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Quality & Workmanship

Our Bespoke Service

15th SEP 2022

Reading time: 6 minutes

We understand that an ‘as original’ restoration may not give you the interior you dreamed of for your classic car. And cheaper off-the-shelf kits can leave you feeling frustrated with limited choice and colour options.

With our bespoke service, we work with you to create the interior you have always wanted by combining highest quality materials with our in-depth knowledge of trim options and finishes. We can elevate your restoration trim kit by upgrading materials from original specification.

Our comprehensive range of materials also means that you don’t need to feel limited by colour. Unlike other retailers, we offer multiple shade options across each of the our material categories which gives you a level of creativity and choice not possible with mass-manufactured off-the-shelf kits.

Full Leather Restoration Kits

We can use Leather across all parts originally supplied in Vinyl or Leathercloth to bring a true sense of luxury to your interior – from Door Panels to Hood Frame Envelope covers, we have developed our patterns over the years to allow for a leather upgrade across all our interior trim parts. Our comprehensive material library covers three finishes of leather – Grained, Smooth and Antiqued – each finish bringing its own appearance and character to an interior.

You can read more about our three different leather finishes in our Handbook post – Leather: Grained, Smooth and Antiqued – to help you decide.

We also offer Connolly Vaumol™ as an option across our trim kits. As the original leather supplier to many prestigious British classic car marques, the Connolly tannery and manufacturing processes have a steeped heritage within the automotive industry. By celebrating the unique natural qualities of each hide through graining, patina, aroma and handfeel, Connolly Vaumol™ is a good choice for those keen to retain a feel of authenticity and history across their restoration.

See all the colours in the Connolly Vaumol™ range here.

Triumph TR3 trimmed with Black Connolly Vaumol Leather Panels and Seats with White Piping
John Skinner provided the interior for this Triumph TR3 using Connolly Vaumol™ leather throughout. The car was a concours winner at TR International 2021 and was also awarded Best in Show.
E Type OTS 4.2ltr trimmed with Suede Green Full Leather Seats, Panels and Hood Frame Envelope Cover
From Door Panels to Hood Frame Envelope Covers, we can upgrade all our parts to be manufactured in leather. This Jaguar E Type OTS 4.2ltr upgraded all original vinyl areas to full leather, including the Hood Frame Envelope Cover. Interior is Suede Green.

Leather Welding and Embossing for Panels & Seats

For those wanting to upgrade from vinyl to leather across seats and panel work, we can still offer original weld lines across our panels and embossed patterns across our seats.

Leather Welding

Originally only seen on vinyl, we have created a method that allows us to add HF weld lines across our leather panels. This means our customers can upgrade their material choices from vinyl to leather without compromising on original details that identify interior panel work. Weld lines were a defining feature across Austin Healey BJ8, Triumph TR3A-TR6 and Jaguar Saloon panel kits.

Austin Healey 3000 Mark 3 BJ8 Quarter Panel trimmed in AH Blue Leather with original square weld pattern.
Triumph TR4A – early TR6 Rear Bulkhead Panel trimmed in Biscuit Leather with original ‘lots of lines’ weld pattern.
Jaguar S-Type 420 Rear Door Panel trimmed in Matador Red Leather with original weld pattern.

Leather Embossing

For Austin Healey 3000 Mark 3 BJ8 and Triumph TR5, TR250 & TR6 Full Leather or LeatherFaced seat kits, we offer a ‘Perforated Embossed’ finish which gives a nod to the styling of the original vinyl versions of the same seat that carried an embossed weld pattern across the pleated areas.

(Please note that this finish is absolutely not meant to match original – this optional upgrade is offered to imitate the welded vinyl finish on seat work. Any leather seats that left the production line would have originally been plain).

Triumph TR6 LeatherFaced Front Seats with bespoke Perforated Embossed finish to the leather pleats and a custom blue piping.
Triumph TR6 LeatherFaced Front Seats with bespoke Perforated Embossed finish to the leather pleats and a custom blue piping.


Austin Healey 3000 Mark 3 BJ8 interior showing black Leather Seats with a Perforated Embossed finish
Austin Healey 3000 Mark 3 BJ8 interior showing Leather Seats with a Perforated Embossed finish.


Carpet Upgrades

We can use our wool or nylon carpets across parts originally manufactured in Armacord, Hardura or Black Grain Board to elevate interiors to a prestigious finish.

Armacord and Hardura were most commonly seen across Austin Healey & Jaguar interiors respectively, predominantly in the Boot/Trunk, Cockpit and Rear Deck areas. The Boot/Trunk areas of Triumph TR’s were often kitted out with black grained fibreboard panels.

