When buying a used car, you’re oftentimes stuck with whatever is in the listing, with little choice on color schemes or paint jobs. Some of you may like the car but struggle with the thought of keeping it in your possession because it’s just not doing it for you anymore. But what if there was a way to infuse a bit more life into your ride to spruce it up? Most people never even stop to think that when buying from a used car dealership that once you own the vehicle, it’s possible to modify as little or as much as you want.
Now you don’t need a complete body kit and makeover to spruce up a used car. Sometimes a spoiler here or a diffuser there can make all the difference. But another way to give your used ride a real kick is to alter the livery and add a paint job for the ages. With the right colors, design, or a few vinyls, it can sometimes take a ho-hum used car to all new heights. It just depends on the make, the model, and what you’re willing to invest in it. If you need a few ideas to help spruce up your used car, here are 7 iconic and popular liveries you should consider.
No. 7: The Gulf Livery
Popularized by the Porsche 917 prototype that was driven by Steve McQueen in the 1971 film Le Mans, the Gulf livery was originally used on race cars and race planes sponsored by the Gulf Oil Company, which operated from 1901 to 1985, when it was acquired by Standard Oil. The livery has lived on even while many people may not even be familiar with the film or company that first popularized it. You’ll often see the livery used on a variety of prototypes, especially on the Porsche 917 and Ford GT. If you have a used sports car, then this livery wouldn’t look out of place on it at all. In fact, you could even get away with it on a sports sedan as well. Of course, orange and baby blue are tough to pull off for some vehicles, so you have to make sure you have the right silhouette to make the Gulf livery pop.
No. 6: Subaru World Rally Team
During the 1990s, there was one livery that stood out above all others during the World Rally Championships, and it was the blue and gold of the Subaru World Rally Team. The turbocharged Subaru Impreza WRX managed to take the rally circuits by storm, and whether you prefer the original 555 livery or the later crescent moon and shooting star, the yellow and blue came to signify the Impreza’s impressive rally capabilities. If you have a compact two-door or four-door sedan and you want to make an impression, the Subaru World Rally Team livery is a good way to go. The crescent design against a blue body color isn’t so impractical. In fact, it wouldn’t make it too expensive to have done if your car was already painted a deep blue. Definitely something to consider.
No. 5: Transformers Bumblebee
It’s not the fanciest of liveries, and that’s part of what makes it the kind of livery that the average person might want for their pony car, coupe, or convertible. Now there isn’t just one stock livery that was used for every Transformers Camaro. Each entry had a slightly modified black and yellow getup for the muscle car. However, there was a typical black stripe up the middle (or the dual stripes from front to back) and a glossy yellow paint job. If you already have a yellow or orange vehicle, all you need is the black stripe (or two) up the middle, and you’re good to go. The highlight of this entry is that it’s not a tough livery to have applied to your vehicle, and it’s subtle enough that it doesn’t completely overdo the look. So long as you have a sedan or compact, the Bumblebee look would go a long way for a used ride.
No. 4: 2 Fast 2 Furious Skyline GT-R
Other than the Challenger and Charger, the Skyline is probably one of the most recognizable vehicles from the Fast & Furious franchise. The late Paul Walker drove a Nissan GT-R R34 in 2 Fast 2 Furious, and it went on to become one of the more popular vehicles and liveries to come out of the franchise. Now obviously, this livery is not going to look good on a station wagon or a truck. However, you could definitely make this livery work on subcompacts, compacts, convertibles, and coupes. If you bought a used vehicle that was silver or gray, you could get the blue vinyls attached and make your car look like a million bucks…or at the very least, it’ll look like it’s worth a little more than what you paid for it at a used car dealership.
No. 3: Need for Speed: Most Wanted BMW M3
Not every popular livery in the world of automotive pop culture is from movies, race teams, or television shows. Sometimes, the liveries are made popular from video games. In this particular case, the BMW M3 GTR is the subject of this entry from the 2005 outing of Electronic Arts’ Need For Speed: Most Wanted for consoles and PC. It was based on a very popular but limited production edition of the BMW E46 M3 GTR that briefly competed in Le Mans, running a beefy V8 and managing to set the racing world on fire.
The performance of the vehicle, combined with the ultra-cool look (which is somewhat similar to the Skyline from 2 Fast 2 Furious), helped make it one of the more popular iterations of the BMW. Outfitting your used compact, luxury, executive, or family sedan with the Need for Speed M3 GTR’s livery, consisting of either a silver or white body with a glossy blue hood design and sharp blue designs on the sides, would absolutely take it to the next level. Could you imagine pulling up to the school to pick up your kids with your four-door family car decked out looking like it rolled right out of Need For Speed?
No. 2: Herbie the Love Bug
Why not? Look, if you have an old subcompact or compact car in a tan, beige, white, silver, or ecru paint job, why not just go ahead and get the racing stripes and make it look like Herbie the Love Bug? It’s one of the most endearing racing movies ever made, as well as one of the most popular, and if you had a used car that just didn’t seem to be doing it for you, you could simply give it the paint job overhaul and make the most of it… right? This is probably one of the more economical paint jobs to get as well, since it’s just a red, white and blue stripe from front to back. It works the best if you actually have a Volkswagen Beetle, but it can work just as well with any subcompact or hatchback, especially if it already fits the main body color. You get the stripes and you’re ready to hit the road. You might even get a few heads to turn along the way.
No. 1: Smokey And The Bandit
Other than the General Lee, is there a more recognizable livery for a muscle car than the gold and black 1977 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am from the popular Burt Reynolds flick, Smokey and the Bandit? Admittedly, this is going to be a tough sell on any kind of used vehicle that isn’t performance-tuned. Could you imagine pulling up to a stoplight with this mean livery decked out on an inline 4-cylinder minivan? Yeah, it’s likely not going to go over well when the light turns green, and you’re expected to roar off the line. However, this livery would work well for anyone who has any kind of turbocharged V6 or higher, especially for a performance coupe, convertible, or muscle car with plenty of torque. Heck, you could even get away with it on a few trucks, too. If the vehicle is already painted black, it makes it easier to get the livery applied. Match it up with some gold rims, and you’ll be cruising down the street in a used car that looks like a real bandit.