A long time friend of ours, Sean, has had this Alpine White convertible for some time. He mostly keeps it for cruising those hot summer nights. Over the years we’ve gone through almost every corner of this little cabrio. Slowly but surely, we are turning it in to one fine example of what a classic Bimmer should be. Today, we are finally giving some attention to the once plush Cardinal Red interior.
If you’re not familiar with the e30 Cabriolet, they’ve got some pretty unique characteristics. For example, every cabrio came with a Sport interior from the factory. On top of that, the sport seats, with their extra large bolsters for keeping you from flying off the edge of your seat, have horizontal stitching (instead of vertical like coupes). If the devil’s in the details, this is one HELL of a car! Needless to say, keeping up such a fine interior is key to maintaining the appeal and value of these beauties. Unfortunately, they are often neglected and left in the sun with the top down, open to the elements, etc. Luckily, we discovered a great tool for restoring, and more importantly, maintaining interiors of such pedigree.
Leatherique is a process that is really quite easy to do if you have some down time.
We're going to great extents to take care of our friend's car. Including filling cracked leather, dying, and repairing these old seats. However, if you're seats are not quite as weathered, the two-step Leatherique system is a breeze! Find it here in our store, it even comes with instructions!
- Repair/replace heating elements, bolsters, and mechanics using parts from donor seats
- Apply Leatherique to all leather parts
- Dye both front seats
- Replace rear seat with a re-upholstered vinyl seat
This process begins with a little prep work. Now, it is possible to do this with the seats still in the car, but with all the work we are doing to these, we find it easier to take them out. First step is to clean the seats. We use an air hose to blow out all the bits from the seats as well as go over them thoroughly with a vacuum. While you are at it, you should blow out debris from the mechanical parts and spray them with white lithium grease, or similar lubricant. This is an important step, as these seats will actually malfunction if they are not kept clean and lubricated. I have “fixed” several seats that had issues with the backs not sta
ying latched into place by simply cleaning and lubricating these mechanisms, so don't be shy!
Next we apply the Leatherique Rejuvenator Oil. We find it quite handy to use a spray nozzle to coat the seat surface evenly. Now it's time to put on some gloves and get a little oily. To really get the full effect, the oil needs to be rubbed into the leather quite generously.
Once the seats have been fully immersed in Rejuvenator Oil, they will need to sit for several hours to completely absorb the oil. We like to cover them with plastic bags so that they can be handled/moved easily. We then place the seats in the sun or under a hot lamp of sorts to allow a decent amount of heat to permeate the leather. Covering the seats with bags, also helps protect the seats in this step, so they are not in direct light. If you are leaving the seats in your car, you can easily park your car in the sun with the windows up to create a sort of "sauna" for the leather.
We're going to let these seats soak in the sun while we work on the next project. Check back later as we go over the rest of the Leatherique process, and try to get this gem of a cabrio shined up a bit. We'll also be covering other interesting BImmer projects such as the '69 2002, and potentially a [gasp] e30 325 pickup truck...