i need new seats! I can only spend an hour in my seats (Thunder Ranch Speedster) before I am uncomfortable beyond belief. Any recommendations? Don't care what kind of car they might be from but they have to fit and be comfortable.

1959 Thunder Ranch(Speedster)

Original Post

Is TR tube chassis?  If so you have a wider range than with a VW pan based.  Post photo of those in there now - are they the Speedster buckets with the cut outs in the back section?

Here's VS comfort seat - reasonably priced.  They are for pan based vehicle - they will fit but you could go with wider ones. Might check to see what Beck/SE uses in their tube chassis cars - nearby in Bremen IN.

 

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Last edited by WOLFGANG

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I wonder if this would help  

WOLFGANG posted:

Here's VS comfort seat - reasonably priced.  They are for pan based vehicle - they will fit but you could go with wider ones. Might check to see what Beck/SE uses in their tube chassis cars - nearby in Bremen IN.

 

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Just a "heads up"-- depending on the width of your pelvis, the "comfort seats" from Vintage may be the least comfortable option available. I had a set on my first car, and the side bolsters were narrower than my hips, which meant that my hip sockets rested squarely on them. It was about as comfortable as it sounds.

Last edited by Stan Galat

The 1990-1995 Mazda Miata M series had nice seats with removeable head rests so they look Speedster period correct.  Others had integral head rests (with speakers even) that look out of place and would require tonneau mods.  I have a '16 Miata (now preferred to be called an MX-5).  Even with a 37" waist they are comfortable - mine are black leather with red stitching - with the high seat backs, heated and head rest speakers.  Here's the M series seats/covers.

Image result for 1990-1995 miata m edition

@rpeter12  Check with Kirk at Vintage Speedsters. They have a wider version of those Speedster seats. I got a pair for my 2015 VS so my big a$$ wouldn't get numbed by the seats side bolsters. Much more comfortable ride. 

For your visual reference, here's a pic... 

IMG_0397

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Last edited by MusbJim

I just sat in a Mini Cooper my daughter drives and they were really comfortable. Measured them and they should fit fine. They do have a headrest which can be removed if I wanted.  Next question is how do you locate used seats? I live in an area with few junk yards. Is there some kind of locating service for parts?

Any wrecking yard should have access to an online system of used parts and location of parts in and around your area of even in another state.  You just have to call them to find out, Who, what where, colour, and how much  

I never thought about how high they will sit. Guess I need to check on that. Haven't spent much time in wrecking yards for a long time. Guess now is a good time to start.

Be wary of online junkyard stuff. They'll show you a pic of the seats they pulled but just put them back in the wrecked car, usually piling crap all over them an exposing them to the elements. Been looking for months for a good ford explorer passenger seat with dismal ends.

Jeff

 Miata fits but you'll have high backs and need  to be sure to get them as close to the floor as possible. You can have your seats re-foamed to your liking....the simple fix.

 

As it happens, the car parked next to my Speedster in the garage is a 2009 Mini.

So, curious, I just took some rough measurements.

The seat rails are about 17.5" wide (outer edges) so they'd fit. The seat's 'hardware' extends two inches beyond that on the outside and an inch on the inside, so they still might fit, but only just.

The front seat edge is, surprisingly, only about an inch higher than the Speedster's off the floor (standard VS buckets).

And the tops of the seat backs are - drum roll please - uh, 31 inches off the floor, even not counting the removable headrests - about 10 inches higher than the Speedster's. So, your head would be sticking up over the windshield, you'd be picking bugs out of your teeth, and you'd probably look like a clown in your clown car - not that there's anything wrong with that.

Can we get a cigar for the guy from Nowhere, USA?

 

The top of the seat back is not the issue.  The high point of the back of the bottom cushion is what would determine how high your head is.  The seat back height just determines how high up the back support goes.

 

Yeah, technically you're right, Lane. My shoulders are above the seat back top in the Speedster, not in the Mini, although the angle of the seat back comes into play, too, in determining where your head ends up.

Leaving the Mini seat back adjusted to what feels comfortable to me, my head is still maybe five or six inches higher off the floor than in the Speedster. It just feels much more like sitting in a chair than the Speedster seat does.

The seat backs would still stick up out of the car quite a bit, though, adding to the 'clown car' effect. I think one of the cool things about the Speedster is that, from the side, the seat backs aren't visible and don't break the flow of the car's lines.

I do remember in our first gen Miata, in order to get the (tall) seat under the (flat) tonneau cover,  I had to slide it all the way forward on its track and recline the seat back all the way back.

