Interior Project

The whole interior project started with a true need. Afterwards, this "need" actually led to the nick name the car is known among Mustang enthusiasts here in Finland. Here is the story:

The winter 2002-2003 was quite freezing in Finland. The Mustang performed well and was good for winter climate, except for having problems to heat up the cabin while the weather was cold enough. I had the car in a garage at nights, in around 12-15C degrees.

The road trip to work is almost 40 miles and by then the temperature in the cabin had gone down from cozy garage temps to way below zero, I believe -10 to -15C could have been true while parking the car at work. January 2003 was very cold showing -25C almost the whole month. I felt like wind blowing from somewhere passanger's side, and the dash board was ice cold. This made me take the dash pad off and have a few views in there...the cowl was rusted and wind was blowing right in. There was nothing else to do that strip the whole dash off and repair the cowl. While doing the whole interior project the car was off duty only total of three weeks during the sandblasting and cowl repair, then I drove it without much interior parts and just the driver's seat attached while the panels were being painted, cloth applied to various parts and so on.

The interior of the car was almost totally stripped of and the cowl got repaired with new metal. The floor of the car was mostly sandblasted and a few holes patched. We also welded the cracks under the seats (the floor board tend to crack under the seats on these cars). The floor was painted, as well as the interior panels except for those that were covered with artificial leather. Don't know where that idea came from but the dash board was cracked around the speaker holes, and just painting would not have looked good so I ended up covering the dash pad, door handles, center arm rest, tranny boot and headliner with black leather-like cloath. Women make "leather" clothes out of the same stuff...

The new floor carpet was added, plus front seats from a '92GT convertible. The cloth of the rear seat of that 'vert was utilized while the '80 original rear seat was re-upholstered.

The nick name? Well, the cowl vent project inspired me to write a story about it to our club mag, and I put a pic of the car on the title of the article. The pic was altered so that I "photoshopped" a logo from a refridgerator brand being sold here to the fender of the car. The logo is pretty hot-rod in itself, as it has a "V" and the text UPO above it like the early Mustang fender badge has "V" and "289" or "260" on it. Some people were about to drop their eyeballs when they saw the trick (some never even noticed), and after that the car has had its nick name, "Upo". White cold car, white fridge...

Here are some pics.

After stripping the dash. This is the rear portion of the cowl vent, right behind the heater box. You can see the places where the heater box attachment brackets were spot welded.

Almost everything was removed.

Floors were sandblasted and first coat of rust primer is applied here.

Then the floor was painted.


The car didn't look bad here.


Dash pad being covered. It took a while to figure out what shape pieces of cloth were suitable and where to parse parts together. Only two pieces are needed, one little one shown here and the big one.


The passenger side end of the dash. The cloth was "elastic" enough that it could be wrapped around the corners and the clued to the dash below.


"New" dash back into the car.


Door panels. The door handle is covered with the same cloth and the lower part of the panel has different kind of cloth on it.


Original rear seat with cloth applied from '92 vert's rear seat, plus black vinyl. The old guy at the shop knew his job.


Finished interior.


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