Pinstriping has been around longer than most of us realize. It’s a decorative art form that dates back beyond the horse-drawn buggy days. Ornamental hand-striping was last factory-applied on an American car in the late ’30s. By the mid-’40s it was an almost-dead art until it was brought back from near oblivion in a big way by Kenny “Von Dutch” Howard. The mad master started out applying his brush to motorcycles and by the ’50s was doing custom cars. This rediscovered craft took off in a big way with the kustom crowd, and a car just wasn’t done unless it had been “Dutched.” Such was the birth of a fresh new niche in a brand-new industry.

With this birth came emulation, as many talented painters tried their hands at painting lines on cars. Different styles of striping evolved with the ebb and flow of car-building styles. Today, just about anything goes. There are nearly as many ways to stripe your car as there are cars to build. While striping is almost a required element when completing graphics of any sort on a car body, it has also evolved into a stand-alone graphic element—with some designs hiding pictures within the maze of lines and shapes (Von Dutch was a master at this). An accent added to inject style, form, and attitude to an otherwise stripped-down body, striping has become so popular that you can probably find a striper applying paint to steel at just about every car show you’ll attend this year.

We’re big fans of pinstriping, finding ourselves getting lost in some of the designs like a drunken mouse in some kid’s science-project maze. They come in so many different flavors that you can alter the look of your car merely by changing the striping and, like fingerprints, no two are alike. Here are some ideas for your next project, plus a list of dudes who can lay some lines for you.

SOURCE
Daddy-O Designs KingGrafix
Dennis McPhail Pinstriper