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custom car interior

MrGoodBytes

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this might be a bit different but I'm the eccentric type and am a firm believer that there is a certain level of luxury that you can only create yourself.

anyways, I've had a very long term car build going on and 6 years ago when I started it one of my biggest concerns was how some of my wood accents would hold up to time. So I made a few feasibility pieces of the components I was most concerned with holding up to chicago's temperature swings.

Well I just pulled the box of parts out of my storage locker today, and after 6 years non-temperature controlled, I am happy to say they have survived with flying colors. I'll take some after pics in a few days if any one is interested in seeing the coloration and patina they have built up since they were cut but heres when they were initially created.

first up is bocote (central american rose wood with a naturally oily finish that doesnt need any sealants or stains). I love working with this wood, but it is difficult as its density varies greatly among layers. This will be used for all switches, toggles, dials and probably strip accents.

heres the hvac knob which I was worried about cracking as its only an 1/8" thick at the basin. I made this with nothing more than a hole saw and some straight razors.... it is un-sanded.



2nd is shaped butcher block. I had never made butcher block before and I had never seen anyone shape it. This is not the wood I plan on using (see next item), but this is some very old stock (~80 years) sugar pine. Its incredibly brittle and soft which matched nicely the characteristics I needed to simulate. The intention is that this would be sculpted down to be one of the dash inserts.


3rd was to properly age the "wood" that I wanted to use as the center piece of the interior. This is red palm that I imported from SE asia. Its actually a grass and VERY VERY finicky to work with. To my knowledge, no one has ever used it for butcher block. BUT when you look at the cross profile, you'll see what makes it amazing. When you cut it and age it, all those dark strands poke out ever so slightly just like you would find using osterich skin. The overall texture is like nothing you have ever touched.






anyways, I'm only posting this because I am switching gears on projects and am finally ready to begin the final phase of this car. I come from a family of old-school woodworking and seamstress and I've built a number of carbon fiber/kevlar boat hulls.... metal working is lagging but I'm planning on picking up an english wheel next month. The car is done other than the interior and is going to be sent off soon for a proper roll cage. So as soon as I flesh out with the fabricator what mounting points I'll have to work with, I'm going to start sculpting the keys and making the molds.
 

impolyt_one

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what is the car?
 

Roy

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Aren't you worried about to many different textures and colours in one car interior? It's great to see that you are putting in so much work and thought. I am very curious how the interior will look. Please post updates regularly.
 

MrGoodBytes

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yes I am very concerned about having too many textures and colors. don't worry I have a very solid game plan, just remember these are just some feasibility parts and have nothing to do with the actual build... and they are accents, it'll be simple elegance past that. I'll be popping in now and then to update this thread with some of the luxury parts and raw material. oh found an old photo of the complete set of accessory bits (none of this stock equipment exists in the car anymore so none of it is of any use anymore... just a demonstration)
and just another one to show off the different train of thought thats going on. (actual version being used has a color matched radio face and is the sirius version)
 

MrGoodBytes

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Originally Posted by artoftime
yes, but on a Volkswagen?

lol, no... but what does it matter what car its for? at a certain point a car is just a car and it doesn't matter what your base platform is... I have less than a dozen parts/bolts left on the car that came from the factory.

so I'm going to leave the car itself out of the discussion. but I feel I do need to give an overview of what the "interior" currently is for the car... nothing stock is going back in.



I spent about a year rebuilding all the wire harnesses from scratch, and just have the central junction box left to replace and to build my own engine management (I'm a computer engineer if you couldnt tell by the screen name).

I retrofitted in a different transmission so I could have a rod shift (any modern cars are cable shift or electronic). primarily so I could have the whole shifting assembly sit underneath the car and also have something that I can service.


I also really enjoy metal grinding, I could probably devote a thread to just that... I'm not interested in taking things down to a chrome like finish but to re-sculpt some beauty into parts that had been lost due to the nature of sand casting.

(these are rough work photos)




 

GQgeek

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Originally Posted by Roy
Aren't you worried about to many different textures and colours in one car interior? It's great to see that you are putting in so much work and thought. I am very curious how the interior will look. Please post updates regularly.

