Imperial Home Page -> Repair -> Interior -> Carpeting
Tips from Elijah on Door Carpeting Restoration:
Once in a blue moon, I stumble across a solution to a car problem that's astoundingly simple. Rare, but it happens. :o)
So here's my tip o' the day:
Tired of those dirty, worn, faded door panel carpets? Here's the simple solution: Rit Liquid Dye.
I replaced the dark blue carpet in my '71 LeBaron last year, and the new carpet looks great. But the carpet inserts in the door panels still looked like 30+ year old faded carpet. Having those inserts replaced with new carpet was an option, but would have been costly and time consuming.
So instead, I spent about half an hour today with a spray bottle of Rit Liquid Dye. I took a small carpet sample to Wal-Mart to select the color closest to what I needed (happened to be Denim Blue). The dye was about $2.00, and the spray bottle was about $1.00.
I simply mixed the dye according to the instructions on the bottle (hot water and some salt, basically), taped off the carpet inserts to prevent overspray on the door panels, and sprayed away! I also had a stiff nylon brush to work the dye into the carpet.
The results look great. I'm amazed at how easy this was.
It also works great on those faded seat belts!
Tips from Brad:
Today I tried out that carpet paint I have been seeing in the store. Its amazing! The black carpet was quite faded on the seat backs and the front of the rear seat bottom. I masked off the vinyl and sprayed on the carpet paint. The paint dried in about 15 minutes so I now have wonderfully black carpet again on those parts. I thought I might have to get someone to replace that carpet but the paint saved me a ton of cash. I recommend this product. I bought mine at my local Canadian Tire store.
This particular product is called "U-Fix-It, Fabric Colour For Carpet & Upholstery" It is distributed by "XCel Manufacturing Group (Windsor) Ltd. Windsor Ont. N9C 1K2" but it says it is "Made in U.S.A."
I also picked up another product called "U-Fix-It, Vinyl Colour For Touch-Ups or Colour Changes to Vinyl" I'll have to try to get that in green so I can paint the white door panel in my Newporker to green.
Addition from Loyal:
I had just bought a similar product about a week & a half ago. The stuff I got is by Dupli-Color (got it at Auto Zone for about $4.00). It says vinyl & fabric color on the can & works like spay paint. I had the same problem with sun bleached carpeted areas & it works great.
Addition from Kerry:
Don't recall the brand but they have it at Autozone and Advance in the rattle can paint area. The only colors are black, red, and Gray(??) but a autopaint store can mix up SEM brand in any color.
Question from Teresa:
I have been considering getting my carpet set for from Kanter, and I have heard a number of remarks in all directions on how people on the IML feel about Kanter's carpet. So, in my search for fabric for my car, I found factory original fabrics and factory spec replicated fabrics from an Oregon company. They sent me samples of their fabric and it was a superb match for the original in my car interior. However, the upholstery guy that was going to do my work complained about fabrics that were much thicker than these factory originals and replicated versions telling me that they would never last very long. Anyone out there know how long these original type fabrics can be expected to last with typical wear. Yeah, the car is gonna get driven...that is why I have it, but before I spent $45.00 per yard, I wanna know how long I can expect that investment to last.
My second question is this, has anyone out there bought fabric from these guys, and/or the carpet sets that they also make to factory specs? I haven't checked on the carpet set prices, but I will assume that it is more than Kanter. But, if the quality is there, great. The place is called SMS, and I am wondering if you all have dealt with them, and what you thought about either their fabrics or their carpet sets.
(Webmaster note: Please check out our Member's Review for reviews of SMS Interiors.)
Reply from Dale:
You seek the answer to one of the million dollar questions. How long will the original fabric last? No one can provide you a guarantee to that question. SMS does sell both reproduction and NOS fabrics for many cars. The quality is good. I have used them for my own restoration. Some fabrics are inherently stonger than others (this can be atested to by the long wearing Herculon on mother's sofa!) Longevity can be dependent on the size of the yard, the weave of the fabric, and the underlying support of the foam and batting in the seats. I would suspect that the NOS fabric would stand up to the type of us you will be placing on the car. Most of us are not using our Imperials or vintage cars the way there were first used when new. They tend to be a lot more pampered. Ultimately you will have to decide if originality is worth the price to pay for the fabric and the care you will take to preserve the interior. The original cloth is still in great condition in my 60 New Yorker coupe. The problem with this interior is the deterioration of the seat foam. The car came from Washington which has helped to preserve the interior. I have another low mileage 60 New Yorker sedan with the broadcloth and snowflake insert interior. This one is toast as it spent the majority of its life baking in Oklahoma. The foam and the wool broadcloth are disintegrating right before my eyes! I tend to like originality so I would encourage you to get the NOS fabric.
