Here are the Sparco sliders. They're merely two narrow rails with a simple loop handle. Th
Personalization, probably more than any other single aspect, motivates us to build cars. Ours is a time-honored ritual of deconstructing things mass produced for many people and reassembling them individually to fit us.
In fact, some of us are so good at making our cars fit us that we can inadvertently build a car that won't fit anyone else. Speaking of interiors in particular, we're known to fabricate seats and position steering wheels and pedal assemblies to match our specific proportions. Someone of relatively similar size may fit, but forget about anyone else.
Auto manufacturers licked the problem by mounting seats on adjustable sliders, however, OEM-style adjusters are notoriously big, clunky, and specific to the application. As our man Frank Wallic found out, even the adjusters available to our corner of the aftermarket weren't all that much better. In fact, to find the solution to his problem, he ended up venturing into enemy territory.
You may grumble and shake your fist at them, but sporty-car types are a lot like us: They tailor their cars, albeit by different standards. Actually, they have one up on us: Since their cars tend to be smaller and lighter, they demand similarly compact, featherweight parts. One of those parts, Wallic found out, was a really compact, low-profile, lightweight, slick-looking, and uncannily simple seat slider.
Frank Wallic tested the mounting points in several locations to determine the best positio
It's made by Sparco, the company that specializes in the bits and pieces the driver contacts: clothing, helmets steering wheels, harnesses, seats, and by extension, sliders. This is no fly-by-night operation either. Sparco has proven itself to finicky sports car enthusiasts in Europe for decades, and most recently it's gained a following stateside: Jeff Gordon, Bobby Labonte, Juan Pablo Montoya, Jimmy Vasser, Bill Elliott, and Paul Tracy, just to name a few, fly the Sparco flag.
According to Wallic, these Sparco bucket seat sliders measure 1 1/2 inches high, 12 1/2 inches long, and offer a tick more than 10 inches of adjustment. The adjuster bar-which reminds us an awful lot of an old Jeep lever-dictates how far apart the sliders mount: In stock form the sliders measure 16 inches apart, but Wallic said the spread can be altered by bending or spreading the lever. Sparco also makes the lever extra long so it can be trimmed to fit. At about $60 per seat they cost more than many. It's a fair trade though considering the sliders' relatively low profile and long adjustment range.
Ultimately Wallic concealed the sliders by mounting the upper brackets as far back on the
He's using these sliders to make a set of his bomber buckets in his latest ride adjustable. He installed his between the seat riser and the floor, which allows the seats to slide fore and aft, however, there's more than one way to skin a cat. Most seat risers pitch the seat rearward, so consider mounting them between whatever you use for a riser and the seat itself. That way the seats will climb as they slide forward depending on the riser's top angle. It's something to ponder since shorter drivers may need a boost to see over the cowl and taller drivers may appreciate the headroom.
But what really made Wallic happy was how easy they were to install. Sure, his seat risers' base dimensions just happened to fall within spec, but even with some fabrication these things are about as simple as they come.