Register now to get rid of these ads!

Technical Cost of new interior

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by treeman53, Jun 7, 2022.

  1. Just like paint jobs, there is a huge difference between really nice, and perfect. I did upholstery in the '60's and '70's and did some "nice" work. My prices reflected the quality of my work. Now compare my work to that on an AMBR car and there's no comparison. Maybe this guy got a quote from a shop that does perfection work.
    Lil32, lothiandon1940 and fauj like this.
  2. Fogger
    Joined: Aug 18, 2007
    Posts: 1,799


    I don't understand why new members don't state where they're located. If they post a location HAMB members could recommend a shop close to them.
    Atwater Mike, i.rant, TagMan and 6 others like this.
  3. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 14,659

    jimmy six

    $1700 in 2018. I took them the seats. I bought the 1956 broadcloth from SMS. Added springs in drivers seat, Marine vinyl, all new padding and burlap. Local guy who I’ve used before and so have many many friends. Included pleated package tray.

  4. BamaMav
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 6,633

    from Berry, AL

    Local guy gave us a price of around $500 to replace a few panels in the leather seats in the wife's Expy. That was just a few panels, not recovering the whole seat. I couldn't afford to have him do an entire interior!
    Glad mine was already done when I got the car. It needs a little freshening up, but I'll do it myself.
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  5. $1,4000..... 10 years ago
    mgtstumpy likes this.
  6. metlmunchr
    Joined: Jan 16, 2010
    Posts: 860


    A friend had a 40 sedan done in 1970. Black vinyl. Backstitched diamonds in the inserts in front buckets with matching inserts in the back seat. Matching door and quarter panels. Headliner. Package tray. Full carpet and bound carpet floor mats. 100% first class work by a man in Bristol TN who'd had work in a couple HRM feature cars previously. No trunk upholstery. $1200 total.

    That $1200 in 70 is $9200 in today's dollars just to account for inflation. Back then, there were 5 and possibly 6 auto trim shops here in town. He went to Bristol because another buddy had 2 cars done by the same man, and his work looked better than any of the locals and the price was about the same.

    Today, there's one shop in town, so most of the competition is gone and I suspect that's the case in most towns across the country. With car dealers charging $125/hr and more, there's no reason for a good trim shop to be working for less. Stuff like dynamat is standard on high end work now. It's expensive and didn't even exist in 1970.

    I've got a compound walking foot machine and hack along at learning when I have spare time. While I can understand why today's prices for upholstery are where they are, I'm too much of a tightwad to spend that sort of money. IMO, it's just like paint work. Either learn to do it yourself and save 80-85%, or pay the man to do it since griping about it ain't gonna make it cheaper.
    Joined: Jan 1, 2008
    Posts: 1,385

    from Bordertown


    dana barlow and lothiandon1940 like this.
  8. I had my '32 Fordor done about five years ago by my local upholstery guy, Jimmy, who learned his trade doing interiors for Gulfstream luxury business jets. Mine was done in top grain leather in the seating areas with matching Ultra Leather vinyl everywhere else with square weave carpet on the floor with custom mats. He did the nicest headliner that I've ever seen done complete with windlacing around all the doors. I had built the seats to look like originals from Dodge van seats by narrowing the back one and making the seat backs taller with rounded sides like the stock ones. Nicest upholstery job I've ever had done for just $5000. Unfortunately Jim has retired and moved away so I'm going to be looking for someone to do my next project, but I'd be running an Indian blanket before I spent $15000 for a vinyl interior.
  9. twenty8
    Joined: Apr 8, 2021
    Posts: 2,268


    Aw man, that's cool. :cool::cool::cool:
  10. ...........Word.:)
    chryslerfan55, Outback, Lil32 and 4 others like this.
  11. mgtstumpy
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 9,214


    So far my interior, front and rear seats only, have been $2K, mate's rates;). That's on top of a complete full OEM interior material I previously purchased years ago from LeBaron Bonney (Hampton Coach) that was shipped to Australia ($3.5K). There's a lot more work and cost ahead; hood lining, trunk, doors, 1/4 panels and carpets etc
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2022
  12. Frank280ZX
    Joined: Feb 5, 2016
    Posts: 47

    from Wageningen
    1. A-D Truckers

    I got a 9K qoute for a complete redo in 'leather' in europe. People that have trade skill are getting harder to come by i guess
  13. guitarguy
    Joined: May 26, 2008
    Posts: 650


    I snipped parts of these quotes I feel are spot on. As someone that does "side work" I can tell you I am so overloaded with mechanical and electrical work that I can not take it anymore AND work my full time job (which has a pension / 401k / and 5 weeks vacation). So when I have to start using my vacation time just to get side work done for others, that's my clue right there I am in high demand, but the hours suck and I don't want to play anymore. I have 6 straight months of side work to do---IF I didn't have to work my day job. So the reality is I am over a year out on new projects----oh, and my own cars and house repairs ---yeah right, maybe i'll get to them in another 15 years.

