Scooby Doo Mystery Machine Cozy Coupe


Scooby-Doo has always been my favorite TV show!  As an adult, nothing has changed in that regard.  This summer I saw some awesome Mystery Machine redesigns done on Little Tykes Cozy Coupe cars, and just KNEW I had to make my own version to pay my homage to my beloved friends at Mystery Inc, even though my only child was 11 and way out of his Cozy Coupe years.

This version had to be absolutely perfect, I told myself, with nothing that looked homemade or crudely drawn or painted, no matter how long it took me to make.  Oh, and I also couldn't use decals.  I am a horrible artist when it comes to drawing, so this whole no decals thing would be a huge challenge.  Also, I have very little patience and couldn't get the car apart like the few tutorials that are actually out there that show you how to do this instruct you to do.  Painting was going to be quite difficult this way.  


I got lucky on one of my *many* trips to Salvation Army, and found my Cozy Coupe!  It was a steal at only $10.  No cracks, no fading and everything was intact except for one sticker on the dashboard.  No problem; all the stickers were going to be removed anyway.  The key was even in the ignition!  

The first step with the car was to unscrew the eyes on the creepy face on the front of the car. They easily unscrewed with the help of my trusty Phillips screwdriver.

Next, I cleaned it from top to bottom.  While it was in great shape, it also sat outside for 2 months (patiently) awaiting my project start date, and was dirty from 2 months of rain and mud.  I sprayed the car down with my Orange LA Awesome spray cleaner (a great cleaner for everything BTW!) and scrubbed for a while.  Next, I attacked the stickers with Goo Gone spray to help break them up and peel them off.  These stickers included all the dashboard stickers, the creepy mouth sticker on the front and the license plate sticker on the back.  We won't be using those stickers where we're going.  These stickers didn't peel easily, so I spent a while scraping.  They seemed to come off better if I sprayed on the Goo Gone spray and let it sit for a few minutes before scraping; but as I described before, I am an impatient person :)


The middle of the license plate sticker was the hardest to come off.  More Goo Gone spray and elbow grease eventually melted it off, though.  

Next, I focused on the wheels.  The goal here was to keep the wheels simple and mostly the same, but paint the "hubcaps" of the wheels orange to match the original Mystery Machine.  I taped off each wheel with painter's tape, then spray painted the middles.

When each wheel was dry, I left the painter's tape on and tied a plastic bag around each one to protect them from overspray from any of the other coats.  This is very important.  Overspray can fly anywhere!   Sanding and priming are very important, and these were the two things that I did NOT do.   You will want to do both of these right now in the project.  My favorite primer for everything is Kilz.  Kilz is used to cover tough stains, like smoking tar stains, water stains, pet stains and more.  It goes on very smoothly and is a thick, rich layer of protection.  It will adhere even better on a sanded surface.  


From here, start on the Mystery Machine's main coat of aqua.  I covered the "non-opening" door with painter's tape to avoid overspray.  Using Rustoleum's "Seaside" shade, I carefully sprayed the car's roof, body and bottom.  I was very careful while spraying to not go anywhere near the car's doors.  I opened the driver's side door all the way to make this easier.  I sprayed on each coat lightly, one coat at a time, even if the coats did not fully cover the area.  I let each coat dry and sprayed another light coat and let it dry.  Repeated coats eventually covered the areas.  Dry time is very important here.  The paint needs adequate dry time to fully adhere to the car.  As I stated before, patience is not a virtue of mine, so I had to walk away many times. 


After the many coats of aqua and plenty of drying time, I then painted the two side doors lime green.  One door was easy as it could simply be opened and I wouldn't run any risk of accidental overspray onto any part of the aqua.  I simply opened the door, and draped a sheet of newspaper over any nearby aqua parts.  The other door is attached, and that presented a much bigger challenge to keep the overspray away.  I made a paper apron for much of the car that only exposed that side door.  I sprayed about 3 coats, all with appropriate dry time in between.  There was a very small overspray around the edges, but these were easily fixed later on with touch up paint and a small paintbrush.  


Next came the hardest part of the entire project--the logo.  It was a big debate even just deciding whether to hand paint the logo, or use a decal.  It's always been very important to me to make sure my projects stand the test of time, and all I could think about in terms of decals, was of it peeling off or not even sticking (after all, we are talking textured plastic that has been painted).   I found a great picture of the logo online and started drawing on scrap paper to practice.  When I felt comfortable enough, I slowly drew on the logo with pencil.  I am not good at drawing by any means, so I knew I'd be tracing.  I converted the logo's picture I found online to an SVG file, and cut it out from cardstock with my Cricut machine.  




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