Current progress so far
Links to parts and information websites
Where I will be building my diablo
Where most of the important bits come from
The stuff it all bolts to
What makes it go
What makes it pretty
The cars nervous system
Where you sit
The gubberment bit
Who really cares?
Stuff that will not fit anywhere else
Other diablo replica websites

The interior of the Diablo is one of the hardest areas to replicate. Many of the internal features are simply too expensive to buy original parts. So a compromise must be made with regards to authenticity

Here the air conditioning and ventilation system has been installed. There is not enough ducting supplied with the kit, so you will need to get some more. The vents pass through the fibreglass front bulkhead, protected from the abrasive fibreglass by rubber stripping. You will want to protect the pipes as they will be difficult to repair once the dashboard and body is on.

Its a wise idea to make temporary electrical connections to ensure that all the flaps move correctly and all the valves open and shut properly. The pipes are not trimmed to length yet, they are simply looped back into the ventilation system until such time I can be sure of their correct length.

I will be junking the supplied control panel as it is fairly nasty looking, I will be replacing it with a climate control system, detail sof which to be posted later.

This is the internal view of the duct work. The rubber gromets are secured with tiger seal (a silkaflex alternative ), and the hoses will be fixed to the bulkhead with additional tiger seal once the gromets have fully cured.

The additional cable splayed all over the place are temporarily there to correctly determine length and position. All of these cables will be installed into flexible ducting to prevent abrasion and shorts.

Here I am making up the centre panel which surrounds the gearstick. This part will not be identical to the actual Lamborghini part as my gear stick is central in the tunnel whereas its offset towards the driver on the original.

The panel here is fabricated from fibreglass sheet, held together with parcel tape. A layer of fibreglass matt is laid around the inside to strengthen the panel before the roughing out on the top side can commence.

This is the centre console after I cut the gear surround section out. I need to attach a lip to the inside edge which will allow my newly fabricated switch panel to locate upon.

The panel is not fixed with anything particuarly special, just some self tapping screws around the bottom edge, so I will embed some aluminium in the fibreglass to provide a strong fixing.

Here is the template I have fabricated for the dashboard instruments. The actual dashboard I have is the older style which is all PD can supply right now. Part supply is always a problem for me so I decided to fabricate my own dashboard rather than wait an indeterminate time to receive one from PD.

The template was dimensioned using pictures and measurements obtained from photographs and other sources. I cant vouch for pinpoint accuracy but am pretty sure its at least close. The panel on the original is curved whereas on almost every replica I have seen uses a flat dashboard. Seeing as I am going to the effort of making the dashboard, I may as well get these bits right.

The missing dial on my panel, is the clock. I have been unable to source a white faced VDO clock so I will simply leave it out for the minute.

This is the replacement steering column I got to update my chassis. The column PD supplied is a modified Fiat chroma column which takes Skoda estelle switchgear. Not exactly the look I am going for.

This column has tilt and slide, but as with most modern cars is not particuarly long. This columns will require the extension of the existing brackets to position it correctly. The covers for this column are polypropylene, and will require special glues and resins to extend to match the original column cover shapes.

The new column comes from a Fiat coupe, which is not exactly commonplace. I purchased this column for £50, which I thought was a pretty good price. It came without a lock barrel and key. A call to my local Fiat dealer revealed a new lock and key cost over £2000! This is because the Fiat coupe uses a coded key and replacement sets come with a new ECU. A call to 1st choice parts got me a steering wheel, lock barrel and key for a more sensible £70. The Fiat coupe steering wheel looks a lot like the original Diablo one, maybe a little bigger, so I will give this a go.

This is the begining of the mock dashboard. I had bought a dashboard from Naz for this car and was going to modify it to suit, but on reflection this way is probably going to be easier than attaching pieces to an existing dash.

I am using 4mm sheets of MDF and some battening to make the outline frame of the dashboard. It easy at this point to make the flat sections of the dash and then use these as a basis for the curved sections. Working from photographs it is highly unlikely I will be able to make it dimensionally accurate, but as long it looks right, I dont care.

As more and more sections are added, a little imagination is required to visualise how it will look when complete. Flat sections of timber are used as bonding points for the construction foam (celotex), that I will be using to bulk out and shape the dashboard.

This material is easy to cut and shape, and has the added benefit of being unreactive to polyester resins which will be used to coat the finished foam.

