Having repaired our Shoestring C5's A/C and headlamp motors in our last installment, we decided to devote this month's project to restoring the car's seats. As one might expect from a 10-year-old vehicle-particularly one driven as regularly and as spiritedly as our Corvette-the seat bolsters and cushions had worn down sufficiently to require a comprehensive freshening.
While it was obvious the previous owner was diligent about conditioning the hides, the driver's seat was showing wear at the points regularly subjected to friction during ingress and egress. Additionally, the seatbacks and cushion supports felt as though they had lost much of their pliancy. Since we intended to replace these parts outright, we turned to Mid America Motorworks to add a little more color to the entirely black interior.
To say that Mid America has a wide selection would be an understatement of vast proportions. The company not only offers a huge variety of leather hides, it recently introduced a line of vinyl replacement covers as a cost-effective alternative. Mid America actually manufactures both cover type lines in-house, so it can guarantee OEM-level (or better) quality and craftsmanship.
After ordering a Seat Foam Set (Part # 606-250), we spent some time viewing all the different types of covers available. In the end, we chose black leather with Torch Red piping and stitch work (Part # 636010BKTR), which we felt would add a splash of color to the cockpit without being overwhelming. We also ordered a pair of replacement seat-adjustment bezels (Part # 618-494), since our factory units were no longer staying attached to the sides of the seats.
Utilizing an application-specific set of hog ring pliers (available from Mid America Motorworks under Part # 100-179) and a can of specialty adhesive for the foam, a moderately skilled backyard mechanic should be able to complete both seats in about a day. To minimize our downtime and ensure the job was done right, we enlisted the services of David Miller at Wheels To Wings, in Pinellas Park, Florida. Miller was ableto complete the whole job in under five hours for the quite reasonable fee of $200 (supplies included).
Follow along as Miller removes both of our C5's sport seats, strips them down to their bare frames, and reassembles them with the new Mid America Motorworks parts.