We have been very grateful to have another car with which to run errands and get to places. The Nissan 1400 that Kevin spent so many hours repairing, has proved to be such a fun little get-a-round vehicle. My favourite part of the project has been the interior, probably because I had a chance to work on this section of the restoration.
The old interior was grey and after lots of water damage, was quite terrible. We replaced the entire interior including the seats, carpets and roof liner.
Nissan 1400 Roof Liner
As with other older model vehicles, the Nissan 1400’s original roof liner was a plastic-type fabric stretched over a wire frame. The original was moldy and very dirty. We decided to make a new one out of leather-look vinyl. This was my job and I really wasn’t sure if I was up to the challenge. Kevin gave me the remains of the old roof liner and using these pieces as a template, I cut out new panels.
It was a challenge. After years of sitting stretched over the wire frame, the pieces had warped and twisted. This made it difficult to cut out symmetrical pieces. I eventually had to pick a side and hope for the best. Thankfully, the vinyl is a bit stretchy which made it more forgiving.
In the end, it was perfect! And I am very proud of my accomplishment.
The Nissan 1400 originally had a bench seat in it, but Kevin upgraded it with a seat set from a Rover 75 that he was given some time ago. (The original interior from the Rover probably looked like this.)
The original set was a beige/cream colour and Kevin wanted a black and orange interior. We therefore bought some leather stain. I helped paint the leather seats with the black leather stain. The end result was really excellent! And so comfortable!
We also had to replace the carpets. Nissan 1400s are known for being a little noisy, so Louis and Kevin installed carpet under-felt in the cabin area before installing the carpets. It is still loud, but we’re sure it’s made quite a difference in the noise levels. Either way, the carpets feel very luxurious!
Kevin painted the dashboard black. The original grey plastic was quite scratched and scruffy looking. He also fitted another second-hand steering wheel that he had, but unfortunately one of the decorative details fell off and is difficult to glue on again as it was holding the leather in place. Therefore, Kevin will be putting on another one at some stage.
Kevin wanted a rev counter for the bakkie, so he bought one. However, it didn’t match the rest of the dials on the dashboard. We therefore pried it open and designed a new face for it on the computer. After printing it out and fitting it, we were very satisfied with the results.
The door panels were recovered, a new windscreen fitted, and a few other odds and ends done and the vehicle was complete!
Nissan 1400 Maiden Journey
The first time we took it out for a ride was the day we took it to fit the new exhaust. It was quite a hilarious trip. The bit inside the steering column that cancels the indicator when you straighten up the wheel wasn’t quite in the right place. Therefore, every time you turned a left hand corner, the hooter went off and the Nissan screamed out joyfully, “Hello World!” It was very embarrassing. It didn’t take Kevin long to bend it out of the way.
I have since driven the Nissan a few times myself. It’s lots of fun and attracts lots of attention.
Thanks to Pepito Designs for the awesome new signage on the rear window!