Resto Mod Restorations Part 3: Interior Trim & Upholstery Removal
Jeff Noll's 1967 Camaro and Jim Mokwa's 1969 GTO had already been disassembled to one degree or another, before they purchased the cars. Jeff's car did have seats installed, but in Jim's case the interior was completely gutted and stripped out of the car. Because of this, we found another Camaro to illustrate the teardown of an interior. This car is a 1969 Camaro SS Sport Coupe owned by Lori Fuller. Lori had decided to have this car fixed up in honor of her husband — a car enthusiast — who was killed in a California auto accident along with their daughters. The car needed a little paintwork and a lot interior work.
Unfortunately, Lori had some terrible luck picking shops to do the job. The first place the car went to kept it for a long time and accomplished nothing. She finally got the car back and took it to a second shop where the operator asked for deposit money in advance. Then, he partially disassembled the interior, but failed to buy and install a new interior kit. He failed to finish the project at the agreed time. Luckily, a local body shop and a major supplier of Camaro interior kits from California came to Lori's rescue after they heard the story behind the restoration.
John Diermeier, is the owner of John's Custom Auto in Manawa, Wis. — where Lori's mom was a teacher. After talking to several companies that supply Camaro interior kits, John finally got hooked up with Classic Industries in Huntington Beach, California. Originally founded in 1976, Classic Industries started out selling small items for the restoration of early model Camaros in a small facility in Palm Springs, Ca. Since then, the company has expanded from operating out of the trunk of a Camaro to two massive corporate campuses and an expansive warehouse for housing one of the largest inventories of parts and accessories in the business. Classic Industries has been featured on many major TV shows, such as "Overhaulin,'" "Chop," "Cut, Rebuild" and "My Classic Car." It has appeared in numerous magazines, including Hot Rod, Car Craft, Hemmings Motor News and most publications that feature classic and muscle cars.
After hearing that Lori was trying to fix the car in memory of her husband and learning that she had paid for a never ordered or received upholstery kit, Classic Industries offered to supply such a kit, in the correct clue color, free of charge. With that problem taken care of, John Diermeier brought the car to John's Custom Auto and began the job of removing the rest of the original interior. The parts that had to be removed included window cranks, door handles, arm rests, door panels, kick panels, sun visors, headliner, dash pad, center console, seat belts, front seats, rear seat cushion and backrest and carpeting,
Door Handle & Window Crank Removal
Camaro door handles and window cranks are held on with clips that snap in place on the back of the parts. A special tool is designed slip over the shafts of the cranks and handles and push the clips out. The tool is sold by many of the interior kit suppliers and tool suppliers listed in the back of this book. The clip should be between the handle and the white or gray plastic washer. Just insert the tool up against the clip and push the clip until it pops off the handle or crank shaft. The arm rests also help to hold the door panels in place. They are fastened to the inside of the door by long screws that thread into deep-set holes that are hidden on the under side of the armrests, Simply reach a Phillips head screwdriver into the hole and turn the attaching screw counter-clockwise.
Door Panel Removal
Taking off a 1967 Camaro interior door panel is simple. First, remove the screw above the inside of the door handle. Then remove the screw under the armrest (as we already covered above). Next, take out the screw in the map pocket area and the screws under or behind the cover over the door latch. Then, lift the door panel up and away from the door, moving it towards you as you lift it.