We ordered enough upholstery material to cover our three front panels and two side panels. We also ordered enough carpet to cover our real trunk floor, the false floor, the storage box interior and top, and the underside of the decklid. For panel board we chose ABS. ABS panels are far superior to cardboard or wood product boards. ABS boards are easy to cut with a utility knife or jigsaw, and they can be sanded, drilled, and heat-formed. ABS boards are completely waterproof and will not delaminate or warp. Pieces can be joined together to create larger panels, if needed.
While we were waiting for the material to arrive we began to cut cardboard patterns. Pattern making is a major part of any upholstery project and is critical, as the patterns will determine the actual size and shape of the upholstered panels. We made paper patterns for the carpet.
Once the EZ Boy material was delivered we began by cutting carpet pieces to fit the inside of the forward storage box. Contact cement was used to attach the carpet panels to the inside of the box. The top of the box, as well as two small side tops shapes were cut from the carpet and taken to a local upholstery shop to have a black binding sewn on, with a flap left to wrap around the wooden top pieces. The decklid cover carpet and the false floor carpet were also cut to shape and dropped off to have a red binding sewn on.
We used our patterns to cut the ABS board into our required shapes. Using a sharp utility knife you can cut through the board, or score it deep enough to break it off at the score line. Scoring and breaking can be tricky on small curves and intricate pieces.
Next we marked the ABS panel pattern on the backside of the pre-sewn upholstery panel. It is important to remember what panel is the left side and what panel is the right side and also what side of the ABS panel is the finish side. We then removed the foam from the upholstery panel up to the area that would be the actual panel. Contact cement was applied to the edge of the backside of the ABS panel and the areas where the foam had been removed from the pre-sewn upholstery panel. The upholstery was then wrapped around the ABS panel and stapled in place. This process was used for all panels. The finished upholstered panels were all attached using industrial-strength Velcro. The Velcro allows the side panels to be removed for additional storage areas.
A piece of carpet was cut to fit around the false floor opening and was contact cemented in place. The red bound floor carpet, which was cut over size to overlap the surrounding carpet, was then attached to the false floor door with Velcro. The decklid cover was attached with Velcro as well.
While paint and upholstery are two of the most visual parts of a street rod, they tend to be outsourced by most do-it-yourselfers. EZ Boy by LeBaron Bonney has made the upholstery part of building a street rod a lot less intimidating, and when completed you can be proud that you did it yourself.
Per design, our finished trunk area offers more than ample storage space and now when we raise the decklid the onlookers will not snicker. And we can proudly say, "We did it ourselves."