Sunday, January 11, 2009

It Lives! Olds Cutlass Raised From the Dead

So I got my '72 Cutlass, Number 1, running great after quite a bit of work. Funny thing about cars that sit for long periods of time - they tend to fall apart. This is the case with Number one's interior, the front seat to be exact. After pulling off my custom seat covers (T-shirts) the seat looked as though a gang of squirrels had rumbled on it.




See, what did I tell you. Amazingly, the back seat only has one tear in it. Maybe my squirrel theory is not that far off...





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This is beyond covering with a seat cover so I had to come up with a temporary solution. The seat frame is in excellent condition as well as the springs, plus it is a split bench with the not-so-common fold down armrest in the middle, so I definitely want to keep it for the car. While I can't afford to get it re-covered right now, it can't stay in the car either. I came up with the idea of putting in some bucket seats on a temporary basis, but got sticker shock when I started pricing '72 era bucket seats. The prices were outragous! What the heck, are the seat frames made of gold or something? I was almost set to buy a pair of those racing type seats you see in all the imports (yea, I know) when I came across a deal too good to pass up.


I found a set of bucket seats advertised on craigslist for a paltry $40 dollars. The ad said they were out of a Mazda RX7 and in very good condition. Hmmm, sounded like it might be worth a look. When I got there I discovered they were non-electric, leather covered, and felt good to sit in. Sold! Even though these came with the tracks, the Japanese must assemble their cars vertically, because the bolt holes in the tracks were all facing horizontal. I'll show them! That's what good old American angle iron is made for, even though the piece I used was probably made in China.
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This is what I had to do to bolt the Mazda seats
in. Yeah, I know their burgandy, but they are also temporary. They bolted right to the original holes with my custom angle brackets, if you can believe that!





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Here is the burgandy bun rester all bolted in. One down, one more to go. These seats should fill in nicely until the original split bench seat is ready to re-install.
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After my bargin basement seats are installed and years of dust vacuumed up, the interior should be driver quality. Up next, it will be time to address the exterior. I'm not a big fan of primer, and I love patina, so stay tuned to see what I come up with to make Number 1 look a little more presentable and less like a rusting oil tanker.

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