Mac's Upholstery specializes in car interior restoration and custom upholstery for classic cars. Our craftsmen use period-specific materials or modern fabrics — whichever the customer prefers. We rebuild old car seats, repair or replace automotive carpeting in classic cars, reupholster vintage trailers and trucks. We also build and restore seats for classic motorcycles.
Upholstery For Vintage Cars, Trucks, Motorcycles and Trailers
Automotive restoration projects require more than skill and the right materials. Refurbishing a classic car interior, an old Airstream or a vintage motorcycle seat demands passion and a commitment to excellence. Working on collector vehicles is something our technicians relish. Their craftsmanship and breadth of experience are truly amazing. You see it in the projects we've recently completed (below).
Distinctive Industries, Al Knoch Interiors & Corvette America
If a car is under warranty, the manufacturer is required to make replacement parts available. After the warranty period ends, parts become increasingly difficult to find, especially for low value, low production vehicles. Finding the right parts, fabrics and foams is an important element of automotive restoration.
There are only a handful of companies that fabricate vintage car and truck seat covers. Distinctive Industries, Al Knoch Interiors and Corvette America are among the few we trust. Distinctive Industries, for example, pioneered vintage aftermarket replacements. It provides quality aftermarket OEM interiors for 1960's, 1970's, and 1980's muscle cars and collectible vehicles. On the rare occasion when we can't obtain the correct fabric, foam or carpet, we'll contact one of these proven suppliers.
Vintage Car Seats For Car Interior Restoration
'67 Fairlane 500
'64 Riviera Seat
'67 Camaro Seat
'64 Galaxie Seat
'65 Fairlane 500
Datsun 320 Bench Seat
The Datsun 320 single cab "truck" was one of the original Japanese imports. It was manufactured from 1961 to 1965 in three series (320–322). It's technically a truck, but it has the awkward look of a pickup "designed by committee"; the bed on some models looks like it was glued on as an afterthought. Its tiny 1.2 liter engine was barely powerful enough for highway driving. The vehicle was also configured as a utility truck and panel van. Because they're so unusual, the 1963 Datsun 320 is prized by some collectors.
Original 1963 Datsun Seat
Restoring Seat Frame
Restored Bench Seat
Here's a bench seat from a 320 cab. The foam had deteriorated and the vinyl cover had stiffened over the years. A bench seat this old required a total rebuild.
We stripped it all the way down to the spring bed and frame, then built it back with brand new foam and premium quality vinyl in two colors: Silver Stone and Black. We also reupholstered the door panels in matching colors. They weren't the original vinyls, but the colors recall the sixities, when this truck was built.
Rebuild Subaru Bench Seat
Here's a car you don't see every day. In fact, there's a pretty good chance you've never seen it. This is a 1971 Subaru FF-1 Star. The Star was one of the first modern front wheel drive cars. It was only manufactured for a couple of years in the early 70s. If you blinked, you missed it!
According to Subaru, the FF-1 Star had a long list of unique features that foreshadowed the types of equipment that are typical on today’s vehicles. Besides front-wheel drive, the FF-1’s chassis systems included rack-and-pinion steering, independent suspension and front drum brakes mounted inboard. The inboard mounting took weight off the wheels for improved stability and control.
Trashed Subaru Bench Seat
Recovered Subaru Seat
As you can see from the first pic, the old Subaru's rear bench seat was totally trashed when it came to us. We were able to pattern the original design, but aside from that, we had to toss or recycle everything.
Before fabricating the new seat cover, we installed brand new polyurethane foam padding. Upholstery foam has improved dramatically during the past half century, so the new seat will be a lot more comfortable and resilient.
Finally, we used a durable, perforated vinyl for the seat cover, matching the color and stitch pattern from the original. When we were finished, the rebuilt bench seat looked just like it did back in 1971.
Land Rover Dormobile Seats
Dormobile is a UK-based conversion company. They've been transforming Land Rovers into European style camping vans since the 1950s. Their calling card is a distinctive hinged canopy roof.
