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So, the interior of my '75 Gremlin is trashed... The dash has cracks and has been painted pink but partially stripped. The carpet is rotten, the headliner is even worse. The seats are torn and sitting funky.
It leaks somewhere in there, making the front seat soaked all of the time. my gauges are cracked and the hole for the radio is carved out bigger than the radio and looks horrible.

I'm just lost on what to do and where to start.
Where does one start when redoing the interior of a vehicle?
In the end, I hope to make everything black and grey, and look nice. It doesn't have to be showroom, just not redneck.
I'm really hoping to repair, rather than replace.
Can anybody give me some pointers? I'd really like some suggestions on where to start and how I should go about fixing it up.
Thanks a lot,

posted by  BlueMeanie

I suppose the first question that needs to be answered is... Are you using the car as a driver, or is it parked? That in itself has a bearing on your restoration strategy.

posted by  vwhobo

Well... As Hobo said, it makes a difference if you need to drive it regularly.

But, there's little hope of simply "repairing" much of it without replacing a lot of it. There are kits to "repair" the dash cracks, but teh repair is always obvious afterward. You could cover it with a dash mat, but I'm not sure how tacky you might think that looks. Seats can be recovered at any decent upholstery shop. Carpet is too inexpensive to try to repair, and will make the biggest difference in the way it looks, just get a kit from JC Whitney. Same for headliners.

You might also be able to match up the factory seals with JC Whitney, or do some Google searches online for actual suppliers of older AMC restoration rubber. Hemmings Motor News magazine is also a likely source. And here:


Unfortunately, all of it requires some disassembly of the car. If you have to drive it, start gathering parts until you have enough to do a good chunk on a weekend. It's best however, to not have to drive the car while you work on it, if at all possible.

posted by  ChrisV

Im sure there are dash covers somwhere. I have to have one in my Nova but of course, parts for Novas are proboly easier to find than parts for a Gremlin.

posted by  sandlercd_22

if ya have time to wait around until this summer i will be parting one out. im pikcing it up in the spring and derbyin the car this summer. interior if i remember is pretty good.


posted by  adamc44

fix the leak before you do anything... strip out the interior, take out the headlining (this is normally the worst job on a car, when you have to replace it buy a premade one) remove any rust on the inside of the car then paint it etc... i guess it depends on if you wanna do the whole lot yourself! retrim the seats and panels with some fo your own fabric, then patch up the dash... or buy a second hand interior!

posted by  Mk3golfer

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