Have you ever noticed how many times an otherwise really cool car falls short on interior? This often comes from a lack of planning (and sometimes budgeting) from the beginning of the project. Another problem arises when rushing to completion at the end of the project. Planning the interior of your car is of the utmost importance because if you can't be seated comfortably behind the wheel there is a good chance you will never drive the car much further than the corner store.
This planning and associated creature comfort in the 2013 AMSOIL/STREET RODDER Road Tour car is even more important because the creature behind the wheel is going to be driving this 1951 Ford some 25,000 miles; yeah, comfort is a high priority with road warrior Jerry Dixey.
Comfort comes mainly from a good seat that is properly mounted with full adjustments. Happily, Wise Guys supplied a pair of their super comfortable and equally good looking bucket seats. It should be noted they also have a full line of bench seats and split bench seats available. Once properly seated the location of the steering wheel, pedals, shifter, and other controls come into play.
The steering wheel location is critical for driver comfort, to that end team Honest Charley worked diligently to position the Flaming River steering column properly for driver comfort. The steering wheel was sourced from Yogi's and neatly hides the paddle shifter from Powertrain Control Solutions and the wheel that Honest Charley Garage modified to accept a Dennis Carpenter Ford Restoration Parts 1951 Ford horn button. Of course all the proper ergonomics are important, but if you're sweating like a pig, and your mullet is getting all tangled up in the wind, well, that just won't do, so once again Vintage Air came to the rescue with one of their great A/C and heat combination units. Beyond just keeping the cabin comfortable the Vintage Air ducts look great in the dash and the A/C is instrumental in keeping the windows de-fogged during the inevitable rainstorms. Of course there is more to cabin climate control than just pumping tons of cold air inside, you must also keep the noise and heat out. To that end Dynamat was used to completely line the floor and inner panels along with Eastwood undercoating in other strategic areas. All of the Painless Performance Products wiring had been installed earlier, along with the FAST engine management computers and the Specialty Power Windows. It was finally time to complete the interior.
The results are a cabin that is cool, thanks to Vintage Air, in more ways than one: cool to look at, very cool to drive, and a great styling achievement by team Honest Charley. From the full-length console to the custom stainless steel interior trim, the 1951 Ford exudes cool. Things like OEM 1958 Buick upholstery fabric mixed with Symphony Classic vinyl makes a real 1950s statement. Other unique touches include covering the garnish moldings, housing a rally clock in the dash, and eliminating the rear seat so the Road Tour "stuff" could be carried easily, all add to the overall character of the car.
So here's the take away: Plan early and never rush your upholstery and interior details as they are truly as important as paint and body, maybe even more so when you consider the comfort angle while driving. Now here's a closer look at the interior of our 1951 Ford.