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Dashboard Rebuild (Purists beware!)

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Twin Lakes, WI, USA   USA
Hello,

I am in the middle of a frame-off, complete restoration of a 1976 Spitfire. This car had a replacement late model 1500 engine out of an MG Midget when I got it. The prior owner said the original 76 higher compression motor threw a rod through the block. So, the desire to keep this restoration "true" was not as big an issue, and I have taken the opportunity to make some artistic improvements.

One of the things that bugged me about the original Triumph Spitfire dashboard was the "thrown together" and seemingly random layout. I liked the shape and flow of the original, but not the placement of the gauges and equipment. So, I redesigned it. It's English walnut veneer over 3/8" marine grade plywood, hand oil rubbed and five coats of satin UV protectant. The Spitfire logo is the bumper badge off an earlier model (Mk II or III?). This dash is not complete, so not all the crash pads are installed yet. Yes, I deleted the heater. For me, diving the Spitfire is kind of like riding a motorcycle, so I didn't use the heat anyway. Since I deleted the heater, I eliminated the dashtop vents and the weirdly placed ashtray.

I would like your opinions and comment.

My first post, although I have been an avid reader and researcher of this forum.

James

1976 Spitfire1500
1966 TR4A

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Tgt6 Avatar
Tgt6 Joao Simoes
Ann Arbor, MI, USA   USA
1973 Triumph GT6 MkIII "GT6 Cabriolet"
1973 Triumph GT6+ (MkII)
Very nice, where did you get the under switch labels and what do they say?
You have even more room on the right side panel for more gauges. smiling smiley



A penny for your thoughts but everyone gives their 2 cents' worth...somebody is making a penny.

Joao

197? GT6 Convertible
1965 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia Coupe
1950 Dodge Meadowbrook

Doug in Vegas Avatar
Doug in Vegas Douglas D
Las Vegas, NV, USA   USA
I was considering the same location for the hazard light switch. A metal plate on the back would help as the wood gets a bit thin there.

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trrdster Avatar
trrdster Wayne Tate
Spencer, NC, USA   USA
Good clean look. The dash cover really looks good, I will need the heat for the madam other wise that is the way to go.
Well done.
Oh, great minds think alike.



Wayne
1970 TR6
2000 Jaguar XK8
1949 Triumph Roadster 2000
1978 Spitfire (rust victim)
1971 GT6 (tarp covered for 12 years, rusted inside out)
1980 Spitfire (getting all the good GT6 parts, all poly suspension and Spax shocks)


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spitfire50 Avatar
spitfire50 Paul Mugford
Rochester, N.H., USA   USA
James,
Looks nice. Probably allowed a clean-up of the wiring behind there too. That Spitfire script is from the boot lid of a Mk3.
All the best,
Paul



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2017-12-24 05:28 PM by spitfire50.

sparrowpi Avatar
sparrowpi Silver Member David Sherrow
Colorado Springs, CO, USA   USA
Excellent! I really like it.

Twin Lakes, WI, USA   USA
I got these switch labels from an Ebay seller. He has an Ebay Store "Classic Land Rover Parts", but many of the parts he sells also fit other British marques. Here is the link: http://stores.ebay.com/classiclandroverparts/

The labels I bought were: "HAZARD LIGHTS", "LIGHTS", "FOG LAMPS", "WIPERS", "ELECTRIC FAN" (for the rad fan), and "EJECTOR SEAT" (a homage to the James Bond Austin Healey, but which actually operates the redesigned map light).

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Twin Lakes, WI, USA   USA
In reply to # 1504144 by trrdster Good clean look. The dash cover really looks good, I will need the heat for the madam other wise that is the way to go.
Well done.
Oh, great minds think alike.

Great job on your dash!

MoneyPitSpit Avatar
MoneyPitSpit Ron (Smokey) Wasmuth
Beautiful, Sparkling, Lakeland, FL, USA   USA
1974 Triumph Spitfire "Midnight Blue"
1995 Chevrolet Camaro "Crystal Blue Persuasion"
That looks great.

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TheZster Avatar
TheZster Steven Z
SAINT LOUIS, MO, USA   USA
Beautifully done!! We plan on replacing the original black dash on our newly acquired 78 spit.... and I'm with you as far as "purists" are concerned.... Never to many gauges on an old car - and the original dummy lights are way unreliable. I'm not a big fan of toggle switches and would use rockers.....

Question: I'm new to the "classic car trade" - and hope to be able to enter shows of our local clubs..... Will modifying the dash to that extent disqualify the car from competition? (as a general rule).

Z

trrdster Avatar
trrdster Wayne Tate
Spencer, NC, USA   USA
Steve, most car shows you will go to will not be judged as per original, only Concourse type shows.
At most you will see the individual creativity of the owners.
One of the great things about these cars, we most have more money and time in them than they will ever be worth, if perfect.



Wayne
1970 TR6
2000 Jaguar XK8
1949 Triumph Roadster 2000
1978 Spitfire (rust victim)
1971 GT6 (tarp covered for 12 years, rusted inside out)
1980 Spitfire (getting all the good GT6 parts, all poly suspension and Spax shocks)

spitfire50 Avatar
spitfire50 Paul Mugford
Rochester, N.H., USA   USA
In reply to # 1504162 by James F "EJECTOR SEAT" (a homage to the James Bond Austin Healey, but which actually operates the redesigned map light).
James,
Aston Martin please not Austin Healey.
You could have had the "OIL SLICK" and "SMOKE SCREEN" switches too. After all they might be appropriate. "MACHINE GUNS," "TIRE CUTTERS," and "BULLET PROOF SHIELD" are less likely to be so.
All the best,
Paul

N5329K Avatar
N5329K Silver Member Robin White
Pacific Grove, CA, USA   USA
Were some 78's built with the all-black dash? My 78 wasn't.
Robin


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TheZster Avatar
TheZster Steven Z
SAINT LOUIS, MO, USA   USA
Thanks for the tip Wayne! Good to know! I'm a big fan of gauges - oil, temp, volts, fuel (level and sometimes pressure in high performance projects), .... Hate "top of dashboard add on's" and have always tried to integrate to make them look like they belong there.... (which usually involves replacing the original gauges with like brands)...

Both yours and James' give me food for thought....

Z

trrdster Avatar
trrdster Wayne Tate
Spencer, NC, USA   USA
Steve, if you are pressed for space, have a look at the double gauge on mine. A couple of places sale it, but be aware the temp requires a special fitting that goes in the heat sending units place. Not a lot of money, but needed.
James did a great job getting all four at the top, but no heater might give others a problem.



Wayne
1970 TR6
2000 Jaguar XK8
1949 Triumph Roadster 2000
1978 Spitfire (rust victim)
1971 GT6 (tarp covered for 12 years, rusted inside out)
1980 Spitfire (getting all the good GT6 parts, all poly suspension and Spax shocks)

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