Carpet for your car is going to be more of a challenge. Most of the current auto carpet and carpet sets out there today do not have the correct pile type and length of pile for later forward look Imperials (and Chryslers). I have been searching most of the summer for someone that offers something reasonably close to replace what is in my wagon. As an example, for 1960 the Imperial and the Chrysler use similar carpeting which has a longer than now offered yarn length and a much higher density. I have found nothing from an automotive carpet supplier that is close to correct. All I found was the standard short cut pile nap that in no way offers the same luxurious texture and feel required to make the car look correct. I ended up ordering a residential carpet which is going to be made into the carpet set. If anyone has information on where to obtain correct carpet I would love to know.... and I know of several others that would too!
Question from Dennis:
Ernie answered a question about carpet saying to just cut and fit and have the edges serged. What is serging, and if it is sealing the edges where can you typically get that done. I have carpet for my '53 Custom and would like to cut it but I do not know how to seal the edges.
An upholstery shop should be able to serge the edges. Serging is like binding the raw edges, only it's done with thread, not a another piece of fabric or carpet. The seams of your t-shirts are probably serged.
I have never seen a home serger that would even BEGIN to handle carpeting. Most don't even deal well with threee layers of polar fleece - the acid test when I bough mine - over a high-end Juki model costign three ties the price of my little White superlock. For those still in the dark regarding the term, it is binding the raw edge of material with multiple threads to prevent ravelling. Typically, sergers trim off a thin edge of material as they bind it in thread, using very sharp knife sets.
Carpet edges are typically either serged (by an industrial machine - I don't even want to think about financing one, let alone maintaining it) or bound with matching color bias tape. I have done carpet edge binding on my old Singer industrial straight stitcher, but it's an unpleasant job at best, carpet being particularly harsh to handle. If I had to have carpet sets made for a car, I would definitely seek out someone who is already set up to do the work - providing them with good templates would be the easy part!
I found a fellow in Vancouver WA who advertises such a service - was going to check him out next summer, of whenever I had enough cash to get \Lucille's floorboards re-dressed. Will have to find link again, then will post it to the list.
Try this, it is easier than buying an expensive machine. Cut an oversize piece of carpet from the source. Make sure that the pattern in the loops goes the same direction. Lay the piece over the part needed to replace. Cut the carpet to the same dimensions by pulling the loop back and using the jute for the pattern. After this is done get carpet seaming tape and use an iron to seam the new piece into the existing carpet. Again making sure the pattern matches. When done you can use a hot glue gun to seal the top of the cuts, if needed. O-yeah Use the hot iron from the back side of the carpet. I have used this on carpet burns from cigarettes in my rentals. It works great. I would practise on junk carpet first.
I used my old one as a pattern. If you don't have access to it, let it relax in the hot sun for a while and make a partial slit where you think you need to cut it, but be sure to stay in a safe area. It ain't rocket science, just be careful. You can enlarge your tentative initial slit easily, it's real hard to go the other way. If this is an ACC carpet, it should fit perfectly, at least mine did. I did have to cut a hole for the floor button for the radio, and for the center console as you say, but they are pretty small and can be done in small steps. Fold the carpet so you are laying the right side of the carpet in the right way, with the left side folded back over it, you can see what is lining up by looking under at the fold.
You might try using a heat gun (an industrial-type hair dryer) in moderation or possibly some hot, steaming towels to heat the carpet gently and possibly get some of the kinks out of the backing material. If your locae is seeing some bright and hot sunshine, putting it out in the yard during the heat of the day might be an option too.
Question from Dave:
I have treated our Imp poorly, I'm afraid, and left it out in the rain with a water leak in the trunk. It developed a mold problem in the carpet there, so I moved the wife's car out of the garage and put the Imp in and opened it all up. The moisture that developed inside the car that migrated from the trunk and is now growing mold on the carpet inside and on the headliner. Shame on me:-(. Will I be able to kill this stuff permanently without having to gut the interior, and what do I use if I can?
