I've been quite ill this weekend, so no work on the Cobra to speak off. However this did give me a chance to re-think the dashboard layout.

I had wanted the radio mounted in the center recess, but found that the heater is in the way if you try to put the radio below the cutouts for the gauges. After a bit a carefully measurement I came to the conclusion that moving the gauges to the bottom and re-locating the radio at the to pin place of the gauges would work. The gauges at the bottom would just clear the heater controls, (with the heater pushed right back). The radio would then sit above the heater, and below the bulkhead rail.

I set about cutting away the moulds for the gauges, then laying fiberglass across the now flat back , then filling the slight depressions left at the front. I also added some more fiberglass re-enforcement, around the the new area for the gauges and the fixing points for the center piece, as I want to countersink the screws enabling them to be hidden by the leather. It is also worth noting that the center mould is by no means of the imagination square, it is a very poor mould and needs quite a bit of adjustment to get it looking right, depending which so called straight edge you use!

Dash Center before
..after 're engineering'

The blue colour just denotes the area to be covered by Burr Walnut Veneer .

As the heater control can now no loner be reached from the front, I intend to use the slider heater control from a Polo, with it's 'push, pull' wire to operate the arm. The slider can be positioned either hidden under the dash or in the area behind the steering wheel.


First off some more good news, goodies have arrived, ie Front/Rear nudge bars, Petrol Cap/Base, Air demister vents and moulding, Glove box moulding. Also the windscreen in ready, (Brasscraft) and will be waiting for me at the Exeter show next weekend, even better the carpets will be delivered next week along with the seats, and leather trim. That's the last of the 'big' items.

Started off by continuing on the dashboard, having decided on where the gauges and radio were to go, I cut the holes, also cutting the holes for the Speedo, Rev counter and dash warning lights. Next I made a matching template for the middle section from 1mm ally, this would provide the base for the Walnut Veneer, this then just sits over the existing front. It was a bit of a pain cutting matching holes in the ally plate and took quite a while to complete.

I fitted the gauges in place to assess the overall look and ensure everything fitted.

Dash ally plate
gauges fitted'

The ally plate once covered with Veneer, covers the blue area.

Next I needed to work out a way to operate the heater, now pushed right back up against the bulkhead. I used the sliding control for the heater from a Polo, the push pull wire was simple to connect to the operating arm on the heater, (which I have cut down to give more room).

I only need one of the slider controls and will mount the slider in a vertical position on the dash just behind the left hand side of the steering wheel. The movement of the slider is just right for the amount of movement needed to move the control to the off , screen and car positions.

Next job the dreaded filler cap hole. I was very careful in measuring the position for the hole, but even so only drill a 50mm hole to start with and then opened it out to the 65mm required for the hose. In the end I need not have worried, the hole was exactly over the filler pipe for the tank, fitted the hose and clips then sat the filler base on. I still need a couple of gaskets and some stainless screws for fixing.

Starting to look even better now with more shiny bit's going on. So next job fitting the screen vents, no big deal really, just cut the slots in the position stated in the manual, then screwed the chrome vents in place, although I did nearly fit them the wrong way round, ie blowing into my face rather than the screen, doh..

I also fitted the moulding's under the vents for directing the air flow from the heater, just stuck them in place with silicon sealer.

That's about it for this weekend, next week I am off to the Exeter show for trim items etc.


No work on the Cobra last weekend, went to the Exeter show, which was great, loads of cars especially Cob's. Hope mine turns out as smart as some of the pristine examples I saw. Spoke to Tony on the Pilgrim stand who apologised for the missing items I was waiting for. And hey presto on the Tues morning my seats and leather arrived.

Managed to pick up a few things at the show, namely, Fog and Reversing lights, Dashboard warning lights, Door and boot rubber seal, stainless screws for the filler cap, a couple of rocker switches and finally my lovely Autobrass windscreen.

Decided to get a messy job out of the way first, fitting the inner sills. The supplied sills are oversize and after a bit of trimming fitted okay. I used a combination of pop rivets and fibreglass to fit the sills, don't look to bad actually for something which will never be seen. I hate fibreglassing, stuff gets everywhere and stinks the house out. While I was fitting the sills, noticed another flash line I had missed, along the top of the rear bulkhead, no problem getting quite used to rubbing down gelcoat now.

I got hold of some Capri Mk1 door handles this week so will fit the handles next week end, hurray working doors at last. The seats and trim are in Tan leather and I have to say are very high quality, very nice, should go nice with the Walnut Burr. Talking of which the Veneer parts for the Dash are coming along nicely

I have also made up a door for the glove compartment, and hope to make up a small center console between the gear lever and handbrake, again using the Veneer.

Now to fit the windscreen, the Autobrass screen is of very high quality, and SVA friendly. I have chosen blue tint, the screen pillars have to be attached first but all the screws are supplied and everything fits together well. Next I checked the depressions in the body and found they were slightly out so very carefully marked the positions for the legs. Cutting the slots was no problem and the screen slotted into place nicely. I had also made up a support for the screen the required 870mm, ensuring the screen will be in the correct place for the hood.

With everything in place I marked the positions of the two fixing slots each side and removed the screen. I double checked my measurements before drilling holes in my £400 windscreen, at least the chrome plated brass drills easily. Fitted the screen back in place, (not forgetting the escutcheon plates).

Now the difficult bit, you now have to perform acrobatics up inside the wing to fit and tighten the bolts. If you are double jointed and have arms like an Orangutans, no problems !. After a bit of struggling the screen was fitted, hey it looks even more like a car now !.

Some more goodies set to arrive during the week, Carpets, Seat runners, Wing Mirrors, Grill set and stainless bulkhead cover. Things are coming along well now, so sent off the paperwork for the chassis number, and then the dreaded SVA is looming.


Some of the promised goodies did not arrived, most importantly the overriders which means I cannot fit the nudge bars yet. Decided to fit the door handles instead.

I had a letter from DVLA telling me the inspector will be arranging with me shortly to inspect the vehicle, once he has been and I get my chassis number, I will book an MOT just to get a legal drive on the road.

I managed to get hold of MK1 Capri door handles which means I have nice chrome ones, I did not have the connecting rods so tried to use the ones from the donor car. Unfortunately they are not long enough so I joined two together by drilling a slot in a 10mm bolt and 'nipping' the two rods together, a bit heath robinson, but it works and I have some adjustment.

The mounting plate needs to be spaced out from the door to get the face level with the door panel, it would also be a bad idea to try and fit the door handles without the door panels as you need to mark up where the hole in the panel is.

Fitted the boot seal next, and even though I am using the 'medium' size it is very difficult to get the boot to 'lay' perfectly flat to the body, it seems to fit better without the seal. Still I continued with fitting the boot catch. I bent a length of 1" flat and welded an 8mm nut the other side of an 8mm clearance hole. This allowed me to screw in the bolt, which would form the 'catch' part, the required amount to get a good fit. As for the vertical alignment the only way I could get a successful fit was to adjust the height of the flat with washers. I was trying to get the catch to 'pull' down the boot lid to get a better fit.

I 'm still not convinced this is the best fit I can get, so may re-visit later.

Finally fitted two rocker switches to the dash center, and cut the corresponding holes in the Burr Walnut inset. One switch for the Heater fan, another for the Fog light. Hopefully I will replace these with toggle switches after SVA.

I think, (hope), Santa is bringing me a Radio for Christmas.

Hopefully next weekend I will be able to fit the rear speakers and start on the leather work for the dash..