Here I have put the Fiat top and bottom sections of the column covers on the steering column. As you can see they are too short leaving sections of the column being exposed. It is markedly different from the original lamborghini column, and will require reworking to get looking anything like the real thing.

The steering wheel is still the wrong type and size, but is used as a good indicator of how the column and dashboard work together.

I have cut some more MDF to provide support for the flater areas of the top of the dash. It performs an additional function in that it stops the dashboard from flopping about and makes the whole structure much stiffer.

The intention here is to make the underdash part first, and then to construct the top of the dash from thin sheet aluminium strengthened with spars and then covered in fibreglass.

Once both parts of this are complete, I will make moulds and make a much lighter version of the dashboard to actually use on the car.

After screwing all the sections together, I began cutting gluing the construction foam to the wooden former and began roughing out the shape. The foam glues extremely well using a hot glue gun. You dont need anything too permanent at this stage, and the foam is easy to cut and form using simple hand tools. I use a hacksaw blade on its own as it easy to bend to form curved cuts.

The dashboard looks much more like it is supposed to in this image, you can see where the template I made earlier is used to make sure the scale and position of the other components are correct.

As I dont have accurate dimensions, I have printed hundreds of images of real Lamborghini dashboards and am using these to check by eye that the proportions are correct and match the original as best I can. It will become patently obvious if something isnt right by comparing the installled dash viewed at the same angle as one of my photographs.

Once the shape is roughed out, it will then be coated with two layers of fibreglass matt and finished with body filler to give me a smooth surface to take a mould from.

The dash is now completely foamed and has its final shape outlined. Its physically about the right size and shape, and fits my chassis pretty well. The next stage is to coat the entire thing with a layer of fibreglass, before the final coats of filler are applied to refine the surface. After this is done, the entire thing is painted and polished to give a high quality finish, and then coated with PVA glue, the same thing used to seal walls before plastering or painting. This acts as a mould release.

After this is complete, I can begin constructing a mould to produce copies. Making the mould is pretty simple, I just lay fibreglass and resin over the 'plug' as the master is called, using reinforcing battens to prevent distortion and to ensure accurate copies.

Heres the first layers of filler applied with some very rough smoothing completed. It doesnt look too bad but I will need to correct the odd section which doesnt look as smooth as I would like it too.


Here the shape for the main plug is more or less complete. Its not necessary to get a super smooth surface as the dashboard will be covered in foam and leather, hiding small imperfections completely. What is important is that any voids or undercuts are filled otherwise it will be impossible to remove the plug from the mould.

The next stage is to fabricate the upper dashboard section. This will be made using wire, aluminium bar and fibreglass. Once this part is installed, then I can cut the recess required for the passenger side airbag, although I will use this as a glovebox in my car.

Here I have roughly layed out the position of the front of the 'monobrow' which covers the top portion of the dashboard. The flat section is produced by laying rods running from the top edge of the monobrow to the rear. The rear section which will be against the windscreen is held off slightly by the thickness of the rods but this isnt likely to be a problem.

I was going to use aluminium rods to flatten the top section out, but I found something cheaper to use. The rods are green gardening sticks and at £1.98 from B&Q for twenty five, they are more than straight enough for my purposes.

Here are the completed plugs for the dashboard. Its a four piece dashboard as opposed to the usual three piece available from other suppliers.

This dashboard is correctly curved like the original and has the stereo and aircon control panel curved towards the driver. It is not 100% dimensionally accurate but without an original to work from this is the best I can do. Some slight fettling may be required when I fit it.

The next step is to wax the pieces with five or six layers of wax before beginning to lay up gelcoat and fibreglass.

The process of mould making begins here. The plugs are first treated to three coats of mould release wax which stops the fibreglass sticking to it and making it impossible to remove. A layer of gelcoat is then applied over this. Its thixotropic, meaning non-drip and forms a nice thick coat which stays tacky for quite a while.

When you make a mould like this, you need to apply the fibreglass matt before the gelcoat goes off completely as the gelcoat will have a tendency to lift as it cures. This isnt really a problem on a surface with complex curves such as this dashboard, but could be a problem with large flat surfaces.

I used a firghtening amount of resin completing this mould, over 7 litres and a big box of fibreglass matting. I used two layers on the larger surfaces, with more on the edges and structural parts.

