Any one who’s been in the auto upholstery business for a few years certainly remembers RodDoors, one of the first companies to manufacture and sell pre-made custom hot-rod door panels. The company sold one-piece plastic panels embossed with different designs that were ready for covering.
While RodDoors went out of business in 2009, other companies have since come along to improve on the original concept – including the latest venture, Hotrod Panels.
While at SEMA 2013, I had the opportunity to speak with representatives of Hotrod Panels to learn how its products could benefit professional trim shops across the country.
Hotrod Panels aims to simplify the process of creating show-quality custom door panels by handling all the necessary fabrication for us. We simply call Hotrod Panels, tell them the year/make/model of our latest project and choose one of five stylish patterns offered. Within three days the panels are delivered and ready to install.
Hotrod Panels handles everything – from cutting out the pieces to punching holes for clips, even sanding and beveling the edges of high-density foam. All that’s left for us to do is wrap and mount. The panels are comprised of separate pieces, allowing for a two-toned finish or a combination of different materials – such as leather, cloth, suede, vinyl or carpet.
The company developed door-panel templates for the most common muscle cars of the 1950’s through 1970’s. As for the fit, I was assured it’s precise. In fact, Hotrod Panels recently invested several hundred thousand dollars in the latest design software and digital cutting machines to produce the best possible fit, with accurate edges and proper allowances for material wrapping.
Although Hotrod Panels sells direct to the public, trim shops stand to benefit the most because the company takes care of all the grunt work, saving us countless hours of labor while allowing us to produce high-end custom interiors at a faster rate.