For the original production lines, these materials were hardwearing and cost effective making them ideal for these more ‘hidden’ yet functional areas of the car. However, today’s classic car owner – who is often restoring a car for occasional hobby use – can allow for a re-consideration of what materials to use across these parts.

Upgrading to wool carpet brings a feeling of excellence to all areas of your car – particularly to parts that were never designed to be on show and where such luxury is not normally expected.

We can then trim any surrounding panels in complementary colour leather for a complete look.

With our extensive material options, you can upgrade basic Black Grain Board panels – a common feature of Boot Trunk Areas – to be covered in a combination of Wool and Leather, giving an exceptional finish to a somewhat forgotten area of a car.
Triumph TR3A Boot Trunk trimmed in Red Wool carpet
The owner of this Triumph TR3A upgraded to Red Wool carpet for re-trimming the Boot/Trunk area and the results were truly exceptional.
Austin Healey BN7 Rear Deck Area trimmed in Pale Shadow Blue Wool carpet
This Austin Healey BN7 used Pale Shadow Blue Wool throughout the Rear Deck and Boot/Trunk areas making for a superb finish across a prominent restoration for the owner.
MK2 & Daimler V8 250 Bespoke Boot Trunk Kit in Dark Green Wool. Original Hardura parts upgraded to Wool carpet with bespoke made Rear Wheel Arch Covers and Rear Bulkhead to cover up otherwise exposed body paint work.

Comprehensive Choice of Colour

Without a doubt, we have the widest range of colour choice for interior trim within the industry. We offer multiple shade options across all major colour groups and over the years we have built a comprehensive library of colour that satisfies all original colour interpretations whilst offering something a little different for those opting for an individual take. For our bespoke kits, you absolutely don’t have to feel limited by the original colour scheme of your classic car and there are endless colour possibilities. We can offer all our trim kits in every colour available in our Material and Colours Library.

Feeling a little overwhelmed? Read our Colour Focus: Colour Schemes Handbook post for inspirational interior colours and advice on how to create the interior look that’s right for you and your car.

We provide knowledgeable pre-sales advice regarding colour options for your restoration project and we are pleased to offer a free worldwide sample service for all of our materials.

You can view all our digital swatch cards here.

Larger swatch cuttings and small mock ups for piping & binding are available on request and for a small charge.

Material library colour swatches
Our extensive colour library gives a wide choice of shading across all the main colour groups; a carefully researched and curated colour collection that satisfies all interpretations of ‘original’ colour specification.

The Extra Details

Sometimes it’s just the little things that can make a huge difference to the overall look and feel of an interior. With our bespoke service, you can add those extra touches that otherwise wouldn’t be an option with off-the-shelf kits.

From contrast topstitching to custom piping, we can get rather creative with our kits. For details such as moulded armrests – seen commonly throughout the Jaguar E-Type range and still only available in a limited range of colours – we can offer to custom trim these in leather to a colour of your choosing.

Contrast topstitching along carpet binding.
AH Blue piping on black TR6 leather-faced seats
Custom AH Blue outer piping on Black LeatherFaced TR6 Seats.
E-Type armrest trimmed in leather with topstitching
E-Type Armrest custom trimmed in Midnight Blue Leather with topstitched finish.
Triumph TR6 boot area with custom sound system installed
For truly individual and unique restorations – such as this Triumph TR6 project that included the installation of a sound system within the Boot/Trunk area – we are able to supply extra raw materials for yourself or your trimmer to work with and get creative!

Modern-day Soundproofing Technology

We offer our Soundproofing kits with advanced technology to equip your car with impressive heat and sound resistance and bring the comfort of modern-day motoring into your classic driving experience.

As world-leaders in heat and sound deadening technology, we are proud to work with Dynamat and Dodo Mat fabrications to offer this service.

These kits work in conjunction with our original specification 6mm jute felt Underfelt Soundproofing Kits by providing a base layer to the floor area of the car before the jute is then fitted on top.. We supply each piece bigger than required to allow for ease of fitment and neat trimming back of edges once in position.

Dyanmat soundproofing material

Whether your restoration is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, or one of many projects you have undertaken, quality interior trim is worth the wait. Don’t feel rushed into making quick decisions influenced by quicker lead times and lower costs promised by mass manufactured off-the-shelf kits. These kits don’t offer you the flexibility of colour choice and customisation, and they seldom offer pre-sales advice and knowledge to the extent that we can.

John Skinner’s is truly a name to be trusted within the interior trim market, offering a level of quality both across our trim and our customer service that’s unrivalled by others. When it comes to your interior, we’re here to help you create it.