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Thin Back Seat Upholstery
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anthracitedub
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2019 2:12 pm    Post subject: Thin Back Seat Upholstery Reply with quote

Ive began looking around for some decent seat covers for my 57 and so far havenít found anything clearly made for the thin back seat. Most of what Iíve found states that it fits models that are later and include the 57....

Iím looking for some decent driver quaility covers that clearly fit the thinner seats... my last experience ordering interior parts for my 57 were a bit unpleasant.

Does anyone know of a company that has seat covers made to fit these particular seats.... Iíve only seen ads that say covers for 56-60 and another with a broader, generic range of fitment.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2019 2:21 pm    Post subject: Re: Thin Back Seat Upholstery Reply with quote

Did you try Lenny Copp at West Coast Classic Restoration?

www.classicvws.com

I am fairly certain he has done the early thin back seats, even though the website doesn't explicitly state this.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2019 2:26 pm    Post subject: Re: Thin Back Seat Upholstery Reply with quote

They will have to be custom made.
Any decent auto upholstery shop could make you a set if all you want is something practicle. Probably still going to set you back $600 or more.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2019 3:07 pm    Post subject: Re: Thin Back Seat Upholstery Reply with quote

Any decent upholstery shop should be able to create from scratch or "fix" a set of "thick" back seat covers.
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anthracitedub
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2019 4:20 pm    Post subject: Re: Thin Back Seat Upholstery Reply with quote

Alright, thanks guys.... thatís kinda what I was thinking. There isnít many options other than having them made. I was hoping there was something along the lines of TMI type covers for an earlier Ghia.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2019 5:11 pm    Post subject: Re: Thin Back Seat Upholstery Reply with quote

anthracitedub wrote:
Alright, thanks guys.... thatís kinda what I was thinking. There isnít many options other than having them made. I was hoping there was something along the lines of TMI type covers for an earlier Ghia.


Hopefully you don't need padding!
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2019 5:27 pm    Post subject: Re: Thin Back Seat Upholstery Reply with quote

The hardest thing about thin backs is just acquiring a set. Downhill from there. Did you check with Sewfine?
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anthracitedub
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2019 5:54 pm    Post subject: Re: Thin Back Seat Upholstery Reply with quote

I have the original seats and interior for my car, just everything is toast. I found a company that sells material similair to the original coconut fiber...I was hoping I could find something decent and affordable to recover everything. Iím not trying to go back to original... just something presentable. Iíll check in with Sewfine and also the option of converting thick back seat covers... that might be my best bet. I appreciate all of the suggestions and advice.
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anthracitedub
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2019 1:08 pm    Post subject: Re: Thin Back Seat Upholstery Reply with quote

I thought Iíd share some progress pix... Iím either going with WCC or Sewfine for seat upholstery. Decided to cry once and enjoy some nice quality covers.

Been working on the frames and spring cushions and the seat back pivots and adjusters.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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anthracitedub
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2019 1:36 pm    Post subject: Re: Thin Back Seat Upholstery Reply with quote

Here is a snap of the seat back adjustment bumpers I made.
This car is a restocustom, so itís not perfect/original... Iím gonna rock the cheap door panels until I free up some more funds... Iíll be happy to have nice seats soon.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.



Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.
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anthracitedub
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2019 1:45 pm    Post subject: Re: Thin Back Seat Upholstery Reply with quote

Hereís a couple more hand made pieces while working on the interior
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


I was forced to use black delrin because itís all I had... these are not done yet... but itís something.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2019 2:24 pm    Post subject: Re: Thin Back Seat Upholstery Reply with quote

Did you talk to Carol at Sewfine?
They are very VW oriented.

Dave
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anthracitedub
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2019 4:14 pm    Post subject: Re: Thin Back Seat Upholstery Reply with quote

I just did the catalog request with a message, havenít heard back yet. But I will have time to make calls Thursday... I plan on calling both places and see what I can get. Iím just gonna keep it simple with black vinyl and grey cloth centers... im hoping I can get some kinda grey cord material.
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PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2019 7:55 am    Post subject: Re: Thin Back Seat Upholstery Reply with quote

anthracitedub wrote:
I thought Iíd share some progress pix... Iím either going with WCC or Sewfine for seat upholstery. Decided to cry once and enjoy some nice quality covers.

...

I get the fact that your early lowlight is a Resto-mod Custom, and that you're not trying to make everything "original" and "perfect".
Seeing as there does not seem to be any "ready made, off the shelf" lower cost seat cover options that will fit your early thin back seats, however, I think your decision to "cry once" is a very wise one indeed.

I don't have to tell you, or any other Ghia Forum regular, that those seats are like money in the bank (and perhaps even better in today's uncertain economy).
The frames alone will command a hefty price, and there isn't much reason to think that they'll lose any value in the forseeable future.

Although it may not necessarily be exactly what you currently have planned for your interior, if you were to actually have them recovered as close to original as possible it would only increase their value.
I'm not that familiar with early lowlight exterior/interior color options, but there's likely one color interior that may have been an option for several different exterior color choices.

