Upgrading the Seats

You have a choice on whether to reupholster the old seats or find newer ones that will fit. I chose to search the junkyards with a measuring tape and found a nice set that looks period correct!

The original seats were unbelievably heavy! I'm sure that the front seat weighed over 300 lbs as I couldn't drag it out of the car by myself in one piece. I'm used to moving engine blocks and transmissions around without a problem. I had to take it apart inside the car and remove it in two pieces: seat bottom and backrest. Even then I could barely drag the seat bottom across the garage floor!

There was no way that I was going to put seats that weighed that much back into the car and after 50 years, they were in no shape to be reupholstered. No telling what mouse hotel would be inside and I didn't want to find out. So I took some measurements of the width of the front and rear seats and off I went to the local wreckers to see what would fit. After about an hour of searching, I found a set of 1980 Pontiac blue bench seats that were in next to perfect condition, were the right color blue and had a beautiful striping pattern that looked period correct - total cost $100. Just a note: I purchased the seats first then found the door panel material to match the color.

The front bench seat looks like it belongs there! You can see in the lower left, the offset mount that had to be welded up. The front seat bolted directly to the floor using the stock mounts.

Here's the rear seat in place. Looks pretty damn good. Note that the top of the seat backs are squeezed in to fit.

The seats are not bolt-in. There was some fabrication to make mounts for the front seat. The floor is not flat and offset spacers had to be welded up to mount the front seat. There were two minor ssues with the rear seat: mounting the seat back on to the body and supporting the seat bottom. The rear seat back was just a little too bit wide at the top, so the springs had to be bent to fit. A wooden support had to be made to be made to support the rear of the seat bottom.

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Copyright January 2012 Eugene Blanchard