In total, the MGA tail-lights are made up of 48 pieces (each light contains 9 screws, 5 terminals, 4 rubbers, 2 bases, 2 lenses, 2 bulbs and a trim ring). It's the complete opposite of todays cars which are made up of sealed units from injection molded plastic.

There is a ring of trim around the interior, commonly called the Cockpit Rails. They are made up of wood and cast aluminum, then covered with vinyl and leather.

This is the most humorous one. It runs along the top edge of the dashboard and is called the "Crash Pad". I guess the concept of passive safety wasn't fully developed.

The unnecessarily complex, over-engineered hardware used to bolt the rail to the dash. These parts would surely be replaced by a single plastic clip today.

The vinyl is wrapped tightly around the rails, then stapled on the backside.

Test fitting the side rails on the doors before covering them.

The fit between the pieces wasn't even close. I filled the gaps with 2-part epoxy. You can also see the fibre-board, which is glued to the backside of the aluminum so that you have something to staple the leather to.

The fit on the rear rails, which sit behind the seats, was so bad, that the hacksaw was needed to make some adjustments.

Leather is tough, forgiving and fun to work with. The leather needs to be soaked in clean, cold water to make it stretch enough for installation on the curved peices. Otherwise, you'll end up with wrinkles.

This is the most twisted piece, which sits next to the driver's and passenger's shoulders.

Once the leather is stretched and stapled into place, the extra is trimmed off.

Posted by leo at April 9, 2006 09:04 AM