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A sign of the times in Grass Valley

Company is wrapped up in new technology


Stacy Drake-Robinson

Nevada City Advocate 

If you’ve ever been out of your house in Nevada County, you’ve seen signage by Grass Valley Sign Company, located at 13321 Grass Valley Avenue by the Nevada County Airport. 

Since 1984, it has remained on the leading edge of new technologies to meet the growing demands of the sign industry. And just when you think there’s no room to add another service to the sign business, a customer’s need presented itself and Grass Valley Sign was there to fill it. 

We’ve all noticed the cars and trucks that are wrapped with pictures, logos and business advertisements, but imagine a wrap job that looks like a high-end paint job, period. No logos, no photos, just color. 

Grass Valley Sign owner Ed Townsend and his crew were faced with exactly that. 

“We had a person call and ask if we could wrap his car and we said ‘sure, of course, what do you want?’ We were expecting the usual business advertisement wrap. However, this customer explained he had just bought a brand-new Tesla Model 3 and he didn’t like any of the limited color selection they offered,” Townsend said. “He ended up getting his Tesla in black, but what he really wanted was green, which was not an option through Tesla. To our surprise, he asked if we could wrap his entire car in green and change all the chrome to a matt bronze. After conferring with my crew, we decided that even though we had never done a wrap job to this extent, there was nothing preventing us from being able to do it so we said yes.” 

The wrapping involved about 20 hours of work by Townsend’s two right-hand men, Trevor Macky and Will Brewer, who worked together and had the car delivered back to the customer in two days. 

“We had never done a wrap job to this extent before. Everywhere there was black paint it was covered in the green wrap, including the interior of the car and the trunk and under the hood,” Townsend said. “Plus, he wanted the original Tesla hubcaps and the car’s chrome trim wrapped in bronze — that is the extent of detail and precision work that needed to be done on this car.”

To explain the wrapping process, first you need to have a good surface to wrap, meaning no blemishes or failed topcoat to reveal the imperfections that will show up through the wrapping material, which is applied with heat and stretches and adheres to the car’s surface without the need for an adhesive. 

The options don’t stop there, however. 

The beauty of a wrapped vehicle is that the wrap can be removed by reversing the process, using a heat gun to loosen the grip and then the wrap is simply peeled off. “Since, there is no actual adhesive used with a vehicle wrap, when it is removed the surface of the car is exactly as it was when the wrap was applied. If you put it over a brand new car, when you take it off you still have a new paint job, which is important if you are considering keeping a car as a collector’s item, you won’t lose any value by not having an original paint job” Townsend said. 

So the next time you see a car you believe has a beautiful or unique paint job, you will have to ask yourself, “Is that paint or a wrap?” You won’t be able to tell the difference. 

For more information about Grass Valley Sign, call 530-477-7446 or visit their shop at 13321 Grass Valley Avenue, Unit 2, Grass Valley or visit their website at grassvalleysign.com. Business hours are Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

About the Photos; 

Previous page: 

(Left to right) Ed Townsend, Trevor Macky, and Will Brewer stand outside their shop at 13321 Grass Valley Avenue off Loma Rica Road by the
Nevada County Airport.

Photo by Stacy Drake-Robinson

This Page: 

Grass Valley Sign recently wrapped this Tesla, taking the car from the stock black and chrome to the green and bronze shown below. This photo taken before the newly wrapped hubcaps were installed.  Photo by Stacy Drake-Robinson