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Discussion Starter #1
I'm looking into getting some new seat covers for my Spider and comparing prices. Just the basic, black vinyl covers. My question is whether anyone has ever compared the quality of the covers between, say, World Upholstery, IAP, Centerline, Alfaholics, etc., or are they all sourcing the same covers? (Let's leave Caribou out of the discussion.) Is any one source's covers noticeably better or worse than the others? (Or stated another way, can I shop strictly by price?)

Thanks!
 

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I've seen a set of seat upholstery (late 80's Spider Veloce) from World Upholstery, and they were junk. Perhaps they have different grades, as many vendors do?

What about www.leatherseats.com - anyone buy from them? They sell direct, but also on eBay sometimes, and seem to know about Alfa upholstery.
 

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Odd. I got a set of vinyl covers from World Upholstery and they're great. The vinyl is way better quality than the OEM ones - it's tough to tell they're not leather.
 

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The ones I saw were leather, very thin, and it began wearing, and ripping at the lower corners of the seat back bolsters almost immediately. My friend was quite pissed, but he actually was able to return them after a few months for an almost-full refund, after much effort.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'm specifically interested in the vinyl, both for economy and originality. And now that I think about it, leather would be kind of silly in a car equipped with rubber mats rather than carpet. These earlier S2s really seem to be outfitted inside with the assumption they'd get wet at some point (and I was driving, top down, in light rain last week).
 

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Bob, I'd really recommend that you pay a visit to a couple of local upholsterers. You can look at the quality of their work and see/feel the sample vinyl. I had mine done in a high quality naugahyde for about $310 for both seats (including headrests) installed. That also included fixing the foam as required. Chances are the seats need some repair of the innerds. With internet seat covers, they're probably not going to fit as well as a local guy can custom make and fit them.

BTW, his quote for leather was about $700, more than double of the vinyl and he recommended the vinyl over the leather.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
John, my car wants to be your car. :)

I'll have to ask around about local upholsterers; last I remembered, there were a couple I was told I'd rather not go to, but I'll take a look.
 

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I did mine with World Upholstery leather sets and they came out great. They've been in now for about 4 years and still look super. I just like the leather better, it has more character and is more comfortable. But the vinyl they have these days is way better than the original stuff back in the 70's and you'd probably be hard pressed to tell that it wasn't leather so considering the cost I wouldn't fault a guy for going with vinyl.

I've got some better pics than this but, like everything else, can't find them right now.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
That looks nice. I'm tempted to do it myself, as I've already had one seat cover off for quite some time now and have the rings and pliers, and new springs, and it would probably be fun, but if as John says it's slightly cheaper to have a professional do it, well, I should at least check into that first. I'm not expecting the upholsterers here to be as economical as John's, but it doesn't cost anything to ask.

My headrests are in perfect condition and have the correct original heat stitching. What are the chances the color will match new vinyl on the seats?
 

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"I have a set of the IAP Italian made kits"
did you get headrests too? looking the there catalouge it is not clear.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
"I have a set of the IAP Italian made kits"
did you get headrests too? looking the there catalouge it is not clear.
Almost funny, related thing: Not long ago, IAP was having a clearance sale. One of the items listed was a set of black seat covers; I don't remember the exact price, but it was very reasonalble, like $180 or something, maybe less. I jumped right on it. When the shipment arrived, there were headrest covers and nothing else in the box. The one part I really didn't need. To make a long story short, it took a couple of days to figure out, but it turned out that the item was entered from the warehouse with the wrong item number. They credited back my charge card and let me keep the headrest covers. I don't even really want them, and I still don't have seat covers. (And IIRC, they're the type with velcro closures, too, meant only to cover existing upholstery.)
 

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That looks nice. I'm tempted to do it myself, as I've already had one seat cover off for quite some time now and have the rings and pliers, and new springs, and it would probably be fun....
My whole issue was that I wanted to do everything myself so it wasn't about cost. The procedure for vinyl is probably a bit different but for leather it's a lot of tugging and stretching followed by a lot more tugging and stretching, also some wetting and shrinking - they don't just slip on. One of those 'how to' books either on-line or at the auto store covers it pretty good.
 

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My headrests are in perfect condition and have the correct original heat stitching. What are the chances the color will match new vinyl on the seats?
Probably poor. But you never know until you view the new material against the old. If you prefer leather, you might ask about a combination of leather seating surfaces and vinyl sides/back. $310 was probably cheap (I was surprised also). I think something on the order of $400-450 is probably more realistic, especially in one a them thar big cities back east.
 

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I did mine with World Upholstery leather sets and they came out great. They've been in now for about 4 years and still look super. I just like the leather better, it has more character and is more comfortable. But the vinyl they have these days is way better than the original stuff back in the 70's and you'd probably be hard pressed to tell that it wasn't leather so considering the cost I wouldn't fault a guy for going with vinyl.
I am going to my seats as well during the winter, along with my door panels. I am torn between World and Leatherseats.com. KCABPilot did you do your door panels with World as well. Has anyone bought door panels from IAP or Centerline?
 

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I used an upholstery kit from World Upholstery. The fit was generally very good, although there were some things that required some work-arounds in the way the cushion was attached. The vinyl panels were shifted slightly from where they were supposed to be sewn together. It was fairly easy to work with the cushions, however, and the results are good. The headrests have real stitching instead of heat stitching, so I kept the originals for now. The color match isn't exact, of course. I have yet to see how they look in sunlight, so I may change to the new headrests or try to die the originals a little darker depending on how they look. Overall, I'm happy with the quality of the kit, especially for the price.

http://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/showthread.php?t=23896&highlight=seat+world+upholstery
 

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What about www.leatherseats.com - anyone buy from them? They sell direct, but also on eBay sometimes, and seem to know about Alfa upholstery.[/QUOTE]

I bought a set of leather covers for my Quad from them. They are absolutely beautiful! They use my car in their ebay ads :D, but I have no affiliation with the company.
 
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