View Full Version : New repro vinyl durability

05-20-2014, 07:40 PM
This was brought up by another poster on a slightly different topics so I am starting this topic.

I am looking for input from those who have new, stock appearing vinyl interiors in Studes .
1) What color it it?
2) How has your vinyl held up?
3) How long has it been in the car.
4) How do you use it (daily driver, trailer to shows)?

I just received my new rosemist vinyl today from a national supplier. I scrubbed a small spot at the corner and sure enough it is straight red vinyl under a thin coating of rosemist color. I wanted a stock interior, but at this price and knowing this, I was to be sure it will last. I took it to my upholsterer and he said he has seen it done and that he thinks they may have rushed it a bit and rolled it up too soon as it reeked of fumes when he unrolled it. He also said the should have said it was new and not original and offered some touch up color for scuffs. He didn't steer me away from it totally saying if its done properly (what I'm concerned about) it is not that different from what factory might do in production. I can't seem to find another source for this color, I'll may go another way entirely with my interior.

This is not the only issue. There is a repeating mark in the vinyl itself. It appears to be a flaw in the manufacturing. I noticed it right away when I unrolled it. I was thinking maybe its seconds quality or blems that is being used to make this color product.

I'm just looking for other experience on this matter. This is not meant as a rant or a vendor lynching.
PM for more info if you want.

05-20-2014, 08:00 PM
During the past 14 years I have installed three different seat upholstery kits from Phantom, in three different 56Js: Charcoal cloth inserts & white vinyl; blue cloth inserts & regal blue vinyl, and yellow & white vinyl. All three sets held up very well, with NO cracking or fading. I still have the oldest set (blue) in the 56J I still drive once or twice a week, and it is still holding up well.

About four years ago, I installed a red, cloth & vinyl seat upholstery kit in a GT. It was made by a company that advertises in the Stude Vendors circle, but they make them for most American classics. In less than a year the vinyl began to fade, and now it is more pink than red. Both the 56J and the GT have tinted windows, and both sit inside when not on the road or in a parking lot. The fading of the red is along the top where sun gets to it.

05-20-2014, 08:42 PM
Well...I am certainly no expert when it comes to upholstery fabric. However, like just about every product you can purchase, quality varies. For some reason, in the early 1960's, it seemed like automotive upholstery vinyl was trash no matter what make of car it came in. Seems like, if it was vinyl of that era, it was either fading, cracking or both. The only exception I encountered was a a 1964 Crestliner Aluminum boat I acquired around 1980. To properly restore that boat, I had to remove a ton of paint, including two or three coats apparently applied with a brush.

The wooden dash of the boat was covered by a padded vinyl dash. It had also suffered the same fate of the rest of the boat. Gobs of enamel and latex paint had to be removed. I resorted to slathering on paint remover to get the stuff off. I was sure that the vinyl would melt away with the rest of the paint. To my surprise, the paint remover did its job and revealed a beautiful sky blue vinyl covering on the dash. Not a tear, scratch, or stain remained. That was when I realized that not all vinyl is created equal. Marine vinyl must certainly be of a higher grade. The chemistry must have better wear, UV, and weather resistance than other cheap upholstery vinyl.

You have to think that, as time, research, and processes have progressed, the science of vinyl has improved the products. However, like any product...there will always be greedy folks, cutting corners, looking to make a quick buck and run with the money. Last year, I bought a "Leather" motorcycle vest. While on a short ride last week, the wind shredded the "Fake leather-like" coating on that cheap fabric backing. What I thought was a bargain...well...I shoulda' known better.

I suspect that you can still buy good or poor quality vinyl. You'll have to do some research.

05-21-2014, 08:29 PM
Thanks for the replies. Sounds like it may be a red thing.

05-29-2014, 02:54 PM
who was the vendor that provided the questionable vinyl? Those of us who need upholstery Would like to know

05-29-2014, 04:19 PM
who was the vendor that provided the questionable vinyl? Those of us who need upholstery Would like to know

I'd rather tell you of at least one vendor who provides "the good stuff", and that is Phantom, now called SouthEast Studebaker LLC. I must say I have not tried SE's red vinyl though, and red seems to be the worst for fading, esp. when exposed to sunlight. But I can vouch for their blue, yellow, and charcoal colors. I did get a GT red carpet set (10 piece) from SE a few years ago, and it is holding up very well, but again, not directly exposed to sunlight.

05-29-2014, 04:28 PM
who was the vendor that provided the questionable vinyl? Those of us who need upholstery Would like to know

bhapner; here is your answer:

/Cut/I'm just looking for other experience on this matter. This is not meant as a rant or a vendor lynching.
PM for more info if you want.

05-29-2014, 07:01 PM
I decided to use the vinyl as received for a number of reasons. One, I am using fabric inserts on the seats in the area of the most heavy wear patterns of use. Second, as far as UV fade is concerned the car will be and occasional driver and will be stored inside. Lastly I could find no other source for this color. Plus I got a really great deal on all the door and side panels near mint original for under $200. To change color now would cost to costly. So basically I'll take my chances and try keep them nice. The seats are at the shop now with all the materials. Sent a message bhapner

05-29-2014, 07:14 PM
Original vinyl was awful in 1962, and Studebaker waranteed lots of upholstery problems. They got their act together from 63 onward, and That vinyl wears better than leather. I have had numerous later Studes that the vinyl was still useable 40++ years later. The original stuff was the same color throughout the whole material.....no dyed surfaces, and no discoloration or color coming off when glued.
On a different note, dyeing dashes and the like is done all the time even from the factory. My 2004 Duramax has a dyed dash.

05-29-2014, 07:29 PM
Yes Rene has very nice stuff. Good quality workmanship in my opinion and while I will pay the same or more going custom locally, it really came down to time and not needing the heat pleated inserts as I've got fabric. My guy here has done superb work for me before and I know what I'll get as opposed to wait and see results from internet suppliers or a local shop with which I'd not dealt with. My carpet will be South east Stude.