Finishing Touches

I've been working on the dashboard and centre console. I've had to cut vents for the screen demister and ducts to get the air from the heater to them. I've used plastic waste pipe and fitted it in the dash assembly that Beauford supply. The Sierra vents tidy it up and help direct the air.


Dashboard in place, with mocked up centre console
Dashboard in place, with mocked up centre console

I had to consider what to cover it in. I considered using cream vinyl to match the cream leather seats, but I thought I would get reflected glare on the windscreen. My wife, always the arbitter on taste and decency, suggested using some blue I had and follow the theme through with blue carpet. After covering the dash in 1/2inch foam I used the blue vinyl.


I carefully cut out the holes for the switches, rheostats, radio and cigar lighter. Then assembled the centre console I had planned and covered it in foam and vinyl. I fitted the switches and radio etc. and fitted it into the car then connected them up.  

Hood and rear door glass fitted
Hood and rear door glass fitted

Fitted hood and glass in rear doors. Very nerve racking because it is toughened glass and you rivet it to two stainless steel pegs with two rivets for each peg, so that's four chances per window to shatter! But managed to successfully rivet them in place. 


Split windscreen fitted (and demister vents)
Split windscreen fitted (and demister vents)

Next step was to fit the windscreen. I'd decided on a split screen and it was surprisingly easy to fit. The hardest part was trying to keep the rubber in place until it was all on the car. I used a sponge soaked in washing up liquid to run around the rubber then just slid the screens in from the centre. I was expecting a fight, but no problem.

I've still got to seal the centre pieces in place and put the beading around the rubber (got to find it first, I put it away safely!).


I rang Dave at Beauford, he's going to send the headlight surrounds and door locks. Once they're fitted I'll book the IVA and hope I get the trim finished in time.


I had to re-do the dashboard under trays. Once I had covered them they wouldn't fit properly, so I had to peel the vinyl off, trim the tray and re-cover.


Working on the interior trim. I've adapted the Ka doorcards I got with the seats, to fit in the back, they make a nice leather armrest each side. I've made plywood caps for top and I have stained them mahogony to match the dash. Still some work to be done there. 


I was dissapointed with the seat belts, I was hoping to use the Sierra belts, but they're not long enough in the rear with the Ka seat fitted, and won't fit in the front! So I've had to buy new. 

Engine bay with washer bottle
Engine bay with washer bottle

Bought an interior mirror and washer bottle from SVC and spent the day fitting them. It should have been simple, but then I should have done it before fitting the dash board! 


New seat belts have arrived, so fitted them in the rear. Had to virtually dismantle the back of the car to do it. Rear seats out, rear valance and luggage rack removed to get at the nuts.


I spent a day and a screwdriver through two fingers getting the rubber beading in around the windscreen. I slipped and protecting the windscreen cost me a hole in my finger, still persevered and did exactly the same again through another finger. On the bright side I didn't crack the windscreen and eventually my fingers should heal. There is probably a very simple tool to open the rubber and feed the beading in but I made do with washing up liquid and a screwdriver, hopefully I won't be doing it again in a hurry.

Re-worked back end
Re-worked back end

I've reworked the luggage rack, rear bumpers and number plate now, as I've had to dismantle it. I bought aluminium angle which I cut and shaped as escutcheon plates to go where the luggage rack come through the valance and pop riveted it in place. I've used decking spindles to bridge the two spars and secured them with self tapping bolts. I've also given them a coat of paint.

I've reworked the badge bar at the front by putting two bracing bars on it. I hoping it will stiffen the headlights which tend to shake a little when the engine is running, it does. It also looks a little more stylish, at least I think so! Just need some badges now.

I temporarily fitted the door locks and handles then the striker pins. It all worked perfectly until I made one lock permanent, then nothing quite married up! I had spent one day on the first fit, another on adjusting them and another securing them.


With the locks in place I covered the door cards with cream leatherette and installed them. It's looking more like a car!

I got a bargain on Ebay, a set of vintage interior handles, for £6.50 plus postage. After I'd cut the spindles to size and drilled retaining holes I fitted them. I cut the leatherette to size and sewed it together so I could fit it over the seat belt post like a glove. Once I had lined it with foam I fitted it in the car.




