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Case Studies: Vintage Austin Seven 'Nippy' Seats

The latest episode of our blog follows the traditional renovation of these 1930s Austin 'Nippy' classic car seats. With so many cool traditional techniques being used we just had to share some behind the scenes photos with you.

There were only 682 'Nippy' models made from 1933-37 so it was such a privilege to get our hands on these two vintage beauties!

1930s Austin Seven 'Nippy' Seats

The seats arrived in the workshop in a sorry state and were completely stripped down to their steel shell, and then cleaned up using wire wool.

Stripped 'Nippy' Seats

There were some really interesting techniques used to fix the materials to the steel shell and it was fun to problem solve as we worked through the renovation. The outside back was no exception! After being templated and sewn with french seams for extra strength and durability the OB was pot riveted and then pulled tight over the outer shell to be tacked.

Pot Rivets fix OB

The Inside back was then sewn with traditional channels and a coir (natural horsehair fibre equivalent) stuffing was used to add cushioning using traditional stuffing ties.

Stuffing Ties


The inside back was then hand-stitched to the outside back with piping and tacked.

Once the back had been secured it was time to template and make new seat platforms. The base of the platform is made from plywood which was then webbed and springs were tied to the webbing!

Once the springs were tied it was time to lash the springs with a two-way pattern and then attach the sprung-edge. Here I'm using a flex PVC trim as it gives a super clean and sturdy finish.

Then hessian is added and tied to both the sprung edge and the springs and then coir is added to the platform as stuffing.