Having your thin back seats recovered in the "original" style in that color is yout best bet to practically insure that whatever money was spent on having custom covers made could easily be "recovered" through a possible future sale of those seats.
It's not often that you can say that about anything in the vintage auto restoration world. Smile

Good luck with the balance of your project, and please continue to keep us posted on your progress.
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anthracitedub
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PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2019 4:37 am    Post subject: Re: Thin Back Seat Upholstery Reply with quote

Well, after contacting both Sewfine and WCC.... Iím left with a little indecision.
I feel both places would do a decent job. I think WCC is strictly a restoration shop and Sewfine would cater to the restocustom scene a little better.

Iíve still never seen a picture of either companies thinback seats done... both sites only show pics of later seats.

My main goal is to have them stitched as close as possible to original but using my own color/material choices.

Now Iím considering going ahead and having doorpanels and a few other things added to the order... windlace, doorpulls, etc.

I didnít foresee this being such a difficult choice but itís getting hard for me to decide. It would be a nobrainer if I was restoring the car to spec colors... Iíd use WCC ... they deal with restorations and have the correct colors/materials.

I suppose I need to do a bit more research before I place an order... this is a big purchase for me and I need to make sure the right choice is made.
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PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2019 8:43 am    Post subject: Re: Thin Back Seat Upholstery Reply with quote

anthracitedub wrote:
Well, after contacting both Sewfine and WCC.... Iím left with a little indecision.
I feel both places would do a decent job. I think WCC is strictly a restoration shop and Sewfine would cater to the restocustom scene a little better.

Iíve still never seen a picture of either companies thinback seats done... both sites only show pics of later seats.

My main goal is to have them stitched as close as possible to original but using my own color/material choices.

Now Iím considering going ahead and having doorpanels and a few other things added to the order... windlace, doorpulls, etc.

I didnít foresee this being such a difficult choice but itís getting hard for me to decide. It would be a nobrainer if I was restoring the car to spec colors... Iíd use WCC ... they deal with restorations and have the correct colors/materials.

I suppose I need to do a bit more research before I place an order... this is a big purchase for me and I need to make sure the right choice is made.


If you go with the original style materials it's expensive. I shelled out $1000 just for the cord and vinyl upholstery from Germany.
Constructing the panels and the seats is insanely labor intensive because of all the sewed pleats. I am not lookin forward to the butchers bill on that.
If you are going to go for an original look then your should go with original materials, using cheap materials and paying for all that labor makes no sense.
Same with the seats, the thin backs require custom everything, including padding.
My thing with lowlights, especially an early one like yours, is that these are potentially big money cars if done right. If you lower it, put a later engine in it, a TMI interior...basically what most guys have done to date, then the car is not worth much.
You do it right, sure you will spend a lot, but end up with a car worth a lot.
If money is a consideration, then stick a TMI interior in it, use later seats for now so you can enjoy the car and hang on to your thin backs until you have money to do it right.
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My retirement plan:
1956 Ghia
1969 Ghia Convertible
1959 SO-23 Westfalia
1960 crusty double cab
1960 convertible bug
1963 356 B coupe runner
1963 356 B coupe
1962 356 B Coupe
1967 21 window rust bucket
1967 912
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anthracitedub
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PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2019 9:25 am    Post subject: Re: Thin Back Seat Upholstery Reply with quote

My car was extra crispy when I found it 19 years ago. I was never really equipped financially to do a proper resto on it... so it is lowered with a 40 horse and tunnel trans. It was missing the original wheels, engine and hood when I got it.



Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Iím kinda leaning toward Sewfine interior, TMI donít have one for thinbacks anyway. Sewfine said they have a patteren for the thinbacks and they have decent materials on hand. I plan on doing my own padding, Iím certain I can handle putting them together.

I do understand the value and importance of a proper restoration, but I donít think itís in the cards for this car. I do plan on giving my 62 a proper resto because it was in much better shape to begin with.
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anthracitedub
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 12:18 pm    Post subject: Re: Thin Back Seat Upholstery Reply with quote

Just wanted to update to show off my new Sewfine interior.
I chose black and grey from their catalog. After speaking with them they assured me they were familiar with the early patterns and have recently done some early seats. I also sent them my trashed original stuff so they could see an early 57 interior. What I got back was absolute beauty. They are amazing to deal with too. They even sent me a mock up seat cover to double check the fit before they started.

The material they use is really high quality and the craftsmanship is super nice.
Iím going to take my time putting things together... but Iíll post some pix as I go.


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


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Heres the mock up cover

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2019 3:41 am    Post subject: Re: Thin Back Seat Upholstery Reply with quote

Interior looks really nice Bro. Sewfine has been around for a long time and definitely know what the VW world wants for their interior.
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anthracitedub
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2019 5:53 am    Post subject: Re: Thin Back Seat Upholstery Reply with quote

Yeah. Theyíre awesome... really gave me a better product than I expected... the materials are great and the whole experience with them was perfect.
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