Don’t forget the hard plastics

When you’re detailing a car from the 80’s, you find it’s often the hard plastics and headliners that can really let down an otherwise outstanding car. In this BMW 635CSi, the seats were in pretty good shape, but the rear parcel shelf and speaker covers were spotted and discolored. The spots often make you think the surface is contaminated or moldy, but usually it’s just that the surface is worn out.

At first glance, you might be thinking, I’ll just pop those off and clean them up. First, this interior is incredibly complex. This is, after all, a coupe that has a cooler in the armrest. Plan on digging for a while before you get to remove the covers. And they don’t just snap together either.

One of the biggest challenges is trying to figure out which color to color-match. Leather, vinyl, and hard plastics of this era are likely to be three shades of whatever official interior color was used. I decided to try my best to match the color of the parcel shelf. Work it just like you would an exterior finish. Clean, repair, sand, prime, and top coat. Only the prime and top coat are paints for interior plastics [ColorBond (657) BMW Savannah Beige LVP Leather, Vinyl & Hard Plastic Refinisher Spray Paint].

It turned out pretty well and most importantly, it no longer detracts from the rest of the interior.