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View Full Version : Pctures of my new upholstery - DIY!



vegas paul
10-07-2008, 09:01 AM
I have recently finished the interior upholstery (all by myself, thank you) of my 51 Business Coupe. I used the seat frame from a 68 Toronado and am very pleased with the results.

***See below for picutres added 10/11/08**

Anyway, during my interior remodel ordeal, I was able to continue to drive the car since I left the original seat in while I worked for almost 3 months on the new seat, panels, headliner, etc. in my shop.

Now the install is complete, and I have a seat frame, cushions, etc. complete with adjusting hardware, etc. that is available to a good home. based on the catalogs I have, this is the same as front seats for any two door Champion of this era, I'm not sure what years it extends to, but definitely 51/52 (2-door only, since the seats fold forward). Upholstery is in good shape, no rips or tears, springs are a little soft, but reasonably comfortable.

Shipping is problematic, so maybe someone who wants to visit Las Vegas (who doesn't?) might want to pick them up. Anyone interested? As I said, they are free to good home, but I wouldn't refuse any token gifts involving petroleum products, alcohol, or hard to find parts... just kidding.

Las Vegas, NV - Stop by, coffee's on!
'51 Champion Business Coupe G899965 10G-Q4-1434
http://i151.photobucket.com/albums/s144/vegas_paul/graciestude_edited.jpg

52-fan
10-07-2008, 03:44 PM
I don't need the seat, but I would like to see the replacement.

http://i152.photobucket.com/albums/s186/52-fan/StudebakersofArkansas2-1.jpg
1952 Champion Starlight, 1962 Daytona, both w/overdrive.Searcy,Arkansas
"I may be lazy, but I'm not shiftless."

bams50
10-07-2008, 03:49 PM
YEAH! Not to take away from your generous offer, but WE NEED PICTURES!!![8D]

Robert (Bob) Andrews Owner- Studebakeracres- on the IoMT (Island of Misfit Toys!)
Parish, central NY 13131

"Some people live for the rules, I live for exceptions"- 311

"Do they all not, by mere virtue of having survived as relics of a bygone era, amass a level of respect perhaps not accorded to them when they were new?"

vegas paul
10-07-2008, 06:28 PM
Ok, I'll try to post some pictures soon. BTW, the seat is spoken for if the requestor (54-61-62) can make it out for a visit... I'm holding them.

Las Vegas, NV - Stop by, coffee's on!
'51 Champion Business Coupe G899965 10G-Q4-1434
http://i151.photobucket.com/albums/s144/vegas_paul/graciestude_edited.jpg

vegas paul
10-11-2008, 01:07 PM
Here's the pictures of the new upholstery that I promised... I don't know which needs more practice, my sewing skills or my photography skills.
http://i151.photobucket.com/albums/s144/vegas_paul/DSC01406.jpg
http://i151.photobucket.com/albums/s144/vegas_paul/DSC01408.jpg
http://i151.photobucket.com/albums/s144/vegas_paul/DSC01409.jpg
http://i151.photobucket.com/albums/s144/vegas_paul/DSC01412.jpg
http://i151.photobucket.com/albums/s144/vegas_paul/DSC01410.jpg
http://i151.photobucket.com/albums/s144/vegas_paul/DSC01115.jpg
http://i151.photobucket.com/albums/s144/vegas_paul/DSC01114.jpg
http://i151.photobucket.com/albums/s144/vegas_paul/DSC01411.jpg
and the used machine i bought that made it happen...
http://i151.photobucket.com/albums/s144/vegas_paul/DSC01118.jpg

Las Vegas, NV - Stop by, coffee's on!
'51 Champion Business Coupe G899965 10G-Q4-1434
http://i151.photobucket.com/albums/s144/vegas_paul/graciestude_edited.jpg

raprice
10-11-2008, 01:57 PM
From where I'm sitting, it looks pretty nice.
Rog

'59 Lark VI Regal Hardtop
Smithtown,NY

bams50
10-11-2008, 02:01 PM
Yeah... way beyond anything I'd ever tackle[8D]

