Author Topic: Looking for info on seat originality  (Read 868 times)

RichardPercival

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Looking for info on seat originality
« on: March 21, 2024, 03:11:55 »
Hi there
I can’t see the details about different seat types on the w113 in the Tech Guide. I believe there may have been 5 types.
The number on my seat frame matches my build sheet and the horsehair pads/muslins look unmolested and are dated earlier in 1966 (my car was built Sep/oct 1966)
However some have said the pleating being closed at the front of the seat and top of the backrest was only on 280SLs. The leather matches all the rest in the car though for color and type (bronze brown) Does anyone have a definitive answer?

Thoughts or help greatly appreciated!
Thanks
Rich
Thanks,
Rich


1966 Mercedes 230SL (Euro model)

RichardPercival

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Re: Looking for info on seat originality
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2024, 03:18:47 »
Bottom edge of pleats look normal and open - also the leather here where not exposed as covered by the seat back looks perfect and supple and of the right type (surface dyed only not through the whole skin)

Pad date of 1966 shows they’ve never been changed, and the owner since the early 80s said they had not changed the seats or covers.
Thanks,
Rich


1966 Mercedes 230SL (Euro model)

DaveB

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Re: Looking for info on seat originality
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2024, 07:23:34 »
Aaron Householder is the guy who'll know.

Das Auto Shoppe
W Summit Hill Dr SW
Knoxville, TN 37902
865-680-8888
DaveB
'65 US 230sl 4-speed, DB190

RichardPercival

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Re: Looking for info on seat originality
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2024, 12:40:34 »
Thanks Dave!

Now I’ve found this thread:
https://www.sl113.org/forums/index.php?topic=30625.0
It looks like as per Achim (who wrote a PagodaWorld article on the topic) my seats would be the 4th type (already thicker as on 250 and 280) introduced in ‘66 but that at some point the final post ‘69 style covers for seat type 5 were put on.
The main reason for the quedtion is that the piping has split on one side of the drivers seat and I was looking whether to repair it or change to new covers with the open seams.
These seats are the correct bronze brown that matches the rest of the car so it maybe better to repair them since apparently getting proper bronze brown is now very difficult and so any new seats will not color match well. Perhaps then it’s better to leave the car with its overall patina and just clean up/repair - then one day if I feel rich I can redo the whole interior along with bare metal respray etc. if only it were as simple as opening the seams at the ends by cutting the stitching! ;D
Thanks,
Rich


1966 Mercedes 230SL (Euro model)

DaveB

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Re: Looking for info on seat originality
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2024, 14:11:05 »
I’d lean toward just the basic repair as the covers look good otherwise.
But if the pads & springs are worn then it might be time to replace everything and get new seat covers too. Maybe you can request leather samples in that case.
DaveB
'65 US 230sl 4-speed, DB190

DaveB

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Re: Looking for info on seat originality
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2024, 14:28:30 »
BTW in the vintage guitar and antique furniture worlds patina is highly valued and there are specialists in artificial aging. I can’t see that catching on for vehicles but I personally like the honest wear. Of course it’s  also good to see the factory correct total restorations.
DaveB
'65 US 230sl 4-speed, DB190

Jonny B

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Re: Looking for info on seat originality
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2024, 15:18:09 »
The change to the closed or stitched together pleats occurred at 280 SL VIN ending in 13417. See Pagoda Notes issues Volume 11 no. 2 - available to full members.

My car is 12730 and it has the open pleats.
Jonny B
1967 250 SL Auto, DB 568
1970 280 SL Auto, DB 904
1966 Morris Mini Minor

Vander

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Re: Looking for info on seat originality
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2024, 15:41:21 »
I have a W112 and the window sticker shows "Bronce 5400" and option code "392 Special Upholstery Leather".

If yours is the same color, it is rare and was Special order from the factory. Have you checked to see if anyone is reproducing that color, such as GAHH? If it is not available, that will make your decision for you on which route to choose.
1969 280SL

114015

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Re: Looking for info on seat originality
« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2024, 12:48:47 »
Quote
The change to the closed or stitched together pleats occurred at 280 SL VIN ending in 13417. See Pagoda Notes issues Volume 11 no. 2 - available to full members.

Hi Richard,

Sorry that I jump in here so late.
(I was that ugly guy who wrote this cited article).
Yes, everything mentioned here is correct.
Your seat covers have been changed sometime in the past,
maybe before the last owner who had the car since the 1980ies.

My 2 cents (also agree with DaveB) - keep your old leather now and .... perhaps for ever.
It looks good, you will hardly find leather samples exactly the same.

By the way, what does your datacard say for the interior, MB-Tex 113 (bronze) or leather 218 (bronze)?


