Interior Panel Kits & Boot Covers

 

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Two Important things: I am not a professional upholsterer though I do make a great set of interior panels and I do not make car seat covers. I leave car seat covers to the professionals.

Back in the winter of 2008-2009 I decided to make all new interior panels covered in leather for my car. I had the old panels to use as a template and how hard can it be to sew straight lines? In the three years since I've upgraded to a $1500 Sailrite 111 Commercial sewing machine and have sold well over 70 Interior Panel Kits and about 40 boot covers...........not to mention almost 100 Fender Blankets and counting. When I started out all of my sales were via eBay but that all turned around in 2011 when 18 kits were delivered with the vast majority being special requests. In 2012 that grew to 28 interior kits and/or Boot Covers and none have been via eBay. With almost half of 2013 gone there have already been 18 delivered and my part time hobby has turned in to a pretty consistent business. I do this for two reasons: it keeps a retired guy busy and I can offer fellow TR4/250/6 owners on a budget, a quality kit at about 1/2 the price of what else is available.

NOTE: Since purchasing my seat covers in 2009, I've formed a working relationship with Mr Mike who will produce a Miata seat cover in your choice of materials, colors, trim, logos etc for a very competitive price. An advantage for me is that anyone wanting one of my custom Interior Panel Kits can get matching vinyl from Mr. Mike so that the seats and interior will be a perfect color match.

Below are just a few examples of his work.

The downside to my kits is that I don't have access to the true original colors used for seat covers and kits. I've called Moss a few times inquiring about ordering vinyl in bulk and finally got someone who could explain the vinyl "situation". I only asked about the assorted shades of brown/tan/beige etc.. They need to look it up based on either a seat cover kit or an interior panel kit in the color you want. From there they can look up the bulk vinyl part number. It turns out that the only stock colors they carry are Honey Tan and Tan at about $24/yd. All of the other seat covers and panel kits are made in England and shipped over so there's no need for them to stock bulk vinyl in those colors.

After the pictures below are links to some of the vinyl suppliers I've used as well as a few thoughts about matching colors.

Given the choice, the majority of guys want pleats on their panels like Triumph did with the 250 and '69 TR6. This is such a classy look that I wonder why Triumph went away from it, along with the TR4 door pulls. The TR6 door has all the proper mounting holes in the inner door so they are a drop in replacement. The only pleat difference with my panels is the trunk which has horizontal pleats instead of vertical pleats. I don't have a deep enough throat on my machine to easily do the vertical trunk pleats.

Completed Kits

Below are just a few of the many kits I've sold............ black is black so there's no sense in showing those kits, unless they're installed in a customer's car. Here I've focused on the vinyl colors that I've used which are not stock colors...... with the exception of Neil's Honey Tan interior which was purchased from Moss.

I might as well begin with the car that started it all.... my '75 TR6.... done in leather. If you're interested in leather please read though the section below dealing with leather.

The TR4 door pull and leather door caps.

Door cap material & foam is included with every kit.

The single hardest piece to install is the wheel hump cover... this came out real nice.

I supply a plywood piece that you cover for the bottom of the B pillar.

Pleated kidney pads are standard in my kit.

The inevitable wrinkle at the bend in the corner. Door pleats with arch pleats line up.

And the trunk panel.

Barry wanted a completely matching interior to go with his leather covered Miata seats. He contacted the company that makes the seat covers and they shipped the matching vinyl directly to me. He also went with the pleats and TR4 door pulls.
Those wheel hump covers are the hardest part of the installation but he did a great job with them.
Bill found the color he wanted at www.perfectfit.com and it's called Eclipse Paprika.

Some of my 9 year old granddaughter's art work in the background.

Bill also wanted a matching Boot Cover.

Chip's vinyl is Marine Beige from Jo-Anns Fabrics, a national chain.

Kidney pads are included in my kits and are usually black to match the center dash support.
When you're getting a "special" color it's always a good idea to get a matching Boot Cover. We went with a contrast for the rear edge binding.
Chip gave me all of his snap measurements...... which matched my car so I was able to do a test fit using my car.

My favorite set so far.......... Jim bought the vinyl on eBay from TrimJobber.

