Bluejeepnut

New Interior for ‘32 Chrysler

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What would it or should it realistically cost to have the interior professionally replaced on my 1932 Chrysler CP8 four-door sedan? Just trying to get a ballpark idea.

 

Thank you!

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It depends on if the seat frames/cusions have to be rebuilt and how well you have done all the preparation work (ex. painted insides of the body panels, is it all ready to get an interior, and ...).

 

I would say a respectable amateur interior would be easy 10-12K and a 100 point interior to win in AACA would be pushing 20K.

 

And, on the fluke I have seen interiors for far less in cost and also far more. 

 

 

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Others can tell you an accurate price, but please

consider, Mr. Blue Jeep, having it done right.  It's 

actually rare, I think, to have cars of this era upholstered

correctly.

 

Cloth seats of this era usually have very deep pleats.

Most often, according to what I've seen, upholstery shops

don't know how to do these properly, and the pleats are

much shallower than they should be.  Also, the padding

over the tops of the seat backs tends to be too shallow

and ends up looking rather flat.

 

I've toured Nicola Bulgari's collection of cars, and at Hershey,

I talked to his upholstery man (an employee of his).

He confirmed what I had observed and explained more

than I understood.  It's not the same as upholstering a

1965 Chevrolet.  If you tell your geographic area,

maybe someone here can even recommend a good shop.

Edited by John_S_in_Penna (see edit history)
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16 minutes ago, John_S_in_Penna said:

Others can tell you an accurate price, but please

consider, Mr. Blue Jeep, having it done right.  It's 

actually rare, I think, to have cars of this era upholstered

correctly.

 

Cloth seats of this era usually have very deep pleats.

Most often, according to what I've seen, upholstery shops

don't know how to do these properly, and the pleats are

much shallower than they should be.  Also, the padding

over the tops of the seat backs tends to be too shallow

and ends up looking rather flat.

 

I've toured Nicola Bulgari's collection of cars, and at Hershey,

I talked to his upholstery man (an employee of his).

He confirmed what I had observed and explained more

than I understood.  It's not the same as upholstering a

1965 Chevrolet.  If you tell your geographic area,

maybe someone here can even recommend a good shop.

In the bigger late 20's and early 30's car it tends to be the opposite - much more subtle pleats (people often say - that is really plain not realizing plain was modern and fussy was old fashioned) - that being said I cannot tell you the number of cars I have seen where they over-stuff the door panels and the window and door handles drag on the upholstery leaving marks on the wool  or leather.

 

 

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You might talk to Mr Taylormade about his 1932 Dodge Brothers sedan he had done....they are probably about the same size car inside.

 

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Also, there are some nice synthetics out there verses wools (that you have to moth ball) - you just have to look really hard.  And, be careful about automotive materials verses non-automotive as non-automotive can potentially not be designed for sun fading resistance.  And when you do an interior in the wrong materials it stands out like a sore thumb matched to doing nothing for the value of the car other than it is probably clean.

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I’ve spend close to $2000 on the correct wool broadcloth material from the late lamented LaBaron-Bonney.  I found a local trim shop that agreeded to do just the seats for two grand.  He’s done a very good job, not perfect, but my car will be a driver, not a show car.  He admitted to me that he grossly undercharged me and would have told me five grand if he had to do it over again.  I paid $1200 for the correct material to do the doors and other trim panels.  I plan to do the doors myself with the exception of some stitching to outline a shape on the door panels, then do all the installation myself.  Ceiling material was $200.  My wife stitched it up and I’ll install it.  I need help from the upholsterer to stitch the door panels and to do the rear arm rests.  I figure that will be around $500.  I cleaned and painted all the seat springs.  The upholsterer used cotton stuffing for the pleats.  No foam was used anywhere.  The pleats are very deep and there are a lot of buttons.  The first attempt at the seats was a disaster, then I found the new guy who did them.  The first guy didn’t have a clue what he was doing.  I had to buy another two yards of broadcloth thanks to that idiot.  The interior has been the least fun project of the restoration.  I have a 32 Dodge Brothers sedan very close in size to your car.

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This will give you some idea of the right amount of "plump" for a 1933 Pierce-Arrow. Original interior - pix taken with a Kodak Brownie back in '61.

 

 

G PA-1.jpg

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Please, for your sake, buy reasonably proper material! I have seen way too many closed cars with maybe not quite correct style work, nicely done, in corduroy or even worse materials. If one is going to spend a few thousand having an interior done? WHY scrimp a few hundred on cheap material? Even if a tight budget (like me), and doing it yourself? A few dollars more against all that work is well worth the difference.

Also, please, no foam padding. It does show. It looks bad. It doesn't last. Any of several authentic type and even a few modern synthetics can do the job better, and last longer, for only a few dollars more. I have stuffed cotton padding myself. It ain't that hard to do.

