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Triumph TR3 - Interior Coverings

I own a '56 TR3 and it's time to completely replace the interior. Has anyone had any positive or negative success with the sets from TRF or Moss? Any other suggestions would be helpfull and appreciated.
Thanks
Harold
Harold Sawatsky

Hi Harold:I bought an interior kit for my 58 TR3 from TRF and it was entirely satisfactory.The Moss one was more expensive but I am sure it would have been satisfactory as well.
I hope this helps
Regards Chuck
Chuck

Howdy

Being the frugal type with time to fiddle, I actually sew my own. Take the old ones apart, make patterns and try to get a good match for the original material. A commercial machine would be nice, but I use an old Singer with a bigger needle and thread. The tricky part is the padding in the pleats. But it's possible to get a real nice job, and the result is completely up to you.

If the kits don't satisfy you what would you do? You could ask your local upholstery shop what they think of the job. Ask what they'd charge to install the kit while you're there. They are used to all the isometric type exercise it takes to do it right. And a heat gun to stretch or shrink things into place.

The cappings behind the doors are a little tricky. I glued the material down to the top part first (good contact cement). After that's dry, glue and stretch it around the sides. You have to at least loosen the dash and take out the gauges to recover it. You can get crinkle finish paint for the center section, if that's bad. Heat guns come in handy with crinkle paint.

Overall, the seats are the hard part to get right, and the kit would have been nice.

Hope I shed a little light on your restoration.
Tom

I completely replaced the interior on my 58, TR3A through the use of a local upholstery shop. After adding up the prices for interior and carpet packages from Moss and TRF, I did some comparative shopping at upholstery shops that specialized in auto interiors. I was able to get everything done for right at $1000. This included the dash, hood stick cover and carpeting. And yes, this included labor. Now I know that sounds like a good price and it was. However, I spent many hours going around looking at the quality of work the shops produced before I selected a shop. I also told the shop that I would give out his name if he gave me a good price. (This is a good bargaining tool). I recommend that you contact some of the Hot Rod clubs in your local community. They can lead you on to a good shop also.

The benefits I received by going through an upholstery shop are: I was able to select the color and type of material I wanted. I went with a marine vinyl because it was less able to fade under sunlight, it's softer than regular vinyl, and was able to get a grain pattern in the material. Yes, you can go with leather but be prepared for a large price difference. As my car is British Racing Green my choice was a light tan interior with a slightly darker carpet. I had matching beading installed around the doors and the edge trim of the carpet matches the interior vinyl. As a side note, the marine vinyl being softer is easier for the upholstery installer to work with, especially on the dash where I have no wrinkles.

Some other benefits if you go to a shop: The shop will first glue down a form pad then stretch the vinyl over it. This gives you a very soft plush look. Likewise for the carpeting. Now here is a recommendation I have for everyone owning a TR2 or TR3. As you know the seats are very uncomfortable and hit me just below the shoulder blades. Here is what I did. I had the back of the seats cut and a 4-inch insert welded in. This raised the back of the seat to a very comfortable height and makes the seat looks like they were made for the car. Now all you 100 point show people don't get upset, you can't even tell that the seat is raised. I also had extra padding installed in the seat, which makes a world of difference.

Be smart and comparative shop. Hope this gives you some food for thought, any questions just let me know. I think I have been through just about everything (once or twice) in my restoration. Now just the clutch problem that Sal and Tom are helping me with. See clutch thread below. By the way, thanks Sal and Tom I'm working on it!!!
Charles Lieber

Thanks guys.All of your comments are very helpfull. I like the idea of the marine vinyll and will check this out along with the other suggestions. The car has been in my garage or rather all over my garage since 1977-you know the story about raising kids and then they want university (all 4 of them and 3 of them are still there) but now its my turn to play with my toy. I'm sure I'll be asking for advice with the wiring and which is better-a new harness or trying this myself and anything else that may come up. My wifes' plan is to have this done by next Aug and go on the same road trip to the west coast and down to Mexico that we did 26 years ago in the car. Happy anniversary - I think!
Thanks again
Harold
Harold Sawatsky

This thread was discussed between 02/09/2000 and 09/09/2000

Triumph TR3 index

This thread is from the archive. The Live Triumph TR3 BBS is active now.