It is always fun to have a complete overhaul of design with addition to some audio equipment. This client had some very specific wants when it came to his Vanderhall Carmel. First and foremost, he wanted to incorporate walnut wood into the interior. This interior came fully wrapped in tan vinyl, with little to no design. With the exterior being very attention getting, we had to bring the interior up to par and make it feel just as luxurious.
First we removed the vinyl from the dash, and laid some walnut wood veneer on some 1/8 aluminum. This would be the new dash for our dash. We then stained the veneer with dark walnut stain and finished it off with some matte polyurethane. Upon constructing the dash, a whole was cut in the aluminum and a Helix Director was flush mounted in. The Helix Director would be responsible for controlling the bluetooth connection, master volume and subwoofer with the Helix P Six DSP MK2 amplifier. This would run our front Focal 165KX2 fully active while sending a tuned preamp output to a single JL Audio 10TW1 which would reside in a custom baltic birch subwoofer enclosure in the back storage area. This subwoofer was powered by a JL Audio MX500/1 marine amplifier which sat next to the Helix DSP Amp under our new storage floor in the rear. Trim was made in the storage area to hide the electronics while also trimming in the subwoofer. Another piece of walnut was made and laser engraved to add a factory feel to the rear.
When the client saw the finished new walnut dash, he asked about doing some door panels. I stated I would redesign the entire panel to make it look more integrated. The factory door panels are completely flat and doing a big flat piece of walnut, would have not been the answer. So we completely designed a new door panel in which attached much like the factory with the same clip system. We backed our door panel with 1/8” abs which is attached to our new PVC Sintra based door panel. We incorporated a bunch of elements which you can find on the Carmel into the design of the door panel.
Another issue we find on all Vanderhall’s are the seat belts run a hole into the vinyl on the door sills. So we quickly designed a solution to add a real door sill (with a walnut insert). With our door sills being made from acrylic, we designed the door sill to be heat bent down in the area in which makes contact with the seat belt. That way we never have to worry about the vinyl.
One of the last things we had to design was a place to enclose a monitor for a back up camera. We ended up designing a modular pod to house a 5” monitor and finished it off with walnut engraved with the same design as we did with the other interior panels.
To complete the interior redesign, the center console trim was redone in walnut while adding a USB charging port as well as our switched for the interior and exterior RGB lighting. A phone mount was then created using stacked acrylic and attached to the front part of the console riser. A magnetic mount attached the phone to the phone mount. We designed this holder off of the door panel insert that we created.
In the end, we did a complete interior redesign and killer audio system while addressing a lot of the big issues that Vanderhall owners find themselves have with this really cool vehicle.