At the time of this writing, I’m about to install a new carpet and build a new center console as I now have a set of 1985 Cadillac Seville seats in Stardust!
I’ve gone through several interiors over the years. The first, for which I’m afraid I have few photos, was a quick & cheap one done with brown, store-bought poly seat covers (Jamesway, Northfield, NJ 1990, $15 front and back), door panels redone with original vinyl and fabric replaced with a ribbed-textured bed spread (K-mart, Pleasantville, NJ, 1990, $11), and a brown shag rug (Rickels Home Center, Cardiff, NJ, 1990, $4). I spray-painted the windshield/window frames with the same brown metallic paint I used on the bumpers. Same with the dash. Painted the steering column and wheel with the seafoam green to match the body. The original headliner was intact so I was able to keep that. Damn I wish I had taken some photos of that first interior, for under $50 bucks she looked great. Stayed like that until the late ’90s, when I decided the original bench seats were too far gone to do anything with. I sold them and put a set of red velour seats from am ’80s Oldsmobile in there that looked great and were nice and comfy. In the early ’00s I bought a red rug, and painted the inside trim metallic red (still the same color now, considering changing it).
When I Dad passed away in 2002, I inherited his 1987 Cadillac Eldorado. My wife drove it for a while until the AC compressor seized up. It caused some damage that was going to be more than the car was worth, so I parted it out. I kept the leather seats and center console, and put them in the Chevy!
The interior stayed black seats with the burgundy rug until 2005, when I took everything out and put in a purple rug. I put the black seats back in and reworked the center console. At the time, I had planned to finish the body and paint it Plum Crazy purple metal flake. It took almost another two years to finish the basic body mods and rust work. By that point, I was exhausted and just wanted to drive the car, so I primed it flat black and put all the trim back on, figuring I’d paint it the next year. Well, the next year was 2008, and we all know how that went. With the economy tanked, I wasn’t about to lay out lettuce on a paint job. So that’s how she stayed for the next 12 years, as I didn’t even realize how much time had flown by.
So the interior stayed basically the same until 2018. The Caddy seats from my Dad’s 87 Eldorado were really starting to show wear. Hell, they weren’t that great in the first place, but the leather was splitting everywhere and no amount of saddle soap was going to bring the dried-out sections back. So I decided to look for a new set of seats.
Interestingly, and not so nicely, right about that time I had a catastrophic failure in the engine of my daily-driver 1985 Cadillac Seville. Unknown to me, those HT-4100 engines had major issues with the timing belt stretching and jumping off the timing gear. This happened to me while cruising at 75 mph down I-595 in South Florida, on a Tuesday night in December just before Christmas. I remember I was sick and just wanted to get home. Suddenly a heard a “bang”, the car jumped like I ran over a Volkswagen, then I heard what sounded like a broken bike chain uncoiling and the engine died. I managed to get over four lanes to the shoulder. Turning the key did nothing. I had to get towed home. I had no idea what happened…I tried jumping it, put in a different battery…I thought the battery was dead. The starter would click but the engine wouldn’t turn over. Next day, in the light, I could see that the there was something very, very wrong with the angle of the crankshaft pulley. So I pulled the water pump and timing cover (a huge job on that car) and found the timing gear broken into pieces, and the timing chain wadded up in the bottom of the housing where it had jammed up the crankshaft to the point of torquing it through the side of the aluminum engine block. So long, 4100.
Well, the rest of the car was in mint condition, so I wasn’t going to give up that easy. I found and bought a 1989 Cadillac Brougham for a song, put a few bucks into it, and used it for my daily driver while I looked for an engine. Lucky for me, there were a few 80 to 85 Seville and Eldorado parts cars for sale in my area, which is unbelievably lucky for me, since there haven’t been any since. I checked out a 79 Eldorado with the big V8 that would have dropped right in, but the car had been sitting for 20 years and I knew that would be trouble. Then I found a Seville like mine, with a bad body, bad mechanically but with a great engine and almost perfect seats. I got the car for a decent price and was assured I could drive it home, but a hole the size of a golf ball blew out of the radiator 30 miles from my house. So, I towed it home, and had NO hard feelings about stripping that sucker down for parts.
Beautiful Bone White, pillow-top leather seats from that car went right into the Chevy, and fit perfectly. Ok, that was almost 2 years ago and I still haven’t hooked up the switches for the motors…but that’s coming soon. This summer I bought a new purple rug, and I plan to work on the interior this winter (remember winter in south Florida is like spring up north) now that the body is “done”. I plan to fabricate a new center console and add that thing for the iPad, along with the new rug, some new amp/speaker wiring, the seat switches…plus, I’m going to paint all the inside trim that is now red, purple metallic…lighter and more purpley than the body’s pearl…along with the dashboard, and I’m thinking of doing the original steering wheel in metalflake.