I love the MGA dash just the way most of them came out of the factory – shiny painted surface with bright chrome, crisp instruments and the little MG symbol filling the radio hole. By the way – although many of these radio hole cover plates are painted flat black, they should actually be the same finish as the rest of the dash (see below).
After all the switches and instruments were removed, I stripped the paint off the dash, repaired any dents etc and then applied a reddish sandable primer. After that I shot the back with an industrial flattish black and the face with the same PPG single stage red as I used on the rest of the car. After the painting was done and at a good high gloss to match the body, I reinstalled the cleaned instruments – except for the oil pressure/water temp gauge which is left until the dash is back in the car due to the fragile nature of the water temperature capillary tube . There were new chrome bezels all around of course!
When the dash has all the switches and instruments installed, and is on the bench rather than in the car, it is easy to install the short section of new wiring harness that links all the electrical components and lights together. That short section of harness will eventually be joined to the main wiring harness.
All in all I was extremely pleased by how the dash turned out. It has such an excellent 1950’s modernist vibe while still maintaining some British reserve. Check it out below.