I decided to take a look at the inside of the seats on the survivor GTE I have at the shop. I took a seat home to disassemble the seat cushion to see if something can be done about the crumbling foam. Just moving the seat over to my work bench left more crumbs of dry rotted foam on my floor, so you can imagine the mess these seats would leave on the floor of car if left the way it was.
As I found last time, a repair was made to try and support a broken seat bottom. The Series I GTEs used a vacuum formed bucket to hold the seat foam in place, and it cracked pretty easily.
As I began the disassembly, I learned something I never knew about SI seats. The seat backs are actually adjustable! There’s a seat stop that can be turned in several positions that allows the seat back to sit at different angles. As I was taking the seat back out, I discovered this adjustment for the first time. I’m either going to enlighten SI GTE owners, or sound very naive!
Here’s a shot of the adjuster in a different position.
I managed to peel the leather off the seat shell, and foam padding without damage. Much of the foam is still in good shape, but the parts that were exposed to the outside air has hardened, and is crumbly. We will probably have to replace all the foam with new foam to insure it doesn’t crumble again. I spoke to our upholsterer about this project, and he felt it would be great to try and get the original latex foam as a replacement instead of the modern polyurethane foam. The latex foam is much softer and has a different feel compared to the harder modern foam.
Years ago when I upholstered my seats in the 330 America, I purchased a twin sized mattress made of this latex needle foam to duplicate the feel in my seats. I carved each cushion with an electric knife and sculpted the foam into shape. The results were great, but I don’t expect many people to go through the lengths to get the right “feel!”
These seats will need new muslin substructure sewn in, but so far everything looks good. I have fiberglass seat pans on order, made from molds I made years ago for another car, so the next test will be to see how well these old seat covers fit the reproduction pans.
Reminder: If you have a Ferrari related project, car, or idea you’d like to explore, I’d love to talk to you. I can also help if you’re thinking of buying or selling. This website represents what I love to do, and now it’s how I make a living, so if you’d like to do something together, let me know. It all begins with an e-mail!
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