In addition to the hinged roof, the company also developed a special type of seat called the Dormatic folding seat. Dormatic seats are designed to fold into bunks at night. You can squeeze four bunks inside a fully decked-out Dormobile.
The Dormatic seats in his Land Rover were in bad shape so he brought them to us. He was so serious about restoring his Dormobile he had the seat frames powder-coated for extra protection. We could have fabricated a set of perfect fit custom seat covers, but the owner wanted to keep things as authentic as possible. For that reason, we ordered original style seat covers from Dormobile. And guess what; they didn't fit right.
Original Seat Covers Didn't Fit
Coil Springs Replaced With Foam
Seat Cover Modification
The vinyl used for the original style seat covers was stiff as a board, but our experienced craftsmen were able to make it work. In addition to the seat covers, we replaced the seat springs and improved the padding with polyurethane foam. We also reinforced the original seat suspension with burlap backing.
With the seat restoration complete, the Dormobile was out the door looking better than ever.
Bench Seat 1970s Pickup
One of our customers recently purchased a light blue 1970s Ford pickup. The previous owner had reupholstered the original bench seat using a plush automotive velour (below first row). The fabric color matched the original interior, but the new owner felt the style was all wrong. The reupholstered bench seat looked like something you'd find in grandma's Buick Electra, not a classic pickup.
Old Bench Seat
Cloth Seat Cover
Reupholstered Bench Seat
Custom Vinyl Seat Cover
He wanted the seat to look more like the original, so we replaced the velour fabric with a tough automotive vinyl. The truck's original door panels were still in place, so we designed a seat pattern to match the side panels.
The new seat cover is much closer to the original. And it's a whole lot nicer!
Harley-Davidson WLA Liberator
During the Second World War, Harley-Davidson modified its popular civilian model WL for the US Army. The military version was known as the WLA Liberator. These quarter ton bikes were powered by the company's legendary 45 CI flat-head motor. They were quick, easy to work on and durable.
The company built 90,000. They were almost never used in combat, so were rarely equipped with sidecars as was common on the German side.
A customer recently purchased a brand new Harley-Davidson painted in the colors and style of the old Liberator.
Seats on the original WLAs were stiff and uncomfortable, a far cry from the motorcycle seats of today. The bike owner wanted us to modify the modern seat to look more like the old one.
And he didn't want to sacrifice comfort.
We began by stripping the new seat cover and reshaping the foam base. Using different density foams we widened the base and raised the seat a couple of inches to better fit the rider. Next we shaped, trimmed and installed a custom gel pad. With the seat reshaped to the customer's specifications, we designed a seat cover reminiscent of the original.
1965 Pontiac Catalina Replacement Top
Pontiac manufactured the Catalina for more than two decades, from 1959 to 1981. Early on, it was marketed as Pontiac's entry level full-sized sedan. Catalina convertibles were available through 1976. This 1965 ragtop is a third generation Catalina, considered among the most stylish ever built.
When the owner needed to replace its top, he called us. OEM parts are generally not available for vehicles this old, but we were able to find a top with a glass rear window manufactured in the original specs. Finding the top is only have the job. A replacement top needs to be installed the proper way or it doesn't look or work right. As you can see, the installation was flawless.
Restoring 1961 Porsche 356 B 1600 Super
Before the Porsche 911 there was the 356. The 356 was Porsche's flagship model during the fifties and mid-sixties. It came in four "flavors", each with slightly different designs and engineering specs: 356 (1948–1955), 356 A (1955–1959), 356 B (1959–1963) and 356 C (1963–1965/66). The New York Times describes the origin of the model:
"Said to be the 356th project of a German engineering company established in 1931 by the genius behind the original Volkswagen, Ferdinand Porsche, the original Porsche car was more or less a hot-rod Beetle, a reliable but sporty vehicle shaped like an inverted bathtub. Ferdinand Porsche had always wanted to build a sports car, and basing one on the design used for the lowly Beetle was a good way to get it done on a modest budget."