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As a sidnote:  There is possibly shortage of ribbed wool Bedford Cord - someone on the forum mentioned that Bill Hirsch was not carrying. Lebaron Bonney is out of Business, SMS handles only the 1950's variety, the ford places only handle tan, and ....  That being said, there does seem to be a supply of broadcloth. 

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7 hours ago, vermontboy said:

This will give you some idea of the right amount of "plump" for a 1933 Pierce-Arrow. Original interior - pix taken with a Kodak Brownie back in '61.

 

 

G PA-1.jpg

Not all that "plump" and to me it does have a "perfect' look. 

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I would start with some research, lots of great original car brochures out there.  I have collected original advertising materiel that shows almost every angle of my Graham interior.  Any information you can provide the upholsterer will make their job easier.  I would contact a Chrysler club members, someone else has done this work already.

 

image.thumb.png.f4e02709f68308b48b1a97b36bd311ca.png

 

This is the 1933 Graham from Nicola Bulgari's collection it has a new interior, done beautifully....

 

HVA-Vehicle-1933-Graham-Eight-Sedan-Blue

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9 hours ago, vermontboy said:

This will give you some idea of the right amount of "plump" for a 1933 Pierce-Arrow. Original interior - pix taken with a Kodak Brownie back in '61.

 

 

G PA-1.jpg

This is an original interior that's been around for almost 30 years. I do interiors and can tell you if you look close, the top of the pleat to the right of the center pleat has sagged and is not the level of the others, but, the whole top line has sagged some with most of the pleats being too flat over the top of the seat. The one to the right of center should not be flat across the top nor should it be dropped on the left side sew line where it meets the center pleat when it's new. This picture depicts what a 30 year old interior that's been well kept would look like but it does not depict what this car's interior looked like when new. The padding used back then was a cotton matting that would always go flat over time. Today's synthetic materials will keep their shape much better. You can also see to different depths across the front of the seat back, to the pleat stitching, again probably because of material fatigue underneath the cushion. Most cars of this period should be rounded more on the top to at least the extent of the top of the pleat to the left of the center which is also flattening. They should all be identical in their roundness also which takes time to get just right. Buttons never get installed directly on the pleat line either, they go just slightly  to one side or the other. Installing a button right on the sew line is the perfect prescription for thead failure and the whole pleat line to become unsewn. The early 20 and 30's cars had much rounder tops than the later cars. Look especially at the early touring cars done with leather. Most the tops of the pleats on the seat backs were very round, almost ball like.

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44 minutes ago, Graham Man said:

I would start with some research, lots of great original car brochures out there.  I have collected original advertising materiel that shows almost every angle of my Graham interior.  Any information you can provide the upholsterer will make their job easier.  I would contact a Chrysler club members, someone else has done this work already.

 

image.thumb.png.f4e02709f68308b48b1a97b36bd311ca.png

 

This is the 1933 Graham from Nicola Bulgari's collection it has a new interior, done beautifully....

 

HVA-Vehicle-1933-Graham-Eight-Sedan-Blue

Notice the tops of the pleats are all even with a roundness over the face. The narrower pleats are rounder across the tops with the wider ones carrying the same height and roundness over the face yet none of them are flat. This is what I was talking about in my previous post.

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On 12/17/2019 at 12:50 PM, chistech said:

Notice the tops of the pleats are all even with a roundness over the face. The narrower pleats are rounder across the tops with the wider ones carrying the same height and roundness over the face yet none of them are flat. This is what I was talking about in my previous post.

 

On 12/17/2019 at 12:00 PM, Graham Man said:

I would start with some research, lots of great original car brochures out there.  I have collected original advertising materiel that shows almost every angle of my Graham interior.  Any information you can provide the upholsterer will make their job easier.  I would contact a Chrysler club members, someone else has done this work already.

 

image.thumb.png.f4e02709f68308b48b1a97b36bd311ca.png

 

This is the 1933 Graham from Nicola Bulgari's collection it has a new interior, done beautifully....

 

HVA-Vehicle-1933-Graham-Eight-Sedan-Blue

Still a pretty flat pleat all things considered - certainly not even close to a 1/4 round 

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It is and it isn’t. In other words, from side to side, the wide pleats have to have some flatness because of the width but the narrow ones have a rounder look from side to side. They all need to go flat across the back where they nail but have a nice transition to the face where they drop down the face of the seat back. The tops of the pleats actually go up from the nail line then transition over the face in a nice rounded full look. The angle over the top from the nail line at the rear todown the face is actually less than 90 degrees. With many seats, the pleats are done too flat and the angle ends up being 100 degrees or greater which is incorrect. If you look at the photos of the original PA seats, you will see the angle is about 110 degrees because the tops have flattened and fallen over the years.

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