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petevw July 6th 2010 19:09

Seats: Fixed or Recliners?

Looking at a couple pairs of seats. It's a long story that i will tell within my '52 build thread. I can go either a recliner, or a fixed bucket. I really like the bucket, but don't know how i would like it on the street.

What is your opinion or experience with fixed seats? For those that own them, would you do it again?

Do you have any pics to share?




Sandeep July 6th 2010 22:44

I have a set of Sparco Fighter fixed seats and they hold me pretty well. I have nothing in the rear to access so don't need a reclining seat :D

If I needed to get in the back for something on a regular basis, I would consider a recliner.

How is the roll bar side bars fitting with your seats ?
Any luck with the clearance ?

I'll post some pics of the Sparcos as soon as I can find them.

Another option is using a fixed seat, and building a tilting mechanism out of welded square stock.


petevw July 7th 2010 01:55

^^^^No need to post twice Sandeep. I get it, you like your fixy's! :D

Here's the background story:
I pulled the seats out of my basement last week, and installed the driver seat in the '52. Left the other out to be installed the next day. Next day i noticed some critter munched on the seat bottom and left a 2-3inch hole. Totally pissed me off. So many years they stayed perfect and new, and overnight this crap.

As you know Sandeep, i wasn't thrilled with the fit in the split. Super tight against the tunnel, and the lower bolsters were in the way of the cage. So they are now going to be installed in the TDI for abit, and then sold. Just picked up VW MK4 mounts/sliders.

I went to a couple upholstery shops, and nobody has a decent solution for the mouse repair. Whatever is done to the one seat will have to be done to the other to match. Took the seat and showed it to the boys at JRP(Sparco dealer for Canada), and they say, that generation of Torinos are no longer made. I've got a email out to Sparco for some material, and hopefully i hear back.

So now i have these 2 options for the '52.
1-Those narrow Sparcos that have been put on the market for cars like the Miata, 914's, and early 911's. They fit real nice, and JRP is giving me a pretty good deal on them because what has happened.
2-Pair of Konig Carbon Kevlar fixed seats. They fit well and like 10lbs. Really nice and comfortable. Getting in and out of them in a car/harness would be awkward. Getting a awesome deal on those too.

And that brings us to todays poll........which one?


NO_H2O July 7th 2010 07:43

If you are going to drive it any distance, it is nice to change positions. If you are going to use the space behind the front seats, it would be nice to have access. If you are going to clean the area behind the front seats, it would be nice to have access. 3 good reasons for reclining seats.
If it is going to be a race car and you don't need to put anything behind the seats or clean behind them and you aren't going to drive any long distance, then go with the fixed seats.

volkdent July 7th 2010 13:12

Unless it's a track only car or has 4 doors, I would think about recliner, they are still pretty light, but so much more usable and adjustable.

Here's the in-between option:


Bug@5speed(US) July 7th 2010 14:41

Pete, Sorta the same sentiments as Volk..

If you are going to do track time, then there is no compromise.. I have done a good amount in both, and there is nothing more secure/connected than a track seat.. some like Corbeau have seat pads that help on the daily driving..

I found that most reclining seats are just to wide up top and bottom.. and I am no small guy.. it almost makes it pointless over the OEM seats.

So with a fixed and some padding it may not be too bad, but it does get a little tiring around the leg area from pressure of the side walls of the seat.. Again look at different seats as they will pinch you differently..

How far are you driving daily?

Sandeep July 7th 2010 16:01

I can't find any pics of the seats installed, but here is a web pic, I've got the black ones.

They do have a velcro lumbar / side support and are comfortable enough (for me) to drive from Toronto to TMP for some drag racing and back :D


Sandeep July 7th 2010 16:03

^^^ WOW that is a big pic ^^^ :lmao:


owdlvr July 8th 2010 01:38

I can definitely jump in here.

I've been using fixed back seats in my daily driver from 2002 till now. They were first in my Audi Rally car (which I drove daily) and have since been moved to the bug for daily use. I personally LOVE a well fitting, properly adjusted fixed back seat...and I don't ever find I need to adjust them. I'm not just using them for short trips either, I do 6hour days without problems, and regularly do 1000km weekends. It does take some time to set them up "just right" in terms of tilt for over-all comfort and enjoyment.

I do still have my stock '69 seats, which I swap back in on big travel weekends where we are stuffing the car full of gear. Getting mountain bike gear bags into the back seat with fixed backs is too annoying. But truthfully, the stock seats are just collecting dust.
('scuze the fresh coffee stain)


evilC July 8th 2010 07:37

I think it is really down to what you intend to use the car for?

As a road car - recliners with tilt/slide forward mechanism is the best. Usually, the only ones that have a robust mechanism that latches properly are OEM ones for some other car. The trim is much harder wearing so if you find a modern set it ought to be in good condition. I have used the front and rear seats out of my Alfa GTV6 (116), which fit well if a little cosy in places. I know the bolstering is good and comfortable having run the Alfa as a daily for 2 years (40,000mls). The drivers seat features a squab height adjustment that incorporates a massive spring loaded mechanism. This will be useful as the missus will be driving it and it will give her one less thing to complain about. the whole setup will be OK for use occasionally as a comp car.

As a competition car the fixed bucket seats are the way to go although they need setting up correctly because you can't adjust them easily. The fabric generally is cheap even on the expensive ones. The leather options are no better when compared to OEM seats. The side bolsters take a pounding when used as a daily and soon wear through. I have never found them that comfortable and numb bum usually occurs after a couple of hours unless you take frequent stops to get the circulation going. I intend to fit some Corbeau or Recaro competition seats in the Alfa as it will be used primarily for sport and fun.

In a nutshell I would decide what the car is primarily going to be used for - Road car = recliner; Competition = fixed shell seat. there can be no 50/50 decision on this for me. (Unless of course you have a fixed seat for the driver and a recliner for the front passenger as was common on a lot of road rally cars that had to retain most of the interior for daily use)

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