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61 Starfire Leather Advice

Old February 22nd, 2019, 08:14 PM
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61 Starfire Leather Advice

Anyone have any real experience restoring old leather? The (red metallic) leather in the Starfire is very decent but also shows the scars of 58 years of life. It is dry, has typical cracking, and a small rip or tear here and there. Itís presentable and I would never consider replacing it because it original and this car will never be restored. Iíve seen a zillion YouTube videos on this trick and that to Ďrestoreí old leather. Has anyone ever had any success (or failure) reconditioning vintage leather? At the least Iíd like to soften it and prevent additional cracks-even better Iíd like to disguise the distressed portions. Iím obviously concerned about doing more damage than good.


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Old February 22nd, 2019, 08:31 PM
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I would check a few reputable upholstery shops that specialize or do restorations. I am sure others on here have some experience to help also.
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Old February 22nd, 2019, 09:25 PM
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As a native texan and one who wears boots until they literally come apart, I use saddle soap to clean them, and give them a good liberal coating of mink oil. Then let it absorb into the leather and wipe off the excess. Polish if needed and buff it to a shine.
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Old February 23rd, 2019, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by edzolz View Post
I use saddle soap to clean them, and give them a good liberal coating of mink oil.
x2

Only use products on the seats designed for leather. After cleaning them with saddle soap and water you can use a little bit of mink oil or the beeswax leather cream (ofen sold under the Dr. Marten's brand). All of those products work great!
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Old February 24th, 2019, 08:11 PM
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I was told by a professional car detailer who specialed in Mercedes and Rolls Royce that mink oil is the best thing for leather it preserves and softens.
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Old February 24th, 2019, 11:38 PM
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Does this really work for these metallic hued leathers and vinyls? Its quite different from the leather in a Mercedes or Rolls.
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Old February 25th, 2019, 03:21 AM
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There isn't anything better than this product

I've used it on Civil War belts and holsters

https://pecard.com/
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Old February 25th, 2019, 05:07 AM
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Originally Posted by 61Bat View Post
Does this really work for these metallic hued leathers and vinyls? Its quite different from the leather in a Mercedes or Rolls.
Saddle soap, mink oil, etc. won't damage the leather. They're products designed specifically for leather. IMHO, mink oil should be used sparingly. It seems to leave a residue on the leather after brushing. While I know it isn't a bad thing, it's just a personal preference.
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Old February 25th, 2019, 06:51 AM
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Originally Posted by 61Bat View Post
Does this really work for these metallic hued leathers and vinyls? Its quite different from the leather in a Mercedes or Rolls.
Vinyl and leather are no where the same. Vinyl will not absorb anything put on it topically, maybe the cheaper vinyls will, but leather is an animal product and vinyl is man made.
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Old February 25th, 2019, 07:04 AM
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Originally Posted by edzolz View Post
Vinyl and leather are no where the same. Vinyl will not absorb anything put on it topically, maybe the cheaper vinyls will, but leather is an animal product and vinyl is man made.
Yeah I lumped those in there together but my point was the finish on the leather is not natural and they both seem to have a similar metallic, dyed finish. It's not tanned leather like a belt or a gun holster. Will the oil permeate the outer layer? I can see where it would get into the cracks in the outer layer but maybe not penetrate the outer surface. I'm completely serious here.
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Old February 25th, 2019, 07:44 AM
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Another thought......can they be re-dyed?
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Old February 25th, 2019, 08:05 AM
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Originally Posted by 61Bat View Post
Another thought......can they be re-dyed?

Don't try to re-dye the leather. My father; Oldsguy, and I dyed a leather sport steering wheel we installed in his 69 Delta 88. We dyed it black while it was originally tan. We used a professional leather dye and followed the directions impeccably. It turned out that the black dye would rub off on your hands and get on your trousers as you entered and exited the car.

If you try to dye the seats I bet you experience the same thing. Just treat the leather and reinstall the interior. Those seats look darn near perfect for an interior that's 58 years old. It's only original once!
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Old February 25th, 2019, 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Olds64 View Post
..Those seats look darn near perfect for an interior that's 58 years old. It's only original once!
Youíre 100% right - I have no intention of replacing the leather...just hoping to prevent more cracking and soften it up... and thank you-Iím privelged to be the caretaker of this car...made my skin crawl to drill holes to anchor seatbelts
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Old February 26th, 2019, 05:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Jamesbo View Post
There isn't anything better than this product

I've used it on Civil War belts and holsters

https://pecard.com/
Thanks - I spoke with them and they were very helpful and had a lot of insight...I ordered the one that they recommended...Iíll let you know!
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