One product that I've had good luck with is called Damp Rid. It comes in a little plastic "bucket" with a strainer -- you fill the strainer with the Damp Rid pellets, which suck up moisture and deposit it in the bucket.
When I've had moisture problems in cars, I put three or four buckets of damp rid in them for a week or so (check them every couple of days). Then you should be able to vacuum out the dry powdery mold and mildew. I have a handheld Dirt Devil vacuum that has a rotating brush that is super for this sort of thing.
A few dryer sheets (i.e. Bounce) under the seats for a few weeks will kill any lingering odor.
Damp Rid is nothing more than calcium cloride pallets. No need to buy the damp rid refiils. Just get a bag of calcium cloride.
I would clean those carpets with a steam cleaner with maybe a tablespoon of T.S.P (found in paint stores) added to about 1-1/2 gallons of the water. Not only will this clean up the mould and dirt but it will kill the smell at the same time. With regard to the headliner I would be a little more careful and just use some soap and water in a spray bottle. Spray it lightly, don't soak it, and gently dab it with a soft cloth. As for cutting down on the moisture the calcium chloride tablets sounds like an idea, or possibly a box or dish of baking soda. What I have done is to place a small electric car heater inside and plug it in once in a while, for a few hours, to dry the car out. This works quite well.
Question from Clay:
Does anyone have any advise on how to get rust stains out of my Imperial's carpeting?
I have used Hydrogen Peroxide to remove stains from carpet for years. put a small amount on the spot, let it soak a little & fizzle. then blot it up. I always try a hidden area first to insure the dye is not going to fade. Let us know how it works.
Try Folex Instant Carpet Spot Remover. Under $10 for a quart spray bottle at supermarkets (I bought it at Safeway). Says it removes rust and "most old stains". I know it works very well on pet stains, coffee, ink, plain ole dirt. You spray it on and blot it up with clean, dry towels (I use paper towels or the blue shop towels).
Question from Dennis (1953):
I am looking to replace the carpet in a 1953 Imperial and would prefer to go right to the source. Is ACC the best?
I don't think that ACC has the correct hog's hair carpet for your 53 but I'm sure they can provide something that fits and looks good. I never found a source for the hog's hair carpet while I had my '54.
Bill Hirsch sometimes advertises Hog's hair carpet for Mopars.
Question from Mick (1958):
Has a '58 have a pattern on the floor mats, a crown or an eagle?
Reply from Doug:
My '58 still has the original carpets and heel pad. I has a weird keystone shape unlike the rectangular ones that you see in generic carpets. The upper right corner is ribbed and also keystone shaped. The rest of the heel pad is smooth and devoid of markings. I am planning to have it cut out and sewn to the new carpets when I get some. Another thing, the heel pad is color keyed to the color of the interior.
Question from Kurt (1959):
Has anyone ordered Gary Goers' carpet sets? I believe that my '59 has a cut pile and I want it to be as O.E. as is humanly possible. Any other suppliers? My carpets are your basic black and I realize that no one is doing molded sets for the '59 Imperials.
I think what they mean is they have carpet that will fit. It's not likely a reproduction of what was in there originally. Imperials in the 60's used a cut pile - quite deep up through 1965. In 1966 they went to a shorter nap, Wilton-style cut-pile carpet. I can't think of any postwar Imperial that used a loop pile.
Some carpet providers may have access to really deep pile carpet. (Although I don't know of any.) However, it is doubtful they would be able to provide you with molded carpet. It would be a cut & sew style, not always a good thing unless done and installed absolutely correctly. I speak from experience with a truly crappy Kanter cut & sew carpet set for a friend's '66 Imperial.
Turquoise carpet would be terrific, but if the original carpet on the back of your seat is black, then that is what you should go with unless you plan on changing the seat carpet, too. Also, should you get lucky in your search for shag, chances are good it will be available in black.
In 1960, Chrysler appears to have used black carpet in every interior selection except for two of the 5 colors of New Yorker cloth interiors - blue and terra cotta. 1960 Imperials seem to have used black carpet in most of its interior selections, also. Perhaps the same was true in 1959.
I have dealt with ACC, they will make a carpet of cut pile for you if that is what you want, regardless of what their catalog says. I had them make a carpet for my '67 convertible out of very dark green cut pile carpet - it is beautiful and fits perfectly, and came with die cut padding already glued to the carpet, with all the right cutouts etc. I couldn't be happier with the fit and appearance. The texture is close to the original, but not exact. However, I think it is as close as can be gotten with modern materials.
