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Interior refinishing costs
#1
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scottyjim62
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Hi everyone,
as this is my first go around doing this much renovation on a vehicle i wanted to check with the group for a little advice. I have a 1951 convertible and i am quoting getting all the seats re-done.
Got a quote of $2500, that seems high to me but again no experience with this.
How does that read to you guys?

Posted on: 2020/6/10 11:43
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Re: Interior refinishing costs
#2
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bkazmer
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Have you specified correct materials and patterns? I'm no expert on the "high-pockets" cars, but I think it's leather bolsters with a synthetic inserts.

Posted on: 2020/6/10 12:06
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Re: Interior refinishing costs
#3
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HH56
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There are all sorts of job quality and materials an upholsterer can quote and prices do vary thruout the country. if restoring to the original style and material which would have been in a 51 convertible, then with labor rates in a typical metro area that amount seems very low. Even if using modern vinyl or synthetic fabric materials instead of leather it still seems low so I would really question what will be included and if there won't be some hidden costs that come up down the line.

I am in Calif which is definitely one of the higher cost states. Your area could have lower labor costs but can't believe it would be that much lower for quality work. When I did a 54 Pacific some twenty five+ years ago, even with me supplying the fabric it cost considerably more than what you were quoted. Packard seat construction and the way the under fabrics are layered and cross-biased to prevent bunching of the visible upholstery is very complex. If the upholsterer is duplicating original construction the labor costs go up appreciably.

Material wise, the wool broadcloth fabric alone for my 47 Custom sedan cost almost your quoted amount and the labor to redo just the 6 pieces comprising the rear seat and side bolsters to original spec was over $3000 about 5 years ago. Haven't even contemplated the cost of doing the front seat and door panels yet but expect it will be much worse. I have not priced leather but expect it would be more than wool broadcloth. A quality modern naugahyde might be a suitable alternative if you are not interested in show quality but still not inexpensive.

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Posted on: 2020/6/10 12:15
Howard
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Re: Interior refinishing costs
#4
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Owen_Dyneto
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If your objective is a good duplication of the original with appropriate quality materials and workmanship, IMO you should probably be thinking in terms of at least double and more likely triple your current quote. Make sure you have a very thorough understanding with your upholstery man of the work to be done and the materials to be used.

Posted on: 2020/6/10 14:35
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Re: Interior refinishing costs
#5
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scottyjim62
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Thanks Everyone, Just for comparison I have attached a few pictures of the present seats.

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Posted on: 2020/6/10 15:37
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Re: Interior refinishing costs
#6
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Ross
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Ok, don't have those duplicated as they are not correct. Someone will be able to come up with some suitable photos in short order.

Posted on: 2020/6/10 18:00
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Re: Interior refinishing costs
#7
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packardtaximan
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I have found it best to get all the details in writing that both parties agree on. I have the same upholstery shop do 4 complete Packard interiors for me and had no problems. The last job I took them I lost over $4,000 and they sat my car outside for three months with no windows during our rainy season and refused to work on it. The owner and I WERE friends or so I thought. I spent $7,000 at another shop and got the job done. Good luck with your project.

Posted on: 2020/6/10 19:36
Packardtaximan
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Re: Interior refinishing costs
#8
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Tim Cole
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One nail, No jail is how fraudsters think.

It's amazing how tolerant the system is about that sort of behavior.

Posted on: 2020/6/11 7:51
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Re: Interior refinishing costs
#9
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58L8134
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Scottyjim62

As far as cost, speaking with other '51-'54 Convertible owners about their experience in terms of cost and who their upholsterer was will give you a truer picture what you face.

With regard to the 1951 250 Convertible, you have a disappointing one-year anomaly. Honestly, Packard seriously cheaped-out on the interior they spec'd for it and the 250 Mayfair hardtop. From the book Packard 1951-1954 by Robert J. Neal page 90. (The book which you should avail yourself if you haven't already.)

"...a 'one year only' style and rarely seen. Its center panels were what the factory called "mono-filament plastic fabric" after 50 to 60 years it is rarely serviceable condition and when replace during restoration projects is virtually always redone in leather. There are two reasons for that choice: 1 restorers assume leather was an option in 1951 (and it was not) and take it as the best looking choice: 2- Even if they wanted to replace the original plastic material it would be very difficult, if not impossible, to find."

Here are pictures of a well-preserved 1951 250 Mayfair hardtop with that lousy original interior. From the Mayfairs and Convertibles I saw in junkyards years ago, all had seat covers like those on your seat covering the original which was torn and in poor condition when the covers were torn away. Leather is probably your only and best option. Good luck with your '51 250 Convertible project.

Steve

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Posted on: 2020/6/11 9:17
.....epigram time.....
Proud 1953 Clipper Deluxe owner. Thinking about my next Packard, want a Clipper Deluxe Eight, manual shift with overdrive.
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Re: Interior refinishing costs
#10
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Fish'n Jim
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Just doing 2 seats, it's possible, but agree w/ consensus, is low.
So probably not resto quality. Maybe things are real slow right now, begging for work, keep the lights on price, below cost. Who knows?
Definitely understand/written estimate what's being supplied before you commit, are they just putting some foam and covering with one color flat naugahyde and simple stitching, or matching factory pleated two tone with correct materials?
eg:
When I quoted the 2 dr deluxe coupe, which has Frt&Rr seats, side panels, carpet, and headliner. I was to supply $6000+ interior fabrics/materials(which I bought/have), he wanted another $6000 to install and supply padding, windlace, etc. and that's 5 years ago. It was to be factory trim code match. Project is delayed.

Posted on: 2020/6/11 19:09
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