Model T Upholstery

I do upholstery on collector cars full time. This may provide some help. I do not have pictures of wood but in general there should be 3 vertical strips of wood with 2 horizontal pieces, one near the top and the other at the bottom, at the rear of the car. The rear seat backrest hangs on this wood by 2 or 3 loops of strong cloth or leather looped around the upper edge of the spring assembly and tacked to the vertical wood or the tack rail that goes around the upper edge of the body on the outside. The front backrest is installed in the same manner but I do not remember if the wood structure is there or if the springs just rest against the body metal. If this is the case, put some padding, such as carpet pad, between the springs and the body metal.

Before hanging the spring sections they should be covered with burlap stretched fairly tightly. This keeps the padding from working in between the springs. Once the springs are installed in the car to your satisfaction, place the cotton padding in place. Then mark the center of the body on the tack rail and the lower wooden piece the cover tacks to. This should get the center pleat nice and vertical. Place the cover in the car carefully, making sure it goes over the tack rail all the way around and also covers the lower tack wood. When you are satisfied with its position, lightly tack the top center in place, near the bottom of the tack strip. Then do the same with the center bottom. If all looks good, put a few tacks in to hold the top in place, working out from the center. Do not drive these tacks in all the way as they will be removed. Put a few in the bottom. If it looks good, install the bottom, working out from the center. Do not pull it extremely tight sideways, just enough to keep the pleats vertical. When the bottom is done, pull the center up tight and tack it. Then work out to the edges, keeping the pleats vertical.

You will install and remove many tacks, making adjustments. Going around the corners to the sides of the body is tricky. Have fun. Keith McGowan