The author goes on to praise the 1961-63 356 B coupe as an excellent collector car. This is one of those cars, a 1961 356 B 1600 Super. It's been lovingly cared for by an eastside owner for decades. He called us to restore the headliner and seats.
Ready For New Interior
New Headliner For Porsche 356 B
Custom Seat Covers For Porsche 356 B
Porsche 356 B New Interior Complete
Aftermarket replacement parts are often available for popular collector cars like this. But, replacing old uphostery can be a lot more difficult than swapping parts. Getting headliners and seat covers to fit right and look great requires an experienced craftsman with plenty of patience. As you can see from the pics, the owner came to the right shop!
Restoring 1966 Mustang Top
This is one of the first pony cars ever manufactured. It's a 1966 Mustang convertible, only two years removed from the original. It's been restored/repainted at least once, but there's no telling how many tops it's gone through in the past 50 years. When the owner asked us to install a new one we discovered problems with the frame and header. The new top had to wait until we fixed the frame.
1966 Mustang Header
1966 Mustang Bows
The old header needed the most attention; it's the part along the front edge of the top that latches onto the windshield. The seals were rotted and the steel was rusty in places. Replacement parts for old cars can be tough to find, so in this case it was necessary to recondition the header.
The lateral "ribs" that support the top are called bows. A couple of them were also in bad shape. Once the frame was repaired, the top fit like a glove.
New Top For 1977 Bug
Volkswagen Beetles are supposed to last forever, but you don't see too many '77 Bugs on the road anymore. You see even fewer maintained this well. This was one of the last original convertibles manufactured for the US market. Volkswagen's newly engineered Bug returned to showrooms in 1998.
This car is 40 years old. Even the best tops don't last forever. When the owner pulled into our shop we could tell it was time for a new one.
1977 VW Bug With New Top
Stayfast Convertible Top
Glass Rear Window
There are limited replacement top options for a Bug this old. The owner selected a black Stayfast® top. It's a durable and attractive acrylic-based fabric with a square weave face, rubber inner-layer and filament polyester back.
We also fabricated custom cloth headliner to fit under the top.
New Top For 1967 Corvette
Nineteen sixty-seven was the final year Chevy manufactured the second generation Corvette. This is one of those cars; a real gem. When it pulled into our shop all it needed was a new convertible top.
Since car collectors are particular about restorations, you can't just install any old aftermarket top and call it good. The tiniest detail can be a big deal.
New Top For 1967 Corvette
Tight As A Drum
Window Curtain Date Stamp
In this case, the rear curtain date stamp identifying the model year is prized by collectors. We made sure the top we installed on this 1967 Vette had the date stamp in the back window. We also spend extra time smoothing the side panels. As you can see, the replacement top turned out tight as a drum.
Bench Seat From 1960s Ford Pickup
This is a rebuilt bench seat from a 1960s Ford pickup. It was a complete remake from the ground up: we repaired the frame and springs, replaced the damaged foam and covered it with new vinyl. We also added pleats and updated the colors.
Rebuilt Bench Seat
The Finest Vinyl
While some collectors insist on original parts or authentic looking knock-offs, others like to be creative. There's nothing original about this bench seat. For one thing, the vinyl we used for the seat cover is a lot more supple, durable and brighter than anything available back in the 60s.
1961 MGA Convertible Top
British Motor Corporation launched the MGA Roadster in 1956. Three years later, the snazzier MGA 1600 was introduced. It featured a larger 79.5 horsepower engine and front disc brakes. The 1600 and 1600 De-Luxe were only manufactured for a couple of years in the early sixties.
