- February 22, 2019
Pinstriping as we know it now began in the mid-1800s when Andrew Mack invented the “sword” brush. This new brush shape allowed painters to apply fine details to coaches, giving them some flare. Pinstriping fell out of fashion in the 1920s as automobiles moved to ever more efficient production methods, only to be brought back with the “Kustom Kulture” movement of the 1950’s. Hot rod builders wanted a way to add some detail to their paint jobs, so they brought back fine lines. Applications ranged from simple stripes that follow a car’s body line to the wild, intricate designs of Von Dutch and Ed “Big Daddy” Roth.
As modern cars extend their doors upward to improve crash protection, designers have turned to pinstriping as a way to break up these wide surfaces. Today, most cars come from the factory with a simple line across the upper part of the doors and fenders. These are usually made from a thin vinyl tape, although some high end manufacturers like Rolls Royce still employ artists who apply paint lines by hand.