Hotrod & Restoration Magazine‘s latest “Interior Insights” article by Ace Eckleberry of ACE Custom Upholstery & Rod Shop is all about custom dashboards. He talk about how to sell customers on dash jobs, the challenges you can expect to face while doing them and the rewards as well.
In the excerpt below, Eckleberry breaks down the three types of dash services that shops typically offer.
There are three basic level of dash fabrication. Modification, custom scratch-built and retrofit.
Modification typically includes entry-level changes such as changing or adding gauges, adding stereos, switches, accessories, etc. This level can be attained with basic metal fab hand tools such as body saws, shears and drills. Careful planning and attention to detail generally carry you through this level.
The second level is custom and scratch-built full metal dashes. This type of modification is a big liability and sometimes a huge undertaking. There is a lot of freedom in this level of fabrication. The real inhibition is your creativity. … Complete fabricated dashes require a tremendous amount of due diligence in planning a successful build. Placement that doesn’t interfere with other systems such as steering components, brakes and heating/cooling systems all have to be addressed.
The last level is retrofitting a vintage of otherwise attractive dash into a vehicle it didn’t come stock in.
The article continues with his own experience in retrofitting a 1959 Chevrolet Impala dash into a 1954 Ford Victoria – definitely no easy task. To read the full article, and download your free copy of Hotrod & Restoration Magazine‘s September issue, click here.