Annual Shutdown Period

We are closed for our annual summer shutdown from Monday 14th September 2020, re-opening Monday 21st September. During this period our phones will be switched off and all enquiries (emails/contact forms) will be dealt with in full upon our return to the office. After an extremely busy and stressful 5 months (we remained open the entire time working 7-day shift patterns), the whole John Skinner team is looking forward to a well-deserved break. Please respect this, and thank you for your patience.

+44 (0)1242 230995
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In Detail: Our Panel Kits

Trim panel with John Skinner stamp

Our panels are top-notch; precision cut, expertly trimmed and built from quality materials.

Read more about what sets our panel kits apart from the rest.

Quality Materials

Hardboard

We manufacture the majority of our panel work using 2.55mm Hardboard which is sourced from a long established and specialised supplier. Our Hardboard sheets are oil tempered to give the board increased moisture resistance and higher bending strength values. This allows us to maintain the correct thickness (2.55mm) for suitability of purpose on these cars, which tend to have very small tolerances for fitment.

 

MGA Roadster OTS Door Panels CNC cut
MGA Roadster Door Panels cut from 2.55mm Hardboard in our workshop

 

Other woods, such as birch or marine plywood, which are commonly used by other manufacturers in the industry – and happen to be original specification for some cars, particularly across the Austin Healey range – are significantly less suitable for purpose in these cars as they are thicker and do not have the capability to bend whilst maintaining the core strength. We have used this same source and specification of Hardboard for our panels for over three decades and have found this material extremely suitable for purpose, as many of these interior panels require subtle bending when fitting into the cars to follow the curvatures of the bodywork. The unique oil tempering process of our Hardboard gives much improved water resistance properties compared with the hardboards and woods originally used on these cars during their original factory productions, which ultimately will help with the longevity of these panels.

 

Black Grain Board (also referred to as Millboard or Fibre Board)

Our Black Grain Board panels are strong and flexible in order to fit, shape and bend to bodywork curvature. This makes it an ideal material for Glove Boxes, UnderDash panels, Door Pockets and Boot / Trunk area panels that require flexibility when fitting. We also add crease lines to our Black Grain Board panels to allow for extreme bending in order to fit the panel to bodywork contours.

Black Grain Board is embossed with a grained surface finish to replicate the look of Vinyl or Leathercloth. We specifically use this material to enable certain areas to replicate the same finish as a trimmed standard Millboard panel. This is in-keeping with the originality of certain marques including the Triumph TR and Austin Healey Boot / Trunk areas, and it is worth noting that this effect is also in-line with many Concours judging guides for these areas of the car. 

Depending on the model of car, and its trim specification, we can send our Black Grain Board panels trimmed or untrimmed. We will advise you on what would have been original specification for your car when you enquire with us, and we can also offer a custom finish if you are considering a non-original restoration.

 

Triumph TR4 Boot Side Panels in a variety of trimmed and untrimmed finishes

 

Precision Cut

We cut all our Hardboard and Black Grain Board panels on our dedicated CNC machine. Using a pre-defined digital cutting file, we know that our blanks are cut with millimetre accuracy every time, eliminating production errors that could otherwise occur if cutting by hand. In addition to precision cutting, our CNC enables us to cut a high quantity of panels with speed, therefore increasing capacity on our production line.

 

CNC machine
TR3A Seat Tacking Strips are cut with precision on our CNC machine

 

Original Weld Tooling

We use our on-site High Frequency Welder to add original specification weld patterns to panel work across our Jaguar, Triumph TR and Austin Healey ranges. We can apply original welded finishes to all of our vinyl materials, and a selection of our leathers.

Read more about our Weld Tooling here.

 

Weld lines
Left to Right: Austin Healey ‘square’ weld lines on a vinyl BJ8 Quarter B Post Panel; weld detail on a Jaguar XJ-6 Door Panel; a Triumph TR6 Door Panel with weld lines and welded pocket

Considered Design

The majority of cars that we supply interior trim for originated from handbuilt factory production lines – a world apart from the digital production that we know today. As a result, these cars are often inconsistent from model to model, and are particularly inconsistent in the positioning of body work fixing holes.

We have developed all our panels with this in mind, and have designed our fixing holes to allow for flexibility in fitting. Fixing holes act as a pivot point for Trim Clips, and provide the anchor from which to pivot the Trim Clip 360°.

 

Green trim clip fixings
The various Trim Clip positions possible from a single fixing hole

 

The circular holes and the style of the fixing clip allow for a 360° rotation from fixing hole to fixing hole. This allows a large amount of flexibility when finding the perfect fit of the panel to the body work of the car. In some cases, you can change the position by upto 2.5cm (1”) between two adjacent fixing holes when matching up to the corresponding bodywork panel holes.

 

Trim clip fixing cross section
Cross section illustration of a Trim Clip and fixing hole to demonstrate the flexibility in positioning in order to align with bodywork panel holes

 

A customer uses Trim Clips to attach the Front Door Panel to the bodywork in this MK2 restoration

 

We also cut our panels with small pilot holes, to give a positioning guide for door pulls, window winders, chrome work, armrests and door releases.

 

Our Hardboard panels are cut to allow for positioning of chrome work and door mechanisms on this XK120 FHC (left) and E-Type OTS (right)

 

A few more details that really make us proud of our Panel Kits…

S-Type 420 Door Panel fully trimmed

Professional Finish

Our panels are expertly finished and made to look as good on the back as they do to the front.

Trimmer with panel work

Our Skilled Trimmers

Our trimmers really are professionals in their field. With a trained eye and exceptional skill set, they are true perfectionists.

 

Panel back with stamp

Stamp of Approval

Each panel made in our workshop is stamped proudly by our trimmers with the John Skinner mark of approval.