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Vitesse Dash Vinyl surround

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I wish to recover the dash surround in vinyl colour red to match the seats. The compound curves at each side of the dash give me cause for concern. Has anyone ever done this and if so any tips on how to get a good smooth finish at the difficult compound curves each side. Any help and or advice would be most welcome .  

Best tegards

Jon Saunders

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Hello Jon,

I pitched your question to a friend who, prior to retiring, spent many years refurbing classic car interiors not only in the UK but also Canada; he has given the following advice:

My first bit of advice would be 'Red??…….don't do it!!'...…..but if he must, then the choice of material is going to be the deciding factor on how well it'll come out. Trimming vinyl  over a compound curve requires the material to be 'stretchy' and to tolerate heat without losing its surface texturing. He needs to source a material called 'Ambla' which was used extensively on vehicle interiors from the 1970s and 1980s. This material is able to deform to a certain extent over profiles without creasing, with its ability to do so increased by the careful application of heat and tension. The use of heat needs to be measured, as too much and the material will lose its grained texture (if it has any) and the surface will go smooth and shiny. Keeping tension in the material can be helped in some cases by the application of thin wooden 'tack strips' to the part being trimmed. Obviously not all parts will lend themselves to the use of tack strips, but in those that do the Ambla can be applied using contact adhesive, moulded around the profile with heat and tension, and then stapled in place to the tack strips on the reverse side of the part. The tack strips themselves are either glued or screwed to the part. In the case of a dashboard the material used will need to be tolerant of heat anyway......as the dash area can get extremely hot, and resistant to fading due to UV. Best advice is to go to a reputable supplier like Woolies and ask their advice on the best material for the job.

Hopefully the above is of assistance ??

Good luck.



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I didn't do it myself, but a local upholsterer replicated the entire dash cover on my Herald in black vinyl-type material including the factory-look stitching for £50. It's a lovely job and much richer looking than the original as he added extra foam padding underneath.

You can also buy leather dash covers, (although only at present in black) complete with colour-coded stitching, from online auction sites.

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Thanks Colin 

I am going to have a go myself as materials are about £30. If I fail then I will try local upholsterer. I would like to do everything myself as I have done so far . I am about 3/4 way through complete restoration and have done it all myself in my garage and driveway. It seems to be critical to get the correct thickness Vinyl and then use a heat gun to form it around the compound curves. I will post a picture of finished article in next few days. 


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