When we first started this build we knew that we wanted to have something different and opted to go with a more Grand Tourer (GT) theme as opposed to a track car. The original dashboard for the Daytona was functional for racing, not unattractive, but not really styled the way a production GT car of the 60’s would have been.
This is an interior shot from the Gen-2 Type-65 that belongs to Dave Smith, owner of Factory Five Racing. Again, functional, but not really styled the way we want.
Looking at the popular GT builds of the era, we decided that we both really liked the styling of the 1967 Toyota 2000GT.
We didn’t want an exact replica however we liked the rounder shapes, wood finish matched with black stitched leather and analogue controls from the time period.
So, how do you go from the pic above with no dash, to a framework that can be built on? Pencil crayons and whiskey of course…..(40 years of engineering also helps a LOT)
Concepts then moved on to a great deal of cut-away drawings, measuring and referencing to the body/frame to find out how all of this is going to get put together. Remember that we also want to be able to service this in the future, so it’s not just a matter of putting it all together, it has to be able to come apart if we ever need to fix or replace a component.
There was also a great deal of math employed in this effort. My father mentioned that this is the first time he’s actually had an application for some of his second year university math, especially where multiple compound curves and sheet aluminum were involved in the dash top.
From here, we went on to materials selection. The dash structure is made of plywood backing with a sheet aluminum front. The dash top is also sheet aluminum with wood as the front bullnose structure – this will be covered in stitched leather by our upholsterer.
Above you can also see the electrics terminals for all of the wiring in and out of the dash. These terminals feed all of the gauges as well as switches and toggles for the various functions of the car.
Here you can see the large box that’s in front of the passenger, with the limited space available this was really the only solution for the Vintage Air heater/core and AC unit (yes, we will have air conditioning!).
Our switches were laser engraved with the required functions and then filled with black enamel so they can be read when backlit.
Here are all of the structural components together before the application of leather and wood veneer.
The wood veneer of choice is a burled walnut. Most of the others that we looked at were far too orange or red in appearance, especially when coatings like automotive urethanes or epoxies were laid overtop.
The veneers are treated with a wetting agent and bonded to the aluminum, pressure is then added to squeeze out any air pockets and ensure a smooth finish. Once bonded, the veneer is then coated with multiple layers of clear urethane, lots of sanding between coats.
I think the results speak for themselves – the burled walnut appears very deep.
In this shot we have all of the leather wrapped trim pieces for the dash laid out in approximate locations.
Below is the leather wrapped aluminum housing for our parking brake assembly.
That’s it for now – stay tuned for next months post! (Body work, inbound)