Robert (Bob) Andrews Owner- Studebakeracres- on the IoMT (Island of Misfit Toys!)
Parish, central NY 13131

"Some people live for the rules, I live for exceptions"- 311

"Do they all not, by mere virtue of having survived as relics of a bygone era, amass a level of respect perhaps not accorded to them when they were new?"

jnewkirk77
10-11-2008, 02:17 PM
Very slick! I'm impressed! The Toronado seat is a nice touch and sure looks like it belongs there. I'm pretty sure it's more comfortable, too ... am I right?

Jacob Newkirk - Owensboro, KY

KEEP AMERICA BEAUTIFUL! Drive a Studebaker!

vegas paul
10-11-2008, 03:03 PM
The Toronado seat is very comfortable. I replaced all the original (crumbling) foam with both closed cell (for firmness) and open cell(softer) foam per a book by Don Taylor who gave very good instructions for all kinds of custome upholstery. All I have left to do in the interior is the carpet, which I will custom sew from some free remnants from a local dealer. He gave me some wool berber pieces. I'll make patterns and sew/bind them in the next month or so.

BTW, the 6-way power on the Tornado seat works just fine! Also, the center console (shown in the "up" position for a middle seat in the photo) folds down for an armrest. This seat was set up with 3 lapbelts in the front so its original intent was for 3 people, or to be used as an armrest if only 1 or 2 were traveling. I will add the matching lapbelts soon also.

Las Vegas, NV - Stop by, coffee's on!
'51 Champion Business Coupe G899965 10G-Q4-1434
http://i151.photobucket.com/albums/s144/vegas_paul/graciestude_edited.jpg

2R5
10-11-2008, 03:18 PM
great job ! You sure can save a bundle if you tackle it yourself , thats for sure ;)

http://i99.photobucket.com/albums/l300/2R5/Champ-1.jpg
LANCASTER or BUST
"IF YOU WANT THE SMILES YOU NEED TO DO THE MILES "

1960 Champ
1964 Daytona HT

Roscomacaw
10-11-2008, 03:40 PM
Wow Paul! I'm impressed. What's the title of that book you mentioned?

1957 Transtar 1/2ton
1960 Larkvertible V8
1958 Provincial wagon
1953 Commander coupe
1957 President two door

vegas paul
10-11-2008, 03:57 PM
Two books, actually. "Automotive Upholstery Handbook" and "Custom Auto Interiors" both by Don Taylor. My public library had one, and I bought the other one thru Amazon for about $20. They are very good with lots of pictures and explanations for non-stitchers. I was fortunate to find the industrial sewing machine on Craigs list here in town for $150, used. It is about a $1800 machine brand new, and for an extra $45 I had the local dealer lube, adjust, etc. and proclaim it good as new. Generally, a normal sewing machine will not handle the multiple layers of vinyl, leather, foam, etc. This machine will sew thru many layers, including chipboard, and probably sheet metal! As you noteced from the pictures, I am kind of fond of tuck & roll pleats, so this machine made that possible.

P.S. (edit) believe it or not, the hardest part was the sun visors... the ones in the pictures are my 4th or 5th attempt after throwing out several tries. Good thing they don't waste very much material or cardboard...

Las Vegas, NV - Stop by, coffee's on!
'51 Champion Business Coupe G899965 10G-Q4-1434
http://i151.photobucket.com/albums/s144/vegas_paul/graciestude_edited.jpg

studebaker-R2-4-me
10-11-2008, 05:20 PM
Only one word necessary,...WOW!

http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o278/studebaker-r2-4-me/Side.jpg

1964 GT Hawk R2 Clone
Oakville, Ontario.

Hamilton Chapter

showbizkid
10-11-2008, 06:16 PM
LOVE the Strato-Bench!!!!!!


