Audi R8 V10 Customization Detail “Stormtrooper” Project Car

At SweetCars, we see a lot of interesting vehicles come through for detailing. But recently, we’ve had a lot of clients come to us and ask for a complete make-over of their already impressive vehicle to set it apart from the rest of the crowd. Individuality is important in the world of automobiles. It’s a way of taking your vehicle and making completely your own. This particular Audi R8 is owned by a good friend of ours in Indianapolis. We first met the owner of this R8 at our first Ferraris and Friends event in 2011. At last year’s event, he approached Michael Barney and I about customizing his Audi R8. The owner had been thinking about doing something different to his Audi painted in Ibis White for some time now and had a clear vision of how he wanted it to look. So after some spirited drives at Road Atlanta, Watkins Glen, and The Circuit of the Americas among many others, the Audi was finally ready for it’s new facelift. The vehicle was delivered and after one final meeting of what was going to be planned for the R8, we started on something that would end up being very unique. The goal was to make the Audi look different but still have a “factory-look” to it. We didn’t want the car to look like some kind of weekend project. In fact, the vehicle would take more than 5 weeks to complete. We first started with removing the wheels and exhaust tips, which meant that Michael and I had to completely disassemble the rear end to remove the tips. They were then sent to be powder-coated by Pro-Strip in Fort Wayne. While the wheels and exhaust were being coated, I went to work on detailing the suspension and engine of the R8. Although, the suspension would be later covered by the wheel well housing, it needed to be brought back to its factory condition. Michael removed all of the exterior badges on the Audi per the customer’s request. After the powder-coating process, the wheels were treated with 22ple VX1. Then the car was then sent to Dave Vorderman Body Shop here in Fort Wayne for the paint process. With a “wish-list” in hand, Dave and I put the owner’s vision into action. The paint process included painting every piece of exterior trim from it’s matte finish to a gloss finish. This meant that the front bumper, side blades, window trim, engine vents, various trim pieces and finally the roof was painted gloss black. Every attention to detail was taken to make sure the car looked factory as possible. With the car reassembled, it was then brought back to SweetCars, where I started on detailing the interior and followed up with paint correction and finally 22ple treatment on the paint. With a last step of Esoteric Carnauba Wax by Polish Angel the vehicle was then finally ready. Overall, this vehicle went through subtle but dramatic changes that made the car really stand out among other R8s. The car was later to be called the “Stormtrooper” R8 by people that would visit the shop because of its resemblance to the famed sci-fi character. When the owner came to pick it up the vehicle, he pulled out his keys and had a stormtrooper keychain. It was a project that was simply meant to be. – Mike Cardenas

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