Thoughts and advice on the care and feeding of fine automobiles from Machine Aficionado and bestselling author John Elder Robison, owner of JE Robison Service in Springfield, Massachusetts

We are independent restoration, repair, sales and service for Audi, BMW, Bentley, Jaguar, Land Rover, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and Rolls-Royce automobiles.

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Putting a new interior in a vintage Lincoln

This is a 1963 Continental Convertible project that we just delivered.  The task was to replace the old off-white vinyl interior with leather and wool a la Rolls Royce/Bentley.  This is the starting point:

Here's the finished interior:

This is the whole car, headed home:

You could buy a car like this for ten grand a few years ago, but now good examples routinely sell for over $100K.  With that kind of value, owners are expecting a substantially different level of quality when it comes to workmanship.

This is a very nice example

We used Wilton wools under the floor, with heavy padding.  The feel is a lot softer than original.  The carpet edges are bound in matched green leather.  The same carpet is used for floormats, but the mats are edged in the same tan leather we used for the seats.

We covered the door panels in leather, and did contrast beading like the seats

The interior is totally transformed.  We dyed most of the original plastic.

Even when they have "leather interiors," many cars just have leather on the seat faces.  On this car, everything on the seats is leather.  In addition, it's Rolls Royce grade Connolly, not the vinyl covered stuff on most cars.  You can smell and feel the difference.  The piping makes for an interesting contrast.

Some areas that were originally plastic looked better in leather

This is the process of dyeing the dash:

We were able to get a near-perfect match between the leather and the dyed plastic.

Here are the newly remade seats.  As you can see, we made new springs and pads in addition to new covers.  That means the car "sits" like a new vehicle.  All too often restorers will only restore the parts you can see, leaving the innards tired and worn.

We made a rough template for the carpet, laid it in the car, marked, cut and stitched/bound it as you can see:

Quite a change from where we began:


Eric said...

The 60 era Lincolns are some if my favorite cars, but you took this to a whole new level. The owner must be thrilled, this is one top quality job. I have this, I can't stop looking at this car. Excellent job.

John Elder Robison said...

We can do one for you . . .

Eric said...

I'm between project cars now John, but it would be wonderful. A Lincoln would be fantastic on the roads here on the Panhandle. If only I had a Lehman Peterson Limo conversion from 64-65, I could imagine the interior in it.

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