Door Panels and Carpets

Door Panels and Carpets

As much as I wanted to start on the carpets for the car, I still had to complete the door pockets, so I immediately started the second door pocket when I got to the shop. I was a lot less scared to do this pocket after I gained the experience of the first one, but it seemed to take just as long to complete!

Getting the leather to stretch into place really takes some patience and skill, but with a little practice, I got the hang of it. I had to go slow and concentrate as I snipped away the excess leather because one wrong cut, and you would have had to start all over with a new piece of leather. This pocket frame requires no seams, so mistakes are not easily hidden!

Flipping the piece over all the time helped check to see if the leather was laying correctly on the frame. As the leather is stuck, I also had to make sure all the wrinkles on the skin were stretched out to give the frame a nice smooth texture.

This picture shows how much the leather had to be stretched to get it to form over the corners. The trick was to put the contact adhesive on both pieces, let them dry, and then wet the leather to make it stretch more than if it were dry. As the water evaporates, the adhesive starts to take hold. Applying more glue when everything dries makes everything stick permanently.

The next step was to attach the door hinges, the leather gathers on inside the door pockets, and the spring mechanisms. All these parts are pretty fiddly pieces, so I had my hands too full to take pictures, but now I had two completed door pockets. The last thing I need to do is to make the door pulls for these pockets. They are two leather tabs that will take a certain amount of cutting, skiving, and sewing, that I had no more patience to screw around with today. It was 4:30 in the afternoon and I wanted to get cracking on the carpets!!!

My car came with a box of carpet scraps that once covered the floor of the car. Frank and I laid them out and fit them inside the car to figure out where all the pieces went. Eventually we got the pieces to fit in the car, and found we were missing the front floor mats, and a couple of small side pieces of carpeting.

The plan of attack was to copy the pieces I had with new carpeting. Each of the old pieces were checked for fit and transferred to the new carpeting. The shape of the new carpeting was often modified to fit the floor of the car better. Since some of my floor pan was replaced, and no two Ferraris are the same, it was best to hand fit each piece. Even when you look at the old carpets in the picture above, you can see slight gaps that can be taken out with a larger piece of carpet. This is why I don’t think ready made carpets for Vintage Ferraris is such a great idea. How can someone who sells you a pre-cut carpet know it will fit your car perfectly?

You can also see the original carpets had binding on all the pieces, so I ordered a roll for my carpets. Binding is a strip of material that wraps around the edge of carpeting to keep it from fraying. Binding can be leather or vinyl, but on my carpets, Pininfarina used a vinyl material. I originally wanted to use the leather from my seats to bind the carpets, but I came to my senses and realized this would look a little tacky. The lighter color leather would have drawn your eye to every edge of carpet, and that is not what I wanted to do! Frank sewed some of the binding to a scrap piece of carpet to see how it would look, and I think the matching color is spot on, and looks great! When we bind the actual carpets, we’ll also use matching thread!

I cut carpet out to cover the first section of floor, and I’m really getting excited about the way it’s going to look! The new carpets are slightly darker than the original color, but still compliments the light tan leather used for the seats. I’m also feeling good about how much better the new carpets are fitting to the floor. There are actually four pieces of carpet in this picture, but they fit so well, you can hardly see the seams! The gaps are all even, so when Frank sews the binding on these pieces, everything will look neat and tidy.

Previous Restoration Day
Next Restoration Day
Home page