Neil hounded Moss Motors until he found the right guy who knew about ordering vinyl in bulk.....only colors they stock are Honey Tan and Tan... and Neil wanted Honey Tan!
Neil also found a vinyl paint to match Honey Tan so he's spraying his dash support to match the kidney pads. He also wanted a shifter boot cover.

And, of course, a matching Boot Cover.

Serhad wanted to match his seats which the previous owner had recovered. He drove around to some auto upholstery shops until he found a guy who said.....that's Symphony Classic Saddle..... which he ordered and had sent directly to me.
Steve went with basic black and sent me a few pictures of it installed in his car.

Not necessary but he added screws to the kidney pads for extra support.

Another shifter boot cover.

My boot cover and his snaps......... perfectly installed.

Dave just wanted a boot cover in a color close to chestnut which is Taos Brown from Jo-Ann Fabrics. The whole Taos line of vinyl is very supple and soft. The flash washed out the color in the first picture...........
The best part is always when I get to see something I made installed on the car!

Another Honey Tan Kit....Chet didn't want door pockets so I did two extra pleats in the pocket area

You can't tell from this picture but the door pleats and the wheel arch pleats will line up when installed on the car

The trunk panel pleats should line up to the wheel arch panel pleats.

Glen ordered Tumeric Rave from www.perfectfit.com and had it shipped directly to me. He's also having his seat covers made with the same vinyl and hopes to have his upholsterer cover the center dash support with it.

Jerry just needed a Boot Cover and found this Jaguar Ambla Biscuit vinyl as a great match to his interior. I had to make a cut out for his wind blocker.

Dennis wanted red, red and more red to go with his red TR6. After sewing so many black and tan kits, it was fun to do a bright color. His vinyl is from AllVinylFabrics and his color is Atlantis Red Hot!.

Russ started with custom Miata seat covers in Mercedes Palamino from Mr Mike's who then shipped me 7 yards of matching vinyl to use for the boot cover and the interior. We were able to match perfectly right down to the BRG welting used on the seats and the wheel hump covers. Mike even sewed in pleats similar to what the early TR6 seats had.

Matching green welt on the wheel hump covers
And a perfect vinyl match on the boot cover.

I haven't added any completed kits in quite a while as there haven't been any "different" colors to show..... until Jim sent me this metallic blue/silver vinyl..... I was a little suspect until I saw his white TR6 with the blue stripe.

And his Mr. Mike custom Miata seat covers
With the matching interior panels.... yes these do match the seats!

PLEASE NOTE: I no longer make boot covers in the style above. If someone wants that style it will be $150 plus vinyl. I now only make them in the style shown below.

In early 2014 I changed the style of the boot cover to the design shown below. This cover fits better around the seatbelts so that there's less interference and it doesn't require any of the straps with snaps. The cover design is such that the side and flap snaps attach directly to the material and attach to the car. This cover comes in both a padded and unpadded version with the padded version shown below. The padded version just has more "substance" to it's look.

The padding is all under the red arrow sections
 
 

 

Matching colors:

Just about every email I get starts with............. "I want new Interior Panels to match my seats which are (insert color) and still in good condition" ............ Those seats may be in good shape but I doubt the color is anywhere near what it was when new. Over time they fade so ordering (insert color) doesn't mean they will match which I doubt they will.

This shows what happens to color over time........brand new Matador Red on the left and the old ones on the right. This is why I discourage people from trying to match their panels to their old seats. We might find a good match now but what happens when you finally replace your seat covers?

If you're intent on keeping your seats with the existing covers, you should try and find a color to compliment them, probably something a shade or two darker. And Noooo I will NOT make the color decision for you..... but I will suggest ordering free samples from the places below.

Local Auto Upholstery Shops & Fabric Stores:

These guys know what they're doing and can probably look at what you want to do and tell you a good color to go with and where to buy it. So go and visit them and ask.

Jo-Ann Fabrics is a national chain and carries a varied collection of auto and marine vinyl that will cut you small samples. If you find a vinyl you like at Jo-Ann's, send me the color name and SKU and I can check my local Jo-Ann's and save you the shipping cost.

Online Vinyl Suppliers:

If you spend some time searching for Automotive or Marine Vinyl, you'll find lots of stores with a wide variety of vinyl, colors and pricing..........and most will send you free samples. And there's always eBay.

