After buying a used car, it's only natural to want to fix-up a few things and personalize your new toy. That was the case when our project third-gen Camaro was purchased. Though the car had basically been kept in good shape, time had taken its toll on the car. The interior had been subjected to two young children (evidenced by kids' meal toys and French fries found between the rear seats). Add in that the first thing the car's new owner did was install a new and more powerful 350 engine, and these factors combined meant the interior could use a few upgrades to A) clean things up a bit, and B) provide a few high-performance upgrades to allow for a new driving style.
Our list of upgraded included new carpet from Ohio Auto Mat, weatherstrips from Soff Seal, a headliner, padded dash, door lock switches, and heater controls (all from Classic Industries), a full complement of Auto Meter gauges, and a dash made of a flat piece of real carbon-fiber. Installation of everything was fairly straightforward, however, we did take the headliner to Andy Radi of Radi Custom Upholstery to ensure it was installed correctly.
We started with the carpet, which required removal of the center console and seats. Having the center console out presented the best time to swap out the heater control unit that was stuck in the heat position (not fun during California's toasty summer season).
Next, the factory gauge cluster was removed. A new panel was made to fit and equipped with an assortment of Auto Meter Pro Comp UltraLite gauges. We also added a few extra gauges on the A-pillar with Auto Meter's prefabricated pillar pod. Installation was easy, but the wiring required a little forethought and planning. We wired the new dash so that it uses only one plug, and wired everything into the factory wiring, making future removal a snap. The new programmable electronic speedo makes it easy to calibrate for new larger diameter wheels and tires. With the new panel and gauges in place, the cockpit took on the look of a true high-performance machine.
After the dash was in place we moved on to replace some of the badly worn weatherstrips with new parts from Soff Seal.
This entire exercise opened our eyes to the shear number of restoration and other components available for third-generation (read: somewhat new) Camaros. Still available for fairly cheap and with an abundance of new parts to be had, these cars are one heck of a bargain!