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View Full Version : What type of seat upholstery would you suggest?



52-fan
02-06-2014, 09:54 PM
I already know from talking to Wes Shepherd that his dad's 52 is going to need the seats rebuilt and new covers. The original type covers Lenard put on the car have split along the front seam and the foam has disintegrated just like the foam in my old Champion did. Anyway, I have been trying to decide what type of covers to use. I am not putting the seats back original. My wife is allergic to the wool blend used when the car was new and this is a hot rod.
When I first got interested in cars it seemed that almost all the street rods and modified cars had black tuck and roll. I do like a black interior in Naugahyde or the like, but since I am going to keep the original door panels and headliner I don't think that would look very good. That leaves me with colored vinyl or cloth or a combination of the two.
What type of material and pattern do you think would be best in a slightly modified 52 sedan? I'll post a few pictures of how the car looks now for those who don't remember.

First is a picture I pulled off the forum from a few years back.

http://i152.photobucket.com/albums/s186/52-fan/31438850007_large_zps1e923b01.jpg (http://s152.photobucket.com/user/52-fan/media/31438850007_large_zps1e923b01.jpg.html)

In this current picture that Wes posted on ebay you can see where the seam has separated. I plan to replace the cloth on the door panels, but I hope the lizard skin pattern vinyl at the top can be used for a while. I may dye the vinyl.

http://i152.photobucket.com/albums/s186/52-fan/_57b_zpsd569ecce.jpg (http://s152.photobucket.com/user/52-fan/media/_57b_zpsd569ecce.jpg.html)

48skyliner
02-06-2014, 10:06 PM
My observation, based on many years experience with various types of upholstery is that leather or vinyl tends to be really cold in cold weather and really hot after sitting out in the sun in hot weather. My favorite without a doubt is the velour or velvet, at least for the face of the seat that you sit and lean on. The edges can be vinyl and look good with the velour. Another choice is heavy corduroy, which tends to be very durable. The photos shows the bucket seats in my 84 RX-7, which are original and have held up very well as you can see.

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StudeRich
02-06-2014, 10:35 PM
It is the owner's Car so HE needs to be happy with the final product, but I would definitely go with a Gray or Green (if the Car will remain Green) Fabric like Velour with Vinyl Trim.

If this is the Car involved (Leonard's), the first thing I would do for a Predominantly GRAY Interior is replace those Tan Carpets and throw Mats with Gray.

52-fan
02-07-2014, 12:00 AM
I had a car with velour several years ago and the seats were comfortable, but velour is too 80s for my taste. I may just not have seen the right combination, but I would pick another material. In any case, if I go with ready made covers, I'll probably have few choices of material. Color seems to be the biggest option on the sites I have looked at. I wish I could afford a custom set.
As far as color goes, I have to admit that gray makes sense, but it has been a bit over done in past years. I am leaning toward a green combination of some sort. I have been going back through my pictures of various cars trying to find the right look, but I am still looking for ideas.

SScopelli
02-07-2014, 02:20 AM
I always like seats with inserts, Slight bolstering to give it a modern look.. but keep it clean man..

http://i1286.photobucket.com/albums/a609/R2Whistler/R1%20Lark/06%20Interior/IMG_7664_zps07759ee3.jpg

swvalcon
02-07-2014, 08:59 AM
I would be looking at one of the new cloth grays. I would stay away from a velour to 70's. On my hawk being we cant get the factory red I'am going white leather.

unclemiltie
02-07-2014, 10:01 AM
I put an interior in a 50 Commander starlight last year and used covers from lebaron Bonney. I had cloth inserts and vinyl trim. I have the same type covers in both my 47 and my other 50 Commander. I like the cloth inserts when it is hot and I like the vinyl trim as it is easy to keep clean. I used matching material for the door panels. This is there lower level covers but I personally like them.

http://www.lebaronbonney.com/custom-seat-covers.php They refer to them as their "custom interiors". This is the same style that various vendors including JP use to sell before LB bought out their supplier.

I have had the ones in my 47 for over 20 years.

These are not show quality and not authentic stude styling.

candbstudebakers
02-07-2014, 11:19 AM
If you want low buck go with the type you have on there now, if the car is just a driver hot rod and not a full custom or restored car then the period type old style covers might work again, is your car a 2 door or 4 door? I have some nos sets like yours here, just a thought.

