The 80’s gave us many things. Scarface, the U-Boat Commander, and materials for dashboards that over time and exposure to the sun end up looking like the face of a cocaine addict. At least, that’s what I think?
In any case, what I’m talking about today is the Red E’s dashboard. Finding an original 944 dash without any sun damage or cracks is a holy grail or godsend. Mine was very nearly close when I bought it; however, my laziness combined with parking outside most of the time has led to some more cracks forming and expanding as seen in the picture below. I accept full responsibility for it, and much to my dismay, it is quite the eyesore to me, as the cracks are reflected in the windshield on sunny days. Something must be done about it!
The newest ones have been forming around the defrost vents... -_-
I was hellbent on keeping the car as original and unrestored as possible, but even that has it’s limits. That being said, I had four options:
1. Leave the dash as is and deal with the cracks as they get worse and your OCD about it deteriorates your mind to mush. It’ll still be original, but you’ll wanna claw your eyes out like a crack cocaine addict....That is what they do, right?
This one started this weekend on my trip to Ohio.... ;_;
2. Get a dash cover and call it a day. It’s the second easiest way out, preserves your original dash and is cheap. But it’s the equivalent of puting a carpet on your dash.....I don’t know. (o_o)
3. Order a brand new replacement dash cover from Classic9, a Porsche-specific upholstery shop not too far away from me I can get it in regular vinyl, fancy leather, or alcantara, because racecar. It will come pre-trimmed to fit the dash and all would be well. Heck, you can even customize it with colored stitching and colors up the wazoo; BUT there is a hefty cost. $700-800 depending on the material chosen!! I’m a broke college student!! Relatively speaking...
The cracks you see above were already there when the car was bought. They were the only ones to begin with...
4. Go to Joann Fabrics, buy a yard of marine grade black vinyl for 60% off per yard(under $10 a yard in this case), and spend the man hours yourself removing the dash, going through 31 years of electronics, and trying to get it done yourself, or follow this instructional and inspirational video you might wanna follow.
Guess which option I picked.. ;)
I mean sure, it doesn’t match the original color. But if this works out successfully, I should have a pretty sweet-looking two-tone dash to last many more years to say the least! This should also cause me some more frustration and brain farts once I get into this new project; but after having torn apart the top of the engine once, and doing the struts last week, I think I can handle this without loosing much sanity. :p