Dash it All

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I weild a mean paint gun.

A man named Wayne Agee taught me how to point and shoot in one day.  One sweltering day on the pavement outside Jim's shop, we mixed some Corinthian white paint and I learned how to shoot by first practicing first on the inside of the Falcon's trunk and then on the underside of her hood.  

My education was soon to be expanded on however.  I had a dashboard to do.


If you think THIS looks bad, you should've seen the inside of my brother's house!

Now first, let me remind you that in most '63 Falcons, unless it was a Futura or a higher-end model, you got a metal dashboard.  Hot as hades in the summer and cold as the proverbial monkey beans in winter and done up in Turquoise blue, the bird's front and center was far from being presentable.  Again with the sandpaper, the palm sander, the toothbrushes, the laquer thinner and the elbow grease.

It took a roll of masking tape, a ream of newspaper and hours of preparation before I even dared spray the first droplet.  But there's more!  Jim and I, in a fit of 'up'timism, decided to up the ante on the paint appeal by adding - you got it - metal-flake!  So, after just two tries, I was about to jump off the Corinthian white cliff and dive into the world of 'don't you dare mess up'.

I must say though, that I did an awesome job :)  

The dash looks like it was born to twinkle ever so gently in the midday sun and there's hardly a run anywhere any normal human being can see.

Now that the dashboard looked so dashing, it was time to polish up the buttons and brass!

Jim and I together took on the removal and dismantling of the instrument panel.  We repainted the gauge needles, replaced the color gels behind the turn indicators and used our buffing wheels and several grades of metal polish to bring the trim ring to a mirror finish.  Dennis Carpenter proved the source for replacing needed buttons for the choke, heater and such.  The horn button was reusable and a new horn ring was easily found on eBay.

The piece de resistance?  The plastichrome trim in the middle of the cluster we sent off for rechroming!  I have been to so many shows now and seen so many of these birds that look like a million bucks until you look at the instrument panel and that one little detail has been neglected.  It's like wearing a silk suit with a stained tie.

But not our bird!  She's all spit, polish, horn button and bows!


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