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Discussion Starter #1
I did STF(orum)A, but couldn't find anything that answers this question.

My '79 Spider has the oh-so-common split on the back of the driver's seat. Is this in any way repairable, or is replacement the only way to get whole again?

If I recover the driver's seat, will I need to do the passenger side as well, just to keep everything looking equally fresh?

I did find a zillion posts about buying covers, doing the job, and having the job done, so if that's the answer, looks like the BB has me covered from there.

Thanks!
 

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I had an accident a few weeks ago while replacing the shifter boot and dropped a running drill on the pristine seat of my '71. When I stopped crying I dragged the seat to a reputable upholsterer here is San Antonio. He will be replacing the panel that was damaged. I saw the material and it matches as closly as could be expected. Total cost $80. This cost could be a little low only becasue I am in San Antonio and this sort of work tends to be low cost here.
 

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Is the split along a seam?

Some of the seams (in the seat bottoms) were split open in the '84 Spider I bought. I removed the seat covers and took them to an auto upholstry shop. They re-stitched the seams and charged me ~$25. Most of the cost otherwise would have been the labor to R/R the seat covers.

If the split is not along a seam you'd either need to replace a section -or- perhaps a patch glued in place from the back side would be a solution.
 

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A Stitch in time saved mine!

You would be very surprised (happily) to find that some of the auto upholstery shops in your area will do these small jobs cheaper and better than you could do. They understand what can be fixed and what can not.
They will use the correct thread of the correct weight to do the job properly. Get to know these shops in your area. You can save some money if you do some labor yourself such as at least removing the seat from the car, or even better, removing the skin. Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks, everyone. Yes, it's a seam split, on the inner side (nearer the center of the car) of the driver's seat back. It's not the stitching that gave way, though, it's the vinyl -- torn along the perforation, more or less -- so a panel replacement might be necessary anyway.

Sounds like it's something an auto upholstery professional could handle pretty easily. I like the idea of taking on the grunt work myself and having someone who knows what they're doing.

Alfas Unlimited is in my neck of the woods, so I'll ask if they have a recommendation.
 

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Seat Repair

A competent shop will try to save you money. They might not charge a "good" price, but instead charge you a "correct" price.
For a panel repair they will try to do a color/pattern/texture match. If the color is not perfect they will dye the material.
Anyway, a good shop will be happy to discuss your options. Check out my previous posts. I have included shots of the interior of my 79 Spider.
Good luck.
 

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In San Antonio the shop was Andrews Auto Upholstery 5092 Blanco rd. 27 years experience. I talked with the owner. Before starting his own shop he did upholstey for a large airplane repair company for a number of years.
 
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