Well it only took an under-dash wiring fire to finally get me motivated to dig back into the 1965 Riviera's janky cobbled electrical system. This time enough is enough. I'm ripping out the whole botched factory harness and rewiring it entirely with an American Autowire Highway 22 universal harness. I suppose I should give a little back story about this car. My dad got this '65 Riviera back in 2000 when I was 16 and we "restored" it over about 5 years. I'm not too proud to admit that in a lot of ways we really didn't know what we were doing. The wiring in the car was crap when we got it. Someone working on it previously preferred to just cut and splice wires verses unplugging connectors. To make matters worse, the resistor wire for the ignition had gotten hot at one point and melted various wires in the main harness. All this led to a lot of strange electrical issues early in our ownership. When we took the car apart my dad unraveled the harness and spliced in new wires to patch the burned sections. Everything worked pretty reliably for a long time, but a lot of the under-dash and console wiring was frankly kind of frightening, with plenty of crimp connectors, wires going to nowhere, and what looked like a piece of household extension cord grafted into something. Out of sight out of mind I suppose. Fast forward to about 2 weeks ago and all of a sudden all sorts of goofy electrical issues happened all at once. I took apart some of the console, as well as going under the dash and started tracing wires. Long story short, there was a big body pass-through connector that was half way apart so I plugged it back in and all seemed well. I reassembled the console, connected the battery and as I'm about to close the hood I notice smoke coming out of the two cowl vents. I look beyond the hood and smoke is pouring out from under the dash. I quickly disconnected the battery but the smoke continued to thicken. I ran over and grabbed the garden hose, turned it on, ran back and sprayed it all over up under the dashboard. In a few seconds the smoke dissipated leaving behind a waterlogged front carpet and a crispy electrical smell. I took out the soaked front driver's side carpet and hung it out to dry. I started to take the console back apart and low and behold it was the freaking cigarette lighter wire that had shorted to something and smoked it along its entire length leaving all sorts of other melted crap wherever it touched. It almost burned through one spot on the console. I decided then and there that this old crappy wiring is history. Fortunately there does not appear to be any other damage besides melted wiring but I'm sure spraying all that water up under the dash didn't do a whole lot of good. Now it's time to do something my dad and I should have done 20 years ago and rewire this thing. This will be my second time rewiring a car as I installed a new harness in my '66 VW when I rebuilt it. But the Beetle's simple electrical system is nothing compared to the Riviera, so this will be a much more complex project. As long as I'm at it, I want to take this opportunity to replace the ugly mismatched carpet and do a bit of interior refreshing as well and hopefully come out of this with a much more solid and safer wiring system. Here is the car this evening before I pushed it down the street to the outbuilding where I'll be doing the work. The interior slightly disassembled after the electrical fire. I haven't even looked up under the dash yet, but I know the situation could have been much worse.