Kelly Southgate

A Figaro like no other!

As you can probably tell from the photographs I am a Figaro super fan. My love affair began very many years ago and I bought my first Figaro in January 2004. Loved that car the minute I bought it, I even had it re-sprayed entirely black with a black roof for my wedding. It broke down many times and each time my dad fixed it up, even when I blew 3 out of 4 of the pistons and had to have them re-bored. I loved that car it became massively sentimental and more than a travel system from A to B. I was absolutely shattered when it was written off by a drunk driver.

I decided to buy a new Figaro and make it even better than before.. I planned everything meticulously down to the smallest detail. I stripped the interior panels, steering wheel, centre console, handbrake, everything I could from my previous car. It was important to me that there was no cream whatsoever left in my car. This even meant changing the door seals. As well as that I wanted the car as monochrome as possible meaning that I had to change the lights. I knew it would be, and it was, a lot of work.
I started by stripping the chrome from all of the light surrounds. This was a tedious task that took several weeks to complete. I peeled off each bit of chrome in tiny cm by cm pieces until the entire light surrounds were back to the base plastic.

When it came to the car panels and other interior items it took a lot of trial and error to find a paint that worked and would provide longevity. There were several painting and stripping attempts before I decided on the paint I wanted to use, I then applied several layers of paint to get the look I wanted.

I used STR Vehicle wrap in Croydon to wrap the car in semi matt wrap and they worked with me on the design. I decided that I wanted the line slightly off centre as a design feature. After speaking to quite a few vehicle wrappers I decided to go with Sean at STR as he really appeared to understand my design ideas and the love I have for my Figaro. They even wrapped the front light surrounds and polo’s for me! They were really cool and seemed in touch with my vision for the car. I couldn’t recommend them highly enough… continue on page 7 >

> From page 4  Next it was on to the interior. I had decided on Cass Bro’s in Bromley to re-upholster the seats, make me a new roof outside as well as recover the dash. We have used them in the past and we know they are good at what they do so that decision was a given.

After the wrap was finished I dropped the car off to Gary at Cass Bro’s for the roof and upholstery. The seats are entirely leather and no vinyl as I wanted longevity. I went home and carried on with the interior panels etc. Getting a perfect line in the interior of the car was tricky but with some planning my husband and I managed to make it work by matching the newly upholstered dash top and interior roof to the back panel and seat. Once I picked the car up from Gary I couldn’t have been happier, he had done a stunning job and the matching of the roof line to the wrap was spot on. The interior roof cover was the perfect extra touch and I was even more impressed than I already knew I would be with Gary’s work.

After that it was time to put the newly painted panels, dash front etc. back in the car (after filling all the cavities with waxoyl). Some of the paint got scratched along the way but nothing a small amount of touching up would not fix! I fitted the new seatbelts (black next to a white seat and white next to a black seat with opposite colour receivers) first, then the panels and other essential parts. The last thing to go back in was the handbrake and centre console.

The rear lights were custom made to keep with the monochromatic look of the car as were the window switches. My husband bought me custom coloured mud flaps to match my design and even the tyre dust caps are colour coded; white on the black side of the car and black on the white side of the car. Clarion even helped out when I had the radio upgraded to level 4 and added the subwoofer by keeping the new knobs provided black rather than match the previous cream of the original stereo. Marc and Julie at Figaro Club were as always on hand for many of the items I needed for the car including a complete set of new bumpers. Then Adam at Figaro Imports sourced me a brand new roof seal from Japan, fitted it and serviced the car for me.

This is my Figaro – his name is Doug – he is more than a car – he is part of the family 🙂

STR Vehicle Wrapping – www.strwindowtinting.co.uk/vehicle-wrapping
Cass Bross in Bromley – www.carseatrepairs.com
Figaroclub – www.figaroclub.com
Figaro Imports  – www.figaroimports.com
Clarion – www.clarion.com