There have been past threads on the techniques people have used to removed vinyl pin stripes - you can find by doing a search. I removed the ones from my 2000 LS400 about 10 years ago by first heating them when a hair dryer to soften then and then using car wax to remove the residue that was left after pealing off the stripes.
I doubt if a previous owner installed the stripes. Pin stripes were a common Lexus dealer installed accessory back in the 1990's and into the 2000's. The Lexus dealer here often put pin stripes on Lexus vehicles before they were put on the lot and in the showroom.
Jim - Lexus LS driver from 1990 to 2014 - Now driving a 2014 Toyota Sienna Limited with all packages and options including PCS, DRCC and VDIM
Heat gun/1500W hair dryer, your fingernail, some nail polish remover or "goo gone," and a couple hours.
Heat the stripe up and pick it with your nail. If you're lucky and it's not that old, it should come off easily in one piece if you heat and pull as you go. If you're not lucky and it's really old, you you'll be there for hours and it will break up a lot and will generally suck.
The nail polish remover should be applied to a clean soft rag and gently rub off any glue residue once you are done. Wash the car after as not to damage paint with the nail polish remover.
if one side of the car's stripes were removed, there is a chance that side was repainted or repaired. that or that person never finished the job. i hope it's only the latter.
to remove it faster i use a 3M product called a stripe off wheel. it's a rubber wheel that attaches to a drill and erases the stripe from existence. works wonders on removing emblem residue and the like, as pictured!
Timmy that stripe off wheel looks awesome! I think thats the route I'm gonna take. I see on Amazon it's $23, a bit pricey for something I'm probably only going to use for 15 minutes but will be worth it in time saved.
And yea the owner was in the process of removing them himself but like me isn't a big fan of being outside in the cold so never finished.