I do not think I have encountered any other color than black carpet when I was originally looking to buy my 1959 Imperial, but then again it is one of those things you're really not sure of. There was one with a green interior which may have had dark green carpet, but I couldn't be sure. We will have to leave this one to a carpet expert.
Try 1aauto.com. I am not sure of all the carpets they produce but, they make molded carpets from original floor pans.
A friend of mine has gotten complete sets of interiors from Goers. They are great. You might have to wait a while but I know it will be worth it.
If the carpet is the same as my '58 it is just 40 oz nylon cut pile with a surged edge. It is not molded in any way and the fit at the hump in the front is facilitated with a slit of which the edge is surged. I got a perfect match from my original sample at a local carper store for less than $20 a yard.
I bought the trunk rug, spare tire cover, and trunk panels from Gary Goers last month and they look great.
Question from Mel (1959):
I need some advice. I have been having an extremely difficult time finding a carpet (including the trunk) for my '59 LeBaron. I have tried Auto Custom Carpets, Roberts Motor Parts, SMS (they don't deal in carpets) and a few other local smaller dealers. All to no avail. Any advice or leads?
Try Kanter Auto. They sell the carpet kits with padding, as well as the headliners. As far as the trunk kit goes, they don't do those, and I haven't found anyone who does. For our car, we have decided to buy the same carpet yardage for our trunk that we bought for the interior, and custom fit it ourselves to the trunk. I do a lot of sewing and upholstery, and so this is not a big deal for me. But, if you have never tried something like this, you can make patterns using some old sheets or something, and then use those patterns to cut out your trunk pieces. It isn't hard to do at all, it just takes patience to make sure that you get the fitting right, and as they say in construction, "measure twice, cut once."
The site is:
All carpets and headliners made to factory specs...including heel pad and padding for under $200.00 FABULOUS deal. And, I think that the headliners are $160.00 or so.
Follow-up from Dave:
Don't bother with Kanter for Carpet & Headliner. I bought the items a couple of years back, the carpet s colour is fading & the headliner looked more like an upside-down mushroom due to the stitching. I would go to a small trim shop one that cares what they are doing. Kanter is fine if you want brake & engine parts , (at a price !). Remember Kanter do not make the trim, it is farmed out.
Gary Goers has a great trunk kit. Even the instructions for the car jack. Also the carpet, that is molded to the gas pedal, but you have to send in your core. Check out his catalog. But their is a waiting time for delivery.
There is simply not carpet available that is like the dense pile used in the '59 Imperial. I know fellow member Richard Burgess finally bought some sort of household carpet for his '60 because it came closer than any to the style. About the best you can do is to install loop carpet, and almost no one will know the difference. I checked everywhere when I did my car and ending up saving and re-dyeing my original carpet.
Question from Neal (1959):
My '59's black carpet must be replaced. In many places there's no nap left at all. How feasible would it be to use late 1970's Lincoln carpeting? I think I can get that through Original Auto Interiors in Michigan. I realize that molded carpet for a '79 Town Car wouldn't correspond to a '59 Crown 4-door, and that I'd have welting or seams along the edges. It does, though, have a similar deep pile that would be close to the pristine original carpet I have on the back of the front seat, more so than the loop/cut pile that Mopar used in the '60's. Any thoughts?
Reply from Don:
If it has a similar pile to your '59, ask them to yuse that type of carpeting and mold it for the '59 floorpan. I did the same thing a few years back and asked them to use mid '60's to early '70's pile on a Cordoba or similar type car. They actually contacted me and said it wasn't original to that particular car but would do it if that's what I wanted. Check with them and if they'll doing, at least you won't have the problem of the carpeting not conforming to your floorpan.
Question from Richard (1960):
I am looking for the elusive deep pile wool carpeting for my 1960 Crown in black. Mine looked like brand new but I have discovered it suffers from dry rot and so will need material for the floor, door panels, kick panels, and seat back. I found a tag under the carpet that says: Barwick Carpet Mills, Part 2109724, style Front Pad, 415 Black, Date Jan 12 1960.
I looked up Barwick Mills on the internet and found that they were one of the largest mills in Dalton Georgia and indeed made automotive carpet. They were in business from 1957 to 1980 so are of no use to me now. The history of the company is very interesting and is even related to the Nash automobile. If you just want to know way too much Imperial trivia look it up! Anyway, as I was warned, "they don't make it anymore". I have tried all the obvious sources in Hemmings and other resources as well. Now I could really use the club's help in finding a source. 1/2" black wool pile carpet just can't be as extinct as everyone says. My upholstering can not proceed until I have the carpet.