Here's a couple of places I've used in the past:

http://www.albrightssupply.com

http://www.perfectfit.com/

http://www.yourautotrim.com/

http://www.allvinylfabrics.com/

http://www.marinevinylfabric.com/

http://www.veteranco.com/productindex.html

Miata Seat Covers & Matching Interior:

Since purchasing my Miata seat covers in 2009, I've formed a working relationship with Mr Mike who will produce a Miata seat cover in your choice of materials, colors, trim, logos etc for a very competitive price. An advantage for me is that anyone wanting one of my custom Interior Panel Kits can get matching vinyl from Mr. Mike so that the seats and interior will be a perfect color match.

Leather.....Why a $50 Premium:

I'm always asked about the cost to do an interior in leather and I don't have a stock answer due to the following factors:

  • Start by reading through this Leather Buying Guide

  • Hides are NOT like what you see in a Lexus, BMW, Mercedes etc..... those hides have a consistent grain, with no marks or blemishes. The hides available to the rest of us are full or grain variations, marks, cuts  etc. While I lay out the pieces to avoid the major marks and cuts, I can't avoid the blemishes and grain variations so within a single panel you can have huge grain and little grain.
     

  • vinyl is sold by the yard and is typically 53" wide and priced per yard - 4 yards for an interior and 3 yards for a boot cover. Vinyl cost is $10-$30 per yard with most in the $15 range

  • Leather is sold by the hide and is measured in square feet with about 18 sq ft = 1 useable yard. As you can see from the picture below a hide looks like a cow with the neck hole at the top and the four legs.

  • To be safe I suggest buying two hides of 40 to 44 sq ft each for an interior, one hide for a boot cover and three hides for both. Hides can cost $100 - $250 each.

  • Hides are dyed and need to be bought at the same time to insure that the dye lots match.

  • Hides are always shipped folded and come out of the box full of wrinkles and creases requiring a lot of steaming and ironing on my part to make the hide presentable. Below is a door and trunk panel before steaming & ironing.

  • So why the $50 premium charge when you're already paying a premium to purchase leather?

    • Because vinyl is a fixed size i.e. 53" wide, I know exactly how to lay out the templates for maximum use of the vinyl.

    • With leather I have to position the templates around the various cut out and imperfections in the hide........ I spend too much time determining the layout.

    • And then there's the time spent steaming and ironing the leather to make it presentable.

    • These two factors probably add 2 hours to my time so $50 is pretty cheap for the extra work I have to do.

Pricing:

As of January 1, 2017 my pricing is pretty simple

Interior panel kits have three options and prices:

More people are requesting pleated panels on all of the pieces which requires significantly more sewing & time so the cost is $285 PLUS the cost for four (4) yards of the vinyl and includes: two door panels, two wheel arch panels, one trunk panel, two wheel hump covers with foam, two "B" pillar covers, two "B" pillar bottom triangles, Two door caps with foam and two kidney pads. This style is similar but not exactly the same as what was installed on the TR250 and the '69 TR6. PLEASE do not buy any vinyl before talking to me. I want to make sure it's acceptable for panel use.

The pleated design @ $285 plus material.

The design used from 1970 on was a "trapezoid-like" design on the door panels which is much easier and less time consuming to do so the  cost is $255 PLUS the cost for four (4) yards of the vinyl and includes: two door panels, two wheel arch panels, one trunk panel, two wheel hump covers with foam, two "B" pillar covers, two "B" pillar bottom triangles, Two door caps with foam and two kidney pads. PLEASE do not buy any vinyl before talking to me. I want to make sure it's acceptable for panel use.

The "trapezoid" design @ $255 plus material.

I've had a few requests for doors without pockets and have settled on this pleated design which fills out the door panel nicely. The cost is $295 PLUS the cost for four (4) yards of the vinyl and includes: two door panels, two wheel arch panels, one trunk panel, two wheel hump covers with foam, two "B" pillar covers, two "B" pillar bottom triangles, Two door caps with foam and two kidney pads. PLEASE do not buy any vinyl before talking to me. I want to make sure it's acceptable for panel use.

