LILLY RESTORATIONS: DETAILS TO THE (CHEVY) MAX

Looking good in the confines and an exact fit.

 

LILLY RESTORATIONS BUILDS A WAY COOL REAR SEAT IN A FIRST-GEN CAMARO

I met Jeff Lilly more than 20 years ago when he submitted a story for me to run in the ink and paper book I was producing.  My first impression was; how can a car restorer do so much and still maintain a high level of quality?  His “editorial package” sent to me included about a hundred images and two floppy discs (remember this was before you could email large files).  Not only was I concerned about how someone could do so much photographer and get the job done at the same time.

Well, I was surprised to find that he was in fact able to do both, and at a level few had done before.  Of course, that was with a film camera, so the time required from start to finish was a little lengthy.  But as time has gone on, Jeff has sharpened both his car resto skills and with the use of a quality digital camera, the level of which he records his masterpieces.

Jeff Lilly Restorations does it all — from Tri-Fives to Camaros.  As a teaser to his level of customization, Jeff provided us with a segment of a full custom first-gen Camaro that he is doing.  What we’ve chosen to show here is a breakdown of a custom rear wrap-around seat and console section.  To say that it is quality custom work is an understatement.  But choose for yourself.  It’s not a project that the average do-it-yourselfer will or should attempt.  But it is cool to see the imagination, and the quality coverage, this lifelong artist has put into this project.  These represent about one-quarter of the total images he used for this segment.  To see the story in its entirely, log on to:

http://www.jefflilly.com/fabrication/camaro-seat-surround/camaro-seat-surround.html

 

Here we go, the first step is to do a mock up of the concept I have in my mind. I want it to flow from every angle with no interruption.

Here we go, the first step is to do a mock up of the concept I have in my mind. I want it to flow from every angle with no interruption.

The rear seat is going to compliment our front buckets with a continued voluptuous style.

The rear seat is going to compliment our front buckets with a continued voluptuous style.

LILLY 3

Using Polystyrene in 1 lb.., 1.5 lb.. and 2lb densitys we can shape what we want before building the actual foam seat. We lay our outer perimeter chip board mock up on top of the foam and get ready to cut.

We also use a rasp which is a rough cut file to bring the foam down to our liking in a timely mannerz
We also use a rasp which is a rough cut file to bring the foam down to our liking in a timely mannerz

The initial fit shows it coming around nicely although it is still a bit bulky. It needs to be a little sleeker, so we will cut some more.

The initial fit shows it coming around nicely although it is still a bit bulky. It needs to be a little sleeker, so we will cut some more.

A little more work was done and then we hi lighted the contours with a sharpie marker. This allows a better 3D model of how it is really shaped. The camera does not reproduce images in 3D like the human eye does so we use highlighting to get a better visual image of where we are at.

A little more work was done and then we hi lighted the contours with a sharpie marker. This allows a better 3D model of how it is really shaped. The camera does not reproduce images in 3D like the human eye does so we use highlighting to get a better visual image of where we are at.

We start with a large chunk to decide on the console section that goes between the buckets. We simply trace the foam against the rear seats side profile so we can get close to matching it. Traced out on the foam.  A quick sliced and it’s ready.

We start with a large chunk to decide on the console section that goes between the buckets. We simply trace the foam against the rear seats side profile so we can get close to matching it. Traced out on the foam. A quick sliced and it’s ready.

At this point in time shaping the center console for size and looks between the rear buckets is imperative. This also allows you to adjust the seat sizing if needed. The transition is decent but still needs a lot of work.

At this point in time shaping the center console for size and looks between the rear buckets is imperative. This also allows you to adjust the seat sizing if needed. The transition is decent but still needs a lot of work.

We decided it was time to build some of the metal around the seats to get a better idea of how they will sit in to the confines. It is often wise to build a little on this part and a little on that part until they flow together correctly. It is coming around and gives you an idea of what I have envisioned it to be. Now it is time to start making the large side panel, Sam cuts out some 20 gauge and begins the process.

We decided it was time to build some of the metal around the seats to get a better idea of how they will sit in to the confines. It is often wise to build a little on this part and a little on that part until they flow together correctly. It is coming around and gives you an idea of what I have envisioned it to be. Now it is time to start making the large side panel, Sam cuts out some 20 gauge and begins the process.

It starts out flat and straight and will require some serious manipulation. Notice the angle channel built to match the outside shape of the seat foam. This will encase the seat and give the proper gap all the way around.

It starts out flat and straight and will require some serious manipulation. Notice the angle channel built to match the outside shape of the seat foam. This will encase the seat and give the proper gap all the way around.

It takes a bit of Plastic mallet wailing on it to stretch it out in the center areas. Note the shot filled bag under it to allow the movement.

