GENE R A L LY, THI S I S THE F I NA L P I EC E O F T H E P U Z Z L E T H AT P U T S THE F I NI SHING TOUCH O N ANY R E S TOR AT I O N P ROJ EC T. WIT H T H I S I N MIND, W E TA L K T O A F E W E X P E R T S TO F I ND O U T WHAT GOE S I NTO TOP - T I E R U
If you’re in the lower North Island and your classic or custom vehicle is in need of a retrim, get in touch with Chris Pocock of Classic and Custom Motor Trimmers. A passionate individual who specializes in such things, Chris has operated his own business for eight years and accumulated a wealth of knowledge within the industry that spans 30 years. He has produced some stunning vehicles in his time, including the ’55 Chevrolet we featured in August 2014.
Chris loves giving back to the community and attends plenty of car shows with recently completed classics and customs to display a range of his products and services. And he doesn’t only work on cars — you’ll find him labouring over all sorts of marine applications, as well as motorbikes.
Chris assures us that some trips to the upholstery shop result from bad maintenance, and offers some tips. He says that, with leather, you must never forget that, “The cow has stopped eating grass, so you’re the one that needs to feed it now. Be careful with what type of clothing you wear, as ink-soak is extremely common. If you’re wearing fairly new jeans, throw a towel down, and ensure [that] you don’t have items in your pockets. Also, remove bulky items from your pockets that may cause unnecessary wear.” Chris even mentions that plenty of clients, when given the option, opt for vinyl, as the difference can’t be seen by the untrained eye, and it is more resilient to wear and tear.
Dion Hunter from Cover Me says that, after 22 years in the industry, he’s most certainly seen some things. After 17 years of upholstery work, he set up his own business, initially working from his home garage. One year later, it was bursting at the seams and a much larger workshop was required, as clients soon caught on to his exceptional quality.
Fast forward to 2016, and Dion hasn’t looked back — his main mission being to exceed clients’ expectations. Dion is a lover of classic cars and enjoys bringing them up to original or factory-like standard, or fitting complete custom one-off interiors — whichever the client prefers. He loves working with clients to produce their ultimate interior, as he’s got plenty of unique ideas and ways to improve the finish and feel of your interior without disrupting the perfect OEM appearance.
To make your life easier when you get your car’s upholstery done, Dion offers the following advice, which will no doubt save you countless headaches. First, while classic car enthusiasts should feel comfortable stripping interiors themselves, they should be wary that inexperience in doing so may lead to further costs. Dion says clients often want to strip an interior down themselves, “to save on cost. However, this is sometimes not the case, as vital components can go missing or are binned [due to damage]. Even if the parts are old, keep them, as we can refurbish and replicate them if required, but, if they’re not on hand, it’s much harder.”
Dion is always happy to discuss projects with prospective customers, offering advice and solutions to cater to every type of vehicle, so if you’re in the region, be sure to visit or give Dion a call. Some of the items an automotive upholsterer or trimmer may be able to repair, replace, or customize are: • Interior carpets — In most of our classic cars, you’ll find carpet on the floor and, in many cases, the boot as well. Automotive carpet is designed to be extremely durable and stain resistant, but the material can wear out or become damaged with regular wear and tear. • Seats — As we suggested earlier, most classic car owners associate automobile upholstery with car seats. Depending on the materials used — fabric, vinyl, or leather — the cost to replace will differ. • Headliners — The headliner is usually a fabric or vinyl material that covers the inside of the roof. It’s not uncommon to find them
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For many of us, the thought of reupholstering our classic is a daunting prospect indeed, and, if you’ve never required the services of an upholsterer before, you may be unsure about how to proceed.
To ensure you find the right professional for the job, it’s important to focus specifically on shops or professional upholsterers that specialize in automotive-upholstery applications, as mentioned earlier.
Don’t be afraid to ask about their experience with your type of project. Even within the automobileupholstery field, experience differs, as some may specialize in one particular type of upholstery — a business that primarily repairs convertible tops may not have the experience to effectively replace seat trim, for instance, or an automotive upholsterer that works on mainly late-model cars may not have sufficient skills to tackle a vintage or classic car upholstery repair. The main thing is to ask lots of questions and listen to the experts.