1961 MGA 1600 Replacement Top
Crystal Clear Rear Window
This cherry red 1600 is one of those cars. As you can see, it's still in mint condition. The new paint job and polished chrome are not the only reason this vintage car looks so great. Check out the replacement top we just installed. Thanks to our meticulous, steam-enhanced installation procedure, the top is flawless and the rear window is crystal clear.
1964 Corvette Replacement Top
Vintage Corvettes are big time collectables. A '64 Sting Ray in mint condition is sure to turn heads — especially a car equipped with original parts. Original parts are crucial when restoring a Corvette because collectors value authenticity. Even the tiny warning tag sewn into a Corvette's convertible top is an important detail.
Replacement Top For Corvette
Rear Window Warning Tag
A warning tag may not seem like a big deal, but a top without the tag is no good. With that in mind, we made sure the replacement top we recently installed on a customer's vintage Sting Ray featured the rear window warning tag.
1933 Buick Victoria Coupe
Franklin Roosevelt had just been elected President and America was mired in the Great Depression when this Buick Victoria Coupe was manufactured. It was 1933. One out of every four workers was unemployed. The economy was in turmoil. It was not the best time to sell upscale automobiles.
But, unfortunate circumstances didn't prevent Buick from designing some iconic cars. One of the best was this 1933 two door.
1933 Buick Before New Upholstery
1933 Buick After New Upholstery
Restored 1933 Buick
Seats in these vintage cars were manufactured with coil suspensions instead of foam. The owner wanted the seats to look and feel like the originals, so we kept the coils. After restoring each individually pocketed coil, we upholstered the seats and side panels in a plush, burgundy furniture fabric. We finished our work by custom installing brand new carpeting.
The Roaring Twenties was long gone by the time this car was built, but with the black paint, white walls and fancy upholstery you half-expect to find a Tommy Gun in the trunk.
1969 Rambler Rogue Car Interior Restoration
AMC built fewer than 21,000 Rambler Rogues during the car's brief four year production run. The Hornet replaced it in 1970. This 1969 Rogue is one of the last manufactured. After repairing and repainting the body, the owner asked us to rebuild the bench seats and split-back front seats before reupholstering the interior.
1969 Rambler Rogue
1969 Rambler Rogue Reupholstered
Rambler Door Panel
Instead of restoring the seats to their original condition, the owner wanted to try something a little different. He asked us to square the rounded seat tops to better match the car's lines. We also used durable modern vinyl in contrasting colors to upholster the seats and door panels. While not a true restoration, the modifications defintely suited the car.
1952 Woodhill Wildfire Interior
Ready for a rapid-fire round of Hollywood trivia?
What Seattle upholstery shop helped restore the sports car featured in the 1954 Tony Curtis Film "Johnny Dark"?
What "Gilligan's Island" actor appeared in "Johnny Dark"?
How many degrees of separation between that "Gilligan's Island" actor and Kevin Bacon?
The answer to the first question is pretty obvious or we wouldn't be asking it. The Gilligan's Island actor was Russell Johnson AKA The Professor. As for the final question, one of Russell Johnson's co-stars in "Johnny Dark" was Piper Laurie. Laurie was in "The Crossing Guard" with Jack Nicholson who also starred in "A Few Good Men" with — ta-dah — Kevin Bacon.
Anyway, back to the sports car. It's a 1952 Woodhill Wildfire, famous for being the first production prototype manufactured with a fiberglass body. We sometimes forget how exotic fiberglass was when this car was built; the idea of manufacturing a car body from sheets of thin glass fibers seemed crazy.
There are some interesting articles on the Web about the Woodhill Wildfire. You'll see kit car versions of the Wildfire every now and then, but there's only one prototype still on the road. The owner, a local car collector, brought it to Mac's for some finish work.
Wildfire Seat Before Dying
Wildfire Interior Stripped
Wildfire Interior Before New Upholstry
Wildfire Seat Cushion After Dying
Wildfire Custom Carpet Installed
Wildfire With New Upholstery
The historic car pulled into our shop with a fresh coat of paint. It looked showroom new, except for the crummy upholstery. Careful to protect the new finish, we removed the seats and stripped the car down to its fiberglass floor pan. While the original seats and cushions were being dyed black, we repaired the interior and fabricated new carpeting for the cabin and trunk.
