Pre-loved leather interior Pre-loved leather interior

Rollin, rollin, rollin...

I had a bit of a brainwave. I've pretty much decided that the car is going to be finished in a faux-patina and hopefully emulating an original survivor speedster / race car / outlaw. I may paint it properly later, but for the time being it's going to be the quickest way to get it presentable(ish) and on the road.

So after doing some work on getting the steering wheel and steering column installed I spent the obligatory post-work-admiration-time sitting in the car pondering what needed to be done to sort the rest of the interior out. The column handbrake means that I can delete the tunnel hand brake. The tunnel then gets covered with a false metal cover that's square instead of round. Speedsters have a very low flat square edged central tunnel which is not easily possible to replicate without cutting the existing tunnel out. As most of the strength of the car is in this area is just not worth the headache. So a squared off cover is about as good as it will get. So then I thought about carpet. I was lucky to receive what looks like a used carpet set with the car, which is a tan / brown colour, so I figured that I'll just use this, but that still leaves the seats, doors, dash and other bits of interior trim to upholster. It was then I had the eureka moment...  

I recalled a few photos in my collection that showed well loved speedsters, with nice worn interiors and wondered how I might go about achieving that same look. I then had the idea of using a worn out leather couch. It'd come with a bunch of character and patina and would be cheaper than having to buy new hides. So I set to work searching gumtree. 

After a quick search, I found an almost perfect tan coloured sofa that had a really nice well-worn look to it that also had a tear in the seat and was a bit beat up looking. Perfect for my use, but not much use to anyone else. So after offering $50, a deal was struck. 

I picked up the sofa this evening and set to work removing the leather. It was easier to cut the stitches and then cut the leather where it has been stapled to the sofas wooden frame rather than trying to remove the hundreds of staples, this removed the leather in panels, which I tried not to cut down any smaller than necessary.

One aspect I was not too sure of was whether any of the panels would be large enough to create door panels from. As luck would have it, the panels that went over the arms are easily large enough to get a full sized door panel from, so I'm very stoked with that. The seats are made from several smaller panels, so all good there too. The only other aspect is the dashboard top padding as this is the full width of the car. I'm not 100% sure at this stage if any of the panels are large enough, I will have to have a measure up. But I do have some unused hides that came with the car that might be suitable. The dash doesn't need to be too patina'd as it would not see anywhere near as much wear as the rest of the car. So one of the new hides would probably not look too out of place.

So another small step towards the goal. I now need to brush up on my upholstery skills, specifically how to create the patterns and foam squabs, as well as general leather sewing techniques. I've done a bit of reading up in the past on saddle stitching, which I may use on the dash peak, but I've never run leather through my machine before (I have a large industrial Pfaff walking foot machine) so really need to make sure it's set up right, before I tackle the job. I think it'll be okay as it handled 4 layers of heavy canvas with no issues and the leather seems relatively pliable in comparison but having not done this before I want to be armed with as much info as I can.

So hopefully I can make a crusty looking sofa turn into a passable well-worn interior.

DIY Speedster Steering Column Clamp

Haven't done anything on the speedster for a while so was happy to grab a few hours today. I decided to take a look at the steering column with a view of getting the new column installed and mounted up. There's a few jobs to do before I can swap out the late column that's currently fitted. I managed to source an early beetle outer column tube from a mate but needed to figure out how to get it to work with what I had and how I wanted it to look following my overall plan of trying to make it look like an early car. Ideally I would love to swap the dash for a pre-A dash but my plan is simply to use as many early styling cues as I can whilst still working with what I have
DIY Speedster Steering Column Clamp

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