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Best vinyl kit supplier for custom saddle '65 Riv?


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Hi All,

 

I'm looking at full vinyl kits for my custom Saddle interior. What are people's thoughts in terms quality v price with the options out there? OPGI runs about $640 and is supplied via Distinctive Industries (I've heard not great in terms of quality). Old Buick Parts / Cars has them for $989 (supplier unknown) and it seems Clark's Corvair has them but I can't figure out the price  / manufacturer. Appreciate any thoughts / opinions. Thanks.

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57 minutes ago, Seafoam65 said:

 The consensus on the forum is that Clark's is the best way to go on upholstery.

Good to know. Looks they are $1080 for the full custom vinyl from Clark's. Guess you do get what you pay for.

 

Has anyone ever done the switch themselves? My upholstery guy wants $1500 to remove and replace which includes adding some lap belts in the rear. Also tighten springs, refresh foam and grease seat tracks. Seems a bit high but maybe its more difficult / labor intensive than I think? 

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If I were you I would try to avoid completely changing out the foam.....replacement foams never compress

when you sit on the seat like the original 60's GM foam. You can add a little padding here and there to make up

for shrinkage, but avoid changing out the foam if you can. I have a 70 Chevelle SS and a 69 GTO convertible.....

both use the same seat frames and foam, just the upholstery pattern is different. Back in the 80's when I changed out the seat covers on the GTO I went with new foam and threw away my old foam.....big mistake! Even after 35 years the GTO seats are not half as comfortable as the Chevelle's totally original seats and I still sit up too high in the GTO

with the line of sight almost at the top of the windshield.

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That's mainly BECAUSE the NEW foams have to meet ALL the safety standards of today & for fire suspression. The reason the foams are harder than original. These foams are being directly supplied by the original manufacurers for Gm, Mopar & Ford as well as some foreign manufacturers.

I was ALSO directly involved with this manufacturer in Wa.

 

Tom T.

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1 hour ago, DShoes said:

Good to know. Looks they are $1080 for the full custom vinyl from Clark's. Guess you do get what you pay for.

 

Has anyone ever done the switch themselves? My upholstery guy wants $1500 to remove and replace which includes adding some lap belts in the rear. Also tighten springs, refresh foam and grease seat tracks. Seems a bit high but maybe its more difficult / labor intensive than I think? 

Yes, I have done seats many times, but I never could get the upholstery to look absolutely perfect like a good upholstery man can. I got pretty good at it, but finally started letting the pros do it so the car would look absolutely perfect. It depends on how picky you are.....it's very difficult to get all the wrinkles out if you don't have lots of experience.

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I got my black vinyl from clarks for my 64. Very nice and good quality. I had to replace my foam on all seats because everything was moldy and falling apart but I agree the new foam is nothing like the old. I actually took my frames back to bare metal, primed and repainted them, then took them to an upholsterer. If your frames are rusty i would clean and paint them. My upholsterer said if you don't clean and paint the frames  they will still always have a smell to them.

 

That price is not too bad. I paid less but they didn't do the best Job in the world either though. If I hadn't taken them they would prob still be waiting in the garage for me to finish them.  I would let them do it and focus your time on other fixes or improvements. It is extremely labor intensive.  You will also need to buy hog ring pliers, rings, replacement edging, batting, additional foam which will likely run 1 to $200 if you don't already have that stuff.   You will likely find you can save almost the amount of the job by doing something else easier and faster on the car that doesn't require as much skill and art to get right such as suspension rebuild, etc 

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Clark’s…hands down.
 

Their prices have gone up. But I don’t care. In these crazy times, what prices haven’t gone up? 
 

Clarks makes all their covers in-house. I have seen multiple kits that friends have bought from Clark’s. Top notch, quality stuff.

 

I am currently putting together a parts list for my 65. I will probably order all things interior at the same time from Clark’s just to have it all match. I will have to do new foam. U can see why in the pix on my build thread. Unfortunately, for us 65 guys, Clark’s does not have new foam for our Deluxe interior 🤷🏻‍♂️. I am teaming up with a hot rod upholstery buddy of mine to help me since I don’t know what I’m doing.
 

Good luck DShoes 
 

 

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Thanks guys. Great advice. When I told my wife I was thinking of trying to do the vinyl change over myself she just rolled her eyes. Apparently I’ve developed a reputation for biting off a little more than I can chew! I think now it’s best to leave this one to the pros and focus on the 6 other projects already started. Great to get the validation on Clark’s as well. Now if one of these lotto tickets would just pay off...

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22 hours ago, DShoes said:

Good to know. Looks they are $1080 for the full custom vinyl from Clark's. Guess you do get what you pay for.

