In an effort to preserve as much originality on my B as I can while still maintaining show car quality, I've started refurbishing and revamping my original interior panels. Unfortunately most of my original panels have warped because of the poor quality Masonite boards they're made on. However, the vinyl covers themselves were in exceptional condition, the original bright red vinyl cleaned up very well with no visible rips or scars on the surface.
I decided I would try making new panel boards out of a better quality water resistant panel board and reuse the original vinyl covers. If it doesn't work, I can easily match the vinyl and just make new covers all together.
Luckily the old covers and foam came off fairly easily and fully intact. Here you can see how simply they were trimmed from the factory, a thin strip of black vinyl binding was used to create a smooth clean edge where the pleats meet the piping, softened by 1/8" poly foam underneath all the vinyl - including the lower sections of the doors. The use of foam on the lower 2/3's of these panels is one detail I know many aftermarket kit manufacturers get wrong these days. It was also done on the rear 1/4 panels as well.
Here you can see one of my new panels trimmed with the original cover on the left, compared to the one that still needs to be revamped on the right. The most crucial part of this process is making sure the original holes for all the hardware lines up again. Check once, check twice and check again!
Here are some pics of the original rear 1/4 panels before they receive the same treatment, notice how deep the notch in the panel is for the piping!
All the front panels - no foam was used on these ones - or the rear back panel.
Well there you have it, I'm really looking forward to re-installing the interior of this car.
It will be one of the only ones out there with virtually all new/old stock carpets, all the correct rubber mats that aren't damaged or faded, the original vinyl panels re-vamped, and the original seats revamped with new leather in the correct bright shade of red in the correct grain.
Plus, the original red tonneau and boot covers, and a new top from Prestige using they're factory original patterns. I'm still debating whether to have a black top or a grey top. Grey was still an option for O.E.White cars in early 1964, Opinions??
Until next time -
Classic auto enthusiast, upholsterer, coach trimmer, and fine scale modeler.