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How to Prepare Your Classic Car for Upholstery

Could you imagine having to wait months or even a few years to get the upholstery updated in your car? For classic car enthusiasts, this isn’t uncommon. Reupholstering a classic car can be expensive and time-consuming. Good upholstery shops are in high demand, often with long waiting lists.

It’s best to plan ahead in your classic car restoration to ensure that you can get your car into a good upholstery shop. Get referrals and call around until you find a shop you like whose schedule fits your restoration plans. Then, keep in contact with the shop to advise of any delays and, if necessary, to reschedule if your restoration falls behind due to the unexpected. While you restore your car, here are a few other things you can do to prepare your classic for new upholstery.

Take Care of Odors

Depending on the condition of your classic car when you bought her, she could have some unpleasant odors. Be sure to remove not just the old upholstery but other materials on the roof, doors, and side panels that may retain foul odors (or possibly contain mold or mildew if she wasn’t kept in dry conditions).

Take Care of the AC Before You Upholster Classic Car

Repairing or replacing AC and heat in your classic car is no small undertaking. Make sure this step is complete before you upholster your vehicle. It will save you from potentially ruining your new seats with leaks or other complications during repairs.

Remember to Seal the Deal

That is, remember to properly weather-seal your doors, windows, hood, and trunk. It’s especially important to check these seals after the weather has changed from warm to cold or cold to warm to ensure that natural expansion hasn’t damaged seals. Likewise, make sure that all doors and windows work properly before you have new upholstery installed (otherwise you may need to redo the upholstery when it’s removed to repair doors or windows).

Make Sure Things Are in Working Order

Except for a few cosmetics, most of your restoration should be complete once you move to the upholstery stage. Give yourself a little time to drive the vehicle around to check for bugs and leaks. Also ensure that all electrical connections are completed and working.

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Talk to the Shop about Your Restoration and Their Needs

Different shops and different cars will have different needs about exactly when upholstery should be done and what parts need to be completed or left out of the car. Remember, the upholstery shop will need full access to the interior of the car. Talk to the shop about the car you’re restoring and what they’ll need in place and not in place when they do their work. This will help you with your restoration planning and ensure that the shop can do the work without complications.

Are You Buying or Restoring a Classic Car in Huntingdon Valley, PA?

If you’re buying or restoring a classic or want a new paint job for your current vehicle, contact us to schedule an appointment.

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