I am the original owner of a 1970 SS396. The car went through a very extensive restoration that was finished a year ago. This car was kept original and is restored to original. I was able clean up and leave the GM seat covers on the seats. The car's been to several shows and even picked up a couple of wins. I was proud of the fact that the seat covers are original.
The front seats showed some sign of wear in spots, but were not very noticeable. I had an upholsterer look at them, and had plans to have work done on them this winter. Well, last weekend, I got out the car and saw that a tear had started along one of the heat sealed seams.
Now, I don’t think it pays to do any repair, even if it can be repaired, because more tears are likely to develop due to the age of the vinyl. As much as I hate to it, I’m going to have to install new covers.
I have several questions. Who makes the most original looking covers for the 70? Not just the correct material, design and seams, but has the original puffy look between the heat sealed seams. I have looked at many 70 chevelle seats and I can always pick out the originals. Some of the after markets' are really flat, but some looked a little better. Thinking I wouldn’t be replacing mine, I never asked anyone where they got their covers. From the information I’ve been able to find, PUI has the best. Are their any other manufacturers or sources?
How hard is it to install covers on bucket seats? I have very good mechanical abilities, have used hog ring pliers to put rings on hogs, but never did any upholstery work. And, I am somewhat picky, meaning, I want it to keep looking good with use, be comfortable and durable. Foam padding will need to be installed. Again, from information I’ve found, the foam needs to be trimmed a little if you don’t want an over stuffed seat that raises the seat several inches. I’ve seen a few seats, not necessarily in chevelles, that look over stuffed and not original.
Are there any hints or tricks when installing covers to help accomplish the things I mentioned above? I’ve read about heating up the covers first and using a plastic bag to help with slipping the covers over the foam.
Thanks in advance for any information that anyone can share with me.