Carpet is probably harder to come by then Budd rotors. You would think that something so universal would be easy, but I've never found anything that comes close to being correct. If your shop can't find anything with their resources, I don't know how they expect you to find it.
Try 1A Auto in Pepperell, MA. They specialize in replacement fuel tanks, weatherstripping, replacement carpets, and convertible tops.
Find them at 1aauto.com
I wish you luck in your search for wool carpeting for your '60. I remember searching for what seemed like an eternity for the 'clipped twist' carpet that was in my '65 convertible. I called every place I found in Hemmings and even contacted Masland Carpets (I knew a rep. who told me Masland might reproduce it for me as they used to make auto carpet) all to no avail. The ads that read "just like Chrysler installed at the factory" were particularly frustrating. None of those companies had the carpet Chrysler installed in my Imperial! I finally found a company in Lucerne Valley, CA, L. Walston - Auto Interiors who ended up making the carpet for my car. It isn't exactly what was in the car but it is pretty close and unfortunately will have to do. I think the carpet for the '65 is as elusive as that for the '60! Auto Custom Carpets in Anniston, AL my have a suitable substitute for the pile length but I feel confident it won't be wool.
Another IML'er has mentioned Gary Goers, and I think that he is the best possible source for the right carpet. I have also seen other posts about him being fairly busy, and not being able to fill orders very quickly.
I asked an upholstery shop about replacing the carpet in my '63 Crown and they said that they didn't think there were any suppliers that could provide it or anything close. That doesn't mean that I am going to give up, and I am sure that I will find something that will look good in the car.
If you are having trouble finding a source, Collectors Auto Supply can supply correctly sewn wool carpet for 1949-1983 Imperials. It includes the padding and is $400 plus shipping. I can send out a few samples.
Back when I was doing some restoration for fun and profit (1977-1997), I established a dealer type relationship with ACC carpets - and I still occasionally buy from them. Just recently I got a replacement carpet set for a 1976 Corvette from them, and it was very close to OEM quality, and fit perfectly, with all the right cutouts, padding, and molded shape. I've also used their carpet to replace the original dark green cut pile in my '67 Imperial convertible - I couldn't be happier with the fit and quality. No, it is not as high quality as the original carpet - I don't believe that is available anywhere. ACC is the suppliers to the re-sellers of carpets to the hobby, including those discussed here recently. Their product fits right, is shipped next day, costs a reasonable amount, and is of good quality. The carpet quality is NOT as good as OEM carpet in luxury cars, but is quite decent, and for our cars, it's the only game in town unless you go to a custom carpet maker, or stumble into a commercial grade carpet that happens to match.
I don't know of any source of OEM level quality for luxury cars, especially for cut pile carpet, other than those made for very high dollar cars by the original mills, mostly in England. If you are willing to spend thousands of dollars to get exactly the right carpet, more power to you. If you want to replace your carpet for a price in 3 digits, ACC is the place to go!
Question from (1961):
I've pulled the interior from my 61 Imperial Crown Southampton - MaeWest- and am trying to order a new carpet set and padding. It appears that most of the vendors I find show carpet sets available for the Imperials for 1962 forward but do not include the '61 there. I was under the impression that the interiors of the 61-63 Imperials were similar since all seem to have the same dash set-ups etc... Can anybody confirm that the carpets should or should not be the same between a '61 and a '62?
Reply from Chris:
'61 & '62 carpet sets differ because the aluminum torqueflte was introdiced in '62 with a much smaller trans hump. However, most molded carpet sets come with enough extra material on the edges that it should not be a big problem to get a good fit. I did that with my '60 New Yorker wagon - ordered a set from a '63 Chrysler sedan and it fit beautifully, requiring only some trimming in a hidden area where it bunched up under the front seat. Check the section I wrote on carpet installation.
The installation in your '61 would be the same in every aspect.
Question from Mark (1964):
I have recently removed the carpet from my Imperial, and I am now in the process of scraping the remnants off the floor pan so that I can address the rust. What is that stuff? It looks like undercoating. Was this normal? Was there paint under it--I can't tell, about all I can see under it is rust or what could be either bare metal or primer/paint. Surprisingly, even with as much rust as there is, yet again no rust through.
