Sunday, September 02, 2012

The GT6 gets its seats

When my GT6 arrived, its interior had been eaten away by the California sun. No carpet or door trims, and the seats were cracked, and disintegrating. They were disgusting, and probably the first parts removed and stripped for restoration. Their frames were cleaned and repainted, and new foams were sourced from Newton Commercial. The original covers were kept as patterns for the new covers. Little else of the interior could be saved.

Every cloud has a silver lining, though. The derelict interior gave me an opportunity to change its colour. GT6s had black, Matador Red, Midnight Blue or New Tan interiors. My red Herald has a black interior, and the Herald coupe will get trimmed in red, so I decided on New Tan to give the GT a light and warm feel. And today, three years after they were removed, the seats came home and were refitted. It was almost as big a milestone as the completion of the bodywork.

The seats were recovered in New Tan leather by Ron Jackson, a Brisbane-based upholsterer. Ron's an old-school craftsman with thirty years of tricks to make old upholstery not only as good as new, but often better. Seats, carpet and door trims were usually mass-produced by the factory or an outside contractor. Restored trim, though, is essentially hand-made, and can incorporate tweaks such as different density foams, extra padding to improve shape and location, and subtly different coloured piping.

I'd visited Ron last week to check on progress, and he was near enough to finishing them that I knew I should get the seat runners bolted in asap. And then the big day came, the phone call to come and pick them up.

Seat runners in place (and a lot of junk!)

Ron the craftsman! 

The seats in place. I'll take a better photo when I can wheel the car out into the sun - the camera flash doesn't do them justice. And the verdict - very comfortable. At 6ft I wouldn't want to be any taller, as my head isn't far from the headlining, but they're very comfortable and supportive, and should make long trips back-ache free. Now it just needs a motor...


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