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Interior Upgrades

Adding a touch of class

By Jonathan Moulds (2006)

This is specifically aimed at the later rubber bumper cars but probably holds true for the earlier dashboards, too.

There are many kits available on the market to allow the enthusiast to fit a walnut to an MGB. They are all of varying quality from basic roughly shaped bits of wood with a bit of varnish to thin laminate mounted on sheets of steel to dashes made entirely out of wood by real craftsmen. Prices for these items can range from around £90 to £500 for the real McCoy.

I purchased a dash on eBay a few months back for £66. When it was new it would have been around about £200. It was supplied with new screws to mount the walnut to the dash however it does have one or two minor flaws in the varnish. However, for the price I paid I am not complaining.

The dash comes in five parts.

The next photo shows a close up of the grain of the dash. It really is a beautiful piece of wood. The grain is lovely particularly on the piece that covers the glove box door.

The dash I have is around 6mm thick and is not laminate but solid walnut. The only downside is that it does leave the dials somewhat recessed into the dash. It's not really a problem, just different from what was there before.

To install the walnut capping I first place the main panel over the original dash and adjust it until I am happy with the fit making sure all the gauges line up as cleanly as is possible. The next task is to then hold the dash in place and then mark where to drill holes in the dash by sliding a screwdriver through the screw holes and rotating it to leave an impression in the dash.

The next step was to drill small pilot holes where I had marked them with the capping in place. It is important to pass a drill through the holes in the capping as the varnish reduces the size of the screw holes. If you choose not to do this, then you risk cracking the varnish when you nip up the fixings. You can now just screw the capping to the dash. After mounting the main panel you should then repeat the process with the remaining four panels working from the centre outwards. One point worth considering is allowing a gap between the capping over the glove box and the surrounding panels. If you do not there may be difficulty opening and closing the glove box!

One problem that I faced is that I have extra switches mounted on the dash to the right of the driver. The red switch is for the rear fog light and the blue one is the override switch for the electric fan.

I plan to relocate those switches to the where the green warning light to show that the heated rear screen is illuminated on the far left of the centre consol.

The Finished result…

 

Walnut interiors

Walnut dash

It has to be said that the MGB never came with walnut being as it was a sports car.  Walnut was always the preserve of the MG saloons.  That said, if you want to add walnut or even carbon-fibre panels, then the chice is unlimited and options are available for all MGB models.