It takes a bit of Plastic mallet wailing on it to stretch it out in the center areas. Note the shot filled bag under it to allow the movement.

Coming around, currently we only hold it in place with clecos because we have to make some other pieces around it to fit in as a unit before any permanent trimming and or welding takes place.

Coming around, currently we only hold it in place with clecos because we have to make some other pieces around it to fit in as a unit before any permanent trimming and or welding takes place.

The window cranks are seen and will need to clear so we have to go through the motions when fabricating away from factory specs. Every T crossed and Ever I is dotted.

The window cranks are seen and will need to clear so we have to go through the motions when fabricating away from factory specs. Every T crossed and Ever I is dotted.

. Next a channel is installed below the panel to stabilize it and to allow attachment to the larger side panel. A bit of trimming and it will be knocked out.

. Next a channel is installed below the panel to stabilize it and to allow attachment to the larger side panel. A bit of trimming and it will be knocked out.

The back side shows the completed channel is attached. In place and looking great.

The back side shows the completed channel is attached. In place and looking great.

On to the rear deck, it needs to be removable to allow our custom molded headliner to be removed and installed. A template is made to give us an idea where we will end up with it. It fits well and makes a nice gentle approach to the back glass.

On to the rear deck, it needs to be removable to allow our custom molded headliner to be removed and installed. A template is made to give us an idea where we will end up with it. It fits well and makes a nice gentle approach to the back glass.

Time to get a bit more detailed showing what is done to make the upper surround come together. We cut off the old flat and square looking qter window surround and toss it in the G.M. trash bin. Mock up is long and lean, curved from front to back.

Time to get a bit more detailed showing what is done to make the upper surround come together. We cut off the old flat and square looking qter window surround and toss it in the G.M. trash bin. Mock up is long and lean, curved from front to back.

Now that is what I am talking about. Nice.

Now that is what I am talking about. Nice.

The side cover needs some final grinding on the edges for an exact fit. Planishing just a bit for a slight kick out.

The side cover needs some final grinding on the edges for an exact fit. Planishing just a bit for a slight kick out.

Time to paint our foam to help keep it intact and less fragile. Simply use water based latex paint, if possible do it in the shade of the color that you want the part to be so you can tell if you really like it.

Time to paint our foam to help keep it intact and less fragile. Simply use water based latex paint, if possible do it in the shade of the color that you want the part to be so you can tell if you really like it.

Installed and ready for action.

Installed and ready for action.

Sam ran a strip down through where the console metal will be finished off and where it meets the front section.

Sam ran a strip down through where the console metal will be finished off and where it meets the front section.

OK its time build the all important center section. Mock up as always.

OK its time build the all important center section. Mock up as always.

Looks a bit wild but it will submit in the hands of the Metal Bully

Looks a bit wild but it will submit in the hands of the Metal Bully

Final section to combine.

Final section to combine.

Laid out and needing some massaging.

Laid out and needing some massaging.

This picture shows the seat angle even better. Looks good and comfy too.

This picture shows the seat angle even better. Looks good and comfy too.

Now a piece under the seat for a filler panel. It is roughed out and unfinished but you get the idea.

Now a piece under the seat for a filler panel. It is roughed out and unfinished but you get the idea.

Next we made seat back mock ups in chip board to be sure both sides were exact matches.

Next we made seat back mock ups in chip board to be sure both sides were exact matches.

As seen it connects it all together and is ready for same serious support.

As seen it connects it all together and is ready for same serious support.

Bottom section gets the same type of structure but differently shaped.

Bottom section gets the same type of structure but differently shaped.

A wire was added to the back side to connect and also allow foam and materials to be attached.

A wire was added to the back side to connect and also allow foam and materials to be attached.

Next we have to add the door to make it flow in to the qter window surround. A simple piece was made to flow in and out unrestricted. Flows like a river.

Next we have to add the door to make it flow in to the qter window surround. A simple piece was made to flow in and out unrestricted. Flows like a river.

A fisheye picture shows a flow like no other.

A fisheye picture shows a flow like no other.

Building blocks of foam are added before any custom grinding takes place.

Building blocks of foam are added before any custom grinding takes place.

The same goes for the bottom section. Sort of like building blocks then contoured.

The same goes for the bottom section. Sort of like building blocks then contoured.

As a unit it looks and resembles the front buckets only a smaller version.

As a unit it looks and resembles the front buckets only a smaller version.

A perfectly matched set ready for fit to the car then custom matched upholstery when finished.

A perfectly matched set ready for fit to the car then custom matched upholstery when finished.

Looking good in the confines and an exact fit.

Looking good in the confines and an exact fit.

 

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