application could be a single black sheet and of course there's endless possibilities with graphics for real individuality.

If a black roof proved to be too hot for your locale, or you wanted to change it back after a while, you could always just peal off the sheet for a return to the stock look.

If doing the roof black, I'd also consider a matt black hood:. Not only to reduce sun glare on a silver car when driving into the sun, or perhaps as a heat sink to slake up a bit more heat of the sun's rays when parked on a cold day for a warmer engine startup, but also graphically to make the visual lines flow the entire length of the vehicle.
In profile it may provide some interesting affects. Some will like it, some not, but as said before it's really what_you_like that's important.

If you can get some pictures from various perspectives, you might try some "photoshopping" of the images in a number of ways. It should be easy to see the possibilities. There's free program's out there that could accomplish the task, ie. gimp is what I use on pc or mac.

My personal view to style is to keep mine stock, but to let form follow function.
 

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or how about solar panel pattern print on vinyl graphics (fake solar roof) :D

I had asked a vehicle wraps place about the same thing, they said it would cost around $300-400 to cover the insight sized roof with black gloss vinyl. Good thing is, its totally reversible.

search ebay for black roof vinyl, its less than $100 for the material if you can do it yourself.

there are some diy's for this as well:
http://auto.badtziscool.com/how-tos/install-a-roof-overlay/
http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=381362
http://www.1addicts.com/forums/showthread.php?t=250884

this is probably what most of us may face if we try this the first time:
http://bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=461825&highlight=
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Just want to make sure I read your post right...

"First on my list is tint. I like the look of it, and it should help to minimize/eliminate the need for my occasional a/c use."

By painting your roof black would that not INCREASE your need to use the AC?

Not sure about the Audi's but the Mercedes have "Panoramic" roofs and some Porsche Targa's have the same but that is dark glass not paint.

My unsolicited opinion - spending money to try and make one car look like another hardly impresses anyone. To have a quality paint job on an entire car would likely run in the neighborhood of 3-5K unless you want garbage like "one day" or Earl Sheib. To spend money on something that will only serve to lessen the value of it only to temporarily bolster ego... does that make sense? Almost everyone wants to purchase cars as close to factory "new" as possible, VERY rarely will anyone pay a premium for any supposed upgrades or deviations from stock. It is an Insight, you could do all you want in terms of aftermarket stuff and it will still be an Insight. Putting a huge wing on a 4 door Civic doesn't make it anything other that a silly Civic contrary to many of the young kids around here... no the value is lessened.

I hear what you are saying. I am not trying to impress anyone besides myself really...I just want to drive something I am proud of. I don't care if anyone else thinks it's too small or the wheel skirts look stupid...I like it and that's all that matters.

Second, resale value is of absolutely no importance to me. I will never be selling this car. Never.

But again, you make a good point and I appreciate your opinion. vinyl seems like a good option. Does it look good when done well? What about washing it, etc? Does it hold up?
 

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To to original question: I think it would look sharp. If you tint the windows and paint/vinyl the roof, I wonder if the net temperature would increase or decrease? I bet it would still be slightly cooler.
 

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Hahaha, what a weird coincidence.

I actually have an appointment with my vinyl guy to get our Insight top wrapped... I sent him a rendition of how I'd like it to look:



I'd like to do full discs as well, painted to match the darker color.

EDIT: Tom, a good vinyl holds up very well. We have a Nissan Cube that's parked outside, and it's been wrapped since new:

 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hahaha, what a weird coincidence.
Tom, a good vinyl holds up very well. We have a Nissan Cube that's parked outside, and it's been wrapped since new:
That looks like a great style for your insight. I like the two tone gray, and it looks like you are tipping your hat to the original Citrus Yellow color too.

I am encouraged to see how good your Nissan looks! How many years has it been?

Also does that $3-400 figure sound about right for doing the roof?


ONE MORE QUESTION I WANT TO ADD TO THIS DISCUSSION:

Any ideas on how to improve the straight rear view of our cars? I think it looks real sharp from most angles, but looking at it straight on from the back still just looks...goofy...to me. I was thinking some kind horizontal stripe on the rear bumper would help break up the bulbous look and be an improvement. Any other ideas?
 

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I think it looks funny from the back also. I think its probably because of the way the shape of the body becomes smaller at the rear.

if you see the picture below, you can see the same look in the ev1, but less in the cr-z

 

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Discussion Starter #12
I think it looks funny from the back also. I think its probably because of the way the shape of the body becomes smaller at the rear.

if you see the picture below, you can see the same look in the ev1, but less in the cr-z
Yes, the CRZ does a much better job disguising the odd rear end shape. I am still undecided whether I like how it looks or not.

Looking at our I1's more, I think it's the fact that the rear glass tapers down to the brake lights, while at the same time the plastic bumper actually bumps out, giving it an unbalanced, bulbous look. Wish we had an aftermarket to speak of, it would be nice to bolt on a new bumper!
 

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Finally got the wrap done on Insight #1 (my wife's)... mine's next.

Here's how hers turned out (I still need to do the mirrors):


 

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Interesting...
 

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I actually kinda like that. I'm sort of picky on some things, and I don't like the choppy look of the contrasting color strip separating the silver from the black, though. I would have preferred a more smooth transition between the cut lines, and/or the use of a more neutral color for the strip (a grey midlevel between the two?). But I'm a French Curve kind of guy, not a straight-edge one, so don't listen to my ramblings... Different works... looks pretty good! :D
 

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Thanks - it was a bit of a barter deal.

I'm sure it could be done for $300 or so, depending on your installer and what type of vinyl. This was the best stuff on the market (3M) and a good friend did the work.
 

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I am about to wrap my whole car in 3M vinyl in matte black :D
AZhitman, Looks good and I am sure the green accents will catch lots of looks.
I plan on making my rear lower trim high reflective white to give it some visibility at night.
 

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Sold!!!!!!!! I soo want to get my poor scratched up insight wrapped. I was quoted 1700 for a paint job.


EDIT: Tom, a good vinyl holds up very well. We have a Nissan Cube that's parked outside, and it's been wrapped since new:

[/QUOTE]




Sent from my Autoguide iPod touch app
 
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