A guy who is selling me some at parts has 4 old leather seats with vertical seams. They are 46 by 16inches, are they seats for an early leather model t? He wants 20 bucks a peice for them, how hard would it be to cut them down to fit in my old beat up touring car until I can afford to buy better seats?
Cutting down old spring seats keeping a good look and function isn't easy - you'll be better off searching for fitting springs and cover them with fitting upholstery. Until then a piece of foam mattress covered in burlap/blanket might soften the ride?
Lots of guys are looking for serviceable old seats to fit their cars which have "patina." I'd try to figure out what car they fit and connect them with the owner of such a car. Pictures posted here probably would help toward that end.
Model Ts never had vertical seams with leather, so what whatever he has did not come from a Model T. Model T leather seats were diamond tufted or sewn diamonds. Vertical seams were used on back rests starting in 1915 and straight seamed seat cushions started about 1917. By the time straight seams were used the material was Ford's artificial leather which was more like oilcloth. The closest product we have today would be called vinyl.
You don't sat what year of car you have, or body style. What is your plan for the car? Do you want a "survivor" type look? Or are you just cheap, are good with a needle and thread, to get by until you can do it right? You will learn a LOT playing with upholstery.
: ^ )
I am going for a survival type look. I have an early touring car, mostly 1916 with some 1919. I am slowly working on bringing it back to 1916 with that barn find look. All the mechanics have pretty much been worked through and redone, but the outside is old and worn. I wanted to find some old worn seats to put in it until I get the budget and the desire to restore the body and put new seats into it. I will buy the old seats if possible and try to figure out what they belong to.
But if the leather covered seat springs are larger than what will fit in your car, then it's not so easy to reduce the size - look at this photo of typical Model T seat springs:
(originally posted by Dan Treace)
To reduce the size of seat springs like that you'll have to disassemble them and reassemble them like you're the seat spring maker.
Snyder's makes seat springs if you're not into learning the trade - and there should still be a few extra original Model T size seat springs around to find (1916-21 is supposed to be the same)