Rear Compartment And Ceiling
One particular area we wanted to change was the rear compartment. The most involved change was in making new side compartment panels to fit around the wheelwells and under the rear windows. Interior Motives in Manchester, Connecticut, made the new panels from fiberglass. They mount by fitting over the lips on the rear edge of the door openings. In the areas behind the panels, room was then available to mount the rear speakers and subwoofer. To give us a separation point for the two-tone leather, we used stock '63 door panel moldings which were reversed and bent to shape to fit the contour of the panels. A new rear panel was also made and covered in two-tone grey. We needed a straight molding to match the '63 door moldings and found that a door molding from a '69 Camaro was the exact same profile. Our Split Personality emblem (made by Austin Barnett Designs from Vetteorama) was added for a finishing touch. (See photo 15: rear compartment)
The floor of the rear compartment was also changed. The major change was to eliminate two storage compartments which was necessary to clear the structure of the tube frame. A new flat panel was installed which levels the floor. We wanted to strengthen the floor so we glued in two 1/2-inch-diameter steel rods in each rib in the floor. A new floor panel was made which was padded and then covered in grey leather. The ceiling and halo panel were covered in the light grey leather, and we used a billet dome light from Phipps Hot Rod Billet. (See photo 16: ceiling and halo panel)
We searched for insulation material and found several choices. We decided to use Lizard Skin spray-on ceramic insulation material for its complete coverage, ease of installation, and reduction of both heat and noise. It's applied with a special spray gun and required four gallons of material to achieve the recommended thickness of 0.040 inch. We coated the inner firewall, ceiling, rear compartment, floors, and inner doors. (See photo 17: Lizard Skin insulation)
We had to search for a grey carpeting material to closely match the light grey leather, and found one used in a Porsche that matched well. Custom floor mats were also made on which our Pro-Classic logo was sewn. (See photo 18: carpet and floor mats)
As with the exterior moldings, we also had to obtain all the interior windshield, door, and rear window moldings. Several sources were used to find originals as these aren't reproduced. A custom-mix grey paint was mixed to match the leather and was applied to all the moldings.
Rear View Mirror/Monitor
In Installment 6 we addressed the rearview camera system we installed to improve visibility and showed how we mounted the camera. The monitor for the system (from Rostra Precision Controls) is incorporated into the rear view mirror. To make it appear as original as possible, the mount on the new mirror was modified to fit the stock '63 chrome mirror bracket. Since the mirror/monitor is wider than the stock mirror, the visors also had to be reshaped to clear. (See photo 19: rearview mirror/monitor)