Trying to pick the seat upholstery for Mavis is like choosing one outfit to wear every day for the rest of your life. Dramatic, I know, but unless you’re Steve Jobs or don’t give a shit, that would suck. Currently, Mavis is donning the equivalent of a wallflower’s dress that’s been dragged through the dirt.
I liked the idea of finding the fabric first, then basing the car color on that. I knew that I was leaning towards green, so after seeing this phenomenal fabric in a ’75 Maverick, I was determined to find it.
You can see how Ford was going for that Western feel with the Native American blanket like fabric and of course, naming the car ‘Maverick’, like the wild beast that it is. In fact, this ad from 1970 really drives this vibe home.
But then there’s this…a bit confusing, but good to know that this car will get me to and from my dive trips to the lake…with a little more jazz.
There’s an auto upholstery shop in Denver that had book after book of amazing Ford fabrics throughout the ’70’s. I think I spent about 2 hours pouring over swatches in their back room. There was a possibility of ordering some of these vintage fabrics!
I looked at fuzzy stuff…too itchy:
Knitted vinyl anyone? Without AC in the car, this option seemed a bit ‘sweaty’ if you get my drift:
I even found Mavis’s original sad sad fabric, #2123 below:
Then I found it…the original fabric from the ’75 Mav I fell in love with, swatch number 512.
The owner of the shop boasted the whole time about his connections and how he had a line on vintage fabrics. When I showed him this he said, “Yeah, but not that one.” Anyway, if he had been able to get his hands on it, it would have run me about $300 a yard. I’d determined I needed about 5 yards, so this was a no-go, but it was already a no-go because I couldn’t fucking find it. At this point, I’d fallen for the green stripe look, so I carried on, searching for another green striped fabric in my price range.
Over a year ago, in Kentucky, Pop and I had found a third generation upholstery operation called, appropriately, Seat Cover Jim’s. Now Jim is a good guy, as was his father Jim and I can only assume the same for his grandfather, Jim. I liked their sign, it leaves nothing to the imagination.
When we first met Jim, he thought that maybe grandpa had a stash of that amazing ’75 fabric tucked away in his warehouse. Now Jim could not be a nicer guy, but he is the epitome of the concept that everything goes a little slower down south. Momma and Pop call it, “Kentucky Time.” I think I waited an agonizing 4 months before he actually walked over to the warehouse to look for the fabric, only to tell me he didn’t have it. But can you blame him? Look at the thing!
But Seat Cover Jim did come through for me in the long run. He found a beautiful, affordable, green striped upholstery fabric that I really liked. He ordered it, I waited over a year, then my seats were done! I’m giving Jim a hard time, but the reality is that I’m not close to being done with the car and the seats are really the last thing I’ll install. He probably could have dragged it out another year or so. But, without further ado….the seats. Aren’t they pretty!!??
Seat Cover Jim III did a beautiful job and has been nothing but kind throughout the whole project. Thank you, Seat Cover Jim, for being a part of Mavis’ rebirth. And if anyone is on “Kentucky Time”, it’s me, as July was the start of the 4th year since I first felt the tickle of Mavis in my para menopausal womb. But, things are speeding up! As of this writing, Mavis has received her rockin’ 6- banger and we’re hoping to start her up next visit! Yes, you heard me right. Stay tuned and much love!