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Retro Seats for R53

  #1  
Old 03-09-2019, 07:00 AM
Oldboy Speedwell
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Retro Seats for R53

Even before I actually owned my R53, I had visions of adding a few retro touches and classic bucket seats was one of those elements.

Now after living with the leatherette for almost a year I'm even more keen to swap them out because they're hot in the summer and become numbing on longer drives.

NAM seems to agree about the sweaty leatherette!



Must include here because on topic,
warm leatherette!


This is all still down the road though, end-of-the-rainbow cherry-on-top finishing touch stuff for after I finally get my car properly sorted with all the mods I wanna do.

Can anyone tell me what the weight of the stock seats are?

The weight savings with aftermarket seats should be fairly substantial.

This was all on the backburner and off my mind of no immediate concern until I saw a car fitted out with the same style of seats that I dig so much, the first time I've seen them installed on a modern MINI ---
it's this rather incredible car in the NAM classifieds:

https://www.northamericanmotoring.co...28k-miles.html

If you look at the pix in the link provided, you see the seats pictured, although with a fish eye lens which makes it a little difficult to discern, but you get the general idea.

I was stoked too see that someone else had the same vision as me!

The owner chose GTS Sebring seats.

https://www.classiccarseats.com/index.php

A very reputable company who makes quality goods from what I've read.

They're a bit more pricey than other variants in the same style though.

At first when all this was in my head, I gravitated toward the Cobra GT3 seat just because I think it looks supercool:




Fitted to a vintage Z-car:



But after living with the stock vinyl seats for a while now, I'm not really convinced that those grommets in the GT3 will be very effective for cooling, probably only offering minimal effect.

So,
cloth would be great.

And,
they offer the RS with a houndstooth option.
It would match my Pepper White & Black car methinks,
or maybe not?
I dunno.
Over the top or A.O.K.?



I was having trouble finding these seats Stateside though, and had thought that I'd likely have to order them from England,
some place like this:
https://www.sportseats4u.co.uk/histo...s/cat_177.html

But,
recently discovered Sube Sports who sells them here.
Yay!

The GT3 is more expensive than the RS for some reason,
at $749.
https://www.subesports.com/cobra/gt3...ssic/cob-11117

The RS goes for
$449.
https://www.subesports.com/cobra/classic-rs/cob-11017

On the RS though, it's stock with corduroy (which may actually be very good for grippiness?) and to add the houndstooth option it's about $200 more.

There are of course economy options ala eBay:




An unbeatable price for a pair, but you get what you pay for and I'd reckon those things are super cheap feeling and not worth the trouble, probably stinky too with gross smelling low quality vinyl, and I highly doubt they'd be hard wearing.
 
  #2  
Old 03-10-2019, 07:12 AM
Oldboy Speedwell
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.

I also like the Cobra Nogaro:




But they are quite pricey.

The carbon version weighs in at a scant 11.5 pounds!
Cost around $4,500 each.
The grp version weighs in at 22 pounds.
Around $1,200 each.

Cobra seats are made in England, so of course they can be made bespoke to any specification.

The customized options add up real quick though.

I really like these Nogaros optioned with houndstooth + grommets:

 

Last edited by Oldboy Speedwell; 03-10-2019 at 07:17 AM.
  #3  
Old 03-10-2019, 07:19 AM
Joshua P
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I have been wanting to do the same thing that you are. There is a company that specializes in them in the UK and I may start helping them import them. Take a look at let me know what you think.

https://www.facebook.com/broadhuntingclub/
 

Last edited by Joshua P; 03-15-2019 at 05:17 AM.
  #4  
Old 03-10-2019, 07:42 AM
Oldboy Speedwell
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Originally Posted by Joshua P View Post
I have been wanting to do the same thing that you are. There is a company that specilispec in them in the UK and I may start helping them import them. Take a look at let me know what you think.

https://www.facebook.com/broadhuntingclub/

Oh hellyeah!

Those are pretty damn rad!

It'd be unbelievably great to have them fitted at the factory...



Corbeau makes good stuff no doubt.

The wide range of tartan choices on the B-Road Hunting Club page is droolworthy.



 
  #5  
Old 03-10-2019, 11:26 AM
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Reminds me of the Singer Porsches. One day I'd like to apply the Singer treatment to my MC40.


 
  #6  
Old 03-10-2019, 03:56 PM
Oldboy Speedwell
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No doubt.

I love those Singer Porsches!

Way above my paygrade though, I'm more on the lower Outlaw level LOL with aspirations toward Gruppe R!

MC40 would be perfect for the Singer treatment!

On theme would be some Paddy Hopkirk seats!





Maybe find a way to fit a Paddy pedal too!