Here is my successful pull of a 2001 Diablo 6.0 interior ready for detailing before trimming. If I ever have to make another set of moulds again, one of the things I would do is to seal the plug with something before waxing as the gelcoat seems to go straight through the parting wax into the body filler without any effort at all.

This only happened in two very small places so it was easy enough to pop the parts from the mould with a little effort.

One thing the whole experience has reinforced my dislike of fibreglassing.

Here is the first rough install of the dashboard into the car. Its too high and far forward at the moment and needs to be trimmed to fit correctly into place. I made the flangs on the dash far too big so I would be able to cut material away for a good fit rather than have to build things up.

The eyebrow piece and the passenger side airbag plate are not fitted here yet. I will use the passenger side airbag recess as a glove box rather than its intended function.

I have fiddled with the dash some more and have finally got it into a position I am happy with. It might not be 100% accurate, but I can see the entire windscreen from my seated position. This is much better than the older style dashboard which cuts off the bottom part of the front view. And looking at some images of original vehicles, I believe the later style dashboard intrudes slightly as well.

I made a slight faux-pas bonding the console to the main dash, I put it at much too great an angle and subsequently it didnt look right. So I have cut it off and improved the angle to correct this. I might adjust the angles of the extreme ends but this is purely cosmetic.

The brackets at the top of the steering column need moving down approximately 20mm to allow sufficient clearance for the steering column cowling to fit. I can do this quite easily by bolting the brackets to the underside of the column rather than the top as it is at present. I will need to do a little bit of welding so this is a job for the weekend.

The next stage is to bond in aluminium strips to allow the dash to be mechanically fixed to the car, as well as to improve its structural strength.

This is my new industrial sewing machine, its a Juki model which can sew through 1/8 inch of plywood!
Its a walking foot machine specifically designed to sew leather.

I was using a refrey 430 machine which turned out to be totally unsuitable for this task. This machine was made in spain and although had the power to go through multiple layers of leather, was prone to problems with needle bending and breakage.

This is my centre console going through its last coat of fibreglass. I made it primarily from fibreglass sheet, aluminium sheet and bar. I initially tried modifying the centre console believing it to be a more or less square shape. With this part I could not get the spacing of the console buttons to look right relative to the size and shape of the console. Further study of Lamborghini service manuals revealed that the original part had reveals cut into it. I presume this is for ergonomic reasons as opposed to anything else.

The new console will now get a layer of body filler and some strengthening fibreglass on the inside edges before it is mated to the rest of the rear console.
This is the centre console with a test coat of paint. The console will be finished in satin black as opposed to the original finish of carbon fibre which is just too expensive for me to consider using.

The process of getting it to this stage was first, mocking up a basic shape using fibreglass sheet. Then I applied fibreglass matt to strengthen the entire structure. A layer of filler was then applied to get the correct shape and flatten out the fibreglass. Lastly a layer of self levelling filler called 'dolphin glaze' which is then finished with fine sandpaper to get what you see here.

The next step after this is to carefully mark and cut the button and gearstick aperture from the console before I then remount it to the console as a removeable part. I can then cut the holes for the buttons and begin wiring this panel.

Heres the top section of the centre console with most of the buttons fitted. I have not cut the recess for the electric window switches or for the mirror control as of yet.

I have not fitted the last switch yet because I drilled the hole too small so I need to file it bigger to get the last switch in.

I rubbed this section down again as some sanding marks were still visible and I want the surfaces to be free of all imperfections.

Using my dremel I cut this section away from the main console and then used some fibreglass strip to build up a lip on the inside of the console for the top section to fit into, just like the original.

Here is the centre console fitted in place. Its a little wider than the original, but I am not so worried about this so long as it looks right.

To the left of the picture you can see the aperture for the 'glove box' which would normally be the passenger side air bag. You can see the hinge I fabricated and the extent the door opens.

The seats are not fitted here as they are away at the trimmers being recovered. I did try to do this myself, but I struggled with getting the leather to sit nicely around the frame. Lacking the required experience to figure this out myself, and using rather too much leather in the process, I thought it best to sub this part of the build out.

Here is a set of the rings used to insert inside the gauges for the swept style 6.0 dashboard. The rings are quite difficult to manufacture due to the very thin walls. These thin walls prevent the use of a normal chuck to hold the work pieces in the lathe.

