250GTE 2259: Seat Belts and Interior Details
I finally finished up the rear seat area on the Survivor GTE which included new seat belts. It took a lot of coordinating to get this done since there were no seat belt mounts. We needed to fit the rear seat several times when fitting the anchors for the belts so they could be welded in place and fed through the seat cushions without obstructions. I don’t like using the big washers often found on some seat belt installations, as they are usually bolted straight through a floorpan section. Welded in mounts are far more secure, and I feel worth the extra time.
I wanted to make a set of over mats for the front carpets since we had some extra carpet. The original carpet (foreground) will be installed, but a second carpet will sit over this layer for everyday use. I had some extra matting from another project to sew in a durable heel pad.
The old crumbly foam was removed from the transmission tunnel, so I had to replace it with new material.
I’m always amazed how well the original leather from this car has held up over the last 45 years, and with the new padding it will go back in the car with very few wrinkles.
As the little details are being sorted, I wanted to make a point of showing the rear ash tray stand mounted in the rear of the car. I’ve seen upholsterers finish this piece with a regular piece of leather, but it always looks a little puffy or thick.
The original leather was “skived” or shaved thin before gluing it onto this piece of leather. It’s paper thin and is a little detail sometimes missed by upholsterers. Skiving leather is an extra step that is often skipped to save time, but it gives the piece the correct look.
The results of the thin leather are subtle, but it makes for sharper creases on the edges and there is less puckering at the corners. There are several other places in a GTE interior that have thin leather, but these details are often lost when modern upholsterers eliminate the extra steps.
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