MC40 was my first MINI love and I almost got one but it was in Florida and sold before I could make it down there.
I think they're supercool.
 
  #7  
Old 03-14-2019, 09:20 AM
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I've been bouncing around researching this topic further.

By reading the Pelican Parts forum with the vintage Porsche guys, the biggest deficiency related to this style of seat is a lack of lateral support, but I think I'd be okay with that since my car is a daily and will likely never be on a track unfortunately (I do dream of hitting up Road Atlanta though!).

I found another contemporary maker of seats this style, but they are based in Germany.

BF Torino
http://shop.bf-torino.com/shop_start/

Their offerings look amazingly similar to the GTS line, but their site is better because they list dimensions and weights.

I really like the Nürburgring with houndstooth option:




It weighs in at a very light 15.4 pounds.

:



I've also been exploring the historical aspects of this seat design. It's very popular and has been made with slight differing interpretations through many years.
In many ways parallel to the minilite wheel design, of which I posted a thread earlier on, but only concentrated on modern MINI offerings while excluding all the classic variants which would have expanded the post into a behemoth of massive proportion because there were so many variants available.

https://www.northamericanmotoring.co...ite-wheel.html

:


So,
one of the coolest variants of what I call a "retro rallybucket" was made by Recaro.





Their earlier design was conventional and was quite similar to all the other makers:




That seat is known as the Rallye I.

It was the later design, known as the Rallye II which was ingeniously revolutionary in my opinion:




Although they do look heavier, they also offer more of a practical and utilitarian application in that they hinge forward, making them ideal for a 3 door hatchback.

Here's a set installed in a vintage VW bug:




Of course, those are long out-of-production and hard to find nowadays.

But GTS does offer a replica variant which was based on the design,
they call it the GranTurismoSport:

https://www.classiccarseats.com/granturismosport.php

It's a beautiful seat I think!

 

Last edited by Oldboy Speedwell; 03-14-2019 at 09:28 AM.
  #8  
Old 03-15-2019, 08:17 AM
Oldboy Speedwell
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Invariably, while searching for seats of this style, you will come across all the JDM variants of which there are many.

Stuff like the Bride Histrix for example:




I like the slatted cushion design on those, it's sort of unusual as not many makers utilize that technique.

I like this design better though because it has more of a proper headrest,
made by Autolook:





That slatted style may have originated with early 70's supercars I think?

Came across these fitted to the 1970 conceptual prototype De Tomaso Pantera which is the earliest example I've yet found:



Something similar was fitted to the Maserati Bora:



An interesting note regarding those Maserati Bora seats:

Thoroughbred & Classic Cars Magazine, issue 2/19, wrote:

"From outside, the seats look very unusual and not very comfortable with their sloping, ribbed design that virtually extends to the floor. But once you position yourself they hug the contours of your body and legs like a pocket-sprung mattress. They're so comfortable it's amazing. The innovative way you adjust the driving position is really interesting too. The high-pressure hydraulic system that Citroën supplied (it owned Maserati at the time) is used to adjust the rear of the seat up and down with one switch, and there's another for moving the pedal cluster in and out instead of moving the seat fore and aft. They are handily placed to the left of the steering column, just below the ignition switch. It's a practical idea and you can get a really good driving position."


Anyways,
I digress.

Many of the Miata guys go with Nakamae seats and they look to be of excellent quality:



A great write-up with excellent detail photos,
here:
https://forum.miata.net/vb/showthread.php?t=655655



A company called Quattro made these which closely resemble the Recaro Rallye II's:




Much of the vintage Japanese stuff is highly sought after though,
so the prices tend to be on the high side.

Many avenues available to procure such stuff due to popularity of JDM aftermarket parts,
like here:
https://www.get-jpn.com/collections/seats
 
  #9  
Old 03-15-2019, 03:34 PM
Joshua P
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Originally Posted by Oldboy Speedwell View Post

Oh hellyeah!

Those are pretty damn rad!

It'd be unbelievably great to have them fitted at the factory...



Corbeau makes good stuff no doubt.

The wide range of tartan choices on the B-Road Hunting Club page is droolworthy.



I am about to pull the trigger on a set for my set of seats with this pattern and can probably score a decent deal for others if they are interested. Let me know ASAP as I'll be ordering within the next week.

I have also asked the B_Road guys to comment on this post so they can also answer questions.

 
  #10  
Old 03-16-2019, 05:04 AM
Oldboy Speedwell
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Originally Posted by Joshua P View Post
I am about to pull the trigger on a set for my set of seats with this pattern and can probably score a decent deal for others if they are interested. Let me know ASAP as I'll be ordering within the next week.