The rings are supplied unfinished. I tried a number of different surface treatments but none really came out looking very good. Once a surface finish such as anodising is applied, its very difficult to remove if you change your mind.

So the rings are supplied in their raw machined finish. Even down to the fact they are still sticky with cutting fluid. I will probably linish mine and then give them a coat of laquer, although I can see some wanting to polish their rings to mirror finish. If anodising is required, the rings would need to be degreased, sand-blasted and etched before this could be done. This would make it difficult to then apply a different finish.

Heres the dashboard partially assembled. The clock is not installed and a number of the vents are missing. They are on back order so I will install them as soon as they arrive.

The dash is a two part assembly, a back aluminium section holds the dials whilst the front section holds the rings I had made up, as well as the vents.

The control where the suspension adjustment would be has been replaced in my build with a dimmer control for the dashboard illuminations. Its a control from a Ford Granada and has a little green filter over the illumination indicator which I removed so that the illumination colour all matches.

At the moment the dash insert is oversized. I dont know how much to trim it by until I get the leather and foam onto the dash itself. This will let me know by exactly how much I must reduce the height of the dash insert for a nice fit.

Here are my seats recovered by the vehicle trimmers at Goldsmith's of Ipswich in Suffolk. I had attempted to recover them myself but got into enormous difficulties getting the leather to stretch the way I wanted it to. Sometimes you have to resort to professionals, so thats what I did.

The seats came to £350 for the pair. This is pretty reasonable given that I have quite a lot of leather left and these seats cost £350 each from Cobra in leather, and only come in a different shade of yellow to the one I wanted.

The yellow inner panels are stitched in the same style as the original seats, but given that the seat is a different shape, there is only so far you can go with replicating the original. The seats are still a little scrunched at the moment from being stacked in the back of my car, given time the creases should drop out.

Here I have completed boxing in behind the seats now. The boxes are made from 4mm MDF which is bonded using polyurethane glue to a stainless steel frame. No woodscrews used here!

In the centre of each panel, a section has been cut out to allow acces to the computers and cables, an aluminium frame is used to stop the panel falling through and gives a secure mounting. The entire box will be covered in carpet, so the panels will not be visible. This is a good thing because I used to jigsaw and I cant cut a straight line with it if my life depended on it.

To gain access to the computers it would be neccessary to remove the seat in front of it. As I dont expect to be needing to get to them all that often I dont think its too much of a hardship.

In this picture its also possible to see the centre console in position. It is secured with bolts to the bottom rail of the tunnel which provides an extremely robust fixing. Also visible, although you may need to click on the image to bring up the larger version, is the inner sill, bonded and foam filled.
This picture shows the work I have done above the inner sill and rear box. I cant seal this area up until the car is painted as I have to be able to access the engine cover release and the nuts for the door catch.

I am not sure about how this part is configured on the real car as its not a sexy area of the car and so does not get photographed a great deal.
After dry fitting the dashboard and making all the bracketry to fit it in, its time to disconnect everything and begin the labourius task of sorting everything out. The cabling here looks a complete mess, with little structure. Trust me when I say its going to end up a lot tidier very shortly. I have purposefully left all the cables overlong so that I can trim them back to the right length. Once all the slacks been removed it will look so much better.

Now all the brackets have been installed, its time to do some foaming of the bulkhead. This serves two purposes, thermal insulation and sound suppression.
The plates that make up the dashboard are visible here. Its a separate assembly made up of eleven brackets from the fascia, connected to a further eleven brackets on the plate which holds the dials themselves.

The brackets are fixed to the plates using pop rivets which have been countersunk into the fascia. The whole thing then has a fine layer of filler to hide the rivets entirely. The appearance from the front will be a smooth surface with no visible mountings, just like the original.
Test fitted here the dashboad panel fits nicely into the recess. A little more filling is required around the edges for an even fit.

On the original car, this part would be constructed from carbon fibre. This is a specialist material thats much more difficult to achieve a good finish with than ordinairy fibreglass. Its also very expensive. I opted for just a black satin finish to keep everything inside the car consistent.
This is the front face which will hold the gauge rings, giving them the recessed look. The rivets are now not visible and all of the holes for the gauges and switches have now been cut.

