Every aspect when building a car from the ground up is about the details. The sum of the parts you select as well as the level of the execution during final assembly will determine the overall quality once completed. No detail is too small, and when you're focusing on your business office, there are loads of minute areas that require lots of attention. In the case of Project Orange Krate, our '71 Camaro, the car received a custom-molded interior at some point in its life, which may have been bitchin in the day, but there was no way it would cut it in its drastically changed form: a purpose-built, hard-core track and street car. A change from its original boulevard cruiser demeanor to one that is infinitely more aggressive.
Since the majority of its original interior had either been modified or tossed by the last interior shop in favor of custom touches, it left us with pretty much an empty shell needing to be refreshed from every corner. For Peter Newell of Competition Specialties in Walpole, Massachusetts, it was time to create an interior that would give Orange Krate a fresh look while maintaining its original factory-born roots. It's no small feat to take on ordering a complete interior including every screw, washer, and mounting clip, but thanks to the team at Ground Up, Pete was able to source the majority of what he needed with a single phone call.
A few interior items remain to complete the installation, including reproduction dash vents and a killer stereo. Once received, Orange Krate's business office will be complete and ready for action.
Stay tuned as we head into final exterior assembly in our next installment!
01 Getting started at the top (literally), Competition Specialties team member Pat Dickinson laid out the fresh headliner from Ground Up to flatten it out. He then placed the five headliner bows into their respective sleeves.
02 New headliner retaining strips were then installed front and rear with a Phillips head screwdriver as well as a fresh set of headliner bow clips to the interior roof panel.
03 Dickinson then test-fit the headliner. With the fit good, the headliner was removed and the balance of the Dynamat was added to the inner roof panel. The bows were then snapped into place followed by fastening the headliner to the headliner retaining strips.
04 The headliner was then stretched side-to-side to eliminate any wrinkles. From there it was secured in place and followed up by installing all the related trim pieces.
05 To freshen up the floor, Ground Up supplied us with a factory molded, two-piece black loop carpet kit made out of an 80/20 rayon and nylon blend. Because of the Detroit Speed rollcage, some cutting was required with a razor knife to perfect the fitment.
06 Some additional cutting was also required to accommodate the shifter. A razor knife was used to make final fitment a snap.
07 When reassembling your project, there's nothing better than opening one box that has all the stainless hardware you need. A complete body kit from Totally Stainless ensures no parts-store runs or last-minute phone calls to track down missing pieces.
08 With the carpet in place, Dickinson used hardware from Totally Stainless to secure the new sill plates.
09 Competition Specialties owner, Peter Newell, then installed a pair of exact reproduction black kick panel assemblies from Ground Up.
10 The lower rear interior side panel was then set in place and screwed into position.
11 Here you can see just how perfect the fit of the new lower rear side panel and upper sailpanel are and just how nice they finish this area of the interior.
12 An exact die-stamped black-vinyl covered rear package deck tray is a perfect complement to the refreshed interior. Here, Newell test-fits it for trimming around the rollcage.
13 The trunk divider board was then fitted to mount between the rear seat and the trunk area.
14 In preparation for the new, black door panel installation, the inner door panel water shield was taped into place.
15-16 A new door lock ferrule was placed into the new door panel top rail and then secured using a standard screwdriver to bend down the tabs, securing it in place.
17 To keep the outside elements outside, fresh door weatherstrips manufactured in OEM-style soft latex rubber were set in place using new, kit-supplied mounting clips.
18 Using more of the hardware from Totally Stainless, the door panel top rails were screwed into place.
19 The new reproduction lower door side rail requires an armrest pad be installed from inside the panel using a pair of Phillips head screws.
20 Here, Newell assembled the unit.
21 Here you can see where the lower door side rail will secure to the new door panel.
22 Using a number of short Phillips head screws, the lower door side rail and armrest are secured to the door panel. Make sure the door panel is on a secure surface when performing this step.
23 To prepare the door panel to be mounted, a set of fresh door panel clips were secured to the rear of the door panel.
24 Newell then set the door panel into place on the door, working from left to right.
25 Next, the new window crank handle and shim gasket were fitted and secured in place with the supplied retainer clip.
26 The door panel was then finally secured in place with a pair of long Phillips head screws mounting it to a support bracket on the inner door.
27 To complete the door panel, a razor was used to cut an opening for the inner door handle latch mechanism.
28 The inner door handle latch mechanism was attached to the latch rod, secured in place, and topped off with a fresh black escutcheon.
29 Machine-finished custom doorjamb vents with complementing stainless door striker bolts, both from Eddie Motorsports, add plenty of killer looks to the doorjamb.
30 For the ultimate in comfort, fresh rear seat foam for the seating and backrest were mounted to the seat frames then covered with new, standard black vinyl seat covers.
31 To give the dash a full custom look a new, black molded ABS dashpanel from Rick's Camaro was the perfect addition to make the Racepak IQ3 display dash placement look like a factory option.
32 Project Orange Krate's business office looks bitchin and is almost complete as it awaits a few final items. Stay tuned as we move into final assembly of the body and a few final tricks from Peter Newell and the crew at Competition Specialties.