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e21 Recaro reupholster price check


kmoy2002
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Looking to have a set of e21 Recaros reupholstered. I came across the ebay seller "zoomzoomzoom-ing" who is selling kits for $575 + $50 shipping. World Upholstery is selling their kits for $900.

 

Both of these options are DIY kits which require any repair work to be done yourselves. Now, I checked in with a local upholstery shop and they quoted me $1,500 a seat! This seems extremely excessive right? I get that this shop works with vintage exotics but for three thousand, that is double what a fully reupholstered set of seats go for on ebay.

 

Do I need a reality check here? Or is this really the going rate for reupholstery work? I am in Los Angeles.

 

Is zoomzoomzoom-ing the best option I have? Anyone work with them and happy/displeased with their results?

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I am currently having a set of recaros specialists re-covered for me. 

 

When I did my research it seemed like between 600-800 (for the front seats) was the going rate depending on the condition of the seats, Also factor in the cost of the material you choose and whether any parts are missing or broken.

 

Zooming will do the work for approx 300 after you buy the kit from them and I believe they are in seal beach.  I can't speak to the quality but I was tempted to buy their saddle kit.  Being in LA you are going to have more then a few options of places and people to work with. 

 

I should have my seats finished in a couple of weeks and will post pictures.  I choose the recaro grey spectrum for my centers.  Material arrived at the shop today (see pic).

 

Separately, I recently picked up a set of E21 recaros as well....depending on how this first set turns out I may have the e21 recaros redone as well.

 

I found that M-fabrics out of the U.K. had some nice, but pricey fabric options.  They have the blue Alpina which I really like. They said that I  might be able to squeeze the two front seats from 2m of material and that it would cost me £260 including postage.

 

 

Recaro max in Poland also has some nice and rare fabrics  - M rain and uberkaro fabric - 120 Euro per meter

alpina - 160 Euro per meter.

 

The gentleman I'm working with in NJ works with recaros regularly and has some connection on fabrics as well.  However he didn't have my ALL time favorite fabric which is the orange spectrum recaros pictured below.

 

 

If anyone has some of this fabric please PM me!

 

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IMG_1836.thumb.JPG.da069c7281e8f85fbcf578ddfa6b76aa.JPG

 

Edited by Dionk
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we've bought 2 sets from zoom-ing and one from Dave Varco @ aardvark racing...comparably quality and price....they are not easy to install and not a job for the faint of heart...you'll need to buy hog rings and the pliers if you DIY

 

each sew theirs using the piping/welting at the seams, no french seams

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I did upholstery about 20 years ago, even then for some reason people seemed to assume that it took nothing to reupholster a seat, you really do get what you pay for. Material, especially rare original or proper hides are very expensive, many running into the hundreds of dollars per yard. IIRC it takes approx. 3yds to do a set of seats. Leather is especially tricky because most original automotive leathers are coated and have the grain stamped into them for uniformity and wear resistance. Regular garment hides can be used but the grain is uneven, they are more supple but unless they are top coated the dye will rub off on your clothes and it will wear much faster than original leather no matter what. The quality imitation leathers are very good and gaining popularity even in high end cars, but once again very expensive.

 

If someone specializes in Recaros or has done them before, it should be a little cheaper as they probably already have a pattern for them, if not they have to tear them apart for a pattern, or worse, make one from the seat itself. Any foam repairs can be time consuming to get right and do properly using a high quality foam. Merely gluing standard cushion foam (or worse,rebond foam) in place without correctly backing it will result in a failure pretty quickly, they may look nice but like paint, what's underneath can be as critical as the cover.

 

Check out the prices of a new, quality leather sport seat, there's no reason to expect a quality rebuild to be much less expensive. A good upholsterer is no less important than a painter/bodyman or mechanic. Once again you get what you pay for usually. 

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Best quality e21 recaro seat covers are made by Gahh. They are expensive but fit like a glove and finished with french seams (double stitching). Dave Varco stuff, which is relatively inexpensive compared to Gahh, is very good and he can also finish in french seams, just ask. Piping is period correct. You still have to prep the frames (driver back frame is always bent) and repair the old foam pieces yourself using headliner material (and need bunch of hog rings as esty said).  Local shops owned by Ish, xavier, gabriel or gonzales can do wonder at good prices as well. 

