Andi Mai, a young Sydney-based consultant who also dedicates his time to helping men cope with mental health issues, recently shared a story about a recent makeover he did with his Mercedes-Benz G-Class in partnership with Raptor King Customs, V.G. Auto Paints, and Raptor Coatings for the cause.
The Mercedes G-Class Customization Process
The custom G-Class referred to as the “1 of 1 Adventure G Wagon” features a unique, personalized, complex design made from scratch by Mai through Canva. Then, it was later presented to Andrew Murphy of Raptor King Customs who graciously accepted the challenging job of putting it into a reality.
In the hands of Raptor King Customs, in cooperation with V.G. Auto Paints and Raptor Coatings, the G-Class underwent six to eight layers of Raptor Spray costing around $1,000+ in paint alone. It had three layers of black undertone, three layers of green on top, and a black reverse spraying on the top.
The project was totally gruesomely tough and long as each layer required around three to four hours of dry time. The presence of many individual components in the design of the auto made the work extra challenging, too.
Installing the custom decals was considered to be the most challenging part of the job due to the presence of many elements in its design and it required a more detailed and specific method of application. Sticking and heating the decals really took a lot of time in the project.
The decals had trees, clouds, hikers, and multiple mountain ranges as its highlights, which took about two days to accomplish alone. Overall, its method of application required such a high level of focus, precision, and time. In fact, Mai said they even forgot how many parts there were in this design due to its complexity.
The process involved sticking, heating, slowly peeling, and re-heating the decals to the black undertone coat of the custom G-Wagen. Once done, it was sprayed with a green layer on top and the decals as well as the tape was peeled off after drying the paint application.
The work was finished off by extra customization on the individual parts of the G-Class. This process again took two to three more days because of the presence of many pieces in the design of the iconic Mercedes SUV.
Nonetheless, with extreme precision and thought, Murphy individually removed each part and sprayed it black or green. Finally, everything had to be put together to complete the transformation of the G-Wagen.
After all the hard work that took 45 days to finish with around 200 hours of work and five people in its manpower, Mai said that the parties involved were able to put something truly one-of-a-kind and special together in the G-Class. The most important part of the journey, however, was the lifelong friendships forged by the people that helped make the 1 of 1 Adventure G Wagon possible.
According to Mai, the custom G-Wagen will later be used for trekking into the Snowy Mountains of Australia in the upcoming winter together with a group of business owners. The plan is for them to spend time around a bonfire and discuss the ups and downs of life in a Men’s Mental Health Retreat.
About Men’s Mental Health Issues
Men’s mental health issues are often treated differently compared to women’s. According to a report from the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2020, there is a general bias in this aspect when it comes to males as they are harder to diagnose than women even in the presence of similar scores in the standardized measurement of depression or other identical disorders. Other sources attribute these to the common long-standing cultural and traditional societal expectations in men or in terms of masculinity.
Additionally, the fact that men tend to mask these as they avoid seeking help or treatment in fear of the ensuing societal and cultural stigma related to them further makes their detection harder until it comes too late.
Coping with Mental Health Issues Through Vehicle Customization and Adventuring
Although treatment by a professional and/or experienced medical practitioner is always the best way to deal with men’s mental health issues, there are many other ways to keep it in check. Vehicle customization and off-road adventuring are just two or the various activities that are known to help reduce the prevalence of mental health issues in men.
Customizing a vehicle is an effective way to express creativity or take pride in a hobby. It also allows people to make a personal connection with their vehicle, creating an invaluable sense of ownership.
On the other hand, off-road adventures provide an opportunity for exploration and adventure, which can be both calming and energizing at the same time. Off-roading gives men the chance to get away from everyday stressors and makes them feel like they have accomplished something when they return home. Moreover, being outdoors surrounded by nature has been linked to improved mental health outcomes such as reduced stress levels and improved mood.
Ultimately, vehicle customization and off-road adventure provide men with an outlet to express themselves or explore the outdoors while boosting their mental health. Both activities can be used in combination with traditional methods of therapy such as counseling and medication to create a holistic approach to managing mental health issues.