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Dashboard styling

"Adding a dash of style!"

Never overlook the interior of the car. You will spend much time looking at the dashboard of the car and you certainly don't have to stick with the standard plastic, and dials that come with the car.

Often people concentrate on what others see outside the car but this often generates an anticlimax or disappointment when they start looking inside the car.

All of the interior surfaces can be recovered. Leather is a popular option, we are seeing a lot of flocked dashboards as well but many new fabrics are available with soft finishes, even fur is available as well if you are brave!

(Please leave the faux fur alone as this look went out about 30 years ago!) Sit down and carefully plan your interior - take a look at show cars to get some ideas and see what is possible.

Treat your eyes to a nicely finished interior. You'll spend much time looking at the car interior.

Keep the overall theme of the car - the interior should match the exterior theme. A motorsport style exterior would not go very well with a luxury interior and the converse is also true, a motorsport interior would look out of place on a luxury car.

A wide variety of gauge styles are available from chrome and polished housing to carbon fibre and even complete digital dashboards which look fantastic at night look the business. Even aircraft style heads up displays projected onto the windscreen are possible.

Adding dials and gauges can actually add function as well as form, allowing you to monitor engine oil pressure, temperature, boost, economy, voltages etc...

Be sure to only add the dials you will use - less is definitely more otherwise your interior will end up looking like the inside of a 1980's space ship in a B grade movie.

Complement the dashboard dials and plastic makeover with a new sporty steering wheel, gear knob and pedals. Drilled aluminium pedals go with most car interiors but again all types are available and choosing pedals with a wider footprint opens up the possibility of heel and toe gear changes to most car types (and foot sizes).

The standard dials can usually be replaced easily by removing the instrument panel and overlaying a pre-printed panel. White backgrounds are popular and these have the added advantage of being easily seen at night.

Strangely when the dash illumination turns on at night the numbers will glow and the white background will go dark, at least that was the effect in my Corolla. Companies sell complete instrument binnacles, or kits to convert the standard one. Most will require some disassembly of the dashboard to instal.

Seats come in all shapes and sizes. Beware of light colours as these can be very difficult to keep clean (although they do look fantastic. It is beneficial to choose similar colours and materials to the other surfaces in your car so bear this in mind when planning the car interior. Retro looks tend to last much longer than modern quirky looks but will not be as revolutionary.

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