The only holes I have not drilled yet is those for the lamborghini badge that fits between the two air vents.
Heres the dashboard with the brackets to hold the gauge plate in place. It also serves another purpose in that it ties the top and bottom of the dashboard together and stops it flexing.

The brackets are simply pieces of aluminium bent up and fibreglassed to the underside of the dash. They attach to the strips protruding from the rear of the gauge plate.

Next step is to form the aluminium plate which holds the aircon control panel and the stereo system.
This is the centre console dashboard panel about halfway through. Its a flat section of 2mm aluminium bent and cut to angle the stereo and AC panel towards the driver. Another piece of aluminium was bent and rivetted to this to make the recess which holds the stereo flatter than would otherwise be the case if it was surface mounted. Indeed it has to be done like this as the chassis centre tunnel would otherwise prevent the stereo from being inserted fully.

This isnt the right AC panel for this year of car, that would normally be an LCD type rather than the older type as was used in the Countach. The panel bezel in the picture is one I made from my mould. I made an error making the mould and did not allow enough for shrinkage of the resin, so this panel is no good. As soon as my 3D printer at work is repaired I will make some more moulds and make another panel to install on this piece.

These are the dashboard and centre console plates after trimming with carbon fibre effect vinyl. I have not decided if I will keep the dashboard like this or if I will strip it off and just paint it black.
This stuff isnt particuarly sticky so I may leave it on for a while and see if it remains stuck. A sharp knife is all thats required to trim it once its stuck down, all the surface must be clean, dry and completely free of imperfections if you want a reasonable result.

Above the dashboard is a fairly rough looking piece of fibreglass, this is cut from the dashboard eyebrow and is the template for the Perspex lamp warning light bar which runs along the top.
This image clearly shows the dashboard eyebrow fixed into position. The right hand side of the eyebrow is fixed to the lower portion of the dash through the glove box using two 10mm bolts which are bonded in.

The right hand side of the dash is secured using a 'christmas tree' type blind fixing, as access to the underside would be a nightmare. Holes still need to be cut into the top of the dashboard to accept the air and demister vents, which I am hoping will arrive soon from the USA.
The eyebrow is removed in this image showing some work I am doing which should make installing the top vents a lot easier.

The foam applied here has expanded against the bottom of the eyebrow, prevented from sticking to it by a layer of parcel tape applied to its underside. Next, it will be trimmed down a little and covered in fibreglass. On top of this a single layer of self adhesive draught sealer will be applied to make a plenum chamber that will feed the top vents. Another similiar chamber is situated further down the passenger side.
The plenums are completed here. All that needs to be done now is to bond a hose adapter to the bottom of the dash, and to paint the inside black. It doesnt need to be particuarly well finished as it will be all but invisible once installed.

The top of the plenum chamber is lined with foam which pushes up against the top eyebrow when installed.

The middle plenum was two separate chambers, but I cut the centre join out as there seemed little point in having them apart.
The dash is almost complete now and ready for trimming. The top eyebrow has been cut for the warning light bar.

Its very difficult to cut the perspex which is used for the light bar. I used a jigsaw set to slow speed with a metal blade. On fast speed, the jigsaw would melt through the material and join up again the other side. Cut too fast with a metal jigsaw and the material chips or can even crack.

Perspex can be sanded to even out any wandering that occurs with jigsaws, but it needs to be done with care as if the sanding is to vigorous, the perspex will melt. Once the perspex has been cut and sanded, the edge can be polished using abrasive soap and a rotary mop, or can be 'flame edged' using a blow torch. The edge is played along the flame quickly, the edge melting slightly and removing and surface scratches as it flows.
The top of the eyebrow is almost complete now, I cut some holes so I could see how far the top of the dash plenums come to the eyebrow.

All that remains for this part now is the demister vents and then it can be trimmed.
Glove box is in position in this image. It was made using a technique I have used elsewhere on the car for one-off fabrications. I use parcel tape and very shiny fibreglass sheet which I get from work to make a rough mould of the item I intend to make. I then cover one side of my 'mould' with fibreglass, wait for it to dry and then pop it out. After cleaning up with a dremel its good to go.

