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As for the 2005 Lotus Elise's upholstery , we didn't want to add too much. So we decided to bring in a performance style by dealing with carbon fiber vinyl. We added silver in the inserts of the seats to break up all of the black on the inside of the vehicle, along with the "Showcase Magazine" embroidery in silver stitching on the headrest. The door panels were also striped and re-fabricated to flush-in a custom blue graphic outlined with an aluminum trim. This graphic was attached to the backside of 1/4" plexiglas. The insert was covered in silver carbon fiber vinyl as well.
One thing the customer pointed out to me was how uncomfortable the middle console was when you were driving. His complaint was of how his leg would rub up against the hard plastic, so therefore i listened carefully. Instantly a vision popped into my head of some flushed-in leg rest. The inserts were covered in 1/4" foam padding, then wrapped in silver carbon fiber vinyl. A section outside the insert was painted Nightfall blue to add a little color to the inside.
In the trunk, I re-covered a factory panel in black carbon fiber vinyl as well as the custom floor piece that rolls up to the aluminum trimmed amp-rack.
Being the car barely has enough room for the average person, Coming up with ideas for the Lotus took some time. We went with JL Audio on the subwoofer by adding 1 8" w3v3 between the two seats. With this woofer, I was able to keep the enclosure relatively small to stay out of the way of the motorized logo and ipod dock, while most important, giving an incredible bass response.
The subwoofer enclosure was created behind the seats out of lots of fiberglas , body filler, plastic, and layered inside with some Extreme Dynamat. Around the sub is many different flushed-in layers. The first layer was the main enclosure, which was painted a black to match the interior.This also held the rear speakers ( 1 Pr. of Mb Quart Premium 5 1/4") . Second was the Nightfall blue painted layer which was bolted onto the enclosure. On this layer was a few pieces of plexiglas pieces which had the blue graphic attached from behind. also a few inserts were made that were covered in the vinyl. On the top of the enclosure was a plexiglas trim piece that was cut out just big enough for the motorized logo to move through.
I Also wanted to promote his business by adding his logo on a fully motorized oval which lit up by blue LED's. With the push of a button, This logo comes up from behind the enclosure and stops in the center of the back window. On the inside of the car, the logo Displays a Sounds Unlimited logo. While from outside the vehicle, you will read the Showcase logo. Each logo was custom printed onto the same graphic i used in the rest of the car and attached behind 1/8" Plexiglas. I also routered out an aluminum trim on both sides of the logo.
Ipod integration is getting bigger by the minute, and it was no question as to would this lotus have it! I decided to make a custom dock for it as well. after the wheels started to find its exit in my head, i wanted to create a flushed-in, yet retractable dock. When completed, this iPod is able to look flush and impossible to get out, but with a slight push on the top, it folds out forward for you to easily slide out and carry it with you ! This entire piece in which the iPod is housed in was customized to fit in with the subwoofer enclosure as well.
Up front was where everything was i control. With no regrets, We Went with the Alpine IDA-x001 for the source unit. Here you can control not just the iPod, but the sirius, usb device, and Alpine KCE-300bt bluetooth adapter to accept all calls handsfree. Push-button switches were mounted onto the front of the console for the blue lights and motorized logo. Also there is a USB port located near the switches as well. I also painted the trim around the air vents silver to bring enlighten the dash a little. On top, A pair of Mb quart Premium 5 1/4" were mounted in place in the dash with custom free-standing tweeter pods sitting beside them. Along the windshield set three pieces of Plexiglas which were routered with angled edges. The custom graphic was attached to the bottom of each piece and silver was painted around the edges. These three pieces flow with the windshield and the center piece shows off the "Showcase Magazine" logo again.
The Trunk area was really tight to work with two amps , an interstate battery, while keeping enough room for the fold-up top to be placed in the back on a sunny day. Fortunately, Alpine's PDX amps helped out on the room a lot while performing beyond words. The amp rack included many different, time-consuming layers as well. the main rack was painted black, then the amps were wired and mounted. Next a blue painted layer rests on top with plexiglas inserts flushed in. This is where the JL Audio fuseholder sits near a Sounds Unlimited logo. The amp rack is outlined with a polished-aluminum rod. From the rod, the custom floor piece locks into place and fills up just enough to hold the fold-up top in place.