Tag Archives: interior

Ginger Gets a New Interior

I pulled the seats out and replaced the carpet and floor mats. About 20 years ago, I pulled a ratty console and tilt column out of Gilligan, a Magnum parts car. I sent the console to an interior shop to be recovered, and bought a new console lids on eBay. I sanded and painted the non-granny steering column. The original tilt steering is available – if anyone with a 70s B-Body wants to convert their non-tilt steering to tilt. I bought a set of near new black leather BMW Coupe power seats, and installed them in the car.

The seat looked great, but felt too small for my wide back (and fat ass) – as I weighed 330 at the time. I weigh 250 now, and they’d most likely be great – but I ordered and waited 3 months for aftermarket black leather seat that were the widest on the market. They’re now installed. I have the BMW power seats wrapped and for sale. They be great in any muscle car with black interior. Black leather seats from a 2-door (allowing passengers to get into backseat) are rarer than hen’s teeth.

These seats then had a semi-gloss leather coating used on interiors back in the 60-80s.

You may note that the door panels and gauges are also different. Let me tell you about them. First the door panels.

The above is how they looked after 40 years of use. I scuffed and wiped down with wax and grease remover, and masked off.

I generally start with two light coats, and then one wet coat of spray vinyl dye. That worked well for the hard plastic and carpet, but the soft vinyl would have parts that looked like it was soaking it up. It was splotching with parts being gloss and parts being flat. I thought I’d must done something wrong in prep, but it finally came out OK by the time I’d hit the soft vinyl another six or seven times with a wet coat, waiting about 2-3 minutes between. It took a full 12oz can for first panel.

Same deal with second panel. I made sure I’d rubbed off all of the wax and grease remover, and let it air dry for an hour. However, same deal. Hard plastic and carpet looked good after two light and one wet coat, but I had to keep hitting the soft plastic with more wet coats where the dye dries in a flat splotches. When the soft vinyl finally was a consistent gloss, I had just enough left in the can to give the entire soft vinyl an even wet coat instead of just dressing up the splotches.

I think it came out looking pretty good. The gloss made the soft vinyl look a little loose, but it tightened up when clipped onto the doors.

A Couple of decades ago, I made an aluminum upper and lower panel, painted flat black; and then filed then with switches, vents, little lights and Dakota Digital Gauges. That look didn’t work for me, but it’s for sale if it works for you.

So I bought an empty gauge panel on eBay, and ordered about $1000 worth of custom gauges close to the size of the holes. I bought a large Speedometer (with Tach) that works off GPS; and a large gauge that has Volts, Oil Pressure, Coolant Temp and Fuel Level to fill the two big holes. To fill the two smaller holes I bought an Oil Temp gauge and a clock.

The two big gauge holes with the sleeves in them were too small by about 1/16″, so I had to cut the welds attaching the sleeves to the panel and pop them out. Once out, the holes were now 1/8″ too big. On the small gauge holes, I had to cut the inset hoods off as the gauges were too shallow for the screw on collars that attach the gauges to the panel to screw on the back of them.

To make the big gauges fit, I made some spacers from 4″ schedule 80 PVC sleeves, by hand sawing about 3/8″ off the end and wet sanding until they were smooth and the same size.

I mocked the gauges up to make sure they fit prior to doing any sanding and painting on the gauge panel. They did, so I glued the spacers onto the panel.

I wet sanded the panel and masked off the idiot lights.

After painting gloss black, it looked too gloss and cheesy. Some of the glue around the rings (that I swore I’d sanded all of the way off) was also showing.

So I decided to leave the coves glossy black, but have the flat portion in a hammer tone black – to tone down the gloss and hide imperfections. So I taped off the coves, sanded some more on the glue around the rings, and wet sanded the areas to get the hammer tone paint.

I hit it with two light coats with an hour between, and then a very wet coat after another hour.

And ready for installation.

