Saturday, July 21, 2012


While the final fabrication on the battery and controller supports is in process, I've been working to get the dashboard completed and ready to drop in when the body gets back from the paint shop. Along the way I've discovered a new favorite power tool, the router.

The dashboard is 5/8" plywood, and the Speedhut Tach and Speedometer are quite slim and needed a recessed area for the attachment ring. A 3/8" rabbet bit routed the clearance and it's a pretty good looking cut. Works just right, too.

The emergency contactor slap switch also needed some clearance which was equally easy with the router. It was done freehand, so not quite as elegant as the round rabbet, but just as effective. Nobody will ever see the back of the dashboard anyway.
The dash was originally finished with a dark veneer that was peeling off and generally pretty scruffy. Original MG TDs had a dashboard covered in the same material as the seat backs and door panels, so I found some marine grade vinyl in a dark red color at a local fabric store to cover the dash. The seat vinyl is quite faded, so it will be dyed to match, again using marine grade finishes. Lots of upholstery adhesive and many staples secure the covering:

The result is quite stunning:

After adding the gauges, switches, lights, and radio, it's nearly ready to mount on the body. Oh, and just a bit of wiring ...

The vintage looking radio is from RetroSound and was recommended by my future son in law, Erik Buscha, who sells and installs high end home theater and mobile sound systems. Thanks, Erik - hope it sounds as good as it looks! I'm adding a bluetooth device so I can stream music from my iPhone and hopefully handle hands-free phone calls if the wind noise isn't overwhelming.

The wife just can't get over the goofy face with the "clown nose" in the middle of the dash.  Guess I'll have to paint the slap switch a darker red to change the effect.

Also had a visit from Fiberenew to discuss dying the seat and trim. Turns out the owner is another retired IBMer with lots of questions about these electric cars. He's going to get me a quote on the dye job, and asked for a ride when it's all done, so the EV story is getting out one car at a time.


  1. Fred,

    Wow, that is a real nice looking dash. When you point out the clown nose I guess it's there but if you look at the whole thing its not so bad. I did not see it until I read the comment.

    See you in Sept.

    Pete :)

  2. Fred, that looks magnificent. Right back to the stylish classic European car days.

  3. Fred, I'm surprised how fast things are coming together, and it's looking terrific. Can't wait to see it in September.