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Discussion Starter #1
I'm restoring my 1964 Impala SS for freeway cruising up and down the West Coast. The car is Palomar Red with black interior and split front seats with 4-speed & console. When I bought the car, the passenger front and rear bench seats looked immaculate and the driver seat was trashed. I found that the "immaculate" seats were actually very brittle and would probably come apart under even mild use.

I know that reupholstering seats is somewhat expensive. I'll have the rear seat reupholstered stock. I'm concerned that I could spend a lot of money on restoring the current front seats and still end up with "correct" seats that are uncomfortable for 4-6 hour driving stints. I also don't like how the stock split seats don't latch, but pivot forward until they hit each other - I can imagine all kinds of accidents where they might miss.

So I have a few questions about front seats:
1) Are 64 Impala split front seats, properly restored & reupholstered, highly comfortable on long freeway trips?

2) What's a good looking alternative to a stock seat ? Good enough for a long long ride.
  • Later model Impala?
  • Camaro?
  • Cadillac (not Chevy, but GM)
  • Aftermarket?

I have the interior stripped except for the front seats while I prep for body work, so now's the time to rethink where I sit.

Thanks in advance for your advice.

EastBayBob
 

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I was going to say have the fronts custom upholstered until I read that they do not lock in place. You can take measurements of your current seat mounting and look at many different B-bods and see what will match up and that you like.

You can then take the ones you want to a good upholstery shop and have them custom make the seat to fit you and as firm or soft as you want. They can even make a partial bucket type seating spot into the bench seat which may be more comfortable.

Do you know what type of seat you have liked best in the past? Bucket, Bench, Split Bench?

Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'm partial to keeping Impala seats in my Impala, but want later model seats that latch. What I need to know:

  • When did Impalas go to buckets with latching mechanisms rather than the split folding bench (with no fold forward latch) in my 64?
  • What year Impalas have really comfortable seats that would be worth reupholstering?
  • How comfortable are the front seats in your 77?
 

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I do not know the first two but on my 77 it is a full bench that is 32 years old. When I bought it in 03 it was very comfortable. I have since put those cushions that allow air to go through and it helps a lot since the seat material is deteriorating. Even so it is more comfortable than my Vans bucket seat.

Now if you have a two door you need a folding yet latching seat. My bench does not fold for I have a 4 door sedan.
 

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Seats that don't latch... youza... no thanks I like my teeth where they are!
I like these:

One of them is from an 1985 Caprice, the other from an '86 LeSabre. The cement block is balast; guitar players love the left armrest.
I don't like bucket seats, my preference is for velour split bench electric that recline.
To me, all the seats are the same except for width and the bolt holes, and all that could be adapted pretty easy.
I'd go for electrics if I could - the kind with the power switch built into the side of the seat so they're easy to hook up. With the 6 way adjustable seats you can get them to feel right in most any car.
So Cadillac, Buick... hate to say it but Town Car and Crown Vic too, I wouldn't care as long as they were ultra plush electrics the right width. Probably the same company makes all of them.
Of course there could be surprises with mounting, I had to make small wooden blocks for a car once.
Worst seats I ever had: Mercedes - junk construction, unbelievably dismal quality (I thought they were supposed to be good?).
Good luck, it's one of the coolest things you can do to an older car... that and throw in a tilt/tele steering column and modern seat belts.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Great advice. I'm partial to black leather, my car has a black interior, and something recent and electric and comfortable would be sweet. It's good to be able to articulate exactly what you want, and " split bench latching fold down front seat" is it. I'll take a field trip down to GM Sports Salvage in San Jose and see what they have. Surprisingly, I found an early 60 Chev sedan there that had been picked to the bone but had a e-brake part I needed.

I'll let you know what I find. Thanks.
 

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If you plan on installing modern seatbealts it's nice to have the loop on the headrests that the seatbelt passes through.

The most comfortable seats I've had were the type that had a cushion sewn on the back, like they use in Lincoln Town cars and Caddys. I had a 76 Bonneville like that and the seats were unbelievable.
 
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