    Skilled labor is hard to find, because people "think" they would rather pay someone to just do it for them---until they hear the costs. My feeling is, go learn a new skill and do it yourself. See how much the tools cost, see how much materials you'll eat because of screw ups, or just consumable materials needed to complete the job. I get not everyone can do everything, but maybe give it a shot----you might be better than you think and open a new opportunity for yourself so you can work 80 hours a week. Things are not cheap anymore----even if you do it yourself.
  14. kustomitch
    Joined: Sep 2, 2015
    Posts: 323

    from Monson MA

    $15,000 is a pretty average price these days. Of course it depends on the amount of work and style of job being done. It takes quite a few hours to do an interior right and materials are getting expensive as well.
  15. NashRodMan
    Joined: Jul 8, 2004
    Posts: 1,988


    You can at least do the carpet and door panels yourself with stuff from an online supplier. I did them in my 41 Chevy. Cost for materials was less than $1000. See pics. Its not a $15K job but good enough. I used They even have seat covers that look great. I bought Instabind online for the carpet edging. I have not done the seats yet.
    drvr door panel.jpg pass door.jpeg pass int qtr panel.jpg
  16. 210superair
    Joined: Jun 23, 2020
    Posts: 1,952

    from Michigan

    There's so many threads about how things are too expensive now, maybe we should just have in thread pasted at the top continually, and people can just rant about what they think costs too much in the same thread...... Lol.

    But yeah, 15k sounds like a lot. Maybe they didn't want the job. That's what I do when I want rid of a customer at work. I double their pricing.
  17. Elvis100
    Joined: May 21, 2016
    Posts: 672


    I made the wooden seat frame and supplied the seat springs, the leather and labor for just the seat was $2,200. I do have some leather left over for the door cards.

    Attached Files:

  18. The obvious answer here is yes, it seems too high..yet, considering all the factors and cost of things today, it isn't that far out of line.
    To be in this hobby today, the skills you possess has to be a consideration of what your next project should be.
    If you have skills, such as body/paint work, upholstery, mechanical, etc. it opens up opportunities that can make sense of fixing up/restoring a car.
    No skills?..major outlay of cash, wait times, potential frustrations of inadequate work performed, all come into play.
    Not a cheap hobby to be in, but really what is anymore?
    Personally, my level of work, isn't near the level of a professional, yet the satisfaction of doing it myself is the larger payoff (and hopefully my skill level improves as I go on).
    chryslerfan55, ClarkH, Nobey and 3 others like this.
  19. 33 cdan man
    Joined: Sep 15, 2016
    Posts: 193

    33 cdan man

    Full custom interior by a high end shop on my early Nova wagon. 100% leather throughout. $26K. Resized_20200513_172224[1573].jpeg Resized_20200515_115706[1624].jpg Resized952020061195103228[2220].jpg Resized_20200616_103450[2258].jpg 20200515_114459[1625].jpg IMG_4602[4412].jpg
  20. continentaljohn
    Joined: Jul 24, 2002
    Posts: 5,463


    Nothing is cheap anymore and all materials have gone up.
    The vinyl or leather is just a outer skin of materials. It’s amazing the materials that add up in costs like muslin ,cotton batting ,spray glue ,hog rings ,panel boards,welting ,cording ,sound proofing ,spring and then foam . I don’t know why but foam has always been expensive. I needed a chunk to build a coupe seat and it was 225 just for the blocks and I’m cutting it into bits to make a seat.
    I did a roadster interior for a buddy and have over 250 in materials and he supplied the seat springs.
  21. Hot Rods Ta Hell
    Joined: Apr 20, 2008
    Posts: 4,668

    Hot Rods Ta Hell

    15k for a vinyl interior? I'd say he's high balling the quote as he's already got enough work or he's acting as a middle man and ghosting it out to someone working out of their garage.

    But until the OP returns with details it's tough to make a detailed comment.

