Creating Art on a Steel Canvas: Designing a Marathon Coach's Exterior

Creating Art on a Steel Canvas: Designing a Marathon Coach Paint Scheme

Marathon has reigned as the finest luxury motorcoach on the road for decades due to pushing the limits of exceptional design, distinctive craftsmanship and revolutionary floorplans. What people tend to first notice, however, are the exterior paint designs – each as unique as the clients who choose them.

Any great paint job is an individual interpretation. For those hot-rodders-at-heart, Marathon Show Coach #1340 is where thrill meets art. “Coach #1340, a Designer’s Choice coach, will be reflecting one of our more exciting designs,” said Marketing Manager Pete Sutton. “A true ‘more-is-better’ approach.”

Whether incorporating edgy hot rod details or intricate special effects, the talented members of Marathon’s paint team are accustomed to their designs turning heads.

“The ‘intention’ is what we start with,” said Pete. “We want a design that gets noticed – one that is bold and can’t be ignored. In the case of Coach #1340, we also wanted extra special effects, a closer-you-look-the-more-you-see design. So right out of the gate we decided to go for a red coach with edgy, sharp angles and lines.”

It takes more than state-of-the-art equipment and the highest-quality materials to create a coach exterior that is truly a work of art. It takes proficient artisans with unrivaled passion and expertise – and a solid plan.

“The black and silver components were drawn first, showing sharp edges that are beveled as if they were knife-like,” said Pete. “I had been holding on to an aggressive, angled pattern for some time, and in this case, it fell right in place. After experimenting with a few different ways to use the pattern, I settled on blending a dark red to bright red for both the background and the pattern. A theme started to emerge – one of heat and of fire.”

As the motif began to take shape, Pete added a cracked-earth pattern, also in a blended red, creating a look similar to molten lava. Airbrushed smoke effects were strategically placed. To further add to the contemporary feel of the design, a torn metal pattern was incorporated and surrounded by a fine pinstripe. The silver and black components of the design were carried over to the wheels and rub rails, packing the initial impression with an up-to-the-minute look.

“The finished design is supposed to feel sharp, edgy and almost as if it’s radiating heat,” said Pete. “The multiple layers of shadows are meant to give the impression of depth, as if you’re looking into a furnace.”

Marathon’s paint department is fervent about details, and long before the custom paint colors are mixed, much has happened behind the scenes. A thorough inspection of the shell is conducted to detect any flaws in the composite that may need attention – no matter how minuscule – so that the paint stays flawless for decades to come. In addition, customized front and rear caps are added to provide seamless integration of the awning housing, while the custom fenders and front grille create Marathon’s unmistakable signature look.

A true one-stop shop, Marathon’s modern production and paint facility houses four full-service paint booths, making it one
of the largest of its kind in the U.S. and allowing the team to have complete control of the entire process.

“It’s this attention to detail that has Marathon known for impeccable paint design and implementation whether the subject is a Designer’s Choice or a custom coach,” said Pete. “The designs range from classic less-is-more up to exciting designs with lots of stripes, textures and patterns, and of course everything in between. Every client is unique with his or her own tastes and the variety in our coaches reflects that.”

Every Marathon Paint Design is a Top Design

There’s no doubt that the Custom Marathon on the cover of this issue is a true work of art. However, we believe that every design created by our in-house artisans is a top design – whether the coach is more classic in style, more extreme or somewhere in the middle.

It’s not the number of lines on a coach that makes a great paint job, as it takes more than tape, state-of-the-art equipment and the highest quality materials to create a coach exterior that’s truly a work of art. It takes talented artisans with unparalleled passion and expertise – and Marathon’s in-house team is unrivaled.

Within the pages of this “Maratime” issue are paint jobs on another level – they’re not the first for us, and surely will not be the last. Be sure to watch our website and follow us on Instagram and Facebook to see new and exciting paint designs coming off the production line.


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