Like any other category, the possibilities for a vehicle’s interior are endless. Like most specific aspects of modification, trends have come and went throughout time. But when it comes to judging a car at a show, there are principles that judges will follow regardless of past, present or future modifying trends.
A vehicle’s interior is defined as the driver’s and passenger’s area, backseat area, as well as the vehicle’s trunk. Judges will be both looking for and critiquing interior additions and/or modifications that include but are not limited to:
Steering wheels, tilt or quick-release hubs, short throw shifters, pedals, gauges, floor mats, seats, custom seat mounts, racing harnesses, aftermarket dashboards, air bag trays, door panels, and interior panel modifications.
The Trunk Compartment
When it comes to a vehicle’s trunk, judges are not required to nor will will they ask a competitor to open it to be critiqued. Therefore, it is equally as important as the hood to have it open. Be sure to take out any cleaning supplies or junk as judges will take anything in the trunk into account. Even if no modifications have been made in the trunk or bed area judges are still examining cleanliness and attention to detail.
Upgraded upholstery can play a major role in the evaluation of a vehicle’s interior. If you’ve chosen to do such an upgrade, then judges will examine the fabric(s) used as well as their quality. Judges will also examine stitching quality, stitching patterns, and colors of materials used. When it comes to quality of materials, suede or leather would receive more credit than vinyl. Custom stitched patterns would place higher than repeating the factory pattern.
Make sure that the materials match and flow within the vehicle and with the overall build. Like any other aspect of a modified vehicle, the overall flow of the interior in relation to the rest of the car will be taken into consideration.
Like every other aspect of a show vehicle, the interior should appear immaculate when presented on the show floor. All interior pieces should be properly cleaned and detailed and any imperfections in cleanliness, fitment, or finish will result in deductions.
No matter what part of the vehicle you have upgraded, it is imperative that the upgrades are done correctly, which means that: 1) the fitment appears seamless to the human eye, and 2) the finish could be mistaken for OEM. So if you decide to fiberglass your whole interior, the seams between each and every component should line up perfectly. If you gut and paint your interior, then all the sound dampening material should be removed with wiring neatly tucked away.
As always, judges want to see rarity, ingenuity, and creativity in modifications. They will reward those who have one-off and/or imported products, which can not be readily purchased or made by the average builder. Products which took time, research, and work to be imported into the country will be rewarded in this category.
Finally, more isn’t always better! If you decided to install fifty gauges in your cockpit, there better be a necessity and purpose for each one. Having an equal balance between quantity and quality is key to a successful build.
Copyright 2019 by NCCA. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, translated, transcribed, or stored in a retrieval system in any form electronically, mechanically, or through photocopying without the prior written permission of NCCA.
Larry and Vicki Rahmer's 1967 Ford Fairlane. Photo by John Machaqueiro