June '19

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 40 of 71

JUNE 2019 THE SHOP 35 creating high-quality hot rod interiors." The six-hour course was conducted in the installation bay of Automotive Entertain- ment in Huntington Beach, California— right in the heart of the original hot rod world. It focused on attendees learning the latest tips and techniques for hot rod interior fabrication in a classroom setting. Schmitt demonstrated how to create the perfect modern, retro or original interior look. He then went over selecting, using and blending a variety of upholstery mate- rials. In addition, Schmitt and Torres dem- onstrated styling techniques, such as vinyl embossing and diamond-panel stitching, to enhance the value of a shop's work. Instruc- tion was conducted in both English and Spanish. "I want to not only show you what I have learned working with the materials, but some of the tools and techniques to help conceptualize and visualize an interior design," Schmitt explained. "We go over how multiple layers on panels can really set things off, and how specific material com- binations and hardware utilization can all influence strategic interior panel design and construction. As retailers trying to profit, we need to stop the design-as-you-go men- tality and secure an agreed-upon design concept with the client. This way you'll be able to accurately quote, plan and charge for the hot rod interior work the client commissions." INSIDE SCOOP Torres, who hosted the event at his shop, has been seeing a lot of hot rod projects come his way recently. "In my area, we have a lot of hot rod shops, and I have the opportunity to help with builds," he says. "Originally, it started with simple center consoles and kick panels. Now I'm able to help with complete interiors." Automotive Entertainment does several full interior builds each year that would be considered hot rod or custom car proj- ects, Torres says. He enjoys the challenge of incorporating high-end audio systems into retro-appearing interior designs. Torres makes sure the products sound good. However, for old-school hot-rodders, sometimes the aesthetics are more impor- tant than the equipment. "The best way we have found to blend audio into hot rods is to build the pan- eling into and around the audio gear," he explains. "This way, the audio blends in and looks like part of the interior build. We use whichever high-end audio brands fit into our design and build. Sometimes we mix and match for fitment reasons." In other words, although an amplifier that has a black anodized aluminum chassis might work perfectly for the audio system, Torres will go with a flashier polished alu- Installers learned strategic design and fabrication techniques that enhance the value of a shop's custom interior work.

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

view archives of THE SHOP - June '19