I have also asked the B_Road guys to comment on this post so they can also answer questions.

Most excellent!

Be sure to throw up some pix after you get 'em from B_RHC.

Seats are still down the road a bit for me, scheduled for after most other mods are done on my car.
 
  #11  
Old 03-16-2019, 05:45 AM
Oldboy Speedwell
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More research stuff:

Here's a set of Scheel buckets in an old BMW 2002 Schnitzer.




As with the Recaro Rallye seats, there is high demand for these vintage seats amongst collectors who are critical about period correctness.
Unbelievable prices being paid!
https://bringatrailer.com/listing/po...s-sport-seats/

:

:

From the Corbeau line, the GT8 is my favorite:

https://www.corbeau-seats.com/produc...o-bucket-seat/



GT4 looks good too!



But,
is it just me?
Lady in the Corbeau ad looks like Dr. Frank N. Furter!
LOL




:

:

Also,
bouncing around more I typed in siège baquet to see what may pop up...

...came across a company I'd never heard of:




I've always been a fan of that quilted style which was fitted to many an Alpine Renault.



They just look the business:



 

Last edited by Oldboy Speedwell; 03-16-2019 at 06:08 AM.
  #12  
Old 03-16-2019, 06:29 AM
Oldboy Speedwell
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Getting back to B_RHC...

...this viddie is all aces up the snuff good stuff!


I really dig the whole aesthetic of the B_Road Hunting Club as I'm primarily a squiggly back-roads guy myself:
https://www.northamericanmotoring.co...ate-route.html

 
  #13  
Old 03-17-2019, 06:30 AM
Oldboy Speedwell
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Although whenever I do the seat conversion I'll more than likely be keeping the stock 3-point belts,
I wanted to add in this thread these neat old harnesses from the early Challenge days:

This set recently sold for around $65.
They are not track-legal due to expiry date, but would be okay for street if one was so inclined?

Very cool with the mk1 JCW logo!






:

They were also made with the earlier JOHN COOPER MOTORSPORT logo:



Also,
the JCM seats:









 
  #14  
Old 03-23-2019, 08:37 AM
Oldboy Speedwell
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:

Yet browsing further with searchterm バケットシート led me to see this cool SPEEDWELL seat which I really like:




Unsure if it is an actual authentic vintage item or a modern repro --- Japan has a rather strong market for stuff like that,
for example:

https://www.les-leston.com/

Les Leston still has a shop there!



Also found a nice looking factory Toyota seat:





A brand called Hippo makes a replica of the TRD seat:



I'm having fun looking into this stuff!

 
  #15  
Old 03-31-2019, 06:00 AM
Oldboy Speedwell
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Joshua P
...any updates on the B_Road Hunting Club seats?

Would love it much if you'd share pictures of them when they come in!



More random retrobucket stuff...




:

Another set of vintage Scheels up on the BaTsite:

https://bringatrailer.com/listing/19...-carrera-rs-6/

4 days left, curious to see what they bring,
the last pair fetched $7,100!

:

:

:

:

:

:

Speaking of BaT...



...while browsing around retroville I kept coming across 3.0 stuff, and apparently the Scheel buckets were standard issue for the CSL Batmobiles.

The rear seats in them look friggin' great too.





:

This was a fun batmobile related read:
https://www.bimmer-mag.com/issues/10...y#.XKC5Y5hKiL1

:

:

I'll never forget back around 1992 or so when I had my 1986 Saab 900 Turbo for about one year, after coming from a 1979 Honda Accord I thought I was hot shid and would often boyracer because swoosh boost velocity. At that point in '92 it was totally stock. One day while driving down Lawrenceville Hwy there was a rather ratty BMW 3.0 who was spiritedly driving and I played along, but I noticed he was missing his gas cap and raw fuel was splashing out!

When we came to a stoplight we both had windows down and I told him "hey, yer ain't got no gas capper an it's sloshin' out pretty fierce" --- he grinned a wry smile and said "I know" with a slight shruggy eyeroll. Then the light turned green and he blasted off like a rocket with full throttle pedal-to-the-metal. I could not catch up to him and watched as he blew my doors off, becoming a vanishing dot way on down the road. After that was when I became interested in power mods as I was a bit taken aback that an old naturally aspirated European car which was around 15 years senior to mine could have such robust performance.

The BMW 3.0 was/is an incredible car.
 
  #16  
Old 04-01-2019, 09:53 AM
Joshua P
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After a LOT of internal debate and of course the wife's input I decided to do the pattern I posted before and they are being made as we speak. I'll keep you posted but I expect it to be a couple months.
 
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Old 04-01-2019, 10:47 AM
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Good deal!

Thanks for the update.
 
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