I've driven thousands of kilometers in cars with painters tape on the front end. It will protect from rock chips. One roll of 1 or 1.5inch wide tape is sufficient.
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Hot: 2001 Estoril M Roadster
ZCP 19's michelin supersports, ZHP knob, JL 8W3
Cold: 2002 TiAg M3 6mt
ZCP 19's michelin supersports, deoranged, dechromed, led tails, ZHP knob, UUC SS v3, GROM, OEM 18's w310's,