Modifying a 1952 Chevy Truck. Original bodywork - modern upgrades.

July 2016. The interior.

Truck seats.

The new interior is shown above and the whole process is detailed below.

The a list of requirements was made -

New headliner
New door panels
New arm rests
New carpets
New rear of cab carpet panels behind the seats
New kick panels in foot wells on the sides of the cab forward of the doors
Re-upholster seats
Paint control button side panels on seats
Paint centre console
Paint sun visors
New trim along edge of step. (Decided not to use the original metal edging)


To change the colour scheme to match the colour of the truck.
To avoid dark brown which does match but is not a colour I wanted to continue with. Makes the cab dark inside.
To re-use and re-upholsterer the excellent seats and replace or refurbish all of the other items.

Colours - The plan was to choose colours which were a good match to the cream truck and toned in
sympathetically with an integrated total colour scheme.
Materials - To use modern materials which looked like they could have been used by a car manufacturer.
An OEM approach. (I largely copied my GMC Denali to achieve this).


Truck seats. Truck seats.

Truck seats. Truck seats.

Truck seats. Truck seats.

Truck seats. Truck seats.

Truck seats. Truck seats.

The seats in this truck were from a GMC Denali (my car seats were so comfortable I wanted the same in my truck)
but at the time I could only find them in grey. My car seats are 2 tone beige and this was an ideal colour
to match the cream paint work on the truck. The upholstery company found a perfect match in a modern
"leather type" material. The seats could have been done in leather but there are now some modern materials
which are very similar and do not crack or deteriorate like leather and need no maintenance. At first I was not
sure but after seeing some seats done in this type of material I decided to go ahead. The upholsterers said they
were the most difficult, complicated seats they had ever done. They also had a specialist partner to paint the
plastic sides. A high gloss finish in a colour the same as the darker beige was chosen. The centre console was
painted the same colour. The sun visors were painted the lighter beige colour. I was not sure whether the sun
visors would be best in the light padded nylon, same as the headliner, but decided to have them painted and
see if I could live with them. I can always cover them later if preferred.

The headliner.

The headliner needed to look like it was something a car manufacturer might have fitted and to keep the
truck as light as possible a light colour was chosen. The material was foam backed nylon. In fact I wanted
the headliner to be the same as in my 2005 GMC Denali and that is what was achieved. This was a very difficult
project. The single piece ABS headliner board purchased from "Jim Carter" truck parts takes a great deal of
modification to make it fit. Indeed it took two of us, myself and Steve from the upholstery company 5 hours
to fit the headliner. The ABS flexible liner is too big and has no holes drilled for the sun visors or
rear fixings. Cutting the width to size using a "Dremel" by trial and error, took ages, trimming a bit at
a time, try to fit then modify again .... Countless times. The liner must be trimmed so that it fits
inside the side rubbers above the doors. It also needs trimming around the front corners. Holes have to
be lined up and drilled. I am not sure it could have been done without the old headliner acting as
a template for the holes.

Old headliner. Template.

The old brown headliner was useful as it could be used as a template for the rear fixing holes and the sun
visor holes but there was a limit to how much it helped. It was still very much trial and error, trimming
and adjusting many times. Once the ABS headliner fitted perfectly it was removed and the padded nylon was
fitted. The finished headliner was fantastic and exactly what was planned.
The new headliner is shown below.

New headliner. Painted sun visors.


Door panels and arm rests.

Door panel and arm rest.

The door panels were covered with the same material as the seats in the darker beige and the arm rests were
covered in the lighter beige seat fabric. New door panels were made from ply wood and covered. The inside
of the panel was covered with thick polythene. It was very important to have a moisture barrier on the inside.

See the update below where the door panels were remade to a higher standard.

Centre console and seat trimmings.

Centre Console.

Centre Console. Centre Console.

These items were all painted by a local specialist paint shop. They paint small parts to a high standard.
Clearly this type of company tend to deal mostly with custom painting of parts on motor bikes.
They are on the Team Valley Trading Estate in NE England and are called "North East Custom Coatings
The cost of painting these parts was about 300.00 (about $400)


A matching carpet close to the darker beige was chosen. I could not find a specialist "car carpet" in a colour
which was close so I chose a household carpet. 1L of liquid rubber was purchased and brushed onto the back
of the carpet. This helped bond it together and provided a waterproof backing.

