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1926 Pontiac - use leather or vinyl?

Guest rbjt

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I am nearing completion of my 1926 Pontiac Tourer restoration in Australia. I have some fragments of the original interior trim and believe it was dark brown leather. I would like to keep it as original as possible but have been recommended to use vinyl.

The reasons given were that modern leather production isn't the same as the 1920s anyway and the additional cost isn't justified.

I'm hoping to get some more opinions and hoefully some first hand experiences in terms of appearance and durability?



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The cost of an interior is mostly in the labor, in the case of a touring car with leather interior, the labor is probably 80% or more of the replacement cost. If it was originally leather, then spend the extra money and buy leather for the interior.

Leather looks better and sits better than vinyl. There are a LOT ways to process a hide of leather, though, and not all end results are satisfactory. Sounds like the person giving you the advice had a bad experience. There are differences in furniture and automotive grades of leather, for example. It's much more complicated than one would think, if you Google the question "automotive vs. furniture leather" you can read all about it.

If you go the way of leather, make sure you buy it from a dealer who has automotive quality leather. Vinyl, you're on your own!!

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when i lived in fresno,ca. back in the late 70's, i had a neighbor, fabian, who bought a 53 pontiac chieftain custom catalina, almost identical to the one i had, when fabian brought his car home from having the interior redone down in mexico, the seats were redone in vinyl where leather was originally. i remember like it was yesterday, thinking how nice it looks now, everything being new inside the car, but, it still wasn't leather, and pontiac put full leather seats in these cars. i was able a few years later, to have oliver's auto trim of fresno, restore my car's interior, using leather for the seats, wool carpeting, and a new headliner. i hope that you'll restore your 26 pontiac with new leather, yes, you'll pay alittle more for the cost of leather, but, the leather will pay you back in satifaction from you, and admires from others. charles coker, 1953 pontiac tech advisor.

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My 1931 Pierce phaeton was restored the first time in 1959-60, and the fellow who owned it wanted durability. He discussed it with his upholstery guy, and at the time found out that leather was no more expensive than vinyl, but that vinyl, he thought, would wear better. So, when I got the car, it had vinyl interior still in excellent condition.....but yikes....I couldn't wait to change it to leather, which I did and never looked back....

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