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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This is a long one - please bear with me :)

Some of you may have seen a complete white leather interior pop up on eBay a few weeks back. I happened to see it by chance as I get daily updates of saved searches in my email. I contacted the seller which just happened to be Autolusso, asking for more detailed pictures. Dan replied and I was gutted as it was in really bad nick - especially the driver's seat. You might also have seen this thread about it in which I said how much of a shame it was and that it would be unlikely you'd get it back to good condition. That was that for me.

After posting, I started to really think about it. I'd just treated my leather interior with Gliptone cleaner and conditioner and been really impressed with the results. While browsing their website I'd seen their Scuffmaster kit but written it off as very expensive and didn't really read into it. Pricked by my interest in the white leather, I looked again properly and it looked impressive.

Still not serious about it, "Sod it", I thought - "I'll have a bid" :rolleyes:

It was sat around £20-£30, so I put in a bid of £185 and became the leading bidder. I saw the price trickle up steadily until I was outbid. The bidding seemed keen, and £185 had been my absolute highest, so I did that really stupid thing where I bid an extra couple of quid thinking I'd be outbid. But..I...didn't...get...outbid :lol: As the auction entered its final seconds I began to panic. Then it ended, and a bit of poo came out. I now had a bill for £285 (including delivery). :eek: What a daft and indulgent purchase :lol:

Autolusso arranged delivery and just over a week later it arrived on pallet.


Excitedly, I opened up the packaging and surveyed my silly spur of the moment indulgence. The description on the listing had read "This interior would benefit from a good clean and a leather treatment" - you weren't overstating Autolusso :lol:




The whole interior was filthy! Obviously the smallest of marks stood out, it's white leather after all. The description had been fair though, and I expected it to arrive in such a condition; nevertheless, still a sad sight to behold: a rare set of beautiful MOMO leather neglected - kind of made me angry someone hadn't appreciated it. Further still, the wear on the driver's bolster was as bad as the pictures had made out.



I was determined to prove myself wrong, that they could be made good once again, and I wanted the leather to be appreciated the way it should!

After cleaning up one of the rear headrests, I sent it by recorded delivery to Liquid Leather in Yorkshire who colour matched the dye and supplied a 1 litre Scuffmaster Automotive Kit. Including my outgoing and return postage I spent a further £85, bringing the total spent to £370. Top marks to Liquid Leather - very helpful chaps, called me to say all went well and that the headrest was on its way back.

The kit was excellent - a bottle of leather cleaner, a bottle of conditioner, scrubbing brush, cleaning cloth, finishing cloth, solvent degreaser and gloss enhancer. First I cleaned all the leather with the brush and cloth, the glycerins in the solution softening at the same time, and then conditioned it adding moisture and making it more supple. I did this twice for the entire interior, not only did it soften and add life it made the leather smell fantastic :thumbs:

Cleaning took two weeks (a combination of heavy work patterns and the conditioning solution needing to soak in after each application), but I probably only spent about 4 to 5 hours scrubbing and wiping. I wanted it perfect after all :)


 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)





Dirty on the left, Clean on the Right








While becoming intimately familiar with each part of the interior, I noticed one of the doorcard inserts was floppier than the other - for those that don't know, the inserts are stiff cardboard layered over with leather which is stapled at the rear. 11 black studs are lined into it which slot through holes in the doorcard, and are held on with removeable plastic discs which snap down the studs.



The passenger side looked like it had been removed carefully, each disc removed then the doorcard insert simply falls out. A bit like this:



 

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Discussion Starter #3
The driver's side appeared to have been removed in a less methodical manner - 7 of the black studs were either missing or snapped at the heads buried in the cardboard which was itself snapped vertically in two places, hence the floppy :rolleyes:



Furthermore, the airbag/seat-belt pretensioner connector on the driver's side was missing



The connection itself was undamaged, the two silver prongs intact, but the yellow/purple connector was missing. Bit disappointing as there was no mention in the listing. I got in contact with Dan at Autolusso who was brilliant - offered to pop the missing connector in the post free of charge.