The same carpet was used on the rear of the cab behind the seats and on the kick panels forward of the doors.
The biggest problem was access to the battery through the floor. Putting a pull-up square in the carpet did not
sound like a good idea as it would look pretty bad. It was decided to cover the firewall with carpet and then
have the floor carpet come to the bottom of the firewall. Vinyl edging was sown along the edge were it met the
firewall carpet. The vinyl edging was the same dark beige as the seats. This approach meant the carpet could just
be folded back to provide access to the battery.

Carpets. Carpets.

Carpets. Carpets.

Carpets. Carpets.

Carpets. Carpets.

Carpets. Carpets.

Carpets. Carpets.

The carpet came from "Whickham Salerooms" Whickham, NE England. It cost about 100.00
The Liquid latex came from "Amazon" and cost about 20.00 The carpets were fitted by
upholsterers and the attractive matching edging trim was provided and sewn on by the
upholsterers. The top left picture above shows the sewing of the edging trim to the carpet.

Chrome step edging.

Carpet edging and step edging.

Plastic chromed angle from B & Q DIY stores was perfect for the edge of the step. It was fitted with double
sided adhesive tape. The carpet was mostly on top of it but it formed a vertical Chrome edge between the
carpet and the cream truck. Looked very good.

The upholsterers.

Upholsterers. Upholsterers.

The advice provided by D & G Upholstery in Washington UK was excellent especially when it came to the difficult
job of colour matching. The work they did on the seats, headliner and everything else was also excellent.
It is a family business and they are very nice people. They listen carefully and they are very skilled.
The whole job took about a week. The total cost for the labour (including the 5 hours working on the
headliner which did not fit) was 1400.00 (about $1800) but this included some materials - the
headliner padded nylon, the seat covering materials, the door panels and arm rest coverings were
included. The painting of the plastic seat panels, centre console and sun visors was not included as
this was done by another company as detailed above. I provided the carpets but the cutting and
fitting was included. Considering I was quoted 660 by another company just to change the colour
of the original leather seats and over a period of time this would start to chip off, I was very
happy with this price. This job was quite complex and I believe the only way of ending up with
exactly what you are looking for is to visit the upholsterer regularly and even participate in the
work if it looks like instructions alone may not be enough. This was particularly important when
fitting the headline and the parts provided needed to be substantially modified to make them fit.

Truck seats.

Truck seats. Truck seats.

It is interesting to compare the truck interior before (bellow left) when I purchased it
in 2007 with the truck now in 2016 (below right). Pictures do not show the increase in
comfort. The old bench seat was not very comfortable. The cab is now much lighter.
The seat belts improve safety. The old brown carpet and headliner have gone.

Truck seats. Truck seats.

It is also interesting to compare the truck interior before (bellow left) from 2009 - 2016
with the new interior in 2016 (below right). The grey leather seats did deteriorate a little
in 6 years but were still very good. The problem was that grey was not an ideal match for the
truck. In addition, the cab is now lighter with a much better headliner and improved door panels.

Truck seats. Truck seats.

Update 2017 Re-making the door panels and also solving the "handles dropping off problem".

2mm ply wood is used but first a paper template of the end profile. Then the holes for the handles are located and drilled.

Truck door panels. Truck door panels.

Truck door panels. Truck door panels.

Spray adhesive onto the wood is used to fix the material and the vapour barrier. Top left shows the wood on the sponge.
Below right notice the sponge is not near the handle holes. Larger circles were cut in the sponge near the handle holes.
Here only the material is stuck on the wood to make it as thin as possible near the handles. It is important to make sure
the thick sponge does not try to force the handles off the splines. Above left notice the extra hole on the left added
later as a door bolt pushed the panel out but it now goes into the hole. The problem is detailed and shown below.

Truck door panels. Truck door panels.

Truck door panels. Truck door panels.

Notice (below middle) how the panel was pushed out by a protruding door bolt but an extra hole (detailed and shown above)
in the ply wood eliminated this problem and the door bolt sank into the panel resulting in the panel being flush with the door.

Truck door panels. Truck door panels. Truck door panels.

The definitive guide to stopping your door handles from dropping off.

