5 Steps To The Ideal, Custom-Made Centre Console For Your Mini:
1. Print Off The Template
The template saved as a pdf (preview shown below) and attached to this post is drawn in A1 scale. If printed on A1 paper it should come out the perfect size to draw round for your design. If it's not possible to print on A1, just print the biggest scale you can in order to take the measurements from the print-off.
As all minis are slightly different in shape and size (thanks to the 'sledgehammer' technique employed in the factory!) this template is only made as a rough guide. Because of this, it's best to make a cardboard model of the centre console to trial-fit it in your car and chop all the bits and bobs off that you need to! PS. This particular model (as you'll see later) is designed to house a cup-holder and coin drawer not a stereo so the slot marked will need to be adjusted to your personal needs.
3. The MDF
Now it's time to make the actual centre console! I used 8mm MDF and drew round my perfect-fitting cardboard model and then cut it out with a jigsaw.
My design revolves around using simple knock-down joints with nuts and bolts. This design allows many test-fits and adjustments without deterioration of screw-holes etc.
Once the design is all cut out and drilled, test-fit it all together out in the open before trying it in the car. Below are some images of my centre console outside the car, you'll notice that I cut a foot-hole out of the right-hand side. This is because I have very large feet (easy ladies!) and need the extra space for my clutch foot. This also involved cutting a bit out of the horizontal section to make the curve perfect and make it look professional.
As you can see, it's taking shape now! After this stage I cut the slot for the cup-holder and coin drawer but you can put whatever you want onto the console, be it a stereo, some air-vents, a CD holder, a cup-holder? the possibilities are endless!
I'm assuming you've already decided how you want your centre console to look so have chosen some suitable coverings. Once you know the console fits perfectly (i.e. you've test-fitted it in the car) it's time to cover the sections. I chose black leatherette for my side-sections (didn't feel at all pervy going in and asking for that honest!) with some foam underneath to pad it for the professional look. As I've got a walnut dash I decided the centre section should be done to match. I tried real walnut veneer first of all (available on Ebay) but I couldn't get the finish I wanted so eventually opted for the Halfords stick-on walnut film stuff. It actually looks more like the Rover walnut than the real veneer ever did!
Once all the modifications you want have been made you can fit the console into your car for the final time and enjoy it!
The below photos show the things I've done to my centre console. There's a coin tray (on the left) and a cup-holder (on the right). Below that section is a 3-point cigarette lighter socket which is wired directly to a live feed so that I can run phone chargers etc from it.
At the very top are two LED lights which when switched on illuminate the oh-so-annoyingly-dark switches all of our minis have!
Anyway, I'm fairly pleased with mine, you can make yours however you want, I hope my instructions and template help!