GTV Upholstery Options - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums

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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-20-2010, 05:02 PM Thread Starter
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GTV Upholstery Options

I am now ready to redo uphostery on my 1974 GTV. It is painted pervincal blue, with "natural leather tex interiors" according to Mr. Fazio. This is the lighter beige color, which still seems like a good match for the car. I have spent hours on the Alfa BB reading about others approaches. But some are out of date, and there are so many kit suppliers that it is daunting. I want a close to original, neat and clean installation. Seats, side panels, carpets, but headliner and dash are in great shape. Tight stitching, firm fit. Do i buy a kit and have someone install? If so, what kits are tops. Do I go all custom and try to match existing? I am in the Seattle area, so there are a few Seattle-Portland options.

Any one with recent experience and advice.
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-20-2010, 05:28 PM Thread Starter
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follow up photos re Upholstery question

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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-20-2010, 06:03 PM
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I don't have much to offer, but my feeling it is best to take your seats (or your car) to a recommended auto upholsterer (few good ones also do houshold furniture). Most likely for about the same money as a kit they will add any foam where needed and the seats will (certainly should) fit perfectly.

That said, I believe those with kits offer them with high quality materials and stitching.

Off hand I'm not sure if there are ready made door panels. Let me add that your door panel looks virtually perfect and the seat isn't bad at all, but gather you want everything to have a very nice finish. The panel could be stitched with the same design as on your current doors.

Going a bit farther off from originality, leather seats have a much nicer look and feel (and smell) than vinyl. Leather actually doesn't add all that much to the overall cost.

Good luck on whichever way you go.

Biba
BibaRestoations.com
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-20-2010, 06:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralfa View Post
I....there are so many kit suppliers that it is daunting. I want a close to original, neat and clean installation. Seats, side panels, carpets, but headliner and dash are in great shape. ..Do i buy a kit and have someone install? If so, what kits are tops. Do I go all custom and try to match existing?
Unless you are 100% committed to doing everything yourself, I would begin by chosing an upholsterer, and discussing this with him. Every upholsterer I have ever talked to about this subject voted "no" on kits, and "yes" on stitching up seats, door panels, carpets, etc themselves. They claim - and I believe them - that they can get a better fit, achieve a lower cost, etc.

The door panels look pretty good in your photos - do you intend to replace those too? Because the detailing in the GTV door panel is "heat stitched", rather than sewn, a local upholsterer can't duplicate it 100%. So, if you want replace your door panels so you can change their color, and you want the result to look absolutely original, you will have to either go with pre-made pieces (if they're available in your chosen color), or else re-dye the ones you have.

Jay Mackro
San Juan Capistrano, CA

'63 Guilia spider
'65 Guilia Sprint GT
'67 Duetto
'91 164L

Last edited by Alfajay; 12-20-2010 at 06:09 PM.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-20-2010, 06:21 PM
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I bought my front and rear seat covers from Alfaholics in the UK. Tight seams and great fit and I did it myself,
a first timer. If you have the spare time, I would always suggest to do it yourself and save your money .

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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-20-2010, 06:53 PM
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Check out Davey's restoration thread, he documented his install in great detail and did a hellva job.

my 74 also has the "leather tex" and it's still in great shape, is the leather tex an option or a different material because it sure does wear well.

The passenger seat is 15 miles an hour faster than the drivers seat.

currently
74 GTV restored daily driver
71 Berlina in resto
the ones that got away:
1959 750 series Giulietta Spider Veloce
1962 Giulietta Spider normale
1965 Giulia Sprint normale
1972 GTV
1974 GTV
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-20-2010, 07:41 PM
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My interior is the same color. I went through this recently and selected to go with a local upholsterer who had done other seats for me in the past. He did the seats and door panels with Naugahyde vinyl, which has a very close color match on the "Bourbon" color card. The Naugahyde color is solid, while the original vinyl has a slight two-tone effect.

The door panels did not come out as I wanted, so I junked them and ordered a pair of repro panels from Classic Alfa. The seats came out OK, but not absolutely as wrinkle free as Daveydog"s seats on the photo above.

If I was doing it again I would order kits from the UK suppliers (actually made in Italy) and would have 100% original vinyl.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-21-2010, 06:47 AM
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I looked into doing it myself with a kit, giving a kit to an upholster or just getting the upholsterer to do the whole thing with leather or vinyl. In the end I opted for the latter as getting an upholster to fit a kit worked out to be more expensive and they wouldn't guarantee that there wouldn't be any baggy bits (I suppose they couldn't). Cost worked out to be just over 700 for a leather interior, front and rear including the centre console. Bear in mind that the vinyl kit alone is about 450 and I live in London so labour rates are high. My seats now look great in black leather.

One thing you must do or get the upholsterer to do is dismantle the runners (I think they are riveted). The covering material must be sandwiched between top of the runner and the seat rather than just left floating. My seats had a kit fitted and it always looked baggy at the bottom for this reason.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-21-2010, 06:49 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the thoughtful counsel. I am inclined to search out a good upholstery shop in the Seattle area, and see what they have to say. As noted the condition of the door panels is not bad, but faded in areas. My issue is that the front seats were recovered 15 years ago with a slightly different (lighter) color, and the rears have never been redone, with cotton thread now rotted, etc. So I basically have three different colors and textures. I will post the search for a solution.

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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-21-2010, 11:07 AM
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Ralfa, good decision. I have a friend who bought a very expensive leather seat kit from Re-Originals for his Berlina. The shop charged him $1K to install. It looked terrific, but...

One thing you might look for when looking for an upholstery shop is to see if they cater to the (high end) hot rod crowd. They generally want a unique pattern and materials, plus perfection, so doing your seats and side panels will be simple by comparison.

I suggest you make it very clear to the shop that even though they'll be (machine) stitching rather than 'heat stitching' that the panels should come as close as possible to the one's on the car. I'd suggest they use a finer, color matched, thread on the panels, rather than the thicker thread used on seats.

Obviously if you go this route, the seats and door panels will match perfectly. So you get deducted a point or two at a concours. You might want to keep in mind that the heat stitched grooves are a cost cutting measure to appear as stitched, rather than doing it the (better, in my opinion) old fashioned way.

Biba
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-29-2010, 08:23 AM
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Seats for bertone

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here are seats in my 1976 1600 GT Junior (200GTV in all but engine) done in alcantara and leather. They were originally on cloth & vinyl but no-one makes these kits. I had these handmade and fitted for about 800.

Whilst Im a sucker for originality normally, I cannot bring myself to get into hot vinyl seats any more. Alcantara is nicely 'italian' and looks great and very similar to the cloth/vinyl originally fitted.

Stuart ...Alfa 1600 GT Junior, Ducati 888, Moto Morini 3 1/2 sport, plus loads of Italian bikes....
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-29-2010, 10:24 AM Thread Starter
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Stuart, your seats look great. They do push my conservative approach to "original", which is good. I can believe that they are very comfortable for long drives. thanks for sharing.
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-13-2017, 10:03 AM
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dear Stuart
can you please share with me the shop where you bought the leather cover for your seats?

BR/Ram
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-14-2017, 06:25 AM
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I had the covers made, I did not buy complete covers. You just need to find an upholsterer who is reasonable, then you can source the Alcantara and Leather or get them to source it for you. Good luck

Stuart ...Alfa 1600 GT Junior, Ducati 888, Moto Morini 3 1/2 sport, plus loads of Italian bikes....
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-14-2017, 07:47 AM
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cover seats

who knows where can i buy cover seats for my GT Junior 1600cc model 1975 which is not vinyl
something like the alcantara style that Stuart has shown in this forum

Ram
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