We restore a ’67 Valiant project car dash.
Just Dashes is the only interior restoration company in the universe that can restore a complete Mopar interior, including the hard plastic parts like door and kick panels. Our reputation for concours quality is known world wide, so it was only natural for the editors of MOPAR MUSCLE to come to us for a dash restoration. Associate editor Randy Bolig and Publisher Jerry Pitt stopped by to see the restoration process and take photos for an upcoming article. It was their first in person visit to the shop, and like most people who see the Thermo Vacuuming Process in action for the first time, were surprised at how incredible it really is.
Randy is doing a buildup on a ’67 Valiant, turning it into a street machine/daily driver, with a warmed up 383 CID engine, four-gear and 4.10:1 rear gears. It should be a rocket ship and it will definately have a cool dash. We are also restoring the arm rest pads, as they always take a lot of punishment over the years. The pad was stripped of all the old cracked vinyl and rebuilt with new foam, keeping all the original lines and detail, and then re-skinned in the correct Cologne grain vinyl. Watch for the complete article in an upcoming issue of MOPAR MUSCLE.
The staff of Mopar Muscle (from L to R) Jerry Pitt-Publisher, Randy Bolig-Associate Editor and Irwin -owner of Just Dashes discuss the restoration process and photos needed for the magazine article.
Sheets of different grain vinyl are preglued and hanging ready for each Thermo Vaccum Forming job. Each sheet is marked for the job it is assigned to and the grain pattern double-checked before it’s inserted into the machine.
With the prep work already finished (you can see it in the magazine) the Valiant dash is now being re-skinned. Here it’s just contacting the sheet of heated vinyl prior to the vacuum being added. Shooting pictures of this process is difficult because it happens so quickly.
The vacuum has done its job and the vinyl is now sucked down over the entire dash pad. First it is cooled with a spray of water and then the piece will be cut from the machine and proceed to the hand finishing table.
Jorge, Just Dashes’ shop foreman with 10 years experience, is the expert hand finisher. The vinyl edges are now re-glued, heated with a heat gun and permanently folded into place. This is a very simple dash pad to restore, as it is not only small in size and light weight, and it doesn’t have a lot of recesses and contours.
After the piece is hand finished it goes through a quality control inspection and then on to the area where the color is applied. Here Manuel, the master painter, is dying the fresh vinyl in the correct dark blue. The arm rests, which were restored separately from the dash, received the same color.
Irwin is showing Randy how Just Dashes can restore damaged Mopar plastic interior panels in order to save your original parts. Each panel is repaired, skinned in the correct vinyl and then dyed to make it look brand new again.
As the Valiant dash is being finished, Irwin explains to Randy the various steps required to restore a part and the quality control procedures followed to insure concours quality for each project.
Here’s a perfect example of a restored E-body door panel. Unless the panel is completely trashed, it usually can be saved and return home to your car. The experts at Just Dashes know the value of original parts and work hard to salvage them.