That was my immediate thought as well, especially with all those different wood grains in such a tight area.
 

impolyt_one

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roll cage, exotic wood interior, polished out VR6... the pinnacle of taste
 

Avocat

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Originally Posted by impolyt_one
roll cage, exotic wood interior, polished out VR6... the pinnacle of taste
Sounds great, actually, but he's going a lot further than that, me thinks. As to a VW, why not! Ye Nay-Sayers: I restored an old 914 years ago which I bought off the track (a VW in Europe, re-badged and sold as a Porsche over here, and which was completely gutted for the track, as you can imagine -- so, yes, I totally agree with Mr. Goodbytes--the OP--that all cars whatever their base deserve a little "love"). I added mats to match the (non removable) cage, along with a wood wheel and shift knob, nothing special, being "on-the-market" items, but I can "see" as such where the OP enjoys different textures, etc. Of course, what he's doing is far more elaborate a project obviously: whereas I was simply restoring, he is completely and utterly re-designing a car, and he's doing/machining/fabricating/blue-printing, etc. it all by himself? That is truly amazing!! (Wunderbar, I say). I most definitely have a sincere appreciation--as well as an interest--in seeing where you are going with this, Mr. Goodbytes, and can't wait to see more pictures of what will no doubt be nothing short of amazing when you're done, and while en route, too (oh, I am most curious, and it all sounds SUPER). EDIT: btw, your pieces--and the rosewood idea itself--are terrific. You are very talented.
 

MrGoodBytes

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appreciate the kind words. I do alot of work in wood simply because I can work very quickly in it, and plenty of times I'll end up painting it because a wood texture just isn't appropriate in that space. heres something I was recently working on. The woman wanted a nice set of chopsticks and I got frustrated not being able to find anything I felt was of sufficient quality available, picked up a $2 strip of bocote and spent about 20 minutes with a bench sander and viola. theres nothing difficult about it if you have the spacial skills and have a desired shape in mind. Uploaded with ImageShack.us
 

ljrcustom

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Thanks for sharing. I am interested to see more photos of the car. Is the exterior still stock or have you changed all of body pieces?

-LR
 

Wiker

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This looks like a very interesting project, best wishes to you.

The pieces so far looks amazing.
 

MrGoodBytes

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Originally Posted by ljrcustom
Thanks for sharing. I am interested to see more photos of the car. Is the exterior still stock or have you changed all of body pieces?

-LR


I appreciate the feedback from everyone, you guys have impeccable tastes and its reaffirming to have positive feedback that I am on the right direction.

so no need anymore to hide the car this is all intended for. This was my first new car that I bought 12 years ago and while its nothing fancy, its very special to me.

Just to be clear, I am a firm believer that external appearances should be left close to stock.

here she is fresh out of paint (grill and foglights are missing in this photo)


the only real touches I did was shave off the antenna, rear wiper, spoiler, 3rd brake light, and emblems.


heres some other parts in no particular order
(this x-bracing is a FACTORY part... I love it)


alot of time was spent mixing suspension parts to find out what worked best at the track




I had a number of custom parts made like the control arms and subframe connectors



mmmm, much bigger radiators


heres the lip kit I have for the car (this is actually a photo of the eliminator prototype car), with the drop I have on the car, this only gives me 2 inches of ground clearance so needless to say its not on the car very often.


eventually I'll have the lower and upper lip spoilers from the other prototype car but that one is going to be very tricky to make.


I did have the hood for that car made for me (pic from the fabricator... I simply dont have the space for a mold/key that size to make a part that large myself)


(ignore the photo back drop, the UK supplier thought it was funny) I retrofitted in an entire key set from a euro jag so I could have a flip key and also something a bit different with the cylindrical key shaft


I had a harness bar made because with the suspension stiffness, it was a struggle to stay planted in the seat


subtext is "Illinois Department of Transportation Division of Traffic safety"... love it


slightly dated interior shot


heres where the magic happens... as you can imagine, it gets a bit crowded


some engine mockup shots




this is all the wiring of the car
 

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