I can see why they have the reputation they do :thumbs: Sadly though, the black studs can't be ordered and I was told once used they can't be used again anyway - glue was what they used for theirs. Fair enough :)

I spent a further 3 to 4 hours over another week painting the cracks out. Firstly, I painted along the seam as this was very worn and made an instant difference!



It was difficult not to get carried away though, a little too much here and there and I'd overdo it - no matter how close a match the paint, I'm still painting and not professionally dyeing.








 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)



Patch painted, but unblended







Completed driver's seat on the left, with unprepared passenger seat on the right




And so, with a beautifully restored white leather interior testing my mum's patience hogging her spot in the garage for three weeks, it was time to install it.

A quick thanks to JakeCopestake for taking the time to talk me through removing the interior - totally straightforward like you said - almost a bit worrying how little holds it all together :lol:

As is now becoming traditional, Starkers and I teamed up to tackle the job. We began by disconnecting the battery (didn't want to give the airbag light so much as a chance of bothering me on the dashboard :lol: ) and then removing the front seats. Sliding the seats all the way back gave access to the allen key bolts in each runner at the front, then sliding them all the way forward gave access to the bolts in the rear. Lifting up gently we disconnected the airbag/pretensioner cable and lifted each seat out.





Next we removed the lower rear seats: a 10mm nut in each footwell and then pulling the bracket over the screw, then lifting up and out. The higher rear seats require the removal of a 10mm bolt on each side and then lifting up and out.

 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)


Possible elephant tape bodgery in the past??



The rear headrests are removed from the boot. We had to remove a piece of boot trim between the rear right speaker and the battery in order to get to the two 8mm nuts on each side of the right headrest - it's fiddly as the battery takes up a fair amount of room - the left headrest is a bit easier :thumbs:



Looks like someone wired in a sub in the past :rolleyes:




Removing the doorcards was pretty straightforward, probably because I've had to do it so many times now :lol: A few different sized alen key bolts, removing the midrange driver, disconnecting the tweeter, door handle, joystick*, puddle light, and window switch.

*Doorgrab - Pechewww!! Pecheww!! :rolleyes:

This left the car as such:



..with 12 years of grot in the carpet...



...but a mint set of gorgeous black P2 leather...almost sad to have it out :lol:




We took the doorcards inside and had a go at removing the inserts. We began by trying to force the black studs through the plastic clips by bashing them with a screwdriver. This was a lot of effort and we got one or two off. With one or two off I could prise the insert forward, pulling the studs through the clips making them shoot off across the room. Now we could see how they worked, a fingernail to lift up the clip, then a flatblade screwdriver to prise it up enough to grip with fingers, and alot of force to rip them off the studs. Surprisingly, the clips took massive punishment and none of them snapped :D
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)




So this gave us an idea - perhaps the clips COULD be reused again :) We lined up the white insert and forced the clips down onto the studs. Bingo! They snapped down perfectly




A bit gutting then that you can't get new clips anymore - nevermind eh! We clipped in the damaged insert with just the four studs and it holds OK. Unless it falls out, I'm going to refrain from glueing it - you never know, I might try tan next :cheese:

Typically 'refitting is the reverse of removal', the unsettling six-word oversimplification that appears all over the workshop manual, sprang to mind



Doorcards on, and already Starkers couldn't help himself - didn't blame him :lol:
Reseating a piece of trim that sits between the battery and speaker after replacing the rear headrests



The rear seats in...




...and the carpet vacuumed..



The driver's seat was simple to get in - took us all of five minutes. The passenger side took us about 45 minutes - maybe an hour. One of the runners was jammed in the mechanism. Lots of swearing, shouting - bit of blood and eventually we got it moving. It took us forever to line up the bolts - partly because we were fatigued and were starting to lose patience, partly because the runner was slightly off centre - eventually we located the bolts and it forced the runner into place - phew!

