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I'm debating whether to change the S4s dashboard from the original polished wood veneer to something more modern, such as a carbon fibre look. There may be some parts of the engine bay panelling, like the bits that are carpeted that I could do as well.

Firstly, what could I reasonably use, presumably there's some fake carbon fibre that looks good, and doesn't take a professional to apply it? Secondly, what do you think about such a change? Would I be destroying the character of the car, or improving it? I'm guessing there'll be a split here!

Fire away, chaps.

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Secondly, what do you think about such a change? Would I be destroying the character of the car, or improving it? I'm guessing there'll be a split here!

 

Well as usual it's all a matter of personal taste, so there are as many answers as there are owners ! LOL

 

My personal worthless opinion, just because you asked for it ;-) is that to me the S4s (and early V8 and Turbo SE), have this luxury feel to them, and I feel that carbon fibre (or aluminium bits and bobs) does not fit in there, the car would end up being inconsistent if steered away from its initial statement... so to speak.

 

However, models which were thought and built with a definite bias towards sportiness rather than luxury (X180R, S300, GT3...), would be a good home for carbon fibre or whatever else that may be in that league... sequential straight cut dog box, full LCD/glass instrument cluster, whatever floats your boat !   I do have dreams of both a luxury S4s and a race oriented V8, but I don't dream of mixing the two together as I feel it would end up with a car looking inadequate from either point of view.

 

 

That was my contribution.. for what it's worth ... i.e. not much at all ! :blush:

Edited by Vince

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Real carbon or nothing for me. Fake carbon would very much put me off buying a car. It looks so cheap and naff, much worse than plain black plastic which incidentally is what the Sport 300 had.

Unless it's broken or damaged I'd stick with the wood dash, I think they look great anyway.

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No, no, please continue the comments. I'm genuinely interested in what forum members think.

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I'd hit the real carbon, but if you want to check you're preference then the 3M textured carbon vinyl is very good and will give you a taste, without the big tome effort of a real carbon finish

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I detest the original wood fascia, but I'm not sure carbon would fit well with the overall cabin unless you were making a fair few changes.  I have seen some replacement wood jobs that looks much nicer though.

 

I have some very decent carbon vinyl (don't ask; it's not the norm for me) that I could bring down some weekend with a bottle of gin?

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Didn't one iteration of the S4 have some Godawful fake carbon fibre trim mouldings around the internal door pulls?

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I've added carbon affect to my car, I get mine from Amazon, about £10 for nearly 2 x 1.5 metres, good stuff and looks reasonable. I would do a dash in it.

 

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Sorry, only just realised you're talking about putting fake carbon on an S4s! 

 

:shock:

 

You better make sure it comes off easily without damaging the wood or that's a very fast way to ruin an S4s. Values are rising and unless you plan on never selling the car, most future buyers will want to see the car in original spec, including the wooden dash. The S4s is far from being a modern car, it's a 90's icon and people like it that way. No-one in their right mind will think you've nicely modernised it inside with some fake carbon. If it makes you happy and you plan to keep the car forever, then it really doesn't matter what you do with it of course, stuff what anyone else thinks. But there are all kinds of mods going on Esprits but I haven't seen many that I would consider an improvement.

 

Real sports cars don't need fake carbon.

 

I think I saw a Sport300 with a fake carbon dash once. Almost criminal.

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I agree with Jonny. These are old cars with plush leather interiors. The wood kind of alluded to a luxurious lifestyle grand GT. Carbon and bare aluminium work where the whole theme is continued. More over it should be carbon fire to reduce weight.

 

On a similar but different note I recently changed some bulbs in my dash. The surround on my old turbo is a vacuum formed plastic part. There are a few bits of trim which are made by this process. Holding the parts in your hand they are so cheap and horrible its untrue. When fitted they look ok enough but are extremely light. I know Owen ^^ has been doing work with vac forming and Im sure he will agree with that.

 

What Im trying to say is fitness for purpose.

 

Walnut Dash > GT car

 

Carbon Fibre > Stripped out racer.

 

Buddsy

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Some interesting points of view.

 

I did wonder about the originality issue of course, and I have no desire to lessen the car's value. I do think that Lotus' have come in some pretty horrendous colour matches between interior/exterior trim, and the wood veneer on the S4/S4s dash smacks more of a old Jag, rather than a GT. that siad, I've become a bit more accustomed to it the more I look at it.

 

The reason I'm asking the question (apart from not being over enamoured with the look of the wood), is the condition of mine is not great, and needs refurbing. The costs of new veneers from Lotus are staggering, and I'm pondering the alternatives.

 

Owen, I like that carbon by the quarter windows, that looks nice.

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If it was my car and the dash needed refurbing and I didn't like the wood I'd look for a Sport 300 plain black plastic dash. Given the close similarity between the S300 and S4s a dash from an S300 wouldn't put me off as a buyer.

