Aftermarket Upholstery for Classic Car Restoration

Tags: Upholstery Repair

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http://www.howtopaintcars.com/wp-content/gallery/interior-parts/1965-mustang-standard-door-panels.jpg?i=741987283Almost every classic car that you work on will need at least a partial restoration in the interior. The work that you will have to do will depend on the amount of work the previous owner did and the cost can range from a thousand dollars to three times that for a basic restoration.

For Hobbyists this outlay is a serious part of the budget and a custom hand made job is not always possible or reasonable.

Because many classic cars have a large aftermarket the availability of products is pretty good. In some cases such as Pony interior for Classic Mustangs I would say that ordering a full set from an aftermarket supplier is definitely a better way to go because the stamping dies to inlay the horses are not available to most custom shops.

For other makes of cars there are normally options that can make your life a lot easier and less costly. Although not all vehicles are the same from year to year you may find that within the GM make of vehicles a Chevrolet upholstery package or even parts of the set will fit well with other products within the overall GM umbrella.

This is also true for Mercury products that match up with ford makes . I know for a fact that the Ford bucket seats in the 1960s are an exact match for Mercury products and many of the consoles and dash parts also cross match.

How to choose an Upholstery Manufacture for your Restoration Job

http://www.howtopaintcars.com/wp-content/gallery/interior-parts/pony-seat-emblem.jpg?i=1249634148I use to place my orders through specialty shops that only dealt with one or a few vehicles of the same type. They sold parts for every application and most of the time the parts were in stock but when it came to upholstery there was always a lead time necessary for them to order the package.

At that point it became reasonable to place the order directly to the company that only manufactured theses parts and if you are doing more then a few jobs I would suggest that you do some research and find a provider that specializes in classic car interior sets.

Another option is going with a major parts supplier that can discount parts at a much higher percentage and also provide quick delivery. If the parts supplier can’t ship the parts immediately then you probably don’t want to use them unless they are a company that you already trust and also provide 100% returns on the Upholstery Package.

That is another large factor when ordering upholstery The Return Policy. Most smaller dealers will not allow returns even on unused parts. More then once I have received my parts only to find out that there was a manufactures defect and no way to return it.

What can you expect to spend for an Aftermarket Upholstery Package?

The best deals are when you order a full package. For instance a front and rear standard seat set in a 1966 mustang goes for just under $200 and for just the two front seats you are looking at $150.

For the extra $50 it is reasonable to replace the back seat at the same time even if it is marginally fair in condition because you will have a better color and texture match.

Additionally the Pony Option is something that everyone seems to love .. me personally not so much but the difference is that the interior has stamped ponies. For the extra $75 dollars it is worth adding this option if you are selling the vehicle just because it will attract more customers.

Quality of Parts for Shows and Events

http://www.howtopaintcars.com/wp-content/gallery/interior-parts/mustang-carpet-set.jpg?i=627807684Like any restoration job you must consider if the parts you are using will be an accurate restoration or a modification of the original design.

If you are expecting to show your car for prizes and cash you want to make sure that the interior parts that you purchase are OEM Approved. This means that the manufacturer designs and makes their parts to the specifications given by the Original Car Maker and then they are verified for accuracy.

You can get some parts that are very close in quality and look but professional car judges can pick you apart and the cost difference of the original purchase is much easier to stomach then having to remove a part and replace it just because every judge you come up against is going to see it is not show quality.

That is just a sad and bad fact of showing your car in professional shows. The smallest things matter and these cars have been around decades for judges to pick them apart.

If you are doing a custom restore then nothing really matters other then how you feel about the look of the product you are installing.

Installing the Products yourself to save money

Saving money on any restoration project is important because it allows you put money into other places or make a larger profit.

Installing Upholstery is not the most difficult project for the professional or Hobbyist but it will require a few tools like a crimper and you may need a friend to help you stretch the material into place.

All in all I would rank this job at about a 4 because it does take some care and time to do it correctly.

The two jobs I do not like doing on a classic is the vinyl top and the headliner.

New cars are very easy to replace headliners and convertible tops are difficult for everyone. If you have a few days or a few friends with some skills then attempt those jobs if not maybe you should fork out the cash and get someone who does it every day to help you out.

 

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