Holden VB Commodore Console Restoration - Our Shed

By: Glenn Torrens, Photography by: Glenn Torrens

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holden commodore dash holden commodore dash
holden commodore console 7 The original console’s vinyl wrapping had detached. Replacement later-model console has no vinyl – but was the wrong colour holden commodore console 7
holden commodore console 5 I thoroughly scrubbed the wreckers-yard console with heavy-duty caustic cleaner holden commodore console 5
holden commodore console 3 Prepwash is an essential degreaser before automotive paints are applied holden commodore console 3
holden commodore console 2 I ‘snuck up’ on the console colour change to Sandalwood by applying several light coats from the aerosol can holden commodore console 2
holden commodore console 1 The colour-changed console ready to be installed in my wagon holden commodore console 1
holden commodore dash 2 With a freshly-painted console and the bargain-buy dash mat I can almost hear Kiss’s 1979 hit 'I Was Made For Loving You' on that radio again… holden commodore dash 2
holden commodore Wagons are just made for road trips! holden commodore

Glenn Torrens gives his 'new' Commodore interior a tidy-up

Although in good condition overall, there were a few age-related blemishes with my 1979 VB Holden Commodore SL wagon. One was the centre console: the vinyl had shrunk and the glue had lost its mojo, allowing the vinyl to lift.

It looked crap!

holden-commodore-console-7.jpgThe original console’s vinyl wrapping had detached. Replacement later-model console has no vinyl – but was the wrong colour 

I guess this was a warranty problem when these cars were new because for the later-series VH Commodore of 1981, the centre console was simply moulded plastic, without the vinyl wrapping. This was a blessing for me as it meant I could tidy-up my wagon’s interior with a later-model console. As my cool old wagon is just a suburban cruiser and not a big-buck, 100 per cent correct, concours-type restoration, using the later-model hard-shelled console wasn’t a problem.

holden-commodore-console-5.jpgI thoroughly scrubbed the wreckers-yard console with heavy-duty caustic cleaner

Once again, Greg at Classic Oz Wreck sold me what I needed. Unfortunately, the console was green so didn’t match my wagon’s interior. However, I knew I could buy pre-mixed vinyl paint in a spray can that matched my wagon’s Sandalwood interior colour.

holden-commodore-console-3.jpgPrepwash is an essential degreaser before automotive paints are applied

I began the tart-up by removing the vinyl handbrake gaiter, resulting in the plastic pins on the console’s underside being broken. Dammit! Then I washed the console with a cleaner known as Hot Shot. This is an ultra-heavy duty commercial-grade kitchen cleaner that strips off anything that is not supposed to be there! After allowing the console to dry, I used a trade-spec pre-paint degreaser on the surface.

holden-commodore-console-1.jpgVoila! After spraying several light coats of Sandalwood, the colour-changed console is ready to be installed in my wagon

With the scrupulously-clean console sitting on a milk crate, I carefully applied the Sandalwood coloured paint. Like most painting operations, this is best done with several light coats – with what painters call ‘flash-off’ in between – of paint rather than one heavy coat. The flash-off time of five to 10 minutes allows the solvents in the paint to evaporate a little, reducing the risk of slumps or runs in the finish.

holden-commodore-dash-2.jpgWith a freshly-painted console and the bargain-buy dash mat I can almost hear Kiss’s 1979 hit I Was Made For Loving You on that radio again…

After allowing itto air-dry overnight, I installed the freshly painted console into my classic Commodore wagon and ticked that task off the list!

 

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