To the average person on the street, the expression "a happy medium" might evoke mental images of a successful fortuneteller toting a fat wallet and smiling all the while. When the expression is applied to a guy about to take on a DIY upholstery project for his truck, the saying usually acquires a whole new meaning. It's the middle ground between paying the big bucks to a professional for his services and attempting to do the job oneself. Then, of course, regardless of expense, there's the reason most of us got into old pickups: we love to work on our own truck.
In the November edition of Custom Classic Trucks, we installed Classic Industries' black vinyl floor covering fashioned after the original factory floor mat into our '88 Chevy. For this month's edition, we figured the next logical step would be to install one of Classic Industries' bench seat upholstery kits for 1947-current Chevrolet and GMC trucks. Since we're not experts at upholstery work and we wanted to provide our readers with the best possible guidance available, we asked award-winning Westminster Auto Upholstery in Anaheim, California, to help us out. Pete Engel, the shop's owner, explained that the very first step was to lay the covers out in the sun to let the wrinkles left by stuffing the kit into the box disappear.
While the new covers were relaxing in the sun, Pete's son PJ disassembled the seat by removing the tracks and unbolting the seat back. Then he unhooked the old seat covers from the seat base and peeled them off. Before the new covers could be fitted, it was necessary to repair the foam on the driver's side. The next step was to trial-fit the covers. As expected, the years had taken their toll on the original foam, and it needed to be built back up. After several additional layers of foam and a couple more fittings, the seat covers were ready for the final fitting.
In place of the OEM hooks attaching the original covers, the hog rings included with the Classic Industries kit were used to anchor the new seat covers in place. A few moments afterward PJ and Mario had the tracks and seat back returned to their original position, and our seat was complete.