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@Meade posted:

Anyone know a seat replacement for my Beck Speedster? My wife won’t ride because of “the Ride”.



You've got a Beck, which has a nice wide area for the seat base. This opens up an enormous amount of possibility.

I recently put a pair of EMPI race-trim seats, marketed as being for '56- '70 Beetles in my car. These are Scat Pro-car copies. They're built like a normal seat, with a frame and springs under the foam. If she's not comfortable with that, she's probably just uncomfortable with the car in general.

If a guy has a pan-based car with the normal CMC/Vintage-style subframe, I don't think they'll fit. They would fit in your car.


My wife loves them. They recline nicely, and the head rests are actually usable. They come with quite a bit of lumbar support built into the seat-back (which I hate, and she loves). They don't grab and hold (side to side) like Speedster seats, but they're nice if your hips or butt are wider than a 17 year old from 1980 (as opposed to a 17 year old from today). Car seats for kids fit better as well. 

I cut the driver's side down extensively and completely remade the seat base to get super-low in the car, and did all kinds of reshaping to the seat back to remove most of the lumbar support. But I did this because I'm me, and my theory is that you have to be comfortable in a car to want to drive it.

If you are not shaped like an ape, and are not ridiculously picky about "custom fit", you'll like them just fine just as they come. I'd mount them directly to the floor with normal seat sliders. You may need to shim up the front to pitch the seat base back a bit, but that's how we both like seats set up generally. That's how hers is, and I sit no higher in her seat than I do with 99% of the other speedsters I've sat in.

I'm deeply committed to these seats in my car. After spending almost the entire winter remaking the driver's seat, I took both seats and a ceramic seat-heater kit to an upholstery guy to be re-covered in leather. I'd hate to think what I have in time and material in doing this. You wouldn't need to do any of that-- the vinyl is really not that bad looking.

The seats are sold all over. I think I spent less than $250 each, shipped to my door. You may not like the look (I'm "getting used to it"), but the comfort is undeniable.


Images (1)
  • 62-2860-EMPI-black-vinyl-left-reclining-low-back-with-headrest-bucket-seat
@IaM-Ray posted:

Great Stan, all you need is a black leather shift boot for that Vintage Shifter? and some leather velcro held wrap covers for those extra frame stiffner pipes you had Henry make you and your interior is done ...

BTW, everyone is impressed with that shifter, do you like it a lot better that the Empi trigger unit?

Trim is a personal preference thing. I'm already covered in (stitched) leather on the frame stiffeners, and I very much like the naked look of the shifter. I've got the EMPI shifter (complete with the boot) in a "to sell" box in the shop.

I'd never, ever go back.

@chines1 Your right Carey, the tunnel is a fiberglass piece that is molded and made smaller and simply covered and dropped in to accommodate the larger seat.  Yes the B-pillar on my car as well is thinned to handle the larger seat and allow it to recline more.  

FYI, the shifter is housed in a boxed area welded to the frame portion of the front frame, hence the differences in the tunnel shape. 

@Meade posted:

The seats look great, Stan.  How much did you have to Trim off the bottom portion?

The passenger's seat is "as delivered", with a set of seat sliders bolted to the bottom. It sits surprisingly low for a spring seat.

My seat (however) is so low that I recessed a track into the cushion on either side of the center section (in the bolsters) so that the bottom of the springs in the back of the base are flush with the floor, but the seat slider remains functional. The back support grazes (well.. maybe "drags" is a better word) the carpet when the seat is all the way back, but the sliders are on an angle so that the seat rises as it moves forward. The springs are all there, which makes an enormous difference in comfort.

I cut down the foam in the seat bottom so that it was about 3/4 of an inch thick at the junction of the seat and seat-back, and tapered it upward towards the front (which was left intact. I had to buy a 18" long serrated knife on Amazon to get a nice cut. The upholstery shop had to add 2" of foam to the bottom of the seat-back to close the gap created when I cut the cushion down.

My butt is about an inch and a half (or less) off the floor in my normal driving position. I was able to get as low as I was with Fibersteel seat shells, mounted directly to the floor. I also pitched the seat base pretty aggressively, as pitching back makes an enormous difference for me being comfortable. The recline adjustment on the seat-back allows me to fine tune the fit depending on if the driving is aggressive or interstate.

My wife (5'5" ish) sits like a very small child or a 90 year old woman in the driver's seat. The top of the wheel is roughly even with her forehead.

Stan's car is Stan's car, about as bespoke as you can get.

Bob is 100% right about this. 99% of all humans would be quite comfortable in Jeanie's unmolested passenger's seat. @chines1 is 100% correct-- IM drops the seat-mount area of the floors about 1.5" or so, and with their frame set-up there is no tunnel, per se. I've been several Becks, and I can guarantee the limiting factor with your car is not the width of the seat base. The height of the seat-base might be an issue, but again-- these are surprisingly low for what they are. Depending on your height, I think these might work, but if you are over 5'9" or 10", it might not.

Again, Carey knows.

To square the circle with the Miata seats, they are incredibly similar to my cut-down seat, except they have integrated head rests (which I always thought looked out of place in a speedster). My son had a 1990 Miata a dozen years ago, and we kitted it up with Sparco seats and a Momo wheel. I put his stock (cloth) seats in my stash. I've moved them twice since then, and I have no idea why I'm hanging onto them. They're in garbage sacks, but would need either deep cleaned or reupholstered. I'd happily let them go for $100 for the pair, but I've got no interest in shipping them anywhere. If there was a meet and I trailered the car, I'd be able to throw them in, but I generally like to drive if I can. 

That's a lot to digest in one sitting, and isn't even half of what I've gone through with seats, but it should answer most of the pertinent questions.  

Last edited by Stan Galat

Here's 1995 Miata M seats in original leather - on eBay for $595 now.


These are OEM leather seats from a 2016-2020 Miata.  They come is black leather with red (or now silver) stitching (easily made black) or beige with beige stitching.  Most have seat heaters and head rest speakers plus sliders and tilt-able back with thigh adjustment too.

MAZDA MX-5 MIATA 2 Front Seats, Black Leather w/ Red Stitching. 2016

Last edited by WOLFGANG

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