I don't know what that stuff is, but I wire wheeled it off using a grinder with a wire rope cupped wheel attachment, used eastwood rust encapsulator over rust-mort, and then sprayed undercoating all over and thick. the undercoating dampens vibration and road noise, and it's going to be invisible under the carpet, so I laid it on thick. Almost as good as Dynamat but much less weight.
The stuff you are scrapping is sound deadner;it is normal for this to be there.Under this sound deadner (depending on the year) you could find paint or primer, this stuff is part of why your car is still here! Auto paint jobbers or Summit Parts magazine will have this stuff; look for Dino-mat...it is a very good product!
Follow-up from Rob:
Dynomat is pricey. On the MML there were all kinds of discussions about cheaper alternatives for what is basically a HEAVY stick on mat. You'd better have paint and primer under the Dynomat or its alternative.
Follow-up question from Mark:
My plan for the rust was to go over it with my grinder to get rid of most of it, and then using POR15 to cover up the floor. Is rust mort/rust encapsulator better? I have no experience with these types of products. I don't want to have to deal with this rust again, so I want to use something that will work (short of cutting out the rust and welding in new metal, since the metal is still good).
Reply from Paul:
If the floor is rusty, but still "solid" there is no reason to cut it out and put in new metal. If it is prepared correctly, and the proper treatment is used, the rate of corrosion will be slowed dramatically, and will not require additional work.
If it is perforated and weak, that is a different story.
Reply from Brooks:
Try POR15; that's exactly what I'm going to do with my '63 Crown convertible. The RR floor is perforated with rust, but that's the only place on the whole body. So I will cut it out and weld in a patch, then I think I'll probably paint the entire floorpan inside with POR15. Probably outside the body (underneath) too.
Reply from Kenyon:
Rust Mort kills and transforms the existing rust, soaking into it. It turns black and I like that from a psychological and emotional standpoint, even though I don't really know what that actually means, but it seems to be transforming the cancer before my eyes.
I then personally put encapsulator on top of the rust mort because I'm really superstitous about miracle rust products, and had to do most of the horizontal exterior surfaces on the weathered sow's-ear that I'm trying to make a silk purse out of, so that's why I got redundant. Floors are not such a biggie as they're out of sight.
POR-15 could be a better bet if you're doing the bottom sides(?) as it's really tough and hard when dry. Rust Mort & Encapsulator are both easier to apply - a rag for the 'Mort and a brush for the Encapsulator if you don't want to spray it.
Question from Dan (1966):
Can anyone of our vehicle 'interior' experts out there tell me if a carper set for a 1966 Imperial that says "4-door" on the box will also be usable for a 1966 convertible as well???
ACC has the pattern for the 1966 Imperial 2 Dr. HT, and can supply it in your choice from most any color. Their carpets are molded to fit the floor, bumps and all, and come with the original style jute padding, already cut to fit the various protrusions and mounting points on the floor. I have used their carpets very satisfactorily. Most recently, I ordered one for my 1967 Convertible in Dark Green Cut Pile carpet, and it was exactly right in all respects. The only trimming I had to do was for the minor difference in the under seat area for the rear seat between convertible and 2 door HT, and to allow for the floor button for the radio (which they leave out as not all cars have this item.) The carpet comes with the heel pad already sewn in, and the trim rings for the dimmer switch etc.
While I am no longer active, I still have my dealer arrangement with them, but it is much simpler if you order directly from them. By the time I buy it, then reship it to you, you'd be saving very little, and I'd have the worry about any errors.
They are the major (possibly only) supplier to the old car carpet replacement market, and will be the source of your carpet no matter who you order it from - the other guys are all middlemen for ACC.
When you order it, be sure to get their color samples first, unless you have something simple like Black. Their color palette has at least 30 different colors!
Also, you have to ask for cut pile if that is what you want, because their default material is 80/20 loop for that year car. In the case of my 1967, cut pile was correct, but 1966 might be different.
Contact info for them is at www.accmats.com
They have an online catalog, you'll find your carpet on page 95 or thereabouts - it is number 3884, but you must also specify body style to get the right one. Your price will be $190 or thereabouts.
They can also supply a noise deadening floor covering for $45 additional - it is die cut to fit right!
Be sure to order any extra yardage at the same time if you are doing kick panels or door bottoms, so you get carpet from the same die lot.
