About the nicest thing you can do to your Bugeye is restore the dashboard. It’s like the headboard in your master bedroom. You see it every night before you lay down with the one you love.
And so it should look nice. It is the foundation of your cockpit, the holder of your precious gauges and the mount for your accurate switch gear. Each dashboard is also a tribute to the factory and designers who originally created your car.
The reality in the field, however, is that most old car dashboards have become cheezy. Bugeyes, being inexpensive through the years, often sport extra holes for switches, gauges and whatever people felt they needed to hang. People never seemed to add extra stuff to their XKE or Dino dashboard, but the Bugeye dashboard is simple with a lot of open space, which seemed an open invitation for men to drill. Thus, we find old holes from former owners merely covered with vinyl, and that won’t do, since the vinyl will eventually shrink into the hole and leave a depression.
Further complicating maters is the original factory perforation that came on each dashboard so that dealers could punch out the dash and put in an AM radio. It would seem the holy grail to have a dash that is unmolested and still with its original perforated metal intact, but the reality is that a new dash recover will also shrink into those perforations and telegraph through your handsome new skin. And so you are left with a choice… to fill or not to fill?
In the case of the car and parts pictured here, the customer chose to have us fill the original perforations so he could get the most from this investment and the best looking face of his dashboard. We welded a plate behind the radio perforations and used a small amount of filler to smooth out the face and then sanded everything flat. Preparation is critical here, because the thin vinyl will not hide any imperfections.
You’ll notice we also welded up a few extra holes that were non-stock.
In the photos below, you can Kenny massage the vinyl cover into place, and carefully uses pleats and darts to stretch the material around the compound curves. The end result is a new, well-supported and tight cover, with no wrinkles and no extra holes.
Tony, the proud new owner of this Bugeye “London,” wanted us to change the color of the dash on his new blue bugeye from black to navy blue. We not only accomplished his goal, but by restoring the dashboard underneath, we have made the best possible foundation to support his dashboard cover for generations to come.
Want your dashboard to look this nice? We’ll pick up your car and bring it to our facility for restoration, or, you can also send us your dashboard and we will restore it. Email for more info!