 

Boot Cover

In early 2014 I changed the style of the boot cover to the design shown below. This cover fits better around the seatbelts so that there's less interference and it doesn't require any of the straps with snaps. The cover design is such that the side and flap snaps attach directly to the material and attach to the car. This cover comes in both a padded and unpadded version with the padded version shown below. The padded version just has more "substance" to it's look.

There's no need for straps to hold the snaps as the cover is sized to take the snaps directly

And it fits much better around the seatbelt
 

The padded version is $150 plus the cost for 3 yards of vinyl which you can supply as long as it's an Auto/Marine quality vinyl.

The unpadded version is $140 plus the cost for 3 yards of vinyl which you can supply as long as it's an Auto/Marine quality vinyl.

I don't do the snaps around the back edge as there's too much variance in the placement. That's why no one provides tops or boot covers with those snaps. PLEASE do not buy any vinyl before talking to me. I want to make sure it's acceptable for panel use.

Deposit:

No deposit is required for basic black as I can always sell those on eBay if you change your mind. If you order and pay for the vinyl and have it shipped directly to me there is no deposit required. If you're having me order a special color vinyl for you the minimum deposit is $100 or the actual cost of the vinyl if it exceeds $100.

Ordering Time:

This is completely dependent on the other work I have to do and I don't schedule until I have the vinyl or deposit in hand. DO NOT send me any material without first checking with me that the material is appropriate for interior use and to understand my schedule. I close up my little retirement shop twice a year: from 10/28 to 12/7 and from 2/20 to 4/20.

Payment:

I prefer to use PayPal as it protects both the buyer and the seller though I have taken bank checks when asked.

Installation Instruction:

Installing the Interior Kit is a fairly straightforward job most people can accomplish in a weekend. The hardest part is installing the pieces (wheel hump covers, B Pillar and door caps ) that get glued in place with contact cement. Contact cement is very unforgiving and once the pieces are glued down they don't move. If you have any concerns, a good upholstery shop could probably do these few pieces in an hour.

You need to download and follow these instructions:

Totally Unsolicited Customer Comments:

These were either pulled from eBay Feedback or from emails sent upon delivery.

I got the panel kit today.  I'm stunned.  You don't charge enough for the kits considering the workmanship.  The quality is excellent, and the detail is amazing.  I will recommend you to anyone I meet or deal with that owns a Triumph TR6. ........... Your kits blows away the kits from Moss or Vicky British.  It's not even a contest. 
 

Bob, just got the panels.  Got to tell you, I am BLOWN AWAY at how good they look
  Soooo much better than the originals.  The quality of your workmanship is very impressive∑        

Item was as described and well crafted

∑         The TR6 panels exceeded my expectations...look great. Happy camper!

∑         panel are new, looking good

∑         Just a note to let you know I received the panels and am extremely happy with them. Can't wait for spring to get them installed.

∑         The stuff came today, and it is beautiful

∑         really nice, thanks

∑         WOW!! QUALITY! QUALITY

∑         Excellent interior panels!

∑         Excellent product looks perfect!!!

∑         Thanks so much, I received them and they are top rate, excellent work on your part

∑         The panels look great. Thank you again.

∑         I had a look at the panels and they look great!! This is an amazing work that you are doing! I canít wait to put them in!

∑         I received the panels yesterday and they look great. Canít wait to get them installed

∑         Received the shipment last week and it looks great!!!

∑         Panels arrived today, you do nice work

∑         Received the boot, nice work! Now just need time to fit the snaps.

∑         Just wanted to let you know that yesterday I received the interior
panels. They look beautiful, THANK YOU!

∑         We got the panels and they look great, thanks for doing those for us.

∑         The stuff came today, and it is beautiful. I have it stacked upright right now, and will follow your instructions above to store it properly

Just wanted to let you know that my new interior is almost finished and it looks gorgeous.
Thank you! You were right about the piping, it looks just fine without them.

Bob, thank you again for this beautiful interior set and your contributions to the TR6 community!

We received the interior panels today and they look fantastic. The
workmanship is very professional and the panels have by far exceeded my
expectations.

I have received the panel set and you do awesome work.
 

The craftsmanship is amazing. You did a fabulous job with what I have looked at so far. And the Honey tan is going to go with the Mallard Blue really well. I can't wait to get started on the install. Thanks again Bob. It was an honest pleasure to work with you on this project.