52-fan
02-07-2014, 11:29 AM
I put an interior in a 50 Commander starlight last year and used covers from lebaron Bonney. I had cloth inserts and vinyl trim. I have the same type covers in both my 47 and my other 50 Commander. I like the cloth inserts when it is hot and I like the vinyl trim as it is easy to keep clean. I used matching material for the door panels. This is there lower level covers but I personally like them.

http://www.lebaronbonney.com/custom-seat-covers.php They refer to them as their "custom interiors". This is the same style that various vendors including JP use to sell before LB bought out their supplier.

I have had the ones in my 47 for over 20 years.

These are not show quality and not authentic stude styling.

Do you have any pictures? I am looking for ideas.

Son O Lark
02-07-2014, 11:30 AM
Rich Corinthian Leather!!

ST2DE5
02-07-2014, 11:30 AM
I like this material. Your but don't sweat.
http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd185/51stude/IMG_0513_zpscd02ab45.jpg (http://s220.photobucket.com/user/51stude/media/IMG_0513_zpscd02ab45.jpg.html)
http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd185/51stude/IMG_0512_zps17ec30fb.jpg (http://s220.photobucket.com/user/51stude/media/IMG_0512_zps17ec30fb.jpg.html)

52-fan
02-07-2014, 11:33 AM
If you want low buck go with the type you have on there now, if the car is just a driver hot rod and not a full custom or restored car then the period type old style covers might work again, is your car a 2 door or 4 door? I have some nos sets like yours here, just a thought.

I have considered the old style covers. I actually have a brown set that I bought from an SDC member member 35 or 40 years ago. I am concerned that they will separate like Lenard's did. That type of cover is period correct. My first 52 had two sets (one on top of the other) on it when I bought it.

52-fan
02-07-2014, 11:36 AM
http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd185/51stude/IMG_0512_zps17ec30fb.jpg (http://s220.photobucket.com/user/51stude/media/IMG_0512_zps17ec30fb.jpg.html)[/QUOTE]

That style would look good. I might choose different colors. Did you buy a ready made or were those done locally?

jclary
02-07-2014, 01:26 PM
Note...I attempted to post early this morning (before 9 AM) but lost my internet connection. I am still posting my original intended comments, 'cept to add...do what pleases you...it is truly the best way to enjoy the hobby.:)

You are asking for opinions, so I'll humbly offer mine with no expectations of value, since I have never been accused of being guilty of having excessive "class."

If that door panel snakeskin vinyl is like that of my '51 Land Cruiser...I'd go with a color matching dignified leather, at least for the seating contact panels, and perhaps a matching high quality vinyl for the sides and non-contact areas (kinda like what is being done for furniture) if full leather is a price issue.

The gray is a rather neutral color, very dignified, promotes the car's original elegance, without resorting to cheap bold distractions.

With my cars...I'm the cheap bold distraction.:o:(

coyote
02-07-2014, 01:38 PM
I had my driver Lark seats done at a local upholstery shop. Not original but I think they look pretty much correct for the vintage. He charged me $350.00 each. You might just try a local shop.

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jclary
02-07-2014, 01:51 PM
This might be a topic for its own thread, but I used the term "color matching" in my prior post. However, after a little more thought, perhaps "color compatible" would be more appropriate. Some color variations are "compatible" without "matching" as opposed to "clashing."

My wife will tell you that I have never been good at distinguishing what is compatible and what is clashing. Those terms not only apply to colors, but patterns as well. That is why I always defer to her and value her opinion.

candbstudebakers
02-07-2014, 02:10 PM
I had my driver Lark seats done at a local upholstery shop. Not original but I think they look pretty much correct for the vintage. He charged me $350.00 each. You might just try a local shop.

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Steve, nice set up for a driver in fact better than original of the day, your price is sure a nice one also but here in the bay area it takes the $700.00 just to get them talking, maybe I should bring some to Carson City and have done....Bob

Mark57
02-07-2014, 02:58 PM
My wife will tell you that I have never been good at distinguishing what is compatible and what is clashing. Those terms not only apply to colors, but patterns as well. That is why I always defer to her and value her opinion.

You are a smart man John. My wife also has a great sense of colour and pattern so likewise, I always rely on her input into these types of decisions. In addition, she has done some upholstery work herself that would be way beyond my capability to perform! :)

52-fan
02-07-2014, 03:00 PM
I had my driver Lark seats done at a local upholstery shop. Not original but I think they look pretty much correct for the vintage. He charged me $350.00 each. You might just try a local shop.



Very nice indeed. The person who did yours did a good job. I am trying to imagine that pattern in a different color on 52 seats.

52-fan
02-10-2014, 01:20 PM
I was hoping for more examples of seats. The ones from 47-52 would be most appropriate. I have been through lots of pictures of Studebaker interiors, but most of them do not have good shots of the seats. Anybody got any more shots in your collection of pictures?