How I styled out my interior

By: David S. Brooks
And, we’re off. My model is basic, not an LX or anything. Just like anybody else, I would love to have gone with some kind of luxury model, but at the time of the purchase, money was a bit tight. I could probably tell you I was short on cash because of an illness, some sort of great personal tragedy, or a back-stabbing business partner, but the truth is, I was just a slacker. As long as there was ramen in cupboard and a video game hooked up to my TV, I was happy.

Sorry, where were we? Oh yeah, fixing up my ride. The dash was essentially molded plastic in a tan-ish color. I decided that was a good a place to start – you know, “add some pizzazz," as my grandmother used to say.

Over the years, I had seen some really snazzy-looking wood dash kits in various cars – an old Jag my buddy had, a Lexus my girlfriend’s father bought her, and I think I even remember one in my uncle’s Caddy. It’s funny how things like that stick with you after all the years. I wonder why I can’t remember where my smokes are sometimes, but I can tell you that I had meatloaf for supper on January 26th, 1976. I just don’t know.

Anyway, I wanted that burled walnut look that sticks out. I did some hunting online and found a bunch of places that sold the kit for my 4Runner. I ordered one and when it arrived I installed it without too much hassle. You had to use this glue kit and I had to really squeeze the tube into oblivion to get enough adhesive to do the job, but in the end it all worked out.

With my dash looking so fine, the steering wheel sort of stood out like a sore thumb. I thought maybe I could get one of those leather wraps, in brown, but this dude I was giving a ride to mentioned that they make simulated wood grain covers for steering wheels. He didn’t know where to buy them, so it was back to the internet. After a quick search, I found one that fit bill. When it finally arrived I was able to put it on in a matter of minutes.

The match was really good, not perfect, but not bad at all. I had been driving that car for quite sometime and was really getting sick of it, but after upgrading the steering wheel and the dash it feels like a completely new ride. I guess that’s because, if you think about it, basically, when you’re driving, the only thing you can really see, aside from the road, of course, is your dash and wheel. So, before you dump your old reliable ride, just because you’re bored with the interior, spend a little cash and give the ol’ girl a makeover.
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