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  • 2 months later...
On 4/14/2017 at 5:23 AM, esty said:

we've bought 2 sets from zoom-ing and one from Dave Varco @ aardvark racing...comparably quality and price....they are not easy to install and not a job for the faint of heart...you'll need to buy hog rings and the pliers if you DIY

 

each sew theirs using the piping/welting at the seams, no french seams

 

On 4/14/2017 at 5:53 AM, solo 2 said:

I did upholstery about 20 years ago, even then for some reason people seemed to assume that it took nothing to reupholster a seat, you really do get what you pay for. Material, especially rare original or proper hides are very expensive, many running into the hundreds of dollars per yard. IIRC it takes approx. 3yds to do a set of seats. Leather is especially tricky because most original automotive leathers are coated and have the grain stamped into them for uniformity and wear resistance. Regular garment hides can be used but the grain is uneven, they are more supple but unless they are top coated the dye will rub off on your clothes and it will wear much faster than original leather no matter what. The quality imitation leathers are very good and gaining popularity even in high end cars, but once again very expensive.

 

If someone specializes in Recaros or has done them before, it should be a little cheaper as they probably already have a pattern for them, if not they have to tear them apart for a pattern, or worse, make one from the seat itself. Any foam repairs can be time consuming to get right and do properly using a high quality foam. Merely gluing standard cushion foam (or worse,rebond foam) in place without correctly backing it will result in a failure pretty quickly, they may look nice but like paint, what's underneath can be as critical as the cover.

 

Check out the prices of a new, quality leather sport seat, there's no reason to expect a quality rebuild to be much less expensive. A good upholsterer is no less important than a painter/bodyman or mechanic. Once again you get what you pay for usually. 

 

 

 

I appreciate the comments from both of you. installing kits is not easy but everyone seems to think they can do it with no problem.  skin kits are made to fit original the foam. 30-40 year old foam is in the shape of whoever sat in that seat for all that time. look closely at zoomzoomings pictures, he is smart, he shows the seams being wrinkled in his photos so people don't get their hopes up too high. 

 

i choose not to make and sell front seat kits regularly because i don't want to deal with the unrealistic expectations of customers.

 

 if you are into a little math, think on this. it is probably cheaper to order a fresh set of seats from me and sell your old seats on craigslist than it is to order a set of skins, especially if you have them professionally installed. and most importantly, you have a more beautiful end result. 

 

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Aw, I think it does. 

 

old seats are probably worth $500-$900 on craigslist or eBay. Skins are $500-$900. Installation is $0-$350. 

Total: $1000-$2150

 

The seats I currently have listed are priced $1250-$1900 including shipping. 

 

I didnt mean to imply that it was the best option for everyone, but quite a few forum members and eBay customers have found it to be a preferable route. I guess it would heavily depend on the condition of your seats and the area you live in :) 

Edited by hktbmw
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  • 2 years later...
On 4/14/2017 at 12:57 AM, Dionk said:

 

 

The gentleman I'm working with in NJ works with recaros regularly and has some connection on fabrics as well.  However he didn't have my ALL time favorite fabric which is the orange spectrum recaros pictured below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dionk, would you mind PM'ing me the gentleman you're working with in NJ? I would PM you myself but my post count isn't high enough. Thank you.

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I had front and rear done by a shop in N.C.  It was their first time working with Recaros. They were done in domestic vinyl. Fit was excellent even in comparison to the other more well known vendors listed.  My only gripe was the corner seams did not align perfectly. Front and matching rear were around $800. Not sure they would do for that price again though. Also not a shop that would ship back and forth. 

9EB90849-94CA-4349-AD5F-81A98178AC17.jpeg

C20C73C8-045B-4E27-9CE9-CAF588162C8C.jpeg

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50 minutes ago, 2double02 said:

I had front and rear done by a shop in N.C.  It was their first time working with Recaros. They were done in domestic vinyl. Fit was excellent even in comparison to the other more well known vendors listed.  My only gripe was the corner seams did not align perfectly. Front and matching rear were around $800. Not sure they would do for that price again though. Also not a shop that would ship back and forth. 

9EB90849-94CA-4349-AD5F-81A98178AC17.jpeg

C20C73C8-045B-4E27-9CE9-CAF588162C8C.jpeg

Wow.  these look beautiful.  I NEED a set like these.  Where is NC?  I am up in Asheville and hope to get this done within a year or so.  Are those e21?

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