 

Has anyone ever done the switch themselves? My upholstery guy wants $1500 to remove and replace which includes adding some lap belts in the rear. Also tighten springs, refresh foam and grease seat tracks. Seems a bit high but maybe its more difficult / labor intensive than I think? 

I did mine from Clarks, Not perfect, but I drive it. Most of the wrinkles have relaxed and smoothed out since then. I also left the buttons off on purpose. I like the look better, and imo they are prone to fail and dirt collectors.

IMG_1779.JPG

IMG_1834.JPG

IMG_1894.JPG

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15 hours ago, DShoes said:

Thanks guys. Great advice. When I told my wife I was thinking of trying to do the vinyl change over myself she just rolled her eyes. Apparently I’ve developed a reputation for biting off a little more than I can chew! I think now it’s best to leave this one to the pros and focus on the 6 other projects already started. Great to get the validation on Clark’s as well. Now if one of these lotto tickets would just pay off...

 

Woman usually do a better job than guys... maybe it has to do with furniture/redecoration?
I think they would like to pick the color, though?? LOL

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6 minutes ago, crowvet said:

I did mine from Clarks, Not perfect, but I drive it. Most of the wrinkles have relaxed and smoothed out since then. I also left the buttons off on purpose. I like the look better, and imo they are prone to fail and dirt collectors.

IMG_1779.JPG

IMG_1834.JPG

IMG_1894.JPG

 

Nicely done. Looks pretty respectable to me. How long do you think it took you start to finish?

 

Out of curiosity, where did you get your floor mats? They look much better than my OPGI "Riviera" mats which seemed to starting fraying on day 2.

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17 minutes ago, DShoes said:

 

Nicely done. Looks pretty respectable to me. How long do you think it took you start to finish?

 

Out of curiosity, where did you get your floor mats? They look much better than my OPGI "Riviera" mats which seemed to starting fraying on day 2.

Oh Geeze, Way more hours then it should have took. I did paint the frames as well. I easily have 5 hours into each cushion, maybe more. The mats were from an ebay supplier, they are awesome. The price was right as well. I could find the link if you are interested?

 

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Winston is right about the seat foam - keep the original foams if at all possible. 

 

About 20 years ago I recovered the front seats of my green custom interior '65.  I got supposedly original vinyl from SMS, and the upholsterer copied the pattern from the original covers.  He did an awesome job. The back seat is still pristine. He replaced the foam in the front seats and this made me sit considerably higher than on the old seat.  I didn't like it of course, but what could I do?  Fortunately the foam has compressed over the years so the seating position is now lower.  It used to bug me for years to be sitting higher, but I likely got used to it over time, and combined with the compression of the foam it's now quite acceptable.  

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Last time we had a sunny day I took my '60 Electra to an upholsterer who has done some very nice work in our area. I have been driving the car quite regularly for the past 20 years and the front seat fabric has worn through where I slide in. SMS sent me a sample of the original cloth insert that they have in stock. The brilliant blue of the sample made it obvious I needed to replace all the 60 year old stuff front and rear.

 

He gave me a quote of $1750 to do both seats and install a new ACC carpet. I am to provide 7 yards of the SMS material, about $1,000 and the carpet, under $500. He included the blue bolster and seat stuffing from his stock. Right around $4,000 total was a pleasant surprise for me.

 

17 hours ago, DShoes said:

I think now it’s best to leave this one to the pros

I will give the upholstery Pro money I make front doing something I know how to do well. I haven't been hurt by upholsterers as much as I have by mechanics.

 

Bernie

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On 1/29/2021 at 2:09 PM, gungeey said:

it’s best to leave this one to the pros

Gungeey, upholstery for me is harder than a rubic cube. I believe it has to do with a person’s ability to visualize how the pieces of the cover relate. I’m totally in the dark. Fitted bed sheets puzzle me. I had my 63 reupholstered by a local gent. I supplied all the goods from Clark’s and the job turned out good.

Turbinator

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On 1/28/2021 at 5:42 PM, Seafoam65 said:

Has anyone ever done the switch themselves? My upholstery guy wants $1500 to remove and replace which includes adding some lap belts in the rear.

I had a Clark’s set front, back, carpeting, package tray, and dash dyed, all new weather stripping, window fuzzies, windlace, door panels front and back by a local upholsterer. The fee was $2500. which I thought fair. $1500 sounds like an outstanding quote.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Winston, I spent $2500. 4 years ago for carpet, all the seats, door panels front and back, package tray, dash dyed, all weather stripping and new window fuzzies reupholstered and installed. I thought the fellow did a good job and the price fair.

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