Another item that I picked up for the bubble top is a 62 center console that I recently finished restoring. Again, I am building a Resto Mod so I thought this console would go nice with the bucket seats I already have for the car. IMO this is how Chevrolet should have built the interior in the SS model to begin with in 61. These consoles are getting pretty rare to come across in any condition so I found this one on EBAY and spent the pretty penny they were asking for it. After I received it I got to work bringing it back to life.
First, was to disassemble and send off all trim to have re-chromed. Then I bought a new light lens and new lock and key set for the car that had the console lock cylinder included. Next I got a large piece of Black 80/20 loop carpet and used the previous carpet as a template. After the carpet was cut I had my mother stitch some carpet binding/edging around the top and sew the four corners together to form the console correctly. Last was was to thoroughly clean the inside and out of console for refinishing. I chose red for the interior color, plus the console was already this color. After scuffing I Applied SEM adhesion promoter, then applied SEM red rattle can dye and several coats of SEM semigloss clear to finish it off.
Reassembled using stainless hard ware, installed lock cylinder and carpet using SEM super trim adhesive. Pics are of before and after.
Since I have decided to build a Resto Mod and not go back completely stock. I picked up a nice solid set of 62-64 buckets. 61 Impala never had the bucket seat option, wasn't available until 62 and was installed on the SS models. The seats came from a Olds Starfire but are the same as Impala except the drivers seat has the rare option of having the 2-way electric seat track. They came complete minus the electric switch that mounted on the side. What a hassle it was to find that switch! Completely disassembled and sent trim off to be re-chromed to start the restoration. Seat frames were not bad at all and only 2 of the bottom side springs were broke but this is common.
Here are some pics of the floor braces after I removed all the pans from toe board to under rear seat. Removal was done the correct way by drilling all spot welds to separate floor from brace. First removed was the floor pans then came the rear seat pan. I was simply amazed to find that all the braces and inner rockers were super solid and not needing any repair what so ever. Rockers being solid on a 61-64 Impala/Bel air is a rarity when restoring due to being the most common rot area 90% percent of time.
Started to install the universal door braces I bought from summit and quickly found out that they weren't so universal. The flange that bolts to the door striker and hinge location did not line up correctly, so I decided to make my own. I traced out the pattern from the door striker and away I went. Here is the finish products installed on the car.
Bit the bullet, went to Summit and bought a car Rotisserie and a set of door braces. Pulled the rolling chassis out from underneath the shell with a jack, two milk crates and a 10 foot 4x4. What a job when working alone! After struggling for a while I managed to get the shell bolted to the rotisserie and removed the doors and deck lid.