In today's HellDorado update, we hooked up with Dave Engle, of Engle Brothers Fabrications out in Orange, CA., as they master mind the job of creating a custom dash and consoles for our '68 Cadillac, El Dorado. As a master fabricator, David had a vision for the custom Cadillac that embodies a concept vehicle look from the 1960's.
The idea was to build a metal dash and console that would flow with the exterior of the car. Before getting started, we had to think of the modern equipment we wanted to incorporate into the interior. Some of the new amenities included a custom telescopic chrome ididit steering column, and Dakota Digital oval individual bezels that will be complemented with Clayton Machine AC vents and accessories.
When building your dash, you will need to have most of the parts that you want to use before you start, as you need to make sure everything is going to fit and flow so that nothing is an afterthought. Now take a look, as Dave gives our Helldorado a '60's concept car look with a modern 2013 CTS V flavor to it.
1. The factory dash was completely removed to allow Dave to start fabricating.
2. The top of the dash was made in sections and was designed to be taken in and out until it was ready to be permanently welded in place.
3. Using a Harbor Freight English wheel allowed Dave to get the contours that he was looking for.
4. The top part of the dash was finally welded in place so the rest of the dash could be made and attached to it.
5. With tube work as a skeleton and sheet metal as the skin, the dash was starting to take shape.
6. As you can see, there are a lot of curves and this meant that the dash had to be assembled in sections.
7. The floors and center console needed to be installed to allow Dave to keep building.
8. As you are building, you need to have your components in hand to make sure that you have everything that you will need to finish it.
9. The rear package tray is going to flow with the rear center console, so it was dressed to be tied in so that the design could flow.
10. Spot welding would give us a look at how the pieces were going to look before completely welding them on.
11. By spot welding and doing smaller sections of welding at one time, you can keep your metal from warping because of the excess heat.
12. After the welds were done, they were ground smoothly to make the section look like a single piece. This will allow us to see if any sections need to receive more welding.
13. Here is how the welds look before they are grinded down.
14. The rear console was built from the drive shaft tunnel.
15. Dave welded the dash in sections to allow it to cool off and not cause any warping.
16. The top of the rear console was floated in the air.
17. The welds were ground down slowly and whatever was cut through was re-welded.
18. The console looked as if it was one piece once it was all smoothed out.
19. The console didn't look complete, so a top section was added to it.
20. This upper part of the console tied the package tray and console together.
21. Here is a quick glimpse at how the interior is coming together.
22. With an ididit column and Dakota Digital gauges, the interior still needed a few touches.
23. The dash was given Clayton Machine AC vents.
24. The dash was capped off as well, as we added the last of the AC vents to it.
25. As everything is coming together, you need to find the right seats for your car.
26. The rear seats were also going to work well on this build, and we will only have to trim them slightly to fit them properly.
27. Here is a better look at how the seats are going to fit in the car as the interior gets mocked up.
28. The interior was ready to be torn down to have the necessary bodywork done on it.
29. The interior was completely sprayed in PPG etching primer to keep it from rusting.
30. Here is a look at the interior before the bodywork is added.