Recovering the Tornado’s Seats

Margie Suddard traces the back of one of the seats onto a piece of new red leather.
The first step is to cut the old seats apart carefully to use as patterns.
The old master, Dieter Lange, gives Margie a lesson on how to sew leather.

As we mentioned in a past update, we repaired and repainted the seat frames. Now it was time to actually recover the seats. While the seat frames looked similar to MGA or Triumph TR3 units, they were slightly different. While we never did determine what British car they were from, we got the original tattered covers with the boxes full of parts, so we decided to first check them for accuracy and then duplicate them.

We decided that a deep red with white piping would contrast well with the creamy white paint color we had chosen for the exterior.

If you have the right sewing machine and some experience (or some time to make mistakes) recovering seats is not that difficult.

Fortunately, our Uncle Dieter has been sewing all his life and volunteered his trusty Singer and told us if we did the heavy lifting, he would show us how to do the job.

After determining the original covers were from those seat frames and that they had been made correctly, we cut them apart and cut new pieces out of a beautiful hide of leather we had found on the internet at a place called Carroll Leather. A hide runs about $450 and is enough to do a couple of seats and still have some scraps left over to do kick panels or door panels.

We cut, sewed and stretched the new covers on and we ended up pretty blown away with how nice they came out.

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