The Saga of the Seats
The B7, by the time it was in my hands, was not a garage queen. And I didn’t want one, either. I used to own a Golf Yellow 1972 3.0CSL. I also had virtually every Alpina part for that car, including the very rare Bilstein struts with built in negative camber and a close ratio five-speed . Although the most beautiful car I’ve owned, I hated driving that CSL because I was always worried someone was going to hit me – the aluminum body panels were NLA and could not be replaced if hit. That car taught me I didn’t like looking at gorgeous cars that just sit in my garage, I like driving them.
Part of what attracts me to early 80s Alpinas is that they’re very special, fun cars in stock bodies. Body parts for those cars are readily available and any necessary bodywork is easy to perform, alleviating any anxiety about driving a rare car out in the wild.
But the down-side of buying a driver’s quality rare car is that often at least some of it is not in great condition. That described the state of the upholstery. The cloth was not torn but it was faded; it was a weird, sewn-together pattern attempting to mimic the correct stripes, but clearly not actual Alpina fabric. Charitably, it was a poor imitation.
Although not available from Alpina, I was able to source some authentic-looking fabric to reupholster the seats.
A friend recommended a nearby local shop that I ended up using, taking the seats to him shortly after the car went up on jack-stands for the suspension refresh, just at the start of the Bay Area shelter-in-place. He said they’d be ready in 2 weeks. Two months later, they were ready and I went to pick them up. Fortunately, the suspension project was taking much longer than it should, so the delay didn’t slow down the progress.
The install was straight-forward, bolting them back in with little drama. Most importantly, they look really good in there.