Car audio took off in a big way in the early '90s-a day when sound quality was king and stealth was the name of the game. The more factory your car looked, the "better" the job was done. This left you with a great-sounding sound system and a pretty functional car with usable trunk space and everything. As the years progressed, the factory look became a thing of the past and flashy lights, transparent glass and acrylics found their way into the custom sound environment. The evolution continued and the beautiful look of flowing panels with multi finishes like paint, carbon fiber and imported woods took the look to a whole new level.
But what happened to the trunk? As a work of art, most show trunks are ever-evolving, but as a trunk, they don't seem to work for anything. While a painted panel is awesome to look at, it forces you to look for a new place to put your luggage or picnic stuff when you head off to a show or a club barbecue.
It's for this reason that this month we've chosen to look at a simple, tried and true custom-built trunk, the floor build. In newer vehicles, we see this all of the time, but in our classics, we don't often use this technique as it changes the classic look that we love and gives the trunk a more modern look. By the end of the pictorial, you'll see that the end result isn't that far off from what we're used to.
Trunks are the functional equivalent to a front closet where we store stuff for a short time. A trunk keeps things out of the passenger compartment to provide a safer environment for the driver. More importantly, we spend way too much money restoring interiors to throw a dirty blanket or chairs from the park in it. Also, an unfinished trunk can be dangerous as a folding chair does have some metal in it and we've all "arced out" a battery and know how dangerous it can be; plus none of us want something to stab our subs.
So to keep everything safe and protected, a floor build will provide you an option that will look custom and still give you room that you can enjoy. Floor builds take advantage of the factory recess in the trunk floor and convert them into usable airspace for subwoofers. Newer cars have spare tire wells that function well for this and our ever-popular Chevy Impalas have recesses that allow us some serious sound options.
By raising the floor a few inches we can create the illusion that the trunk was designed this way. These few inches provide room to hide wires, recess amplifiers, and allow clearance for the subwoofer magnets. In some cases, we're able to get away with a basic box and a floor panel.
In tighter space constraints, we can gain more airspace by using fiberglass to mold close to the trunk metal and take advantage of every possible inch of space. We have plenty of room in our Impala SS so we'll look at the simpler all-wood construction. Follow the pictures from the raw metal to the finished product for a new take on an old favorite... the floor build.