Repair and Maintenance Of Your Imperial's Headliner

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Question from Joe (1963):

How do I find out what is the correct color of the headliner that belongs in my Imperial?


From Rodger:

The style of headliner for a 63 is called "snake-bite".  In this style of covering there is a two hole and a four hole. We have the four hole style. Cut a small part of the liner that has been hidden from the elements and start making the rounds to the shops. By doing it this way you will get a chance to see the quality of the different shops, and the prices. The sun visors should be part of the headliner job.

From Jay:

Do you have a sample? If you headliner is deteriorating, may want to keep some scraps. you can send small samples of your material to various vendors that deal in interiors, or better yet, vendors deal specifically in headliners. I can't vouch for the ability to get authentic patterns (as in texture), as I have never had to replace a headliner. If you are doing a concours type restoration, locating an exact texture/pattern match may be difficult. If the pattern isn't as important to you as the color, you should be able to have a new headliner dyed to match your interior color.

For some leads, go to:

...and search on the word "headliner".

Hemmings Motor News has listings/ads for vendors that do headliners under the heading "Headliners" (what else?) =8^) (Hemmings is available at most major bookstores, usually on the magazine rack. Look for a phone-book style publication in a "plain brown cover")

Vendors of headliner material should be able to send you samples of available patterns/textures just for the asking. The samples will most likely be all one color (the material's molded color) but as I already mentioned can be dyed to match the color of your interior once you decide on a pattern.

If the EXACT color is important to you, you can send the vendor a color sample that has never been exposed to direct (or indirect) sunlight. These small samples can be found as "underlap" i.e. taken from under a piece of interior chrome trim.

From Bill:

You could also try Headliner Mart.  (Check the Parts section for contact information on this vendor.)

Question from Bill (1964):

Can anyone recommend a "current" and responsive supplier who sells ready-to-install (original type material) headliners to fit a '64 Crown?

We got a material sample from JC Whitney, it is perforated like ours but too thin and shiny. Also, our headliner has a rather rough and raspy texture. We're not looking for yardage to make one, we're looking to install one.


From Julian:

Try Kanter Auto Products at

From Dan:

Try Headliner Mart, 1-408-978-5103. They are located at 4774 Sally Dr, San Jose, CA 95124.

From Ron:

Try Bill Hirsch. He is in Hemmings every month and has what you need, or he can get it.

From David:

SMS Auto Fabrics are supplying mine ready made for my '66 Crown Coupe. They are on (503) 234-1175 Fax (503) 234-0651.

2325 Southeast 10th Ave Portland OR 97214

Question from Chris (1966):

I'm finally ready to put a new headliner in (windows now working), so I'm soliciting opinions. My 1966 Imperial Crown Coupe needs a new gold headliner and instead of sifting through 20 vendors and their pricing, I would like to hear from folks that have had good experiences and bad, as it relates to price, fit and warranty. Plus any self-installation warnings would be great too!


From David:

I put one in my '66 Crown Coupe SMS fabrics made it up for me it was excellent and not expensive, caremust be taken fitting it around courtesy light switch and start from the rear window end, my car is absolutely perfect, headliner made up cost around $120.

From Paul:

I replaced the headliner myself in my 1960 Sedan, and also in three other non-Imperials that I have. Just take your time and it will come out fine.

Question from Don (1966):

Does anyone know of a company or individual who has a headliner for a '66 4-door Imperial?

Reply from Dick:

Order one from Acme Headlining in Long Beach CA.

Tip from Neil (1981 -1983):

The best way I found to get the headliner out of the car is to lower the passenger door window fully then recline the passengers seat back all the way and gently coax the liner out, it's not easy and can't be rushed as if any pressure is put on the liner it will fall apart. Both front seat belts must be removed completely otherwise they will get in the way.

I retrimmed my '82 a couple of months ago so i know how delicate the headliners can get after 20 years of life, my carpet is light gray in color or quicksilver as Chrysler called it which being light hasn't shown much fading so still matches the carpet well enough.

I found a cardboard tag on my carpet which says that the original carpet was made by J.P. Stephens & Co Inc. the location is illegible unfortunately.

Question from Scott (1981):

The headliner on the car is falling down what is the best fix?


From Roger:

Just got my '81 back from having the headliner replaced. The material is readily available from auto upholstery suppliers. I assisted the upholsterer with the R&R and the most difficult part was the A pillars. They come in [towrad the rearview mirror] and back [toward the driver] just so to pull up and out. You must very carefully remove everything and scrape off the old glue, spray some glue on and voila, she's beautiful again.

From Dick:

Once the headliner begins to fall, the only cure I have found is to take it totally down, scrape all the loose stuff off the headliner support, and replace the cloth with new cloth, using upholstery spray adhesive, as sold in any auto upholstery supply house (I use Keyston brothers, but I'm sure there are many others). Don't skimp on the quality of the spray adhesive, use only the best - it is very expensive, but the cheap stuff doesn't do the job!

Don't bother trying to re-glue the old headliner, once the surface of the support structure begins to turn to dust, you can't make glue stick to it for more than a week, no matter what you use.

This page last updated June 17, 2004.  Send us your feedback, and come join the Imperial Mailing List - Online Car Club.