I used ACC when I replace the carpet in my '69 LeBaron. I just called them up and and they sent me samples of the color I needed as well as the style (cut or loop). When I got the carpet it was a really good fit and looked great. I would suggest if you replace the carpet to also get enough extra to do the door kicks. I did not and there is just enough difference in the color that it still bugs me.
A molded carpet set for a sedan may not fit exactly on a convertible. However, you might make it fit, if you can get the rear carpet section that goes around the "B" pillar on a sedan to lie flat enough to be used in the convertible.
Although the convertible rear foot wells appear shorter, upon removing the seat cushion you will find they are the same depth as the coupe or sedan. The convertible rear seat bottom cushion is moved forward about 4 inches on the convertible, its seat frame contoured to follow the floor accordingly. (Another "convertible only" part.) The good news is the extra carpet under the rear seat cushion can be used to cover the kick panels.
Question from Mark (1967):
Is it possible to buy half a set? Just for the front, for example? The carpet in one of my cars is perfect except for one area near the driver's kick panel. I really only need to replace the carpet in that area, or at worst, the whole front (the carpet seems to be divided into 2 sections, a front & back).
Also, this car has a console. I'm assuming it's the same carpet set that would be used for a car without a console and I'll have to remove the console to replace the carpet. Correct?
Reply from Dick:
You can buy just the front or just the rear section of carpet from ACC, but the chances of the color and texture matching exactly are very slim if you need cut pile. The newer cut pile is not as short or dense as the original factory carpet - it is longer and somewhat sparser - still very nice carpet, but not up to OEM quality. The front carpet is all one piece in any car I've worked on - the console is just installed over the carpet, as is the center pull down section on the 67-8 convertibles.
If your car has loop pile carpet in black, it might be pretty close, but if you are at all picky (perish the thought!), I think you'll be happier with all one batch of carpet for the whole car.
Question from Mark (1968):
Can someone tell me if the trunk carpeting in all models of Imperials (regardless of exterior car color) is black?
And in the back we have it black. You sir are correct on the trunk coloring.
From model year 1964 and up, they were all black.
Question from Mark (1971):
Again on my '71, I have floor mats that are original (or close to it). Unfortunately, there was a leak of some kind in the pass. compartment and these mats are stained. (It almost looks like bleach, because the color is gone in those areas.) The mats are color keyed to the interior, which is a very odd shade of greenish-gold, or goldish-green, depending on the light. Can anyone recommend a product I could spray or apply to these that would match the color and also be flexible enough for use on a floor mat?
There are spray vinyl colorants (or dyes if you will) I have used with various degrees of success. I imagine you will have a difficult time finding the exact shade for your mats but it is worth a try. If my memory serves me correctly, I saw a greenish gold vinyl spray at Pep Boys. Check it out and if that is not the correct shade, contact Jochem's Auto Parts in Manitowoc, WI at 800 433-0496. They can mix vinyl spray paint for you in a shade that will come close. You may have to send them one of the mats for them to match the color. They are great folks and have helped me with problems such as this before. I am not sure how well vinyl paint will adhere to floor mats but I'll bet there is some kind of prep. product that can be used on the mats prior to painting them that will help.
Although you'll never get an exact match, you can get some vinyl dye mixed up at your local auto paint store. That's an old trick used car dealers used to do to cover worn carpets. I tried it myself on some carpet for my Polara. I took in the kick panels and had them match to that. Wow! worked great.
You can usually get it put into an aerosol so you don't even need to dirty your paint gun.
Any auto paint store should be able to mix up some SEM vinyl/plastic paint in any color you want. Advance carries black, dark red, and a few other stock colors.
I was at the Auto Color body shop supply store Sat and looked at a rack of different color spray cans of vinyl dye. They can also match your color and you can pick up a Preval spray bottle at the Home Depot paint dept which will spray your paint (with proper amount of reducer depending on the paint) as an aerosol can would. I have had very good luck with vinyl dye on floor mats. The light gray mats in my 78 NYB were done several years ago and have held up very nicely.
SEM also makes a cleaning/conditioning prep kind of product that gets vinyl parts physically and chemically " clean " to accept the various vinyl dyes that are out there. If you want a longer lasting dye job, a good prep is very very important. It's not expensive to get this stuff and it can be sprayed on or wiped on with clean cloth.
This page last updated December 1, 2004. Send us your feedback, and come join the Imperial Mailing List - Online Car Club.