Molded Door Panel vs Flat Door Panel
Molde Door Panels vs Flat Door Panels
Molded Door Panels vs Flat Door Panels
Custom vehicle builds are usually built in stages with equal thought given to the major areas of the build. Each area gets built according to the levels of importance that the vehicle owner has designated for the exterior, drivetrain, suspension, wheels and tires, and the interior. At all levels of a vehicle build both aesthetic and affordability are taken into account with decisions being made to satisfy each.
When an interior is planned for a custom vehicle build, most owners have a plan in mind that takes into account what the level of the build is ultimately going to be, whether that is basic OE-level restoration, a custom restomod, a full-on pro-touring monster, or somewhere in between. A plan is then laid out, parts get bought, and work starts to commence. Commonly, the interior is planned along with all the other steps but is relegated to the end of the process with some changes being made due to time spent on the project (wanting to get the vehicle on the road can lead to some time-saving decisions being made) and funds drying up due to unforeseen labor costs and additional parts needing to be bought in the interim.
When planning an interior, a common time and money-saving option are to see what components are out there in the aftermarket that can be purchased in advance which will save both time and frustration at the end of the build. Components like door panels, dash pads, carpet, even seats, and headliners can be researched through available manufacturers with robust, picture-filled websites that offer the builder/owner some insight into how a product will look in the end. If the plan is to go with a plain pattern and single color (like all black) then there are several options available. If the plan is to go for a complete custom look with elements being drawn in from the exterior design, or matching some accent colors on the wheels to color in the interior, then that option is available too.
A flat, OEM-style door panel is one of the offerings that can be incorporated into a custom vehicle build. Their utilitarian nature makes them fit into almost every design scheme with a minimum of design variations, so as not to take away any attention from the intended areas of importance such as the driver's seat, gauge cluster, or even some other custom touch orchestrated by the owner. Flat door panels are easy to obtain as they are available in a variety of sources Like Original Parts Group, Late Model Restoration, or Classic Industries. Some drawbacks of flat OE door panels is there are not a huge amount of pattern variations and the color choices are limited. One aspect to think about is that some aftermarket sources may not have all of the interior components so the vehicle owner/builder may have to purchase the door panels separate from the other parts so keeping everything cohesive can be challenging.
There is another option available from TMI Products that solve all of the previously mentioned drawbacks. TMI offers molded fiberglass replacement door panels that are vehicle and year specific that can be completely customizable with multiple pattern styles, a wide variety of colors, and even choices on materials that get used. That affords the owner/builder a larger array of choices to make the door panels stand out. TMI offers their molded door panels as part of their complete product line for that year and makes of the vehicle so it offers the owner/builder the option to purchase all of the interior components from one source, guaranteeing that all the parts will not only fit but match in pattern, color, and material which makes for a more cohesive build. Plus, the fiberglass core of the TMI molded door panels is very strong which extends the life of the component and uses the OE mounting holes for guaranteed fitment.
For a custom vehicle build, each element plays off of each other to enhance the overall look. The wheels and tires work in tandem with the suspension to create the right stance. The paint may have an interaction with all the chrome (or lack thereof) to add a certain touch to the exterior. The interior is no different, bringing in all the custom touches of the vehicle to the cabin and highlighting them. The door panels play a crucial role in that they are often the first component of the interior that is seen so all decisions must be made well in advance in anticipation of all the eyeballs that will be on a vehicle when it is out in the wild.