Kimnach's 1988 IROC-Z

Overhead console

When I was a sophomore or junior in high school, Panasonic introduced the Cockpit stereo and I wanted one to put into my ’76 Mustang II.  The price, priorities (saving for college), and my limited income as a student , however, kept me from buying one.  When I bought a brand new ’79 Berlinetta just prior to my freshman year of college, the thought of an overhead stereo returned.  That time I balked at drilling into the headliner/roof structure.  I instead installed a graphic equalizer and CB radio where the AC vent would have been.

Panasonic cockpit Stereo System

Panasonic Cockpit Stereo, Circa 1978

The overhead console (OC) desire returned during my ever-ongoing carputer installation in my IROC.  I knew that I couldn’t actually fit a complete head unit on the ceiling, but I was determined to do something.  My initial plan was to modify a Camaro OC by removing the thumbwheels and widen the front section of the OC to accommodate the DEH-P7600MP faceplate.  I bought one on ebay in Feb ’09.  I cut off the front section of the OC.  That’s as far as I got.  (Wife and kids, ya know….)


As I was driving my S10 one day, I thought that modifying one of those OCs would be better: sunglass storage, log book storage (I’m AR about all the service and fill-ups in my vehicles), map lights, a dome light, and a garage door opener cubby.  This would give me more options than the Camaro OC!  I bought one on ebay.  Just to compare the two OCs side-by-side:

Camaro and S-10 OCs side-by-sideCamaro versus S10 overhead consoles

Not only did I want to have the faceplate on the OC, I decided that I would like to place my radar detector up there as well.  I made a cardboard template of those two items’ required openings and the following picture was my initial concept.


Unfortunately, this setup would have obstructed too much of the center area of the windshield--without having the rear view mirror.  So I had to rethink what to do.  The solution was to move the radar detector up to the windshield cross member.

I’m going to jump ahead to now, mid-September ’09, and show the current status of the OC.  Fabrication is not ye completed, but it’s mounted as a test fit.  Here are a few pics as it is.


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