In the last issue of SC, we introduced Project Homewrecker, Editor Jim Campisano's '72 Corvette LT-1 coupe. Our main concentration for that installment was the exterior. The crew at Motor City Auto Body gave the Vette a fresh coat of Targa Blue paint and reinstalled the majority of the exterior components.
As we get ready to give the interior a much needed makeover (which will be covered in next month's issue), we pondered on what to do with the worn and torn seats. The interior of the '68-82 Vette was a very exciting place to sit, but the materials used were prone to cracking and tearing. Our LT-1 was no exception. It came with the base interior, replete with hot, sticky vinyl seat covers. And while these chairs are remarkably comfortable to sit in, the foams were wiped out, and both the side bolters and bottom cushions looked to be on the losing end of a knife fight.
Being that a few strips of silver duct tape did not fit into our plans, we called upon Mid America Motorworks in Effingham, Illinois, yet again. As you may recall, the majority of the exterior components installed were from Mid America Motorworks. With perfect fit and all necessary hardware coming standard, we figured whom better to call in this time of uncertainty?
After calling Mid America Motorworks, we found that things could not be simpler. The company houses Performance Choice upholstery installation experts. All we needed to do was remove some bolts, yank the seats out, box 'em up, and out the door they went. The seat covers are available in original leather or leather-like vinyl. Moreover, Mid America Motorworks can re-do yours in the custom, two-tone colors of your choice. For the do-it-yourselfer, this company sells complete seat cover installation kits, hog ring plier kits, seat foams, and virtually any seat hardware component for Corvette seats.
If you are looking to keep costs down, you can simply purchase the seat covers, put them on, and called it a day. This is never a good idea though, because the new covers will sag on top of decades-old foam. After taking a step back and thinking for a minute, we opted for the total restoration. These seats have been in service for 35 years and 92,000 miles now. What good is tooling around from place to place in a flat, worn out seat? And while the seats are apart, it's a good time to check for other problems: cracks in the frame, a broken spring, or severe rust.
As time was of the essence, we opted to send the seats whole to Mid America Motorworks for a complete revamping. Since a genuine sports car deserves leather, we opted to upgrade the seats. After seeing and feeling the end result, we're glad we did. We also toyed with the idea of a custom two-tone interior, but at the time we were not certain what color the exterior would be painted. In the end, simple, elegant black got the nod. But we like the idea that we had the option.
We got the seats back in no time and, frankly, they may be better than new. The leather was sumptuous, and with the new foams they were absolutely perfect. Follow along as Matt Daniels of Mid America Motorworks performs the restoration process step-by-step.