Over the years, I’ve picked up a lot of 914 seats. Seems nobody wants them. I drove to Ohio to get some 951 phone dial wheels and the guy unloaded half his garage on me. Want this box of misc. parts? Here you go. Can you use a 944 seat back? Uh, sure. Here you go. Oh, what about 914 seats? Yeah, I’ll take them. Here you go. They have been collecting dust in the basement ever since. Then my friend Keith and I stumbled upon Mario’s Upholstery in Detroit. We decided to give him a try. Keith wanted his Recaro’s redone in leather and I wanted to look at better seats in my basement.
On the way down to Mario’s shop you pass everything that D-town is famous for. Broken down cars, burned out houses, graffiti and girls walking randomly towards busy streets at 10am in the morning in a t-shirt, jeans and no shoes. It was a high of 20˚F with snow on the ground. I wanted to turn around to see if she needed a new pimp, ten bucks or another needle. Two of which I couldn’t help with and the third would probably just pay the other two, so I kept driving with one eye in the rear view mirror.
The shop itself is about a block from burned out houses but Mario has lived there for 15 years and says it’s gotten a lot better. We locked our car as we went inside. About what you would expect inside. Organized work spaces with solid old machines, fabric swatch books on dedicated hooks, rolls upon rolls of fabric, girl poster on the wall next to a three foot wide picture of The Last Supper. Projects filled the cinder block hall as he prepared cars for AutoRama.
My seats turned out well. Keith picked his up separately and he really likes them. I now have someone to use for custom interiors and I make my way towards the summer months and my next project. Reward for finding a new upholstery shop? Lunch on the counter at Lafayette Coney Island. Celebrating 100 years in Detroit. They opened in 1914 and the only thing that’s changed since I started going in 1986, it costs a little more. Love me some Lafayette.