Originally, the owner wanted to go with standard loop carpeting, the sort of material found in many of today's cars. We recommended carpeting similar to the stuff used when the Wildfire was manufactured. GM still makes period-specific automotive flooring for restoration projects, so we used that style of carpet along with an accent fabric matching the new paint. Our technicians finished the edges using a rolled binding technique.
After a touch-up here and there, we installed the seats and the old Wildfire was out the door.
Bonus trivia points if you get this question right; how many degrees of separation between Mac's Upholstery and Tony Curtis? Just one — a 1952 Woodhill Wildfire.
1965 Ford Fairlane Auto Seat Repair
Restoring seats from a vintage car or truck is the true test for an automotive upholstery shop. In most cases, seat cushions from an old car are hopelessly trashed — covers torn, springs snapped and padding infused with a moldy stench that would scare off Pepé Le Pew. When a bench seat from a '65 Fairlane was brought into our shop we had our hands full.
1965 Ford Fairlane
Trashed Fairlane Seats
Auto Seat Repair
Auto Upholstery Repair
Aside from the frame and most of the suspension coils, there wasn't much worth saving. We repaired what we could and tossed the rest. After stripping the cover, underlayment, padding and webbing, we rebuilt the seat from scratch. It was important to maintain the original size and appearance, but there was no reason we couldn't improve the materials. Today's polyurethane padding and vinyl are far better than what was used back in 1965 when the car was manufactured.
As you can see, the bench seat turned out great. You'd have a hard time distinguishing between the restored seat cushion and the original one that rolled off the assembly line more than half a century ago.
1963 Bonneville Custom Interior & Car Seat Upholstery Repair
Bonneville was Pontiac's luxury car during the 1960s. Among its many distinctive features, Bonneville sedans and convertibles boasted deluxe interiors. But, even the finest interior work doesn't last forever. As you can see from the pics below, the seat covers, doors and rear side panels in this 1963 Bonneville convertible are shot. Time to call Mac's Upholstery.
Car Seat Upholstery Repair
Rear Seat Upholstery Damaged
Auto Seat Repair
The auto upholstery experts at Mac's can turn any "junkyard car" into a collector's gem. The extensive work we did on this convertible is a case-in-point. Check out the before and after pics above. This is a remarkable example of how superior custom upholstery can transform a rusty old car.
New Custom Interior For Willys Pickup
This Jeep Pickup was manufactered in the years following World War II by the Willys-Overland Company. A couple hundred thousand were made before the model was retired in 1965. Few of these old-timers remain and they're really hard to find. Our Bellevue shop designed and installed custom upholstery for this collector car.
The original door panel armrests were not available, so we had to design them from scratch. We tweaked a GMC truck seat to fit inside the jeep, then upholstered it with contrasting colors of recycled leather. The embroidered Willys logo turned out great.
Recycled Leather Seat Covers
Custom Truck Seat Covers
We covered the custom headliner and wind lacing with premium Ultrasuede. Then we installed plush automotive carpet on the floors and seat risers. Finally, we fabricated and installed modern shoulder harness/seat belts for enhanced safety. The happy owner drove off with a classic Willys Pickup with plenty of modern conveniences.
New Top For 1965 Fiat
At first glance, this mid-sixties ragtop is a dead ringer for the tiny Sunbeam in the old TV series "Get Smart". But, as Maxwell Smart might say, "Sorry about that Chief. Missed it by that much." This is not Agent 86's Sunbeam Tiger equipped to battle the evil forces of KAOS; it's a mild mannered Fiat Cabriolet. Easy to mistake the two. Both were manufactured at roughly the same time. Both are about the same size. And both are now collector cars.
