A recommendation made and another endorsed
The driver’s seat on my 560SEL had some substantial cracks, which rather spoilt my enjoyment of the car. Having been unable to find a good second-hand replacement, I was pondering having a new panel sewn in; however such a repair would certainly not match the naturally aged appearance of the remainder of the seat.
I thought I would first try a restoration product, and telephoned The Furniture Clinic. They did not have a record of the dark red used on my car, so it was necessary for me to send a sample. Nevertheless, for under £50 I received everything I needed: Leather preparation fluid to remove the old finish, a flexible filler to repair the cracks, dye, clear sealant, an air brush to apply the dye and sealant, and a selection of cloths and pads.
I posted the samples on Monday. On Wednesday I happened to be driving on the A1 near Newcastle and noticed a sign to the industrial estate where they are based. I thought it would have been a bit rude to call in and ask whether my order was ready – but I need not have bothered: When I got home I found the package was already there, having been delivered earlier that day. It would have been impossible to provide a better delivery service.
As for the product itself, the colour is a virtually perfect match, and I chose to slightly under-fill the cracks, so the repaired panel would retain an imperfect and somewhat naturally aged appearance to match the rest of the seat. It would, of course, have been possible to do a perfect job.
Sending a sample of the leather was only necessary because I was not able to take my car to their premises. They welcome customers and tell me they have people regularly visiting to buy their products, not just for cars but for furniture as well. The people I spoke to on the telephone were helpful and friendly. This is a refreshingly different attitude from one of the other suppliers (Gliptone) who I have heard are rather abrupt and will not accept visitors.
So for £50 and a couple of hours of my time I have achieved a most satisfactory repair, which is, I am sure, far cheaper than what a traditional upholsterer would have charged for such a job.
I would also like to endorse the recommendation of Millennium Mercedes in Bedford (01234 218424) which was made by Dr Robert Oakley in the May issue of the Gazette.
Kim Stopher, Northill