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Seat Upgrade for '64 Skylark


Machine Gun
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I'd be interested to hear from anyone who may have replaced their '64 thru '67 Skylark front bench seat with modern high-back buckets with headrests. I've searched the forums and didn't find anything relevant. I realize that custom mounts will be needed, but I'm more interested in what brand aftermarket seats you may have used, and where you got them. I'm also open to using OEM seats from pretty much any modern vehicle as well as aftermarket seats if they'd fit and have the proper seat height. Any info and advice would be appreciated.

 

I had this topic combined with comments on a possible disc brake upgrade, but the subject of seats got lost in the brake discussion. I guess I should have separated the two from the start.

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I have not done this but have you considered Corvair bucket seats?  Last I knew one of the major Corvair suppliers had seat foam and covering suitable for 1st gen Rivieras, which I believe is similar to Skylarks of your era. I remember the 64 Corvair bucket seats as very comfortable although it is acknowledged that there are no headrests.  

 

And OPGI sells brackets that convert a bench seat car to bucket seats with out drilling the inboard side of the floor boards. 

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8 minutes ago, JohnD1956 said:

I have not done this but have you considered Corvair bucket seats?  Last I knew one of the major Corvair suppliers had seat foam and covering suitable for 1st gen Rivieras, which I believe is similar to Skylarks of your era. I remember the 64 Corvair bucket seats as very comfortable although it is acknowledged that there are no headrests.  

 

And OPGI sells brackets that convert a bench seat car to bucket seats with out drilling the inboard side of the floor boards. 

Seats without headrests are a non-starter for my wife. The main reason I'm planning to the conversion is because the stock seats are very uncomfortable for my her. The angle of the backrest kills her back, and she really needs a headrest. She's retiring in May, and we're planning to do the remainder of Route 66 next Fall. I have three options: Complete the trip without her (she's OK with that, but I'd want her to come along), do the trip in one of our modern daily drivers (she's OK with that, but I'm not), or change out the seats in the Buick (we're both OK with this one). 

 

Later, when I have time, I'll check out what OPGI and others have to offer. I got so wrapped up in the brake issue that I hadn't yet started looking into seats. I'm sure I'll eventually find something suitable. My biggest concern with a seat conversion is where to store the original bench seat. I'd be hesitant to move it along until I'm sure that the conversion will be a forever mod.

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Check out Procar seats. They fit well in an A body car and are really comfortable. A friend had them in his '65 GS when we did the hot rod power tour one year. With some planning the original seat tracks can be adapted to the seats also. Since you have a bench seat, you will need another set of mounts for the passenger seat. Those are now available from the aftermarket.

Link to one of the suppliers of Procar Procar 80-1300-51L Pro-90 Series Bucket Seat, Driver Side, Black (speedwaymotors.com)

 

 Loren

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Jim,

for what it is worth, the bucket seats in my 63 Riviera and my 63 Skylark are similar in overall size and appear about the same size as was in my ‘64 Skylark Sports coupe. Thinking that buckets from a late model Riviera with high back seats may be an alternative, especially those with electric adjustables. 
Interested in what you end up with.

cheers

Rodney. 😊😊😊😊😊😊

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Hi Rodney:

 

Thanx for your input. I settled on a set of Procar seats but haven't yet ordered anything. I will look into later model Riviera high back seats. It will ultimately come down to availability, color (must not clash with my tan interior), material (must be cloth), and price. Nothing is off the table until I place an order.

 

I'll be sure to post my results back here after it's all done. I'm thinking at least a couple of months by the time I make my decision, get the seats delivered (seat vendors are predicting extended delivery times), and installed.

 

Regards,

Jim

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  • 1 month later...

I've abandoned my plan to upgrade the seats in my Skylark. I've been searching literally for months without success to find a solution that I can live with. The best option would have been Procar seats, but what I want is out of stock and they won't commit to a delivery date, but they said it won't be before September in any event. Another vendor would gladly make me a new split bench seat at a cost of more than 70% of what I paid for the car, and I'd have to fabricate my own mounts. That's about as big a "Not gonna happen" as there is. I also looked extensively into sourcing used seats from a modern car, but the difficulties of finding a compatible color, and then custom-fitting seats with uncertain comfort levels is beyond what I want to endure. Add to that having to deal with other people's coffee stains, the essence of farts long since expelled, and other unknown chemical and biological residue that I'd rather not think about. Nope.

 

There's no need to offer additional suggestions because I consider the issue closed. I'm just posting this to express my appreciation for your prior suggestions and to provide the promised update. Spring is coming, and I'm looking forward to getting the car back on the road and simply enjoying it as it is.

Edited by Machine Gun (see edit history)
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My wife has osteoporosis pretty bad and seating is very important to her. I sold two of four vehicles she couldn't ride in last year. Just a couple of days ago she complimented me on buying the Avalanche that fits her well. That, the '60 Electra, and the '05 Silverado are good rides for her. The '64 Riviera and '86 Park Ave convert are just for me.

 

We were looking at a Cadillac CTS coupe last week and she said "I guess that would be just for you to drive". I like it when she recognizes how generous I am to buy a car to suit her. Look like a hero. Buy another car. Works for me, 40 years on Valentines Day and she still lets me think she believes me.

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Excellent suggestions on how to become a hero! My wife also has osteoporosis, but it's relatively mild. Nonetheless, seating position is very important to her as well. Fortunately her own car, a 2016 Forester, and my daily driver, a 2016 Jetta, are comfortable for her on long trips. Her only issue is with the seat back angle of the '64 Skylark, which tortures her on rides longer than an hour.

 

My whole reason for wanting to change the seats was for my wife to be able to accompany me on my planned road trip in the fall to complete Route 66 between Tulsa and Santa Monica (you may recall that I drove the Mother Road alone in the Skylark last June between Illinois and Oklahoma; my wife isn't yet retired). I've long dreamt of doing all of Route 66 in a classic car. We had a discussion just this morning when I told her that decided to give up on the seat idea. I told her that if we can't do Route 66 with her in the Skylark, I'd do it in a car that she can ride comfortably in. Given the choice between her and the car, I'd choose her (that was my hero moment).

 

She suggested trying various back supports and seat bolsters in an attempt to find something that would work for her. I'm not sure how practical that would be but I'm willing to give it a go since it was her idea. If we come up with something that looks promising we can test it out in May when we're planning to visit a friend in Indianapolis. Who knows, maybe there will be an update to this update?

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Now here's a seat. High bottom, good bolster at the shoulders, as nice as a living room couch. I am not much for modifying and I sold the '48 Packard. I am strongly considering a '51-'54 Packard convertible or hardtop, similar style seat. It's for her, you know.

 

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Oh wow, you struck a nerve there! When I was 18 years old I bought a 1952 Packard Mayfair (250 series, 2-door hardtop). I loved that car and forever regret selling it. I even remember its serial number: 2577 2929. Even though it wasn't considered a Senior Packard, it was the next best thing to riding your living room couch down the road. I used to commute to college in it. My friend once said that the reason you don't feel the bumps in a Packard is because it smooths out the road as it drives over it. 

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