The door panel. The door panel needs to be thin, 2mm ply is ideal and there needs to be a circle
of no sponge under the fabric where the handles fit on. If you can see a gap between the panel
and the handle, this means there is no pressure from the sponge trying to push the handle off.
"Loctite thread lock" on the grub screws.
"Gorilla" tape. Take a small slither of Gorilla double sided tape and put it in the slot on the
shaft where the grub will locate. Clean the slot with panel wipe or similar first and make sure
the thread lock only goes on the threads and not on the end of the grub screw. The Gorilla tape
will compress when the end of the grub screw is tightened against the shaft in the slot.
Drilling. If a spline is worn, drill a hole so that the grub screw goes partly into
the hole and use "thread lock" as well. One of my four splines (right hand window) was
worn and needed the shaft drilling.
Brush pile from the "The Hairy Worm" ( ).
Without it there is considerable vibration. When the window is down or partly down there is
considerable shake and even when fully up the window vibrates at the bottom. Brush pile holds
the window (which is connected to the regulator and the rest of the door) firmly in all
positions and eliminates most of the vibrations which encourage the handles to drop
off in the first place.
If these measures are implementing the problem of handles dropping off should be eliminated.

Click on the banner below to see our new web site.

It is about a new hard tonneau cover (bed lid) for the 1947-53 Chevy truck.
Model - "Zero Impact Ultimate 3100" Tonneau cover. Fit without drill holes in your truck.
You can read about it and you can order it. It is available now.

Hard tonneau cover for the 1947-53 Chevy truck. Hard tonneau cover for the 1947-53 Chevy truck.

Click on the banner above.

A hard tonneau cover. Completely rigid, solid and strong. Folding.
Zero impact. It can be fitted without drilling any holes in the truck. All paint work protected.
Does not detract from the appearance of the truck. Enhances the appearance of the truck.
With the cover removed and just the hardware kit showing it still looks "show quality".
When the cover is fitted but open it still looks excellent and does not detract in any way from the appearance of the truck.
The cover can be removed in under five minutes.
All materials and finishes are of the highest quality.
There is a choice of hardware support finishes to suit painted or patina trucks.
A water drainage system is included to prevent water from leaking into the bed.
Better than original factory quality. Just look at the pictures above.
The model shown is supported by a mirror polished stainless steel installation kit.
This tonneau cover is for the - 1947, 1948, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1952, 1953 Chevy truck. Advanced design stepside 3100.

Link to our own museum site

Rewind Museum. A Museum of vintage consumer electronics.

Satcom 7700 satellite receiver.

For old Satellite receivers with knobs on!
(and other historic items) - and
Vintage reel to reel video recorders. Vintage VHS
and Betamax VCRs. Vintage video cameras. Vintage
Laser Disc. Vintage Computers. Old telephones,
Old brick mobile phones. Vintage Hi Fi, Old reel
to reel audio and early audio cassette decks.
Including, the history time line of vintage
consumer electronics ... and much more .....
So see,

Sony 2400 portable reel to reel video

It is well worth a visit.
Only The Satellite Superstore brings you
great products, advice and it's own museum

Rewind Museum

A Useful Search Engine.

large dish

An excellent very comprehensive search engine. Find everything.
Probably the biggest search engine in the world.

Link to our main site. Satellite TV.

Sponsored by Vision International.
Note. One of our businesses, Vision International (established 1991) sponsors the
1952 Chevy truck site including financial support for this web site.
Vision International is one of a group of businesses that we have in the field of
Satellite TV. This is a link to our sponsor.

85cm transparent dish 7.3m dishes

Tune in an extra 10,000 channels? No you don't need a large dish but we do sell
big dishes as well. Watch the world? Links to some of the pages are below,

Satellite dishes Transparent Dishes Motorised dishes LNBs Satellite Receivers
Mobile / caravan satellite Multiswitches Satellite finder meters All satellite products.

This 1952 Chevy truck web site is maintained on a non-profit
making voluntary basis. Our main business website is at
Our main business is satellite TV and we are a specialist
satellite company. We supply satellite goods in the UK
and worldwide including fixed and motorised satellite
systems, accessories, and installation equipment.

Web site copyright © 2021 Vision International. All rights reserved.
For all questions & comments about this site's content, contact - Dave
using our email address - (We only accept questions in English.)