Who doesn’t love a nice dashboard? Truth is, we stare at them every time we get into our cars, and they have to look nice with all the curves in the right places.
The dashboard above came to us in a nice red Bugeye we picked up in Florida and brought to our workshop for extensive mechanical restoration. Now that the car’s systems are all tip top, we’ve moved on to cosmetics. This dashboard looks like someone got angry (when the car didn’t start?) and kicked the center of the dashboard.
The customer agreed it was time for a straighten and recover. Note also the puffy covering. Please don’t do this, it never looks right. The original dashboards were flat and vinyl covered, with the vinyl glued directly to the metal face.
I suppose people sometimes try to hide the imperfections in the dashboard with foam, but it never works. We will straighten, weld, fill, smooth and recover this dash so it looks like it did when it came out of the showroom. If you need help with that, send us your dashboard and we will restore yours properly too!
One of the best parts of a dashboard restoration is getting intimate with the yellow factory crayon markings that grace the back of every factory dash. Above you can see the backside of this particular dashboard. It includes the options codes H, R/C, W/W and MPH. These exact codes are seen on 95% of the North America AN5″L” (for left hand drive) cars that have come through our shop. Heater, Rev counter, windshield washer and MPH speedo (instead of KPH). As far as we can tell, every Bugeye shipped to our continent came with these options.
Also of note is chassis number on the back of the dashboard 39692 (AN5L 39692). This car has a missing vin plate, so this information is particularly useful. This particular car is registered to the engine number 9CUH 39076. Engine and chassis numbers were “in range” so we have good reason to believe that this is the original engine. Because the number on the dash is close to the number on the engine, we have good reason to believe that this is the original dashboard that came with the car. With this new information from the back of the dashboard, we can make a correct vin plate for this car and set the record straight.