When we start the R&D process, we approach it with the mindset that the purpose of the part (function) should be the starting point for its design (form).
As with so many of the plastic pieces in these old cars, our drive to produce aluminum center consoles was inspired by each and every Z we've pulled out of a field. Every center console in every Z we've picked up has been junk.
A lot of the plastic and features on the OEM consoles are usually broken. So then you’ve got to try to source basically a mint condition stock, or new-old stock which are becoming increasingly rare. When we were developing our aluminum center consoles, there weren’t very many options.
So we knew that folks needed options for center consoles, but that's only the beginning. When we look at product design, we look at how people are going to USE it.
We really like that our choice to make center consoles out of aluminum, especially in the restomod setting, means you can do A LOT to them. You can drill holes for knobs and switches, you can add things or change things, and you can mock up all sorts of setups.
Just like the dash plates that incorporate into the center consoles, the center console design gives you a really good framework to do almost whatever you can imagine with them. Conversely, with the plastic options, or carbon fiber, most of the time you're not going to want to drill those up and have them crack, or break, or just not do what you need them to do.
We know that our aluminum center consoles omit some of the OEM features. There are some switches, fuses, hinge doors, cubbies and lids, depending on the model year, that aren't replicated in our consoles.
A lot of that could be retained, but this is where the FORM (design) needs to support the FUNCTION (actual use). Owners who want to retain the original features usually also want to keep the look as OEM as possible. If you're sourcing an aluminum center console, you're already moving away from an OEM presentation.
We've found that when owners are switching out consoles and aren't keeping it OEM, they often don't have the factory wiring, and in fact most of them don't have the factory motor. When you're doing work like a motor swap, you find yourself with a lot of holes that you now have to fill because you don't NEED them. We found that to be the case on the 240Z console. For example, there's a choke on them, but only a few people who are putting in an aluminum console are also trying to keep it stock. And if you're not trying to keep it stock, then you're probably doing a motor swap, and if you're doing a swap you don't need a choke.
With these sorts of uses in mind, we designed a center console that gives you as much flexibility as possible for each owner's specific applications and setups.
By keeping some of the design simpler, it means we can facilitate the needs of a broader group of owners. When we can offer a streamlined selection of designs, we're able to keep the prices lower.
In the case of our aluminum center consoles, as with all of our parts, when it comes to certain design characteristics, we evaluate how to balance style and helpful features with manufacturing processes that will still keep the parts affordable. We are proud of the final designs that made the cut.
We offer our center consoles in both a raw aluminum finish and a black powder coated finish. We've seen folks upholster them, wrap them in leather, wrap them in vinyl (or stickers!), as well as custom-paint them. Your creativity and imagination takes Skillard parts and incorporates them into the vision you have for your build.
We love to see it!
We produce center consoles for the 240Z Series One and Series Two, the 260Z/280Z, the 280ZX 2-seater AND 2+2, as well as the Datsun 510.
Skillard is driven to provide solutions for the Datsun/Nissan community.
This comes primarily in the form of fabricating parts that help solve problems.
We celebrate that each build is unique, and we expect that our customers will use our parts as a launchpad for their skills, creativity and vision.
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