On a side note I am on my second Dremel now, looking to get a third. I bought one from B&Q several years ago and was working fine until the power switch melted. My replacement, same model, gets really hot and does not spin nearly as fast as it should. Luckily its gone wrong within a year so hopefully I can get it changed under warranty.
This is the shroud for the steering column as it stands. The original shroud is the black part, whilst the 'extension' section I have made is the lighter colour. My plan is to paint the fibreglass section the same colour as the original part.

I quickly discovered that my extension sections are going to cause problems with the tilt and slide mechanism the fiat steering column provides. I have two choices now, I can go to a flexible shroud, such as one made of leather, or fix the steering in my ideal position and dispense with the tilt and turn completely. I really do not want to use a flexible shroud so I think I will go with fixing the position of the steering column.

Depending on time, I may take a mould of these parts and produce a two part shroud, rather than the four parts I have right now.
Here I have fitted the steering column shrouds after rubbing them down some more. The spacing around the column to the dashboard which is around 1/4 inch.

When the interior is fully trimmed, this gap will probably reduce to at leat an 1/8th of an inch.

The column has a more cranked appearance than the original does, but I think this design probably allows for greater legroom under the dash. This is a good thing for me as I am reasonably tall, Diablos are not designed for tall people....
This is the demist ducting for the windscreen. Its secured to the bottom of the dasboard using a couple of bolts as it needs to be removeable for the demister trims to be installed after the top is trimmed.

I made the vents using two layers of fibreglass matt as it helps to strengthen the dashboard area where the vents have been cut out.
The steering column shroud is installed in this image after painting. The section I made appears to be a different 'black' to the original plastic shroud so I have bought some poloypropylene primer to see if I can paint the whole thing a matching colour.
I tried out some carbon fibre effect metal film. Its not nice to apply and there is almost no stretch to the material for forming round curves, but the results speak for themselves. Several people who have seen the parts I have finished so far thought it was real carbon fibre.

Be careful getting this stuff off ebay, there is two types. The metal type which I have used has a sheen exactly like the weave in carbon fibre. The second type is a vinyl like the sort used in sign making and has the carbon fibre effect printed on it. The printing is not very realistic and will fool no-one so avoid buying it in the first place.
Heres the 'eyebrow' piece covered in connoly leather, ready for installation. I was intending to trim the car myself, but after seeing the results the trimmers attached to the bodyshop can achieve, I have asked them to complete the dashboard, perhaps more.

The picture quality isnt great, I apologise for that, but hopefully in the next week or two I will have some pictures of the completed dashboard before it gets re-installed.
Here the bottom dashboard section has been covered in cloth backed foam. This is bonded to the dashboard whereas the leather is only bonded at the hidden edges. This allows the leather to be stretched nice and tight across the dash and stops any wrinkling from occurring.
Laying carpet is not as easy as I thought it would be. OK thats wrong, I didnt think it would be easy, just easier...

The carpet is latex backed and designed to form around curves and profiles. It is not at all like household carpet, it comes in much narrower widths, and is specifically designed for automotive use. Its glued down to the car using a combination of spray glue and evostick. The evostick being used where the carpet has a tendency to spring.
The inside of the rear quarter windows is trimmed with leather. It is glued directly to the body using spray adhesive and is from the same material the seats and dashboard are trimmed in.

The leather is trimmed in such a way that it buts directly up against the glass and is hidden by the black banded area on the glass itself, so no join is visible at all.
The rear of the console is also covered in carpet, the speaker cover will also be covered in material but I have not decided if I will use carpet or leather yet.

Also visible in this image is the inside cill edge which at the moment is untrimmed. I will cover this first in foam, and then in leather to match the dashboard. Any raw edges of carpet are joined using a very small bead of PVC. This is necessary as the backing of the carpet is white and would show up otherwise, This also stops it fraying.

Althought the carpet is flexible, it is not possible to form it around every surface, so cutting slits to enable it to form are a necessary evil. I used evostick at times like this as the normal spray glue isnt strong enough to hold the carpet down. Its tendency is to remain flat.
I glued a section of carpet here directly to the bulkhead. Its difficult to cut with a blunt blade so have plenty of spare blades. Its not the blade itself which blunts, but the point. The blade will then drag and tear the carpet rather than cut.

I used a combination of carpet glue for the large flat sections and evo-stick contact adhesive where the carpet required something more to hold it.
The leather covered plate which covers the bottom part of the rear window aperture is fitted here.

