Upholstery and interior detailing in old cars is really quite wonderful in terms of craftsmanship and ingenuity. This being an interior design blog with an automotive cherry on top, normally my car posts linger on the exterior or driving – not today. The way one can run their fingers across a fabric and just get lost in the textural quality, pull on a silk tassel to close a perfect window shade or slip a hand into a thickly corded hand-strap are all details long forgotten. Growing up helping my dad restore Ford Model-A‘s, I had intimate knowledge of a cars interior. This is likely how I first became a fan of mohair, by the way – our daily use sofa is covered mohair. It stimulates your tactile senses as one can’t help petting it. Mohair feels like thousands of miniscule brushes pushing gently against your skin, firm yet soft. I’d witnessed many antique cars with mohair as OEM still in fair condition after 50 years, clearly is was durable.
Vintage car interiors exhibit wonderful attention to detail. Delightful to the touch while providing enough visual stimulation to keep one intrigued.1937 Rolls Royce Phantom lll Sedanca deVille This back seat in a 1941 Lincoln Continental Town Car has more controls than one of today’s models, with touchable upholstery and corded trim.Gotta love these perfect book matched veneers. Custom lacquered panels attributed the Art Deco artist Jean Dunard in a 1930 Rolls Royce Phantom Cabriolet De Ville.Just this week I handed my upholsterer a drawing for some sofas with similar trapunto details. How about silk stripes, silk gimp trim, wood inlay and those statuesque nickle door hinges?
What I would give for an interior with no plastic! You may remember I panned the new Fisker (
Solyndra II) as having a less than stellar interior for a $100,000+ car, green or not it was pathetic. Back in the day even the everyday car had interiors which were luxurious by today’s standards. On coach-built luxury models it was whatever the customer wanted, Lalique, Silver and Gold plate, Wedgwood, fancy wood inlay, wool, leather or silk, there were no limits. For more of these click on Automotive Details From Pebble Beach.
Cars of today no longer seduce us by stimulating our sense of touch, Other than Rolls Royce and Bentley with their plush sheepskin floor mats one wants to bury their toes into, most of today’s automotive interiors are sleek, shiny, smooth and techy – yawn. Is this why we play with cell phones and read the paper while driving? Our cars feel more like a desk and office chair as opposed to caressing our touchy-feely senses.
What is your favorite vintage car interior?