I raided the yellow pages and looked through my car magazine collection for some one to do the leather work. I contacted Roman Autotek in Sydney and they put me in touch with Michael Talbot who owns and operates Trim FX in Wetherill Park, NSW. He has worked on countless Street Machine magazine cars, factory cars, and notably the Gold 2 door AU Falcon that appeared in Wheels (I think it was Wheels. It may have been Modern Motor). In any case, his previous work and enthusiasm put him at the top of the list.
The 2 colours I selected were Charcoal and Light Grey Pioneer leather. The steering wheel leather was simply laid over the existing surface which gives it a slightly thicker grip. I love the feel of it now. Same goes for the Park Brake. Michael also covered the base section of the Park Brake to hide the boring rubber envelope. The transmission shifter was unstitched and new light grey leather crafted around the shell. I accidentally snapped off one of the terminals for the overdrive switch when I was removing it, so I replaced it with an off the shelf 12 volt red switch from a local electronics store. It doesn't have the action of the original, but I was pressed for time and couldn't wait for a replacement to show up.
The instrument facias were sanded back with wet and dry paper then undercoated with a plastic spray on product. There are about 8-10 light coats of colour on top of that. I looked through the touch up paint rack at my local car part shop and picked a Ford colour called Platinum Silver Metallic. The job was finished off with several coats of clear. Along with the instrument facias, the drivers door switch console, centre transmission shifter surround, ash tray, and speaker grilles were coated in the same colour and process. The speaker grilles are the factory units with the black cloth on the inside to hide the speakers and their mountings. You may notice a third wand on the steering column shroud next to the wiper control. It's an after market cruise control placed within easy finger reach of the steering wheel. The stereo is a Clarion 2 din unit and hidden under the seat is a Philips amp driving all the speakers. Since the photos were taken, I've included a Kenwood graphic EQ below the Clarion unit and added a stacker in the cargo area at the back. I have some trimming work to do to make these two additions, along with the Bazooka sub woofer in the cargo area, to make them pleasing to the eye,
The glove box and storage lids were also trimmed in light grey leather. The brushed aluminium coloured plastic switch/button covers come from an expensive laser cut dash trim kit. I kept the bits I wanted and shelved the rest of the kit. These bits are visible surrounding the door handles, digital clock, centre arm rest/console lever, and passenger door window switch. Frankly, the kit was a waste of money and I regret buying it.
The door trims have light grey leather inserts and Michael played around with some stitching styles to get the nice inside border pattern giving it some added character. The underside part of the switch console is also finished in leather. The rest of the door trim is original. Same goes for the passenger door, except there was a 3 cm rip in the vynal which Michael had vynal welded. Unless I point it out to you, you won't be able to detect the patch job.
The front seat padding was bolstered to make it a little firmer then finished in 2 tone leather. You might detect that Michael had changed the stitch design and alignment, especially in the head rests. The rear seat was also finished in the 2 tone design.
I re-carpeted the cockpit and cargo area myself while Michael had the seats and trims. I also installed the TRD speedo while I was at it. Apart from the wheels the rest of the car is standard, but this being an ongoing project, it won't be standard for long.
Thanks for taking an interest and I hope to share with you stage updates of the project. If you would like any further information, please ask .
Last modified on Wednesday, November 10th, 2002