[img=left]http://members.cox.net/clarknovak/lark.gif[/img=left]

Clark in San Diego
'63 F2/Lark Standard
http://studeblogger.blogspot.com
www.studebakersandiego.com

52-fan
10-11-2008, 06:20 PM
Wow! [:p] Prepare for car guys in your area to want their cars done too. :D

http://i152.photobucket.com/albums/s186/52-fan/StudebakersofArkansas2-1.jpg
1952 Champion Starlight, 1962 Daytona, both w/overdrive.Searcy,Arkansas
"I may be lazy, but I'm not shiftless."

mdelapp
10-11-2008, 06:23 PM
I am very impressed. How did you know the toranado seat wouul fit so nicely? Normally I get faint-hearted when I hear of someone modifying. I am sort of an "Orignal" type guy, but this REALLY looks good. I bet it is very comfortabble riding around. I also love the headlining
An inspiration!

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j231/druefer/Stude4.jpg

vegas paul
10-11-2008, 06:48 PM
Mike - for fit, the only real criteria I had was that I wanted to retain a bench seat (it's a biz coupe and no back seat, so I wanted to retain the 3-passenger capability), and the width was the only other critical parameter. I knew I would have to fabricate new brackets to mount the seat, so that was a given anyway. I just adjusted for height when I made the brackets. Most bench seats available in our junkyards are trucks and a few full-sized cars (too wide). Keep in mind that Las Vegas doesn't have pick-a-parts with old vehicles, mostly 12 years old or newer. I didn't like the look of most bench seats, but when I saw the Toronado I was imeediately drawn to it, and know I could make it work.

I paid $35 for the seat at the pick-a-part, then proceded to find about $6 in change while tearing it down! I won't list the other miscellaneous disgusting items found while removing the fabric/foam... I used a marine-grade vinyl (that looks like leather) and UV resistant nylon thread to limit any yellowing from sun.

The headliner was inspired by a thread on the HAMB, here:
http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=38449&showall=1

Las Vegas, NV - Stop by, coffee's on!
'51 Champion Business Coupe G899965 10G-Q4-1434
http://i151.photobucket.com/albums/s144/vegas_paul/graciestude_edited.jpg

289cruiser
10-11-2008, 08:12 PM
WOW,
craftsmanship still exists, you have the results in your interior to prove it......outstanding result!

Louis Moore

BobGlasscock
10-11-2008, 08:33 PM
Holy Moly and Gee Willikers!! That is georgeous!!

'50 Champion, 1 family owner
http://i251.photobucket.com/albums/gg316/studebakerbob/SDC%20avatar/Studebakerstuff019.jpghttp://i251.photobucket.com/albums/gg316/studebakerbob/SDC%20avatar/Studebakerstuff018.jpg

Gary1953
10-11-2008, 09:29 PM
The interior looks super. Congratulations. The headliner looks like you have a roll bar in it. did you plan for that look? You have a great looking car inside and out.
Thank you for the pictures.


http://i98.photobucket.com/albums/l269/gsandes50/Picture008.jpg
Gary Sanders
Nixa, MO
President Toy Studebaker Collectors Club. Have an interest in Toy Studebakers? Contact me for details.

barnlark
10-11-2008, 09:43 PM
That looks really great. [^] I've tackled a lot of interiors since I was about 17, and none of them looked like that for a first effort. Beautiful and a nice custom touch on everything, Paul. I always had to include real wood on the doors, or dash somewhere adding to the personal touch, so I appreciate the time it took in there. I assume you have a 12V system for the seats, is that right?

vegas paul
10-11-2008, 09:57 PM
Thanks for all the kind words.

Yes I had converted the car to 12V a while back, primarily for stereo, etc. Also, I needed to completely rewire the entire vehicle since the original (as I purchased it) harnesses were crumbling in my hands. I made my own harnesses laid out on a 4 x 8 plywood sheet for minimal cost, based on the wiring diagram in the shop manual.

