Hi Guys,

I thought you might be interested in what I have been up to in the workshop recently. 1971 Mangusta 8MA-1294.
One of the last Mangustas built, this car was raced extensively in the 80's with great success. In the 90's, it was detuned and used as a road car retaining it's full roll cage.

It's current owner, Taz Zembashis, bought the car with the intention of restoring it and converting it back for road use, whilst at the same time retaining it's AP racing brakes and bonnet vents.

I was asked to retrim the interior and fabricate all the missing bits. Taz chose the paint and leather colours and left the rest to me. In fact he gave me a free hand to do what ever I felt was appropriate! Along the way, I changed a few things in an effort to improve the quality of the interior as a whole. My overall aim, however, was to make any such improvements / modifications appear original, or at least in keeping with the era of the car.


First pic (Race car)

8MA-1294 in it's racing days.

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The ignition switch only has two positions - on or off, with no sprung starter position. The button next to it cranks the engine. I think this might be original to right hand drive cars, but I'm not sure. I would like to hear opinions from other RHD car owners.

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Dash top. Notice the "safety" rubber strip sitting on top of the spot welded lip, not over it. Always wear your seat belt!

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In order that I could maintain a consistent thickness for my "French seam", I made the corners of the dash top thicker by adding extra metal.

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Finished. The ends are now the same thickness as the rest of the dash top. I chose to replace the rubber with pine because I would not be able to glue my French seam to the rubber and maintain consistency.

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The lower part of the dash was originally a rounded piece of foam. I re-made it in pine and then changed the shape where it wraps around the sides. It now goes straight down for 30mm before it starts to curve underneath.

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I didn't like the way the leather stopped and started either side of the steering column, so I welded in an extra piece of steel to carry the leather over the column to the other side.

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I did the opposite to De Tomaso - I put the Alcantara in the centre of the dash and the leather on top (like my Pantera). Taz may not be able to see anything out of the windscreen due to reflections, but it looks great!

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I made the polished bezels for the ignition switch and starter button on my lathe. This is very easy to do and makes a huge difference to the finished dash. Every man should own a lathe.

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I used black Alcantara inside the glove box lid. The chrome had rubbed off the dash vents after 40 years of use, so I had them metallised. It's very much like chrome but more suitable for plastic. This alone cost £80!

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The original Mangusta arm rest which was carved from wood. I had to make repairs because they were split in several places.

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I cut new door cards out of hardboard and then added extra panel clips at the sides. This was because I did not want to have the screws going though the leather like they did on the original car, as they look tacky.

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I decided to extend the skirt so that it would sit down over the ribs on the floor. This makes it easier to create perfect carpets.

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