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Napier Auto Upholstery restores a sentimental treasure

Markets, Upholstery | February 1, 2021 | By:

Ford Consul Mk1 restoration

When a client brought the first vehicle he had ever owned—a 1955 Ford Consul Mk1—to Napier Auto Upholstery of Napier, New Zealand, the motor trimmer and upholstery specialists knew they had a sentimental treasure on their hands, as well as a research project. With the proper rebuild, the vehicle “still had stories to tell,” according to Napier Auto Upholstery owner Malcolm Wilkie.

The client requested styling as close to the original design and color as possible. This required that Napier Auto Upholstery source missing interior parts—including armrests, chrome and interior lights—through bidding on Trade Me (a New Zealand-based auction website), scouring swap meets and connecting with other owners of Mk1 Consuls. “We had to remake all the doors cards [panels], carry out a full refurbish of the armrests, make all the missing pillars and kick panels, rebuild and foam the front and rear seats, and redesign them back to an original design, as they had been previously recovered,” Wilkie says. 

A second challenge on this project was communication. Because the client lived and worked overseas, his sister was tasked with project managing the rebuild. Napier Auto Upholstery had to ensure clear communication so that every requirement was completed as the client had envisioned. The time and effort was well worth it, with the client describing the end result as “sensational.” And, when he returned to New Zealand, he thanked the shop personally—arriving in this very special vehicle. The project earned a 2020 Award of Excellence in the upholstery category from the Outdoor Fabric Products Association of New Zealand (OFPANZ) 

Auto upholsterer
Napier Auto Upholstery

Bralos vinyl, wool carpet, English wool headlining

Fabric supplier
Le Mans Auto Fabrics

Component supplier
Le Mans Auto Fabrics and Webbing & Tapes REM Ltd. 

(high frequency welding lines on door cards)
Charman Motor Trimmers

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