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  #1  
Old 11-12-2009, 12:56 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: SE Mich
Posts: 3,101
Seat dilemma-- your opinions, please

I brought home the all-white 1983 Euro version 380SL yesterday and I know it needs two things: seat repair and re-sealing of the hard top.

Here's the issue for the forum on the seats:

The interior is done in multicolor (basic blue with bits of black and white) original MB tex. The front buckets both have broken springs in them, but the material is in VERY good shape, with no tears. The car only has about 37,000 original miles on it. One of the reasons I got it is lack of use. The car back seat looks like it's never had a single butt sit on it, which amazes me. But the second owner, from whom I bought the car, is 71 and stored it all last year. The original owner died.

I intend to have the seats repaired immediately so there are no tears. I know my friend Don, who owns the upholstery shop, and has done lots of cars for me and I have steered him lots of business, would like nothing better than to repair the springs and redo the seats in white vinyl, leather or whatever I wanted.

The cloth is ok, and it's clean and not worn. The side trim panels look fine.

The question: Should I

1. Repair the seat springs, restuff and re-install the original MB tex ?

2. Reupholster the seats only and leave the trim panels in blue ?

3. Redo the seats and the trim panels, perhaps all in embossed white?

To help you judge, the car is all white, with white hard top and black convertible top.

Or should I use another color? Or should I go white on white?

Don wants an answer by January, so I have time.

How much would a custom interior that is non MB affect the value, if it's tasteful?

I have also thought of replacing the rubber mat that's in the trunk with a flat board and carpet, like I find in my W123.

Your opinions, please.

Thanks
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Strelnik
Invest in America: Buy a Congressman!

1950 170SD
1951 Citroen 11BN
1953 Citroen 11BNF limo
1953 220a project
1959 180D
1960 190D
1960 Borgward Isabella TS 2dr
1983 240D daily driver
1983 380SL
1990 350SDL daily driver alt
3 x Citroen DS21M, down from 5
3 x Citroen 2CV, down from 6
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  #2  
Old 11-12-2009, 02:16 PM
MB, love..hate..love..
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: NB Canada
Posts: 1,173
I'd be inclined to restore the seats to original, from what you describe. The spring assemblies are simple affairs. I've repaired several over the years with bits of tubing to 'splice' broken wires that hold the tensioning and align the springs. It's possible but highly unlikely, given the mileage, that the springs are actually broken, but taking them out for a look-see is very easy. On the bench, underneath, you'll soon see what needs to be done. The 'horsehair' pads are available on-line new and used. The seat upholstery is held in a channel around the perimeter of the steel frame. Just bear down on the seat to release the tension and work the cardboard out of the channel. The pleats (if yours has them) are stuffed individually with strips of padding (also replaceable) as opposed to a sheet of padding and sewn seams. If you can, post some pictures for us to better advise...
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  #3  
Old 11-12-2009, 02:27 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 158
That MBTEX is as tough as nails and will last forever. I would go with A - fix the springs, possibly buy new seat pads and reuse the MBTEX if its possible.
.
A custom interior would probably affect the selling price as people who buy collector cars are more likely to be looking for a stock rather a modified.
.
As for a white interior - I hope you like spending your weekends cleaning it - I would think that would be the worst possible colour to have for an open car though I once did see a sl on ebay that was a white car with a white interior and it did look pretty sharp. Of course it had been detailed.
.
The trunk in my car, an 84 sl, is carpeted. It was probably an option in Europe.
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  #4  
Old 11-13-2009, 08:04 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Central Ky
Posts: 6,130
I will tell you I just did this on my 450. Granted my leather is perfect as it is new. I took both seats apart , removed everything and looked at the springs. I opted to get some lenghts of coil spring ( zig zag springs)
http://www.benzworld.org/forums/r-c107-sl-slc-class/1472674-cushion-spring-box-upgrade.html
and weave them into existing, result was great. I also opted to put a thin layer of dense foam padding over the existing horse hair pads, which turned out OK , If I had the $$ I would have bought new horse hair pads. I have added padding on countless seats, the real deal is new horse hair pads, nothing can match that set up
Anyhow the result was 100% better than what I had, but probably could even be better with new pads .
Just my 2C
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2011 Porsche Cayman - Bond,James Bond
99 E320 THE Queen Mary
62 220b - Dolly - Finally my Finny!
72 450SL, Pearl-SOLD
16 F350 6.7 Diesel -THOR
07 Lexus RX 350 - Lexi
14 38HP John Deere 3038E Tractor -Mean Green
84 300SD, Benjamin -SOLD
71 220 - W115-Libby ( my first love) -SOLD
73 280 - W114 "Organspende" Rest in Peace
81 380 SL - Rest in Peace
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  #5  
Old 11-13-2009, 08:38 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: SE Mich
Posts: 3,101
I made a little report with all this and 8 x 10 color photos to show to the guy who will be doing the work, he's the best I ever met and I steered a lot of business his way when he was not doing well, so I know he'll check out what you did, and act accordingly.

THANKS
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Strelnik
Invest in America: Buy a Congressman!

1950 170SD
1951 Citroen 11BN
1953 Citroen 11BNF limo
1953 220a project
1959 180D
1960 190D
1960 Borgward Isabella TS 2dr
1983 240D daily driver
1983 380SL
1990 350SDL daily driver alt
3 x Citroen DS21M, down from 5
3 x Citroen 2CV, down from 6
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  #6  
Old 11-13-2009, 08:53 PM
meltedpanda's Avatar
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Central Ky
Posts: 6,130
let me know if I can help !
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Ron
2011 Porsche Cayman - Bond,James Bond
99 E320 THE Queen Mary
62 220b - Dolly - Finally my Finny!
72 450SL, Pearl-SOLD
16 F350 6.7 Diesel -THOR
07 Lexus RX 350 - Lexi
14 38HP John Deere 3038E Tractor -Mean Green
84 300SD, Benjamin -SOLD
71 220 - W115-Libby ( my first love) -SOLD
73 280 - W114 "Organspende" Rest in Peace
81 380 SL - Rest in Peace
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