Quote
if only it were as simple as opening the seams at the ends by cutting the stitching!


If you wanted to (that is what I would do if it were my car) you can ...open the stiched-together seams during an attempt to whatsoever grade of careful (!) renovation you would want to apply to your interior at some indefinite time in the future.
However, this is a interior shop's job that is not as easy as just opening the stiching as the ends are folded a bit differently (I try to catch a pic later....)
But better do not replace the current interior.  Looking pretty damned good.

Just my 2 cents

Achim
(Pagoda seats and orginal leather aficionado)
Achim
(Germany)

RichardPercival

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Re: Looking for info on seat originality
« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2024, 15:41:23 »
Thankyou all!

I definitely will go the repair route since the seats apart from the drivers side piping are in great condition.

I know from paperwork that the original owner kept the car until he imported it to California from West Germany in 1981. However he sold it at some point between then and 1986 when the last owner in Vermont bought it (they did not change the covers) so must have happened in the mid 80’s when some work was done underneath no doubt to remove rust. I have the sales ad from 1986 where it refers to restoration work underneath but nothing of the interior but presumably the seat covers were replaced with possibly original ones to the later post 1970 design. All 4 back and base frames have the number from my build sheet, as do the carpeted back seat panels and all the horsehair pads still have 1966 date stamps.

Vanner, the color leather (218) was available as standard for this model but was not the recommended combination with 461 bronze brown paint so was lid not a special order, certainly one that required a deposit as unusual! The sunvisors appear to still be the original cream/ivory color (I think only cream or grey were available on 230) and since the hardtop  headliner looks about the same I would guess it’s also cream/ivory.
If anyone knows the suggested color from the factory to go with a 461 hardtop I’d love to know but can’t decipher it from the build sheet.
The carpet color combo recommended from the factory was brown which surprised me as my carpets are original (still have the rubber gear shift gator molded in) but look more beige in color. I find it hard to believe they’ve faded that much but on taking off the back seat panel the edge that never saw sunlight does look darker (see pic)  Anyone have thoughts? I’m not sure beige was even a carpet color option even if the whole build was ‘special order’
As I’d like to keep the carpets if possible I wonder if anyone has experience of if they can be cleaned and repaired since there are a few pulls and I’d replace the two panels running by the doors if I could as very frayed.


Thanks Achim, do you know if to open the seams the upholsterer would need to redo the piping and take the sides of the seat off the front panel, or could the folds you mention be handled without completely taking the cover apart. Since I need to get the piping on one seat redone, now might be the time to do the seams as well! Any photos you have would be greatly appreciated as I can then give detailed instructions to the upholsterer.
Thanks,
Rich


1966 Mercedes 230SL (Euro model)

BobH

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February 1965 230SL Automatic
UK delivered RHD
Papyrus white, blue hard top & hub caps
Blue soft top
Blue leather

RichardPercival

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Re: Looking for info on seat originality
« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2024, 10:07:31 »
Thanks, I’ve looked at both before but they don’t tell me the hardtop headliner color that was recommended. It’s a moot point as my color paint only shows up as connected to cream leather. Otherwise bronze brown paint isn’t included with any of the other leather colors on the table! Nor in the paint section is there even a pic of a car with it..
My 218 bronze leather (5400) is recommended with 462 Tunis beige paint instead and apparently nothing else - so perhaps it was special order.. My 728 brown beige soft top is equally never usually recommended!?

Sadly my brown rubber floor mats have long since disappeared (I still have the brown rubber sill strips) - I wish I could find replacement mats but have never seen anything but grey being reproduced :( If anyone has ideas there I’d love to hear them!

Thanks,
Rich


1966 Mercedes 230SL (Euro model)

BobH

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Re: Looking for info on seat originality
« Reply #12 on: March 23, 2024, 11:39:23 »
Ok, the full interior colour combinations were printed in a book, there are sample pages at the bottom of this page

https://www.sl113.org/wiki/DataCard/UpholsteryCodes

The full book is available to view, there's a link to the Flipbook site, but you need to register to view it

For your upholstery code 218 the headliner colour was cream, the sunvisors should match this
« Last Edit: March 23, 2024, 15:13:14 by BobH »
February 1965 230SL Automatic
UK delivered RHD
Papyrus white, blue hard top & hub caps
Blue soft top
Blue leather

RichardPercival

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Re: Looking for info on seat originality
« Reply #13 on: March 23, 2024, 16:29:29 »
Thanks Bob! I’m glad to say that is what the visors and headliner look to be. I took my visors off and cleaned them but glad to say they are fine apart from being filthy after years of top down driving. I plan to spray paint the headliner to cover the usual staining  so can hopefully get a cream paint for that.
Thanks,
Rich


1966 Mercedes 230SL (Euro model)