You have a few options when it comes time to figure out what you're going to use for a seat in your hot rod project. You can try to resurrect your original seat (if you still have it). You can scrounge the wrecking yards looking for something close and then modify it to fit your particular ride. You can buy a nice new seat from one of the companies advertising here in R&C. Or, if you have a hot rod that might not be able to use an off-the-shelf seat and you like to do things your own way, you can build it from scratch. That's what I did.

I chopped the top of my '32 Ford pickup 4 1/2 inches and channeled it 6 inches, which left me with almost no headroom and very little legroom. What I needed was a seat that was extremely low and compact, but I wanted it to be comfortable too. I also wanted to make the seat with kind of a traditional look so it would match the style of the rest of the truck. So I set out to make a bench seat from scratch using modern "no-sag" springs for a soft, smooth ride, and shape the seat and springs to cradle me in comfort.

I figured on using about 2 to 3 inches of foam, since good-quality foam rubber compresses about 50 percent when you sit on it, so I designed the springs to be about 1 1/2 inches lower than where I want to be when I sit at ride height. I also took into consideration the fact that the no-sag springs would flex down with my weight on them, so that put the bottom dip of the seat springs only inches off the floor. Luckily, I built the floor with a recessed area right under the seat so I'd have a little extra space before bottoming out.

The cramped interior in this truck forced my knees up high so I needed much more thigh support than I would in a car with lots of legroom. It turns out you also need more support rolling up the back of your tailbone when your knees are up high, otherwise it feels like you're sitting on a hard, flat floor. So what I needed was a deep bucket-shaped bench seat. The foam can be contoured to fine tune the shape of the seat later, but getting the support structure shaped to fit comfortably seemed to be the best way to wind up with a comfortable seat. If I can make it comfortable to sit on without foam or upholstery, then I know it will really be comfortable when it's all done.

SOURCE
American Trim & Upholstery Supply