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Kirkham Motorsports

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  • 2 Post By Dan Case
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Old 08-06-2018, 02:45 AM
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Default Dashboard leather

Anybody know whether leather for Cobra seats and dash panel came from the same cow (or same batch of leather) on the AC 'assembly line'? I'm talking about for individual cars
And the door pockets....I'm assuming these were leather and not vinyl/naugahyde? Same grade as used on the seats?

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Old 08-06-2018, 05:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xb-60 View Post
Anybody know whether leather for Cobra seats and dash panel came from the same cow (or same batch of leather) on the AC 'assembly line'? I'm talking about for individual cars
And the door pockets....I'm assuming these were leather and not vinyl/naugahyde? Same grade as used on the seats?

Cheers,
Glen
Based on published information when the cars were new, a single hide was used for a pair of seats. It was implied that meant a pair of seats in one chassis but did not state that as the case. I have not come across any chassis number marks by AC on seat chassis so there would not have been a way to easily keep a pair of seats together if ever separated from ‘their’ chassis.

Seat leather was not skived but all the rest was and there are several different ‘grain’ affects natural and man made. The only vinyl I have found in a Cobra (leaf spring chassis) is the red vinyl binding on red carpet, hood (a.k.a. top), side windows, most of the window pouch behind the seats, and most tool pouches.

There are quite a few pieces of leather in an original Cobra. The leather covering the instrument panel and glove box door are the hardest 'pieces' to get a texture anything remotely close to what AC Cars used. The original leather was usually more deeply textured as compared to anything else in the cars.



scuttle hoop cover in glove box
scuttle hoop supports at transmission
both design versions of cockpit door latch pull straps
cockpit door stay covers
top bow storage strap
rear inner wheel houses in cockpit
black carpet and side window pouch bindings
instrument panel
exterior of glove box door
glove box door stay
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Last edited by Dan Case; 08-06-2018 at 08:24 AM.. Reason: add details and picture
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Old 08-06-2018, 08:09 AM
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Original leather seemed to be a lot shinier than what I see on cars today. Especially the dash. Possibly a difference in tanning chemicals or dyes?
Larry
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Old 08-06-2018, 08:53 AM
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Quote:
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Original leather seemed to be a lot shinier than what I see on cars today. Especially the dash. Possibly a difference in tanning chemicals or dyes?
Larry

connollizing the leather made it shiny, was sprayed with a lacquer.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Connolly_Leather
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Old 08-06-2018, 05:23 PM
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Thanks for the information gentlemen.
It looks like the texture on the leather I have allocated for my dash panel is at least close to the ballpark…




Cheers,
Glen
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Old 08-06-2018, 08:50 PM
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I borrowed this photo from the guys at Rare Drive as it perfectly illustrates the leather placement on the scuttle hoop Dan was referring to. The smaller arrows point to tape on the firewall. Note the leather placement in two locations on the scuttle tube.

Larry


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Old 08-08-2018, 11:40 AM
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On the subject of trim leather, I've just fitted this in place of the Audi-style leather I had used originally. It's from UK Hide, worked out at around Ģ200 for a full hide. It comes at 1.2mm thick (0.047"), which is pretty much what's required from Dan's figures on thickness. It's pretty soft so nice to work with but holds the grain and texture well. It's not quite glossy enough, but comes up quite nicely with good ol' boot polish!
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Old 08-08-2018, 11:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FWB View Post
connollizing the leather made it shiny, was sprayed with a lacquer.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Connolly_Leather
I'm sure you're right and a spray lacquer would have been used: however as Dan will no doubt point out soon, AC did not use Connolly leather, or presumably therefore any of the Connolly processes in treating the leather. I'd love to know who their leather supplier was, and am doing a bit of research into this.
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Old 08-08-2018, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by rsk289 View Post
I'm sure you're right and a spray lacquer would have been used: however as Dan will no doubt point out soon, AC did not use Connolly leather, or presumably therefore any of the Connolly processes in treating the leather. I'd love to know who their leather supplier was, and am doing a bit of research into this.
Very cool! I'll be very interested to hear what you find out!
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Old 08-08-2018, 05:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rsk289 View Post
On the subject of trim leather, I've just fitted this in place of the Audi-style leather I had used originally. It's from UK Hide, worked out at around Ģ200 for a full hide. It comes at 1.2mm thick (0.047"), which is pretty much what's required from Dan's figures on thickness. It's pretty soft so nice to work with but holds the grain and texture well. It's not quite glossy enough, but comes up quite nicely with good ol' boot polish!
Very nice leather! Your grain/texture and thickness looks similar to mine.
Nice/correct Smiths gauges as well.

Cheers,
Glen
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Old 08-10-2018, 04:18 PM
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Maybe I got it wrong, but I thought it was a Naugahyde vynil of some sort on original dashboards.....thought I got that from an old thread on here???
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Old 08-10-2018, 04:41 PM
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Maybe I got it wrong, but I thought it was a Naugahyde vynil of some sort on original dashboards.....thought I got that from an old thread on here???
I believe you are thinking of coil spring suspension cars.
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Old 08-12-2018, 04:23 PM
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I believe you are thinking of coil spring suspension cars.
Thanks Dan - my bad (as the kids say).
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Old 08-12-2018, 10:36 PM
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Roger,

You mentioned in another thread from around four years ago...

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Originally Posted by rsk289 View Post
....I think it's just the dash bottom compound curvature that is the problem area, and some on the ACOC have suggested steam whilst glueing it down. I have spare scraps so will practice a couple of techniques first....
Did you have any trouble with that radius on the lower edge of the dash (in the area around the dropped-centre?) as mentioned above?
Also, the radius into my glovebox opening is quite severe; any suggestions as to how to handle this area? I'm assuming that the most likely solution here is pie-cutting?

Cheers,
Glen
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Old 08-13-2018, 12:46 AM
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Hi Glen,

The leather I'm using this time, in full thickness as supplied (i.e. 0.040-0.050") stretched sufficiently to fit around the centre 'drop-down' area with little difficulty. The 'grain' is a little stretched in this area but this mirrors original cars, from photos I have seen.
The glovebox returns were a different matter. The larger radius end was not too bad, but took a fair bit of pulling and stretching to get close. I took my time and gradually it moved in the right direction. I use a professional contact adhesive which is extremely strong and once the leather could reach where it needed to be the adhesive held it there OK.
The smaller radius end was really tricky. I tried steam, and a hot air gun (having checked on scrap first!), but in truth this made little difference and in the end it was just down to careful stretching. I ended up using Mole Grips (Vise Grips in the US?? Not sure), pulling the leather up tight by closing the jaws until they locked. 4 pairs of these pulled it up where I needed it, but I was fully expecting the leather to tear. It's tough stuff - it didn't, and looks fine around that end too now.
You can't pie-cut the bit that needs it, because this is the visible area on the glove box hole return. You can do the ends that are unseen for obvious reasons.
I'm assuming the originals were done in a similar way. If you're used to working with leather (I'm getting there, but would never count myself an expert) I suspect this is a lot easier.
I'll post photos when it's all done and dusted.
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Old 09-13-2018, 12:12 PM
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Default Glovebox Leather

The glovebox leather has a very thin horsehair padding under it, so it is only glued to the back.
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Old 09-13-2018, 04:13 PM
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It's actually a cotton wadding, not horsehair. Woolies sell this.
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