I started by making a carboard template to get the shape of the part correct. I then transferred this to a substrate of some kind. You can use almost anything as long as it will take glue and hold its shape. I used a thin piece of fibreglass my company buys in sheets and is used as an insulator.

I cut the shape and then bonded a piece of fabric backed foam to it. After this was done, I then found some pieces of leather offcuts from other parts of the car, and stretched and glued them to the bottom of the substrate using contact adhesive.
This is the view from inside the cabin with the glass dropped into position. The bottom plate is held down to the car again using contact adhesive.

The photo shows quite clearly that I need to clean all this leather down, its looking pretty filthy. The next job to do is to fit the surround that covers the rear window and to start lining the roof. I am undecided if I should cover it with carpet or a specific headlining material.
Made up the panel which frames the bottom and sides of the rear window. Its made from 3mm hardboard and will be held in place with 'christmas tree' interior clips to hide the fixings. This will also mean its easily removable so that the glass can be removed/inserted when SVA time comes around. Its for this reason that at present, the glass is not bonded in.
Got my interior parts back today from the trimmers and they look pretty good! The yellow leather was a bear to work with apparantly so I am pleased I 'outsourced' this job to professionals.

The seats have also been tidied up as the trimmers who did them originally did a less than stellar job. They look much better than before.

I have also stripped all the carbon fibre effect film from the interior components as it looked great when put on, but had a habit of lifting up and looking pretty bad pretty quickly. I am taking these parts down to a carbon fibre overlay specialist who is going to look at these parts for me.
I trimmed the surround for the rear window today. In preparation, I fixed the wooden template to the car, and drilled holes through it into the rear bulkhead. After each hole I drilled, I partially installed a 'christmas tree' trim clip to make sure all the holes would eventually line up. I then removed the panel, covered it in foam and then began the lengthy procedure of covering it leather.

I used a hot air gun to shrink the leather to get rid of wrinkles. Its important to regulate the temperature and make sure you dont burn the leather.
Popped the rear windscreen surround in today. The picture is dreadfully overexposed so it shows every single mark and smudge up.

The holes for the seatbelt top pivots have not been cut yet. I will do that just before I fit the seatbelts themselves.
This is my second attempt at covering the sill with foam. I did try and do it all in one section, but it didnt form into the corners in the way I wanted. So I used a different approach where I cut the curved sections out and glued these in separately. The effect is much close to what I want and I will use a very similiar approach to the leather which I will bond on.
Finished foaming the sections of the car where the leather trim will be directly applied. I still have not decided on what roof lining I will use.

The panel hole visible is where the door striker bolts up and this will be trimmed and fitted last.
Heres my first attempt at using my sewing machine in anger. I made the leather trim which covers over the sill. Its not too bad, only a few wrinkles which are hidden by the handbrake so they will not be seen. The leather conforms to the shape of the sill reasonably well, although I will probably need to put a little heat onto the leather in order to get it to shrink where there are obvious saggy bits. The flash on my camera also really makes things look much saggier than they actually are.
The drivers side sill trim took me all evening to make, I will fit it tommorrow evening. To figure out the correct shape for the leather, I used paper and sellotape to make a paper template. From this I transferred the shape to the leather before using my sewing machine to stitch the bits together.

The small indent panel that goes at the front of the sill needs shrinking as its a little too baggy. I also need to stitch the bottom edge to give a nice edge, but I wont do this until I can offer it up to the car and check the dimensions exactly.
Here the passenger side sill has been trimmed in leather. The pictures a bit dark but it looks ok. The extended egg section at the front didnt come out as well as the drivers side but theres not much I can do about it.
This is what the speaker boxes look like with the panel fitted. The car needs a damned good vaccuum now as the dust from drilling holes etc is starting to build up.

Six screws secure the panel to the larger box. I could have fit monster speakers but to be perfectly honest I dont see much point. I put a V12 in the engine bay and I think Id much rather listen to that.
Here I bonded two aluminium plates into the roof to take the sun visors. They are bent up so that the visors sit flat against the roof. Once the adhesive has gone off, I will then fix the visors and put another bracket in to take the roof mounted interior light and the two hinges for the visors that fit towards the centre.

Its important to note that any glue used at this stage must be cold-curing, especially when used on panels that are already painted. Hot curing adhesives can distort panels and affect the paintwork.
Heres the carbon fibre parts all fitted together prior to actual installation in the car. The only components left to fit are the gear-gate, AC control panel and the cigarette lighter.

