Completing the interiors of Retropower projects to a satisfactory standard can be a challenge, particularly if the project is a straight-up restoration, and sourcing both varieties of velour for our Mercedes W116 restoration proved to be among the most challenging of all. It took a 6 month saga of a search to trace the correct materials, a task made that much trickier by the language barrier between ourselves and the numerous German trim specialists. 

We eventually traced a trimmer with access to a small amount of suitable material but it was a tiny amount, certainly not enough to fully cloak the interior. We therefore had to ask said specialist for the contact details of anyone who’d bought the material from them in the recent past, then set about calling them in turn, a process which finally yielded enough to trim the inner panels.

The completed seats showing the clear distinction between the two kinds of velour used

Case closed and missioned accomplished, right? Not quite, as when the material arrived much of it was the shiny, heavy pile kind shown below, meaning that every panel would have had to have been cut in the exact same manner to avoid the velour looking different under changing light conditions. It was never going to look ‘right,’ not when you consider the lengths we’ve gone to get this S-Class looking identical to the day it left the line, so it was back to the drawing board once again. 

It wasn’t as if we didn’t give it a good go – Dean painstakingly trimmed one front seat and all the headrests and arm-rests in the heavy pile velour, but it just didn’t cut the mustard and let the rest of the car down.

The heavy pile velour – hardly ideal for a project like this

The only silver lining was that by this point Callum had contacted pretty much every automotive trim specialist in Germany in the hunt for both the flat and the ribbed velour, and he was therefore able to recall that one (a firm he’d initially called regarding the ribbed material) had mentioned it had a small quantity of the former. We bought it all there and then.

There was one last hurdle though, namely the fact that Dean had to laboriously unpick his previously trimmed interior pieces in readiness for the new, OEM Mercedes fabric. 

It’s another example of the amount of work invested in each and every element of a Retropower project – it’s by no means just custom suspension, hidden wiring and big-power engine conversions. 

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