The Screamin’ Woody Heads To The Track

Screamin’ Woody

Finish Interior

The door cards on the Texas Whale were cardboard with black and gray carpet glued on. For The Screamin’ Woody, I wanted to match the red exterior a little more – so the seats were dyed red, the cage painted gold hammered, a red window net and safety harness installed – and I wanted the door panels in a red quit pattern. I made the door cards out 1/8″ plywood, drilled the holes for door handle and mounting screws, and pulled some vinyl quilted fabric I bought on Ebay.

Get Ready To Race

I’d taken the car for a couple of blasts on the rough (from farm tractors running up and down it all day, everyday) 35 mph narrow road that the shop is on, and made adjustments between blasts. The problem is you can only conduct your testing to about 3/4 of the cars capability, because of the terrible condition of the road. I wanted to take the car to race at the NMCA Nationals in Indy this coming weekend, but needed to take to a more local track this past weekend, to see if it was worthy to take to Indy.

SHRA had an 1/8 mile race in Denton (350 miles from the shop) yesterday, and I decided to take it there. While cleaning the car up, I noticed a lot of overspray on the front fenders and doors, from when it was painted under the hood. That took me better than 4 hours of slow clay-barring to get right. Then I loaded it into my trailer.

Racing In Denton

Friday the 13th, I loaded up the truck and trailer with what I needed to race. At 8am Saturday I left for the 350 mile drive to Sanger, TX. I arrived on the track at 1PM to say my Howdies, unload car and set up my pit. At 3PM we had our Driver’s Meeting and at 4PM we had our first Qualifying run – in 97 degree heat.

ON the first pass I had a decent .043 light (considering it was June since I last took a stab at the tree) but the car started to break up way before the Shift-Light was suppose to come on – so I made my 1st-2nd and 2nd-3rd shift as soon as I felt it break up. Frankly, I was busy mentally monitoring my concerns of going down the track in a car that had every nut and bolt removed, every component rebuilt or replaced, and reassembled. Other than the breaking up at higher RPMs, the car felt good – but I was unable to look at the tach to see where it was breaking up. I was guessing it was about 6000 RPM as I wasn’t breaking up crossing the Stripe.

My Safety Harness was all screwed up, as I forgot to adjust the length when new ones were installed so I spent much of the half hour between the First and Last Qualifying fixing that. I was able to verify that the Fuel Pressure was right at 8psi and make a shock and tire adjustment to try for a better 60′. I told myself that I would stare at the tach to figure where it broke up. The sun was in front of the tree and I totally missed the lights, but was able to improve my anticipating the breakup and shift quicker. I was able to find that the breaking up was occurring around 6300-6400 RPM.

I decided that as opposed to weighing the car down for the 6.41 Index, that I’d shoot for the 6.25 Index by setting my shift light for 6200 (before the breaking up), as opposed to closer to the 7500 RPM that those heads (572), Cam and 2 1/2″ headers wants. I figured that and the weather getting cooler might give me the .06 I needed. When they called us to race, it was still 94.5 degrees and I felt I would have a hard time hitting 9.25, so I’d need a killer light. I also took 2 more Clicks out of the front shocks. I had to line up against Gary Durham, who had a slower car, so he’d leave first. The setting sun still had the tree right in the middle of it, concerning me about seeing the light and pushing the Tree. Gary left, and I left. I felt I had a decent light as I was going down the track. As I was coming to the stripe and passing Gary, he jammed the brakes and gave me the Stripe. When I picked up the ticket it was the yellow copy, meaning loser! Looking at the ticket I saw I threw away a .005 reaction time by running a 6.2477 on a 6.25 index. 23/1000 of a second too fast.

So I was loaded and on the road by 7:00 and home by 1AM

Getting Ready For the Nats at Indy

Tomorrow I’ll back the car out of the trailer; make a floor modification to the trailer; and change the distributor cap, rotor, ignition chips, and wires on the Wagon. Give the car a quick Cleanup and load it up again. I’ll track down some parts like a spare regulator, distributor and plugs, and take the fuel pump and carbs off the Thug to bring to Indy – and I’ll try to fix the car at the track. I leave at 4am Tuesday.