click images to enlarge
Dash 1.0 was the dash installed at the Lotus factory back in 1969. After 37 years it was looking pretty sad.
Dash 2.0 was
my...well let's just call it lame attempt to improve the appearance of
Dash1.0. It doesn't look to bad in the photos or from 10 feet away. But
up close it's not something of which I am proud. So after a few years,
I decided to try again.
Dash 3.0 is my project to fabricate a new dash from scratch. The
end product will be covered in Naugahyde. Since my
budget crash pad has no vertical elements at each end, I
will glue ABS "wings" to each end of the dash that
will fill the void. Pictures speak louder so take a look
Paper pattern courtesy of Steve V. A fine member of the Yahoo Lotus Europa group
Baltic Birch 7 ply with pattern transfered and some cutouts. Baltic
Birch is used since the dash (like most of the other parts of any
Lotus) is a structural element. I should have used "marine grade"
but to be honest, I forgot that bit. Hopefully a good coat of varnish
and the mild climate in San Jose will help this dash last a few years.
Tools and progress. Wing mocked up. Total width is 56". Wings will curve
to the adjacent door openings. Don't tell Wifey I took this photo on the
Spar varnish drying. "D" shaped hole for the ignition switch was a challenge. As were the rectangular switch holes.
So here it is. The naugahyde, from PerfectFit.com, is glued in place with 3M automotive trim
contact cement. It took me a while to figure out the best way to use
this adhesive on this project. I ended up just spraying the adhesive on
the wood and applying the naugahyde before the glue got tacky. That
would give me a chance to reposition if neccesary.
As it turned out, I got it placed correctly on the first go.
Escutcheons courtesy of Dave L. of the Yahoo Lotus Europa group.
And this is the bendable bit. It will make sense when you see it installed in the car.
I probably won't install it for a month or two.
Did I mention?, I'm cheap. The wood cost $20 from Amazon.com and I
had the naugahyde, varnish and glue left over from previous projects.