 

To be honest the walnut dash was a slightly quirky choice when it was first used in the Turbo SE in 1989. As already mentioned it was done in a not very successful attempt to make the car seem more luxurious. Full leather and aircon was all part of the SE package as standard so I guess they wanted the car to feel more upmarket than the regular Turbo. I don't think the wood dash fooled anyone at the time, let alone now but some of these quirky features, like the SE's Renault gearknob and maxi door handles are all part of the car's appeal now. I'd love another SE one day but only if it was just how I remember it - quirks and all.

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Funny you should mention the gear knob. Mine's one of the later alloy ones , and I'd dearly like to get an original one fitted.

I detest the original wood fascia, but I'm not sure carbon would fit well with the overall cabin unless you were making a fair few changes.  I have seen some replacement wood jobs that looks much nicer though.

 

I have some very decent carbon vinyl (don't ask; it's not the norm for me) that I could bring down some weekend with a bottle of gin?

That's a tempting offer, however it occurs to me that the equation goes something like (you + me) + (bottle of gin) = 2 x (large hangovers).

I shall give it some consideration, in that case.

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Carbon Fibre (real or otherwise) looks quite out of place in the Esprit. interior As others have mentioned, the original interior is supposed to exude class - replacing the wooden panels on the doors and dash for carbon fibre clashes with the surrounding design and leather. Modern supercars can pull it off, but at the expense of (in my opionion) looking very sterile and spartan - leather is pulled taut, no longer "cushy", and designs are geared more towards track-car interiors than grand tourers. 

 

I understand that if you need a new wood mask that there are no real options available other than fake dash masks (or re-veneering the old dash). Other than that, if you like the carbon fibre look, go for it, it's your car. For my part, I'd always know it was "tacked" on and not the way the car was originally envisioned, hence why I've been hesitant to replace my Turbo SE dash mask (which is cracked, although not garish as some examples I've seen).

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I'd happily swap the gearknob from my 1990 car for your alloy one!

Mine is (AFAIK) the original part and it's the one without the red legend so less obviously Renault...

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I re-did the wood in my esprit with matching grey on the door trim black on the air vent surrounds and I made a real carbon dash clock facia fake carbon in my opinion looks gash its a joke I wouldn't put it anywhere near my car . Sorry to the people who have it but it's not a good look

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Didn't one iteration of the S4 have some Godawful fake carbon fibre trim mouldings around the internal door pulls?

 

:(

 

Ypu. And the dash. The stickon CF has been on my radar for awhile. Radiator etc first though.

Another member did hid dash and door trims on his S4 and from the pictures, it did not look bad.

I'll see if I can find it. I don't have the skill to reproduce the parts in true CF.

 

Nigels thread on a film.

 

Alexs thread on real stuff.

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Agree Alex, but it is very easy and extremely cheap to purchase and would allow Ian to see if he likes the style enough to take the plunge and go the whole hog and spend the time and money to do it properly or peel the fake carbon back off and re-veneer. Makes a lot of sense. Some of the newer vinyls from 3M are very convincing from a distance.

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Ok, I've read the comments, thanks guys, and come to the conclusion that I will keep the wood dashboard if possible. I'll make a call today and try to get an idea about a refurb cost. If it's a horrendous price, I may have to rethink, however.

The bits of wood on the door cards are actually pretty good, they were allegedly returned before I bought the car, although to be honest I wouldn't trust the bloke I bought it off for a second.

I do need to do something about the bits of carpet by the rear quarter windows, though. Who the hell thought that one up? Crazy idea sticking carpet there. Maybe I shall remove the original, get the wife to clean it, and glue it back again.

Of course it's possible to remove all the wood bits, and make duplicates with a carbon-fibre, or other such look, but that's something for the future.

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I have the original Wood on my 1990 SE dash and like it. In my view, no matter what you cover the dash with etc, it's a tough looking sports car. Can never be anything different.

I don't mind if it's Wood, leather or carbon, but it have to be the real material, leather, Wood or carbon. No fakes. That is hust too much Toyota.

I think it must be relatively fair to make some real carbon facia's and sell them.

While I don't like carbon all over, I think it could surely look good with the real thing. I just made the inner gearsticj in carbon and aluminium, and drilled various Places to further lighten it, and while I cannot see it, I like it and did it, because I know now it's as good as I can do it.

Regarding the carpet bits in the rear side Windows, i have the old style original greyish thin trunk compartment material, and not the front carpet material, as I've seen on later V8's.  would prefer that carpet (mine's red) with a embroidered Esprit logo.

Or a similar thing in leather (Magnolia) with an embossed Esprit logo in it.

I would not like to have everything in carbon, but some bits here and there, and some carbon parts, I'd paint to look like the original part. To save weight, naturally ;)

The newish sportscars with carbon only looks, is pretty ugly in my view.

 

Kind regards,

Jacques.

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I couloir matched my dash mask to the leather, looks better than the cheap plastic. I was thinking of covering it in leather, I've seen that in an aston vanquish. But you need to be able to skive the leather really thin. I have a spare dash mask so I may try it.

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