With the dash removed from the car and completely stripped down, I brought it over to Bascom Trim and Upholstery in Santa Clara. The quote they gave me to do the work was significantly more than other alternatives, but I felt most comfortable having them take it on. I had the dash wrapped in genuine black Alcantara. This is when I came to learn just how pricey the fabric can be (over $100 a yard).
Frugality notwithstanding, I figured attempting a task as daring as rewrapping a dash would benefit from the investment in high-end materials and workmanship. The job took a couple of weeks to complete. In the process, Bascom repaired and reinforced the broken glovebox mounting points on the plastics. I also asked them to permanently affix the defroster vents from the backside, since they have a tendency to lift up at the edges over time.
Since the days of my initial foray into the car world, I’ve always dreamed about having an Alcantara interior. I’m not sure what influenced and anchored the thought, but the material seems so fitting for a sports car. Now almost a decade later, I finally have the chance to fully pursue it.
Once the rewrap was complete, I dedicated an evening putting everything back together. This included mounting on the powder coated crossmember, installing the numerous HVAC ducts, and routing in the wiring harness. Since I reused my original ’94 harness, I had to get a little creative with it and ended up relocating 2 ground points.
I also spent WAY too much time than I should have figuring out the VIN plate’s reattachment. The wide flanged, black rivets Mazda used to secure them are an odd size. Bascom initially used black rivets that were close in size, but still didn’t cover up holes adequately. I had them removed and decided to install the plate with stainless steel rivets and washers, which covered up the holes and looks quite good. Additionally, I noticed a pair of small blemishes appeared on the plate, likely from being handled at Bascom. It was unfortunate, but I was able to touch them up with a small brush and brown paint.
Due to the dash’s compound curves, Bascom incorporated a seam above the glovebox area to create a joint in the material. Keeping in theme with the rest of the interior, I requested the stitching be done in black.
Finally, the dash was shoved back into place inside the car and bolted down. It was quite refreshing to see the ’93 dash installed and the added simplicity it ushered… the passenger side airbag is a sight that will not be missed.
I never really planned to tackle the interior in such a grandiose fashion, however, the cheapness of it started to add up for me. The RX-7 is an amazing car with many strengths and Mazda did a great job engineering most of its features – except the interior. In their ambition to keep the car as light as possible, they skimped in an area that deserved it the least… now the car is plighted by cheap, thin plastics inside. I think the aesthetics and ergonomics of the interior are excellent, but the FEEL is not. Everything I’m doing now is to help enhance the feel department and raise the overall quality inside. I understand that the foundation may be imperfect, so there is only so much I can do. Even rewrapping the dash is essentially a “best effort” solution. Regardless, an improvement of any magnitude is still an improvement.
Slowly but surely, the car’s interior is coming back together. I am eager to install the remaining pieces once they are ready.