    What geographic location?
    What shop? Is this a 5 star shop that does Riddler and AMBR builds?
    Have you got any other bids?
    Have you asked for references from other local Rodders?
    chryslerfan55 and Lil32 like this.
  22. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 14,659

    jimmy six

    Thanks design is a 55 Ford Sunliner. They used 2 different horizontal pleat widths that year. This is the wider.
    ffr1222k likes this.
  23. Sky Six
    Joined: Mar 15, 2018
    Posts: 9,226

    Sky Six
    from Arizona

    What an outstanding job!
    Like I have said before; the nicer the nice, the higher the price.
    I refurbished the trunk of my '48 with materials from Hobby Lobby....sideboards which I cut, carpeting which I cut, vinyl which I cut, and Velcro strips from Ace Hardware. Yours was 26 grand and mine was two "C" notes. The difference is more than obvious.
    chryslerfan55 and choffman41 like this.
  24. treeman53
    Joined: Sep 9, 2021
    Posts: 49


    Okay, guess I wasn't thinking. Anyway, I am in Fairview, Pa a suburb of Erie. My car is a jalopy, nothing fancy. All I need done is seat covers, door panels, and new foam in front seat, possibly new carpet. Plain jane vinyl is all I'm looking for. Apparently, when I asked about interior redone, he assumed headliner, paint dash and window surrounds, ect. Wish I could find someone who does it as a side job...
  25. alanp561
    Joined: Oct 1, 2017
    Posts: 4,537


    Around the time I was 18, my friend James bought a cherry bodied '33 coupe roller. After installing a flathead, he and I tackled the interior. The seat was already rolled and pleated in red and white but there was no headliner, door or kick panels. We used thin Masonite for the door and kick panels and with my Mother's help, covered them in vinyl. Don't remember what we used under the vinyl but I know it wasn't expensive. The finished job looked a heck of a lot better than the interior in my beater '50 Ford.

    Five years ago, I planned to buy a complete interior for my '46 Merc 4 door, less carpet, from Lebaron Bonney. Price for an original style interior was right at $4500 and it still had to be installed. Unfortunately, they went out of business so, if the Merc is going to get a new interior, it may not be up to the standard of @33 cdan man 's but it will look finished.
    chryslerfan55 and lothiandon1940 like this.
  26. 1971BB427
    Joined: Mar 6, 2010
    Posts: 8,674

    from Oregon

    Prices are pretty high for interior work, and going higher all the time. I just couldn't afford the prices local shops were asking for my last interior, and that was half of the $15k you were quoted! So I broke down and bought a rebuilt older Singer commercial sewing machine, and ordered all the black vinyl I needed to do my '39 Chev coupe. I did seats, door and side panels, and the trunk divider panel; plus carpet, and a ready made headliner. Total cost for everything, including the sewing machine and headliner, was under $1000. I took several days doing the work, and screwed up the first bucket seat by making the covers a little big, so had to tear the seams out, and resew it. But once I got the hang of it the work went really well, and I actually enjoyed it.
    I saved $7k, and I own a sewing machine now, so if I want to do any repairs, or other leather/vinyl work for myself I can now.
  27. sidewayzz69
    Joined: Aug 9, 2020
    Posts: 394


    Not sure where you live. But wicked stitch, which are members here. She does excellent work. Very fair priced.
    ekimneirbo and dana barlow like this.
  28. Thats a smokin deal! Nothing that cheap around here
    dana barlow likes this.
  29. JimSibley
    Joined: Jan 21, 2004
    Posts: 3,834


    I have an upholsterer working out of my shop. A complete interior takes him about 3 weeks to do. His material cost is around 2250$ If he has to replace foam and door panel wood it can go much higher. This leaves him with 12750$ to work with. Assuming he works a 50 hour week, he is making 85.00$ an hour shop rate. Around here that is a very low shop rate, especially when you consider a mechanic shop asks 125-150$ an hour to change parts on your off topic car.
  30. 55blacktie
    Joined: Aug 21, 2020
    Posts: 791


    Expect to pay a "surcharge" for bragging rights. If your upholsterer is well known among the custom crowd, and everything is being made from scratch, $15,000 could be cheap. On the other hand, if ready-made upholstery is available for your specific vehicle, and that's what you're using, $15,000 is high. For example, ready-made seat materials (foam and upholstery) for my 55 Tbird cost $600-$700. Labor? Substituting leather for vinyl triples the cost of materials.
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2022
    chryslerfan55 likes this.

Share This Page

Register now to get rid of these ads!


Copyright © 1995-2021 The Jalopy Journal: Steal our stuff, we'll kick your teeth in. Terms of Service. Privacy Policy.

Atomic Industry
Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010-2014 XenForo Ltd.