 

Mitch - He has a tube frame based Thunder Ranch so he doesn't have the high center tunnel or side rails to worry about.  His is more like a Beck with larger flat floor so he isn't restricted to an 18" base.  A photo would confirm. Here's new TR interior - roomier than VW pan based (but not as much as I thought)?

left side interior

American cars?  Gordon has modified Chrysler Cordoba leather seats.  Recall someone else narrowed Honda seats (Oggwarty?).  A lot of VWs (and BMWs) came with Recarro seats but many have extra bolsters that better fit a race inspired car.  Early 912/911 or 356 seats would most likely fit but they are costly and for sure would require full rebuild as they used horse hair in seat cushions.

These are stock 11-14  Jetta seats $325 on ebay - headrest could be easily pulled.

Last edited by WOLFGANG
rpeter12 posted:

I just sat in a Mini Cooper my daughter drives and they were really comfortable. Measured them and they should fit fine. They do have a headrest which can be removed if I wanted.  Next question is how do you locate used seats? I live in an area with few junk yards. Is there some kind of locating service for parts?

Do you have a "Pull-A-Part" site in the area where you.  Their prices are dirt cheap and most of their locations have a section for foreign cars but you have to remove the parts yourself. 

https://www.pullapart.com/inventory/

There is a set of Miata seats listed on eBay for $250, plus $50 to ship. . . but they will have to be recovered.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1999-2...p2385738.m2548.l4275

 600

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Last edited by Cliff Presley - Charlotte, NC

914 is the way to go! Or, cut some plywood to shape and place it under the seat cushion to get your butt up a little higher. The VS wide seat is very confy as Jim posted above.

Zzzzzz......buz......snort.....Wha?  Somebody wake me up?

OK, Speedstah seats 101:

Most of the "Speedster Seats" delivered in these cars from builders won't fit a slightly "mature" American male frame (read that.....Big Butt) and almost all of them aren't especially comfortable after 30 minutes or so (sound familiar?).  

If the car is pan-based, you are limited to precisely 17"  of seat-well space to fit the seat into.  On the VW pan, there is a depression beneath the seat and the rails sit on a shelf on each side of the depression.  If you have a Beck or Intermeccanica (and, to some extent, a "Thunder Ranch) you might have 18" to play with, but that's it.  The space also tapers slightly inward as you go rearward, making it just that much more difficult.

So what's a tender-butt to do?  Well, here are the alternatives that have come up on here over the years:

1.  Chuck the bottom cushion on the seats you have and replace them with the thicker cushion from Vintage Speedsters or get a Porsche 914 bottom cushion.  All you'll replace is the cushion, al la Jack Crosby.  Instant comfort upgrade from 30 mins to about 1-1/2 to 2 hours.  If color is an issue, you can get the new pad re-upholstered locally for short money.

2.  Chuck the seats you have and replace them with Porsche 914 seats and make sure you get the glider/recliner seat base to go with them (they are left and right).  They are designed to fit a VW pan so they fit right in.  Instant comfort upgrade from 30 mins to about 1-1/2 to 2 hours.  The only color options available in these seats probably won't match what you have in the car interior, to you'll either have to cover them or get them re-upholstered.   Plan on $400 per seat for that, depending on your local shops.

3.  Replace your seats with those from a Mazda Miata.  They, too, will fit right in, although the head rest will top out at around 34" above the deck.  Same issues apply to color options, but Mazda has a much wider choice, depending on your local salvage yard or eBay.

4.  Replace your seats with a totally different make/model from 'Murica.  This is the toughest, as most American seats are 19" wide at the base, so you'll have to modify the seat base structure (cutting and welding) to taper the base structure to fit, and then do some magic tapering to the inboard mount of seatback to seat base.  Very do-able, not especially easy. 

YES!  My seats came from a '92 Chrysler LeBaron GT (the little sporty car, not the boxy "K-Car" body), were a PERFECT color match right in the junk yard and had to be modified as in #4 to fit the space.  Took a couple of days per seat, but I already had the welder, decent fabricating skills and infinite patience.  They are 27" to the top of the seatback from the floor, and 34" to the top of the headrests.  They fit the 'Murican male tush very well, provide decent side bolster support but seem just a tad too wide for my 5'6" 150 pound body.  (Gives me room to move my wallet out of the way a bit.)  They are good for 2 - 3 hours at a whack on the road but the mods are not for everyone.  They were "Road Approved" by my Junior Pit Crew.

The Boys

 

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Has anyone tried GTS Classics seats?   classiccarseats.com

They have various models of seats, with the 'Monte Carlo' and 'Solitude' model seats looking interesting. Of course width and height fitment is unknown.

I am looking at seats for a possible future coupe. IMO the passenger needs a headrest to nod off on the way home after a long day outing... And on a coupe its not as important to keep the seat back height as low. Just the overall seating position.

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