Nope, Don't Like It.
The dashboard has been through several iterations. The first attempt (on the left) I just don't know what I was thinking of.
The second was nearer the mark and the third I was sort of happy with, but it was too busy.
Rather than fiddle on with changing the faces of the generic gauges I'd lined up for the Special, why wasn't I using the Riley set, after all, the fuel gauge was matched to the sender unit and would save a lot of extra work in that department alone. I'd run out of 9mm ply and so went to Wickes to get a small 2'x4' sheet - the perfect size that would see little wastage experimenting with my new vision - number four.
It was looking good, the only drawback being that Mr Wickes' and my idea of what constituted plywood differed somewhat. A sprinkling of fairy dust between the layers of reconstituted wasp nests wasn't going to cut it. From another local supplier, the hardier version was available only in 8'x4' sheets. I had to bite the bullet, but the surplus would come in handy somewhere in the bodywork. That was number five.
I had decided that a turned alloy elliptical binnacle, set against an American Blackwood veneer would be in keeping with the imagined era of the Special, so the Derbyshire Ellipser was dusted off.
A template for the binnacle was cut from a spare piece of 12mm ply. This would allow for a 10mm return to be created using the bead roller.
In my enthusiasm, I'd cut out the ellipse before I did the engine turning. This usually results in short-lived pads of Scotchbrite though I was careful around the edges and mostly got away with it. The patterns were a bit wobbly, but it wouldn't be noticeable once the instrument holes were cut.
The most difficult bit was aligning the rectangular cut-outs. The original bezels were made of Mazak or somesuch and had a garish chrome finish. With a wire wheel, they could be cut back to look like brushed stainless steel, a much subtler look.
Learned Counsel had been after a GT6 for a while and spotted this example for sale near London.
His idea was to get into Classic racing, and I encouraged him in this plan whilst privately eyeing up the seats for the Special (bucket seats would replace the originals). Apparently one owner and 30k miles, it had been hidden under old carpets and a log pile for some years. Anyway, lots of work had been done at some stage and it ran. It was also too good to turn into a racing car (drat, there go my seats). A deal was struck.
A visit to a chum whose 1908 Rover I did a bit of work on some time ago, was a chance to catch up with his Jaguar restoration. I'd be inclined to leave it in its present scheme - I rather like it.