Looking for ideas to redo the interior

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Wounddo
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Looking for ideas to redo the interior

Post by Wounddo » Mon Apr 03, 2017 7:32 am

I am a newbie with a 1978 Fiat 2000 that runs great, has a good exterior ( a few hairline cracks int he bondo) but the interior is beaten. The passenger and rear seats are still intact but really faded. I am looking for pictures of interesting ideas for interiors. I have read about a company called Caribou but also figure some of you have had your own ideas to really dress up the interiors. I have the standard wood instrument panel in OK shape and of course, the cracked dash top with the vents covered with the velcor cover but am looking to do something classy to it. Also, what kinds of carpeting are people using as what I pulled out of mine is yellow and faded and brittle.
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friedman
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Re: Looking for ideas to redo the interior

Post by friedman » Mon Apr 03, 2017 12:25 pm

In my mind a classy spider interior is mostly stock. Add a nice steering wheel and maybe the early five instrument gauge panel. Black or burgundy interiors are nice, tan is not (my opinion). Later spider wood inserts look very cheap. Stock seats actually look very nice when refoamed and soft vinyl is used.

By the way, my spiders never had classy interiors, I'm partial to the "I'm headed to a track day" look.
Carl in Virginia
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cyber104
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Re: Looking for ideas to redo the interior

Post by cyber104 » Mon Apr 03, 2017 12:41 pm

It's hard to tell you what might look good because you would probably want to just go with "period correct"

Since the "Spider 2000" didn't come out until 1979 it might be a good idea to post a picture of what you have.

1978 would have been an 1800.
Chris
1982 Fiat Spider
Davidson, NC (formerly from Newark, DE)
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rridge
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Re: Looking for ideas to redo the interior

Post by rridge » Mon Apr 03, 2017 1:38 pm

There's classy and then there is usable. The sun can make top down convertibles with black seats quite uncomfortable. Second time convertible owners tend to make another seat color choice if they are serious about using the cars regularly. Having to sit on towels is not classy.

Cost is also a factor for most of us. Like non-metallic single stage "resale red" paint for the exterior, black is the interior color of choice for flippers because it is usually cheaper. If you don't want to replace the entire interior, you can always paint non-matching replacements panels black. Tan interiors are perhaps the most difficult to color match because there are so many shades of tan.

Spider's are not investment grade collector vehicles. Owners are free to make choices based on their personal taste. Regardless of the colors you choose you will not be recouping the cost of a new interior when you sell it though an unconventional color choice can make finding the right buyer more difficult.

Often the best way to sort out what most appeals to you and to others is to look a number of other Spiders first. Attend a few Italian car shows if you can and see cars in person and side by side.
Richard
'81 Turbo Spider
Rockville, MD
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rconlon@ou.edu
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Re: Looking for ideas to redo the interior

Post by rconlon@ou.edu » Mon Apr 03, 2017 1:39 pm

Good interior material can be painted and look great and will last.
Ronald Conlon
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1979 Fiat Spider 1999 to 2017
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San Jose Steve
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Re: Looking for ideas to redo the interior

Post by San Jose Steve » Mon Apr 03, 2017 3:26 pm

I had my upholstery re-done in tan. The door panels were in good shape but the shade of tan was different than the new seats / boot cover. The shop offered to dye (spray paint essentially) the door panels to match the new upholstery for an additional $70. I thought it was going to be a bad call, but I was proven totally wrong.

18 years later, I still have the car. I have to really look hard to notice that the color has "thinned" just a bit in one spot from my left elbow always rests on it. The color match was...and still is really good. I'm amazed that it has lasted so long. I would not hesitate to color my doors again. Not sure how it would hold up on a drivers seat, but for the doors, it's been great......

-Steve (The Fiat Driving) Ferrari
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jseabolt
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Re: Looking for ideas to redo the interior

Post by jseabolt » Mon Apr 03, 2017 3:30 pm

I made add a few things. I didn't see this mentioned but from my experience, I would not use that vinyl paint on the front seats. It will rub off in no time. I would not even recommend this stuff on the rear seats because the paint will eventually stick to the rear window of the top when it get's hot. Door panels maybe but the window cranks may eventually rub it off.

If you want to make the door panels and center console shine, try this stuff:

Image

You can get it at about any hardware store or Wal-Mart.

Here's some before and after shots of my Polaris ATV:

Image

Image

I used this on the interior of my Brava and it worked well. Speaking of seats. I had the rear seat recovered for $400 but new front seats for about $300 a set off Ebay. I also painted the carpet because new carpet was unavailable and because it's molded, figured it would be too hard to make. It was rough as a cob if you touched it but looked better than before.

Image

Image

Other budget interior mods. 1987 Honda CRX seats with CoverKing seat covers:

Image

Carpet: If you don't want to spend bucks on a carpet seat, by a $20 roll some indoor/outdoor carpet from Lowes and use the original carpet as a pattern:

Image

Rustoleum Fusion works well on hard plastic like the map pockets:

Image
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friedman
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Re: Looking for ideas to redo the interior

Post by friedman » Tue Apr 04, 2017 8:19 am

If you just want to see what people have done, Google Fiat 124 spider and look at the "images" link. You will see page after page of spider pics.
Carl in Virginia
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PhillySpider
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Re: Looking for ideas to redo the interior

Post by PhillySpider » Sat May 06, 2017 4:38 am

I love my tan interior and tan top. IMO black always looks good, but I hated it in my Saab 900 convertible due to how fricken hot it got, even just sitting at a light. First time I saw her the top was up and I really thought it was unique. I also have the tan leather across the bottom of the dash. Not sure when the two tone dash started, but it realy pulls everything together. I have the original window sticker that shows the leather upgrade for $395...wonder if that dash only came with leather?...hmmm. Anywho, my vote is for a stock tan interior or anything but blue :)
"Life is what happens while you're busy making plans"
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1980 FI Spider 2000 MT
2014 Audi A4 MT
2014 Mercedes C300 AT
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rridge
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Re: Looking for ideas to redo the interior

Post by rridge » Sat May 06, 2017 8:57 am

Caribou is long gone. Sold Fiat parts mostly on low price and that was not enough to overlook their service and quality issues. Black interiors in convertibles are a mistake that most owners only make once. The cheapest route good fitting seats for a late Spider are seats from another late Spider in better condition. The vinyl used in the Spider 2000's was high quality. The foam often fails first but can be replaced by an upholsterer. Many late Spiders but particularly those with color matching on the lower dash had leather interiors.
Richard
'81 Turbo Spider
Rockville, MD
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