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Hello I have a question about the interior of my 68 BMW 1600-2 built on October 6, 1967. VIN 1560816. The current interior color is marine blue. But I want to go as close to what the original could be. So my question is what is the most common interior color for a 1600-2 built in early October of 1967?

 

Thanks Again,

                        Samuel Keram

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Looks exactly the same as the interior of my Feb '68 Manila 1600-2 in the photo!  That brown color is the darker of the two that I have example panels of, not to be confused with the much lighter used in square tail light cars with no black strip at the top.  What is the official name of the color?  I tried searching and found some contradictions, so still not sure. 

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Congrats on the Manila car, my favorite color.

I'm not sure exactly when they switched, but the really early 1600s had very dark brown interiors, like 'chocolate' brown or 'UPS' brown. It's darker than the saddle or tobacco brown interiors you see in most roundies. It would be much easier to find the 'normal' saddle or tobacco interior than the chocolate brown.

 

How 'original' do you want your interior to be? Your car would have had front seats with no headrests, slightly wider bolsters than other roundie seats, and a different faux stitching pattern than cars made after '71. You can't really re-create this, you have to find original pieces. It would be easier, and safer, to find slightly newer seats with headrests, and it would still look great.

 

Here are some pictures of my '67 Sahara, which has the early very dark brown interior.

 

Michael

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14 hours ago, mccusername said:

 

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Wow, Michael! This is truly an exceptional example of an early chocolate brown interior!

 

I’ve not seen an original example of this color interior in any ‘02 manufactured after the first half of 1968, perhaps even the first quarter of 1968. Thus, the newest examples of this color interior will soon be 53 years old. The original poster might be able to find a smooth vinyl that closely matches the chocolate brown, but he’d still need to find a suitable replacement for the molded vinyl. That will be a great challenge, particularly if want those flat-bottom heat seams, with a single row of faux stitching, molded in plastic!

 

If I wanted to recreate one of these chocolate brown interiors, as close as possible to an original interior, I’d find examples of wide-back, no-headrest, early-vinyl seats — regardless of vinyl color — and then dye the lot to match the original chocolate brown. So, the key word would be... dye. 😉

 

The latest chocolate brown interior for which I can find photos is VIN 1660482, a 1968 2002, originally Manila, but color-changed to... some gold-ish/copper color. This car was manufactured March 15, 1968. There’s gotta be a few more after that date.

 


Best regards,

 

Steve

 

 

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On 1/1/2021 at 8:36 AM, Captain_Keram said:

Where would I find this color interior so I can buy it for my car?


If I wanted to recreate one of these chocolate brown interiors, as close as possible to an original interior, I’d find examples of wide-back, no-headrest, early-vinyl seats — regardless of vinyl color — and then dye the lot to match the original chocolate brown. So, the key word would be... dye. 😉

 

This, copied from my post above, was not meant as a joke. And it is what I would do if I desired to recreate a chocolate brown 1966 through 1968 interior. Good usable chocolate brown seats and door cards are as rare as hens teeth. But an interior, possibly comprised of original vinyl from various sources and in various colors — black, tobacco, or navy blue — could be assembled and dyed to the correct color.

 

Note: assembling an interior that has the wide-back, no-headrest, early seats, 4-position front backrests (as opposed to full recliners), and the original heat-seamed molded vinyl is itself a challenge, separate and apart from the “chocolate brown issue.” I believe that either GAHH or World Upholstery has new seat covers for these early seats, relatively authentic looking — but for the heat seam with the molded faux stitching. But you’ll need the correct early front seat frames to mount these replacement covers on. And you’ll still wind up dying the seats and door cards to achieve chocolate brown.


The first and second photos below show spare front seats for my ‘73 and ‘76, redone by The Mad Stitcher in Atlanta. Both sets use old molded (perforated) vinyl with some new smooth vinyl. Both seats have been subtly dyed so that smooth and molded vinyls, and old and new vinyls, match. The third photo shows the original front seats in my ‘76, in 2014. I’m the original owner and none of this seat vinyl has ever been replaced. But notice the different shades of navy blue, differences that have arisen, or have been greatly magnified, as the original vinyl aged. This is why dying is not only no big deal, but necessary, for many top-notch reupholstering jobs.

 

Regards,

 

Steve

 

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These are a couple photos of 1968 1600-2 1561983, taken after my ownership. Built December, 1967. It sold a few years ago on BAT:

https://bringatrailer.com/listing/1968-bmw-1600/

 

The seats that are in it in these photos have been reupholstered in a slightly lighter shade of brown. When I owned it from '94 - '98 they were definitely already in need of some love. It looks like the door cards are the original color still, but the seats look to be a shade lighter. Search BAT for "BMW 1600" and you'll find a couple more examples of manila '02s.

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4 hours ago, Captain_Keram said:

Where would I find this color interior so I can buy it for my car?

 

As @Conserv said, no one makes an easy replacement for this material. You would have to find a preserved early dark brown interior-- which would likely mean buying an entire car just to get it. Slightly easier, but still pretty tough, would be to find the pieces of an early interior in good condition in any color and dye them. Really early cars also had unique armrests, and thus the door panels are different too (not as many holes punched in them).

 

If you don't have to be 100% original, but you do want the dark brown color, I found that SMS Auto Upholstery has a basket weave pattern that is a very good match for the older seats, and they have it in a nice dark brown. This wouldn't match original upholstery-- you'd have to re-do the entire interior. They said they could do the correct early 'faux stitch' heat seam as well but I never followed up to see if that's really true. I have my doubts.

 

If you want to make things much easier on yourself and still have a great, period-looking interior, just use the slightly later and much more common saddle interior. 

 

MichaelSMS sample.jpg

 

SMS basketweave:brown.jpg

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