Hot Rod Interiors: Part 2

Hot Rod Interior

We covered what we considered to be the perfect Hot Rod interior a couple of months ago, but I thought it would be interesting to revisit the subject after doing a little research. I’ve been reading Aces at War by Eric Hammel and it has been eye-opening to learn about the basic ergonomics of the early fighters that Hammel writes so passionately about. Cool stuff that any hot rodder should consider…

The essential concerns when putting these “offices” together were weight and visibility. If it didn’t make the aircraft a more effective weapon or the pilot a more effective fighter, it simply was not allowed in the cockpit. These cabins were made up of aluminum with only the lightest canvas materials, rubbers, and hardware to compliment. Built for speed, not comfort…

Color was also a huge concern for these guys as a fight could break out in any lighting condition and it was essential that the pilot be able to monitor their gauges at all times. The pentagon put a lot of effort into researching contrast and usability. As a result, you’ll find that almost all fighters had instrument panels finished in a flat black that closely matched the faces of the inserted gauges. The numbers and data were then printed in a highly contrasting white with dials in red or orange.

The end product (as seen above in a brit produced spitfire) is pretty damn cool. I love the way that “almost Ford green” rolls into the flat black instrument panel. You can tell simply by design how important the gauges are… And check out how the levers, switches, and buttons are color coded with warning¬†colors and shades.¬†It’s an office built for performance and every hot rodder should be able to appreciate that.