This was my first upholstery attempt. I literally bought the sewing machine for this job and I'm pretty proud of the results. I am amazed at how many "car people" don't bat an eye at rebuilding a trans or engine, welding sheet metal, paintng or body work, but are scared to death of a sewing machine... I approached it as if it were just a new tool to learn how to use. Basically, if you are comfortable with a table saw, lathe, milling machine, router, grinder, etc. then you can probably work with upholstery. The books I bought were helpful, and I'll admit that I made a few false starts before installing what is in the photos. Theres a lot of info on the internet, and the raw materials are pretty cheap compated to other fabrication methods, so my suggestion is give it a try. I threw away several yards of cheap Walmart cloth that I bought just learning how to sew a straight line! (hint - get ugly plaid... it already has the straight lines printed on it!!!)

I don't think I'm ready for a second career, but the "bragging rights" are worth the effort.

Las Vegas, NV - Stop by, coffee's on!
'51 Champion Business Coupe G899965 10G-Q4-1434
http://i151.photobucket.com/albums/s144/vegas_paul/graciestude_edited.jpg

barnlark
10-11-2008, 10:37 PM
I'd rethink that second career thought. I've seen people drive to Mexico when I was in high school and their interior never looked that good. You could pay for gas money for quite some time. It's all about patience and you have it.

Dick Steinkamp
10-12-2008, 10:05 AM
Beautiful work! [:p]

Not only is it well done from a pure sewing standpoint, but it is an interesting and effective design.

Dick Steinkamp
Bellingham, WA

http://i149.photobucket.com/albums/s66/ddstnkmp/Stude-a-mino%20old%20pics/oldpics6asmall.jpg

JRoberts
10-12-2008, 05:13 PM
What a fantastic job. It is gorgeous. Is your sewing machine designed expressly for upholstery work?



Joe Roberts
'61 R1 Champ
'65 Cruiser
Editor of "The Down Easterner"
Eastern North Carolina Chapter

vegas paul
10-12-2008, 06:21 PM
Thanks everyone. The sewing machine is an industrial machine, probably designed with upholstery in mind, or at least heavy duty use on canvas, denim, leather, etc. It only has one stich... no zig zag, automatic button holes, etc. Pretty much a one-trick pony, straight stitch (it does have the reverse feature though) and the stitch length is adjustable. The main thing about this type of machine that is ABSOLUTELY necessary for auto upholstery is something called a "walking foot". (I am trying to sound like an expert on these things, even though 6 months ago I didn't know how to spell sew... or is it so?)

A walking foot machine moves both layers of material through the machine from both the top and the bottom, thus if you have 2 or 3 layers of vinyl plus foam that you are sewing, none of the layers get bunched up or ahead of any other layers. Difficult to explain, but definately essential.

To give an example, earlier in the thread I said that the sun visors were particularly difficult. Imagine "opening up" a sun visor, you have thick cardboard with the foam and vinyl spray glued to it, with the ends wrapped around what will become the inside. Then fold it like a sandwich and stich it together. This means you are actually sewing through 4 layers of vinyl (both sides plus the wrapped around ends) and two thicknesses of cardboard, plus the compressed foam. And then try to negotiate the curves/corners. I know that there are stitchers out there that can do this in their sleep, but it was a lesson in patience for me. Do NOT try this on your wife's Singer/Brother, etc.

Check ebay or Craigs list for industrial machines with a walking foot, they come up often. I got mine for $150 and now my wife is eyeballing it when I leave the room!

P.S. (edit) look up at my picture of this machine - the motor is below the table, driving the machine with a belt. This is opposed to the home machines that have an integral motor. Look at the size of that motor! 1/2 HP.

Las Vegas, NV - Stop by, coffee's on!
'51 Champion Business Coupe G899965 10G-Q4-1434
http://i151.photobucket.com/albums/s144/vegas_paul/graciestude_edited.jpg