1971 240Z Restoration - What's Going On Behind the Scenes
There is no such thing as downtime when it comes to vehicle restoration. While progress is being made on the body work and prepping for paint, we also preparing everything we need on other areas of the car to put it all back together. We all know no restoration is complete without a proper interior and this 240Z is no exception. While there were a handful of prior repairs done, there is still much work to do on the main components of the interior. Let's start with the seats...
At first glance, the seats in this 240Z don’t look so bad. But a second glance tells a different story. The vinyl on the seats was very hard and unforgiving and the seats had been taken apart before for some foam repairs. The combination of these issues has left them feeling very hard, the upholstery worn through on the driver's side, and the aesthetic very flat with the bolster contour completely gone. Our customer chose leather seat upholstery to be installed rather than reproduction vinyl, and opted for a new set of replacement seat foams.
As you can see by our disassembly and inspection photos, these seats were very due for the attention they are receiving. The prior repair also featured using seatbelt material as banding. While we applaud the creativity in that fix, it left no give or flexibility to the seats, compounding the foam and vinyl issues we have already highlighted. We also replaced the clear nylon that sits between the mechanisms and the seat materials.
In addition to restoring the proper shape and feel to the seats, we applied the same treatment to the most important "touch" on the interior. When you look across a car as you drive down the road the first thing you see is the steering wheel. We take the worn and weathered and put life back into it, bringing out the original beauty of the 1972 steering wheel. The depth of the woodgrain is present again and the feel is nice and smooth in your grip.
While looking at the steering wheel, the steering column cover is another part that takes a beating that we focus some attention to. On many of these cars the plastics have cracked or warped from many years in use and sun damage. The unit in this car was too warped to repair. A used part was sourced and properly restored.
Looking back and reflecting on the rich history of the Z car is a wonderful segue into the next small feature - the rear view mirror. While many mirrors have become pitted and dried from years behind glass getting cooked in the sunlight, we can restore the vibrancy and depth to the housings. The shell of our subject was so tired it had pitting holes in it. Through our plastics repair operations we were able to fill and finish it back to new. Any one dingy component can detract from the full scope of the work performed, so no detail is overlooked by our trained eyes.
As we continue to talk about the finishing touches around the driver there are two more that we will provide focus to: the interior door panels and center console.
The door panels in many older Z cars have started to break down. The outer skin material felt as though it was the same plastic that covers your standard office store binder and the slight bit of pad present breaks down over time. We are recovering these panels with our 70-73 interior door panel kit . As you can see from the pictures it has a nice match to the original stamping textures at the inset and outer areas. The stitched border is a nice detail that is not original but corresponds to the seats well and adds a continuity to the interior.
Over the transmission tunnel is home to the center console. These often are cracked. Years and weather are not friends to interior plastics. This piece, much like the mirror, received our interior plastics treatment and has been thoroughly repaired and refinished. Check out the fine detail in the texture – Beautiful!
While we showed you a few of the “Before & Afters”, we will wait to show you the finished seats, rear view mirror and steering column cover until the end. You’ll just have to keep watching, and see how it all comes together in one fine finish!
All of the parts listed above are available on our website for purchase. And to inquire about our Custom Refinishing of your parts, contact our office for a quote. We love bringing new life back into tired parts! And, if you mention this Restoration Blog post, get 10% off the Custom Refinishing of your part!