Theres still some little bits of fettling to do, the panel which holds the stereo and AC does not fit as nicley as it should, there is a little gap. Also the Lamborghini badge may be a little wonky, although I wont know for sure until the dashboard is fitted into the car.
Here I fitted the buttons back into the centre console switch panel. The centre console and switch panel have been trimmed in real carbon fibre at considerable expense. The parts came back from the carbon fibre specialist unfinished, so I had to spend almost a day rubbing the laquer down to get it flat. There are some sections which are not as nice as I would like them, but without actually fabricating the parts from carbon fibre I think it would be difficult to do any better.
The seat belts are now fully installed now. I need to sort out the little box which holds the interior light and covers over the retractor reels.

I also needed to modify the carbon fibre centre console slightly to accomodate the mounting flange on the seat belt reels.
I began fitting the dashboard today. It fitted up really well, I was worried that the carpet and leather trimming would pull everything out of line, but it bolted up quite easily after a little initial pulling about.

The carpet needs to be applied to the centre tunnel and the vents fitted up to the outlets. Then the top dashboard part can be installed.
This is the carbon fibre centre console switch panel. It looks pretty good, and just as well considering how much it cost.

Final things to do here are to connect up the electric window switches and figure out why the electric boot release has stopped working!

The wires hanging out the square section at the top-left of this picture are the cables that route through to the air-con tri-mode switch and fan.
Completed the interior light and sun visors as well as lined the roof with leather. The bars which run the windscreen edge have also been trimmed. At this stage the interior is almost complete. There are a few small jobs left to do on the interior before the seats and door cards are fitted.

The roof lining is leather bonded to foam. This is then attached with contact adhesive to the roof. The little cubby box is installed last and is glued to the roof with a thick uPVC sealant.
This is the view of the interior with the top eyebrow installed. It fits nice and tight and is a pretty good fit. Last thing to do in this area is to install the ducting to the demister vents.
After fitting the speaker enclosure covers one of the last stages in this area of the interior is to install the seats. Simply bolted through the floor via giant washers they are pretty rigid and the top rests on the rear bulkhead. This is necessary as I am quite tall. On a real Diablo they would be slightly forward by an inch or two at maximum leg-room.

The hole drilling was actually harder than I thought it would be. I first made a template of the bolt positions and then tried to figure out the optimum position for the seats to maintain headroom. The optimum position is offset towards the centre, as too close to the door means you have your head at an uncomfortable angle. For a car this size there is precious little space inside.
This is the penultimate interior fixture to be installed and its the interior light which fits inbetween the seats and covers the seat belt reels. Its made from uPVC sheet formed under heat and bonded using plumbers solvent glue. This takes 24 hours to cure, so I will not trim this part until the glue has had a chance to harden fully.
This is the centre console light covered in leather and ready for installation. Its a little wider than this part is supposed to be, but the entire tunnel is actually quite a bit wider than it should be on a Diablo so I have to be able to accomodate this.
The light bar is made from three main constituent parts. The first part is the carrier and is made from ABS plastic. Holes are cut into the light bar where the illumination is required. The second part is a vinyl printed overlay with the symbols for the warning lights on it. I used a solvent based vinyl printer we use at work for printing our front panels.

The third part consists of industrial indicator housings used on lathes and other industrial tools. These take heavy duty light bulbs which are extremely vibration resistant, very long life and should never need replacing. A variety of coloured filters are used to provide the correct colour illumination of the symbols.
Here the light bar is shown installed into the car. I switched on the ignition so that the symbols are illuminated. I had a slight problem in that during the process of trimming the dashboard, it changed the curves between the top and bottom part of the dash. This meant I had a small gap on the right hand-side of the dashboard. I rectified this using a nut and bolt on the right hand side to pull the eyebrow part of the dashboard down. I had tried to keep concealed fixings as much as possible, but as this is likely to be the only visible fixing on the dash its not too bad. Its hidden away and painted black to hide it against the leather.
This is the gear gate bolted into position. It passes through the centre console cover and is retained directly into the chassis.

The part was machined by a CNC expert at my place of work. Thanks Adam! It has a bevelled edge to accomodate the angles of the shaft as it moves through the gate.