 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
All that was left was to stand back and admire :D








Thanks firstly to Dan at Autolusso for providing excellent customer service - you can bet I'll pop by Bedfordshire sometime :thumbs:
Thanks to JakeCopestake for his fitting advice!
...and of course thanks to the long-suffering Starkers who spent ALL DAY helping me strip out and replace the interior - saving me on more than one occasion from making a dog's dinner of it! - Couldn't have done it without you mate!

Now to sort that ****ing horrid gearknob :lol:

I'm not interested in any speculation of price, whether it was cheap or expensive - all that matters is I love it and think it looks bloody fantastic!

What do you all think about white handbrake and gear knob gaiters?
 

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Looking good! Personally I'd leave there gaiters, as they blend with the rest of the black/silver centre console, but its all down to personal taste :thumbs: Thanks for the detail too, may come in handy in future!:)
 

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A really great write up:thumbs: Thanks for taking the time to share it with us. I couldn't wait to get to the end to see the final result.:) GTVs look great with black or tan leather but I love to see them with the rare colour options, it just adds a bit extra.
The car looks amazing and it's money well spent. Top job.:cool:
 

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Wow what a fab read and great finish. Wouldn't have thought about putting white in there but it does look the dogs :thumbs:

Beginning to wonder if I should have bid that extra £1 for the yellow leather one's for my spider :lol:
 

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Good write up mate - that was some massive effort you and Starkers put in! Your GTV looks amazing now, very Maserati... :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Looking good! Personally I'd leave there gaiters, as they blend with the rest of the black/silver centre console, but its all down to personal taste :thumbs: Thanks for the detail too, may come in handy in future!:)

Just to add I think it works spot on with that colour blue aswell, thats the body colour I'd have ideally liked...
I'm umm'ing and ahh'ing over the gaiters. The only ones I've seen are bright white and wouldn't match, but then I do still have about 700mls of colour matched dye :rolleyes: I think I bid the extra because I knew I had a Vela Blue GTV :lol:

A really great write up:thumbs: Thanks for taking the time to share it with us. I couldn't wait to get to the end to see the final result.:) GTVs look great with black or tan leather but I love to see them with the rare colour options, it just adds a bit extra.
The car looks amazing and it's money well spent. Top job.:cool:
Thank you :D

Wow what a fab read and great finish. Wouldn't have thought about putting white in there but it does look the dogs :thumbs:

Beginning to wonder if I should have bid that extra £1 for the yellow leather one's for my spider :lol:
You still have a beautiful Zoe Yellow Spider - the leather could be in shreds inside and it wouldn't matter :thumbs:

Good write up mate - that was some massive effort you and Starkers put in! Your GTV looks amazing now, very Maserati... :cool:
Thanks Dan - and thanks for all your help, appreciate it :)

Looks lush mate :cool:
Looks like you'll be first to see it next weekend :D
 

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Well, at the beginning of the write up I was thinking it would spoil the interior, after all, the black momo is a design classic!

But the final pictures are a credit to the effort that have gone in. Brilliant. Bet you are dead chuffed.
 

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Excellent write up and excellent result. Worth every penny IMO, the car is transformed, as already said, very Maserati. Love it. Bloody well done!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Well, at the beginning of the write up I was thinking it would spoil the interior, after all, the black momo is a design classic!

But the final pictures are a credit to the effort that have gone in. Brilliant. Bet you are dead chuffed.
I had doubts myself. Midway through restoring the interior I thought, briefly, about putting it back on eBay: Why change mint factory-fitted leather for worn neglected 'could've been in anyone's car' leather?

Once restored my doubts were cast aside, and I'll tell you why.

Each time I slip into the driver's seat and close the door, it just feels special. It doesn't get better than that.
 
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