Mood cars: Paint reacts to temperature changes

UK body shop Auto Kandy makes waves with a Nissan completely covered in heat-reactive paint.

Hand prints on car
Even hands can trigger the color change. Auto Kandy

There is a Nissan R33 Skyline cruising around in England that looks a bit different than most cars. It has an all-over custom heat-reactive paint job that changes from black to orange depending on the temperature across the surface. West Yorkshire body shop Auto Kandy undertook the task of applying the special paint.

Heat-sensitive paint has been applied to automobiles before, but generally as a special effect to create looks like color-changing flames. What's unusual about this application is that the whole car was done up. It appears black when cool and turns orange as it heats up. On a cold day, taking it for a drive will turn the hood orange from the heat of the engine.

Auto Kandy is currently booking full paint jobs and taking preorders for the reactive paint at the price of $320 per liter. If a whole car is more than you can swing, the company suggests painting brake calipers so they're black when cold and turn orange when they heat up.

The special paint is applied as a base coat underneath a clear coat. It can be made to work with a variety of color combinations, not just black to orange.

The paint is a bit touchy. It has a four-month shelf life for application and the heat-reactive properties degrade over time with exposure to sunlight. Special UV protective additives can be added to extend the life of the paint. For a truly standout look, though, those downsides might be worth dealing with. Its time may be short, but it will be glorious.

About the author

Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET's Crave blog. When not wallowing in weird gadgets and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.

 

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