Its been a year since the kit was delivered and I had been hoping to have it on the road by now, getting near but not quite.


The rear speakers could've been fitted on the back shelf, but using the Sierra speakers (to save money) I decided to fit them in a panel below the rear seat. The panel also supports the rear seat, I just need to decide what to cover it in leatherette or carpet.


I tidied up under the bonnet, clipping back the cables etc. and secured the final bolts in place along the wings and running boards. Then again I had to decide what to do about bonnet catches, go for vintage style or save quite a bit of money and go for dzus fasteners and also be less risky with the IVA.


I am concerned about the headlight surrounds, I've not had them from Beauford yet. Every time I've been in touch they have told me that their original supplier can't do them anymore and so far the replacements quality has not been good enough. It has been a year since the kit was delivered so they should have sorted it by now. I am going to apply for IVA, so they have got another month.


I was just checking everything out prior to posting the completed IVA application and the wipers had stopped working. I cleaned the connector up (something the Beauford build manual advises to prevent wiper failure!) and got them working. Then the car wouldn't start! I decided to take the dashboard out again to have a proper look. I found I had pulled a lead out of the relay while I had been fiddling around the wiper motor. All connected I put the dashboard back in, it had taken two days, but hopefully I shouldn't have any more problems. So I posted the IVA application form.

I've been in touch with the Beauford Club, apparently one of the members has a relative who is making headlamp surrounds. Liz the club secretary is going to put me down for a pair, just hope they come in time for the IVA!


The last few days I have spent sorting out the seals on the doors trying to make it weatherproof with the soft top. I've bought some carpet tiles because they're rubber backed and fitted them. I figured they're ideal to cope with any rain with the car open to the elements. Need to get some more! I also put cap nuts on all the exposed bolts.


While I've been working on the car, the paint has got chipped where the various tools have fallen off the bonnet or where I have caught bits or a spanner slipped etc. So I've spent the morning touching them up. I'll need to sand them down flush.



IVA test has come through for 20th September! 


I was not happy with the new seatbeltsI had fitted in the rear, they would not retract all the way and kept sticking when pulling them out. So I decided to refit the old belts from the Sierra. I had to take the rear seat out to do it. I had taken them out in the first place because they weren't quite long enough, but the new ones had come with extension brackets so I used them with the old ones.



Fitted valances to wings
Fitted valances to wings

I decided to put valances on the wings to close the wheels in. I drew a template on an old laminate flooring board then cut it out and trimmed to fit. When I was happy with it I cut out two from some marine ply I had in the garage. I fitted them to the wings with coach bolts and made a bracing bar with some steel tubing. Then I removed them, sanded, painted and refitted them.


Liz, the Beauford Owners Club secretary contacted me to say the headlamp rims had arrived, phew! I arranged to collect them and fitted them to Twiggy, they look superb. I also fixed the Beauford 'B' badge, on the nose. it will have to come off when I finally sort the paint out, but what the hell.



I also made some door stays with webbing covered by cream leatherette. I made the bracket out of the Sierra seat subframe to hold the one end the other I used a press stud, so if I need to open the door all the way I can.

The next thing I started on was the trunk. It needed to fit on the luggage rack, which was shorter than the standard Beauford (to fit in the garage), so buying the Beauford trunk was out of the question, I needed to make it. After taking the measurements I realised the opening for the trunk was going to be narrow and not very practical, so I decided to have two openings, the lid and the back side (similar to a London taxi). The back would not be strong enough to use for luggage as in the taxi but if it opened out flat I could use it as a picnic table. Having decided on the design I went to B & Q with my measurements and they cut a sheet of external plywood to size. I had intended to cover it in black leather look vinyl but decided I wouldn't be able to get it to look professional enough, so have just gone for the paint for now, I may change my mind later.

I made the trunk with an opening top and two fold down flaps at the back. The fitted the first with wire stays so that it becomes a picnic table when opened, the second gives better access to the trunk. The trunk is slightly narrower, its easy to put things into it from the top, but having the opening side also makes it easier to get things out.