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MG MGA - Dash Color on Black Cars

Wondering if anyone knows if Black 1500 cars always came with a dash to match the upholstery, i.e. red trim = red dash and green trim = green dash. The reason I ask is that even though Clausager states the above, both Vitrikas and Price-Williams mention that only very early cars had a the dash matching the trim and that later 1500's had black dashes. Additionally I remember my first car which was a black 57 1500 with red interior having a black painted dash. Does anyone know of a 1500 in original state with a black dash on a black car?
James Johanski

1500 and 1600 roadsters should have the dash (and radio blanking plate) painted to match the body color. Coupes and Twin cams and 1600-MK-IIs had vinyl covered dash with color generally matching the interior kick panels. I think some early Coupes were multi-color with the dash cover being different than the door panels. Anything could have changed with after market refurbishment.
Barney Gaylord

Barney, Thank you. See you at GT33.
James Johanski

Barney,

On Black roadsters the dash and radio blanking plate were painted the interior color.

David.....
David Honness

David, That is what Clausager says, but others including Barney say different. Does anyone know for sure? Do you have a black car with a painted dash to match the interior? Does anyone? Is their your car original?
James Johanski

I have a late 1500 roadster, originally black. The original interior is red. The dash was in original paint--red. There was some red overspray on the back surface & no sign of any previous stripping, painting, etc.
John V.
John Vallely

My 1500 (no longer owned) was absolutely original and had the dash painted in body colour, not trim colour.
However, it was built in Australia, not Abingdon.

Mick
Mick Anderson

My black '59 1500 (produced late 1958) with red interior has a red dash. My dad bought it in '63 and said the dash was always red.
Del Rawlins

James,

My sister bought a 1961 MGA roadster new in 61 and it was black with beige interior and it had a beige dash. I bought the car from her and drove it for 3 years.. Another friend had a black MGA and his dash was painted the same color of the interior.

I have been involved with MGA's since the late 50's and that is what I remember.

David.....
David Honness

James:
I can't believe that MGA guru Barney Gaylord has made a slight miscalculation. My black 1960 MGA 1600 was two years old when purchased. It was 100% original and sported a red dash that matched the interior. I can't quite accept that I have owned the car for 46 years. Look for a now red MGA 1600 with vintage NY number plates (we must be British) that display SP-212 at the GT-33. We can talk at length.


JW Rubel

I would like to sincerely thank everyone for responding to this question. To some it may seem trivial, but to as I restore my car to it's original state, I would like it to be the correct color combination. As I first stated the memory of my first car, a black MGA with a red interior, had me picturing the dash in black, but that was in 1966 and the car had two previous owners and could well have had some things changed OR my memory is not as good as I would like it to be. So again thanks for the input. This really is great fun.

Best wishes to all,
James Johanski (known to most by "Johanski")
1956 MGA HDA4315660 (in restoraton)
James Johanski

So is this the final agreement?
(1) The 1500 and 1600 MK1 have a metal painted dash.
(2) On black cars it is painted the trim color.
(3) On other color cars it is painted body color.
(4) The Twin Cam, the Deluxe, the 1600 MK11, and all coupes have a vinyl covered dash in trim color.

Mick
Mick Anderson

It may have been done because of the black gauge faces. Painting the dash the same color as the trim would provide some contrast between the dash and the gauges, making it easier to pick out the gauges as you glance down at them. With black gauge faces on a black painted dash, it would be like trying to focus on faint markings surrounded by a sea of black.
Del Rawlins

Interesting - I have a black 1960 Mk1. with red interior - so it should have a red painted dash ! It now has a black vinyl covered dash - I have no idea when this was done - it spent a lot of its early life in Switzerland - maybe covered then - I have not plucked up the courage to peel it off to see what colour is underneath!! _ Cheers Cam
Cam Cunningham

Del, An interesting observation--I would think that you are probably correct.

Cam, I think that the vinyl covered dashes as shown on the TC's, all coupes and Deluxe are the most attractive, whether covered in in the trim color or black. Unless you are bent on originality (and who's is to say what original really is) I would stay with the covered dash.

Mick--your summation is what I have seen in Clausager and what is majority view.

James Johanski

Cam, can't you look at the backside of the dash and determine the original color? It should not be covered by the vinyl. That is assuming that it is the original dash and not swapped out at some time.

Chuck
C Schaefer

Okay JW, -- I will concede that black 1500 and 1600 roadsters had the dash painted trim color. The evidence seems to be overwhelming (at least for red or tan interior). So how many different color interiors were available with black roadsters? I find it rather odd that black interior was not available with the black roadster. Black 1500's could have red or green interior. Black 1600's could have red or tan interior.
Barney Gaylord

Correct me if I am wrong but were the back of roadster dashes left primer brown like the coupes? I know that the back of a coupe dash was brown. Were the back of the roadsters color coated? The only roadster dash I have unretored it is hard to tell what was original.
R J Brown

RJ, The red dash I have has the brownish-red (or redish brown) primer on the back side.
James Johanski

Ditto on the brownish primer on the back side of my dash. The only red on the back appears to be over spray through the various holes.
Del Rawlins

I knew that dash's were assembled during final assembly, as it allowed for pre-seembly of the gauges and wiring. I could have sworn that I saw glacier blue on the back side of my dash. Alas, a total strip and re-paint will never allow any forensics along these lines. I guess it would only make sense that the front of the dash only be painted. Maybe Cam can find some overspray.

Chuck
C Schaefer

Well , I climbed underneath the dash this afternoon - definitely brown on the back and not just rust!
A small corner of the vinyl was lifting slightly so I prised it a little further off to reveal a black paint - then I noticed a tiny scratch - sure enough a slight hint of red - so I rubbed with my fingernail to remove a little more of the black paint (which was soft enough to perhaps be adhesive) and there in all its glory was a layer of red paint - almost certainly the original . So obviously the original owner disliked the original red , painted it black (perhaps made a mess) and then stuck the vinyl over that .Hope this solves some of the queries. cheers Cam
Cam Cunningham

I have a Twin Cam coupe 1959, originally black. The interior was green the car is now under restoration. The dash is covered with green vinyl and the radio blanking plate is painted matching green.



JF Hedetoft

The backside of the dash is black or very dark brown.

JF Hedetoft

I found the following in a Restoration book by Malcolm Green. It might be of use, there are two pages, the first is here and the second in the next reply.

A M Wakefield

The second page. For the 1500 Roadster it does not give dashboard colour so I assume (?) they would have been in body colour.

A M Wakefield

Just to confuse things I thought that mk1 deluxe roadsters had body colour dashes as per 1600s, not sure about black deluxes though (if any were made in black)



Terry
Terry Drinkwater

This thread was discussed between 20/05/2008 and 29/05/2008

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