We've lamented the fact that you can't get a new Camaro for the last two years now, and it's only getting worse. The fleet of Camaros currently on the road is getting more worn out with every passing day. Fortunately, there are professionals like Classic Soft Trim who specialize in making your modern classic new again. Actually, we should say better than new, because as we found on a recent visit to CST's facility in Commerce, California, the materials and workmanship are all top shelf!
"Our quality is equal to or surpasses the OEM specification," says CST's Todd Abraham. "It's all automotive-spec leather, has all the UV protection and is custom matched to the vinyl via a color spectrum analyzer. All of our kits have foam backing which gives it a good flow and a better fit, and hides imperfections better than the factory foam. The stitching is all done by walking-foot upholstery stitching machines, meaning straighter stitches and a heavier gauge thread." All this insures a beautiful appearance, great comfort and a long life for your late-model classic.
Like most other Camaros out there, our '94 Z28 has seen lots of good times, both on track and on the highway of life. With 125,000 miles on the odo--and the factory cloth interior--we were concerned how many more good times we would see. The seat surfaces were worn, stained and burned by cigarettes. And we don't even smoke! The worst part is the huge hole that was worn in the driver's-side seat bolster. Foam chunks were spewing out and the hole was getting exponentially larger by the day. When we finally had enough, we called Classic Soft Trim.
We found out that CST has 50 installation centers across the country, 37 fixed locations and 13 mobile units, which service mostly dealerships. So if you're in Bangor, Maine, for instance, you can get the same products and service we got at CST's Commerce, California location. But before you call, you'll want to log onto www.classicsofttrim.com to look through CST's selection of colors, patterns and model years. (Check to see your model is one of CST's templates.) You'll find a helpful color reference guide which will ensure you get the correct color match. If you want something more on the wild side, CST can make your interior from 50 different colors of leather in stock. (Victory checkerboard anyone?) Trust us, there's a lot of choices--the whole range of grays, browns and creams, to bright red, yellow, blue and silver. Got a wild paint job? You'll find a match in this wide color palette. For our medium gray interior (called opal in some Chevy literature), we found a great two-tone match with 083 Titanium for wear surfaces (perforated for better breathing) and 079 Dark Charcoal for edge trim.
The cost to have your late-model Camaro seats and door panels custom made and installed in your car is around $1,200--a little more if you bring your own carpet to put in at the same time like we did. It's important to note that the exact price will be determined by the local labor rate, which can vary nationwide. At our Commerce location, it was $65/hr.
Once you find your application and select your color(s) on-line, call CST's toll-free number to find the installation center closest to you--or you can find it on-line at www.classicsofttrim.com. You order your interior from your local location, paying half up front and the remainder after installation when you pick up your car. The interior will arrive at the installation center about three days after you place your order and installation takes another three days (usually less, but most customers will want to take advantage of the opportunity to replace their carpet or other interior trim items).
As a side note, Classic Soft Trim also installs seat heaters, DVD players and top-slider sunroofs, so if you're in the mood for one of these upgrades, CST can do it all at the same time. If it weren't for our factory T-tops, a top-slider roof would be at the top of our list of things to add.
For our carpet, we called Year One and ordered part No. 9399FOPL ($329). This piece replaces the entire passenger compartment except for the cargo well, which is made of formed trunk liner. The Year One carpet is form fit but you or your installer will need to cut holes for harness points. Some trimming is required and we highly suggest you use spray-on trim adhesive to get it lying perfectly flat. We even used the adhesive to reused some of our old padding to supplement the padding which came with the new Year One carpet. A matching set of embroidered floor mats (part No. FMZ930PLBLK, $103) finished things off.
Now our high-mileage Z28 looks brand new! Watch now, as Todd Abraham of Classic Soft Trim takes us through the steps to a newer, classier Camaro.