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  • Cheap Interior Solutions?

    What should I do to make the interior somewhat nice on my '51 Champion?

    I am already planning going to have the seats recovered by a good friend (just green vinyl, no pattern) but I need to figure out carpet and a headliner.

    I'm 19 working for $11 an hour and going to community college, so I don't have much free time or money to spend on this.

    On my '74 GMC I just screwed some rubber matting down over the rust holes license plates, and road sign. The problem with doing that on the Studebaker is that it is too nice for me to drill a bunch of screws through the floor.

    Anyways, I just want to know what you all have done to make an interior look nice on the cheap.

  • #2
    When I was a teenager driving a ‘58 Studebaker Commander, I pulled the ratty headliner out and coated the floors with rubberized bed liner. Never did install a headliner or carpet. It worked for me.

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    • #3
      It depends on how cheap...

      A large carpet remnant could be purchase, then cut and fit to the area. It would take some time and effort. Door panels/cards wouldn’t be too difficult. The headliner would be the hardest as gravity is working against you.

      Here is one of a series of videos describing how one man redid the interior in a 51 Champion.


       

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      • #4


        The interiors in 51 Champions were all shades of grey and some taupe. If you insist on vinyl seats, at least they should be gray, not green. It costs no more to upholster in gray fabric and it will be cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.

        Is there any of your original upholstery left so that you can see stitching patterns and colors?

        How about a western style horse blanket over the seats?
        Last edited by RadioRoy; 03-16-2021, 08:52 PM.
        RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

        17A-S2 - 50 Commander convertible
        10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
        10G-Q4 - 51 Champion business coupe
        4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
        5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon
        56B-D4 - 56 Commander station wagon
        60V-L6 - 60 Lark convertible

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by RadioRoy View Post

          I just cannot stand the thought of another old car with a crappy-ass vinyl seats with no pattern. That's what all the desperate people do.
          Come on Roy.. He’s a 19 year old who wants to make his Studebaker a little nicer to drive. Not every old car needs to be “factory correct”. A low budget “driver” that makes the owner happy is perfectly acceptable, too.

          Besides.. Nothing is ever permanent on a car. Upholstery can always be redone later.

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          • #6
            Cheap can look OK if it is done right.
            Last edited by RadioRoy; 03-16-2021, 08:52 PM.
            RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

            17A-S2 - 50 Commander convertible
            10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
            10G-Q4 - 51 Champion business coupe
            4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
            5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon
            56B-D4 - 56 Commander station wagon
            60V-L6 - 60 Lark convertible

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by RadioRoy View Post
              Why not wait until he has a better plan?
              Speaking from my own experience; had I waited until I had the finances to do “nice” work, I would’ve missed out on a whole bunch of fun putting a whole bunch of miles on Studebakers. A guy has to start somewhere.

              I didn’t own a “nice” Studebaker until 5 or 6 years ago. All of the ones before that were patched up beaters.. And I enjoyed the hell out of them.

              One of my High School drivers was this ‘62 Lark. Mismatched paint, horse blanket seat covers, and a smoky 6 cylinder engine. Wasn’t a nice, restored car by any stretch of the imagination, but I sure didn’t let the lack of authentic upholstery keep me from having fun in it.


              Click image for larger version

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              • #8
                The interior on my Champ, is the last thing I will be working on, so just to get by, some what like mentioned above, I painted alot of the interior metal black bed liner. By no means does it look fancy, but does have a nice look to it. And, when the time and funds come available, I can easily re-do it.
                Mike and Dawn

                '61 Champ

                Comment


                • #9


                  No 51 Studebaker had green vinyl seats.
                  Last edited by RadioRoy; 03-16-2021, 08:53 PM.
                  RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

                  17A-S2 - 50 Commander convertible
                  10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
                  10G-Q4 - 51 Champion business coupe
                  4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
                  5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon
                  56B-D4 - 56 Commander station wagon
                  60V-L6 - 60 Lark convertible

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by RadioRoy View Post
                    Keep misinterpreting what I said all you want.

                    Gray cloth with a pattern that looks like an original interior costs no more than green vinyl with no pattern that will never look like original.

                    I am not knocking the OP for having no money. I am knocking the ^%$*% no pattern green vinyl!

                    No 51 Studebaker had green vinyl seats.
                    The previous owner redid the back portion of the front seat with green vinyl, and I think it would look good with the green dash.

                    I want this car to be something I can pick up girls without them being too grossed out to sit in it.

                    Comment


                    • #11


                      Regardless of who you give rides to, you might reconsider putting a green interior into a blue car.
                      Last edited by RadioRoy; 03-16-2021, 08:53 PM.
                      RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

                      17A-S2 - 50 Commander convertible
                      10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
                      10G-Q4 - 51 Champion business coupe
                      4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
                      5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon
                      56B-D4 - 56 Commander station wagon
                      60V-L6 - 60 Lark convertible

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Today......”Rat” is appreciated. Tear away what’s falling off, clean what’s left.....you’ll never improve on cleaned “Rat”.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Frank54 View Post
                          It depends on how cheap...

                          A large carpet remnant could be purchase, then cut and fit to the area. It would take some time and effort. Door panels/cards wouldn’t be too difficult. The headliner would be the hardest as gravity is working against you.

                          Here is one of a series of videos describing how one man redid the interior in a 51 Champion.

                          That was a good series Jonathan did.

                          Cold War Motors is also doing upholstery work.

                          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MeVPagemL_M

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by jjester6000 View Post

                            I want this car to be something I can pick up girls without them being too grossed out to sit in it.
                            Now, this IS a noble cause, so we have to help him!
                            --Dwight

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Maybe you could luck out and do what I did with the 62 hawk I'm putting together. Had the headliner built local and building my own door panels. Carpet i got at Menards for about $60. What they sell that guy use to use on vans and boats. Should have around $300 in whole interior when done. Got the seats for free from guy hauling car to the scrap.
                              Attached Files

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