1965 Fiat Cabriolet
New Top For Fiat Cabriolet
Tight As A Drum
Even a carefully maintained covertible top on a collector car eventually wears out. Fortunately, a well-crafted replacement top for this popular model is still available. In addition to the new top, we installed a brand new carpet set. The owner drove away from the shop in a vintage sports car that looked brand new.
1963 Convertible Top Replacement
Few American cars are more revered than a mid-sixties Corvette Stingray. General Motors hit a home run when it redesigned and re-engineered the Corvette in 1963. Now half a century old, the '63 Corvette Stingray remains a favorite of car collectors worldwide. One of them asked us to restore the top for his cherry red '63 convertible.
Convertible car tops on these Corvettes operate manually. The cloth top and rear plastic curtain are attached to a sturdy accordion frame. To drop the top you simply fold the top frame assembly into a compartment behind the seats.
1963 Corvette Sans Top
Powder-Coated Top Frame
Convertible Top Repairs
This Corvette's top frame needed work. Before doing anything else, we removed the top frame assembly and applied a glossy, protective powder coating. Then we installed new seals and fastners. Once the frame assembly was back in place, our convertible top guys went to work installing a brand new cloth top from Gahh Automotive.
Convertible Top Installation
Corvette Convertible Top
Convertible Top Replacement
The cloth top on a Stingray is smaller than many convertibles. You might think a small top would be easier than a large one to install. In fact, the opposite is often true. Every car has quirks, especially older models. Accommodating these differences requires that each cloth or vinyl top be hand-fitted; a process that requires the fabric be steamed or stretched into place. There's less fabric in a small top so there's not as much "give".
With the top installed, we test and tweak the frame to make sure the assembly folds smoothly when the top is down. Tops manufactured by industry leader Gahh are guaranteed for a minimum of three years. Count on this one to last a lot longer.
Recovering Bicentential Bike
The Honda CB400F, commonly know as the Honda 400 Four, is a rare bike. It was only built for three years: from 1975 to 1977. The 400 Four has an air-cooled, transverse mounted 408 CC inline four cylinder engine. As you'd expect, it was only a matter of time before a 40 year old bike needed a new seat cover.
Recovered CB400F Seat
Attention To Detail
The owner wanted to maintain the bike's original look, so he purchased a 400 Four seat cover and had Mac's install it. There was some rust on the seat pan, but aside from that, everything was in good shape. Even the foam was still okay!
If you have an old bike, such as a Honda 400 Four, there are plenty of ways to recover the seat; go for an original looking cover, or have the seat redesigned to fit your body.
The Finest Craftsmanship
When it comes to motorcycle seats, our reputation precedes us — in a good way.
Bike owners from as far away as Washington DC send us seats for foam repair, shaping, upholstery work and custom gel pads. Just recently, a biker from Glendale, California sent us a badly damaged motorcycle seat from a Honda Scrambler 305 with instructions and schematics. This was a restoration project; he wanted the seat to look just like it did in the showroom back in the 1960s.
Honda Scrambler 305
Honda Scrambler 305
As you can see from the pre-restoration pic below, there wasn't much left of the original motorcycle seat. Instead of a gel pad to soften the ride, somebody way back when had strapped chunks of blue foam under the old cover. Holes from the diamond tufting had turned the seat foam into swiss cheese. In short, the old seat was trashed.
Seat Before Restoration
Honda Seat After Restoration
We began the restoration by stripping the seat. As you might expect on a bike this old, we discovered lots of rust on the seat pan. After treating the rust and repainting the seat pan, we cut brand new foam and installed a state-of-the-art custom gel pad. We used durable, marine-grade vinyl for the new seat cover. Finally, we dressed-up the seat with precision diamond stitching, a matching welt and a passenger grab strap.
When it went back to California the restored Scrambler seat was even better than the original. You don't have to live in Seattle to get the best motorcycle seats. Just drop a dime and pop your seat in the mail. We'll do the rest.