Bootylicious…

30/04/2020: I think I’m going to find this one of the more satisfying bits of work. Performance upgrades are great but there was something in the cockpit that was irritating me immensely. The gear lever boot was extremely shabby indeed. The stitching was coming undone and there were several tears where the material had fatigued from creasing on the same spot.

Removing the boot is as simple as taking the gear knob off and unscrewing the six screws you can see in the picture above. Once off it became clear that someone had taken quite a bit of care to source the original worn boot to match the black and white colour scheme of the car.

I had initially thought that the whole boot was black and had worn away. Not the case. It’s actually a cut down, RS branded white boot with a black ‘V’. In the picture above I’d had a go at trying to repair the original but it ended up looking like Frankenstein! I decided to unpick the original and order some fabric to remake a new one. It might have been easier to buy a new one but I couldn’t find anything that would suite the colour scheme (other than plain black). I ordered the fabric (called Evora Plain Faux Leather) from ‘I want Fabric‘. Much props to them for getting my order out during the current virus lockdown.

The process was relatively straight forward. Unpick the original, trace it onto the new material, cut out, stitch up… here are a few pictures:

I think it turned out pretty well! I’m certainly pleased. This before and after shows the improvement:

Looking at this side-by-side I might need to add an extra triangle of fabric in order to get the boot to fit comfortably. I’ll offer it up first though which will have to wait until the weekend.

Now that I have created a replica of the original I want to move on to produce a unique one that fits the car better. You’ll see from the picture above that most of the boot is folded down on itself to fit the short shift gear lever. I’m going to design a new pattern and see if I can improve the look. If I can’t then no problem! The remade boot will be a big improvement regardless.

I’ll update the page once I have some progress.

02/05/2020: So, I made a second boot which I designed to fit the short shift a little better. I mocked it up with paper and tape and the marked on the areas I want to be black. I could each section out to make a template and then repeated the process above. Very pleased with the outcome:

It’s been three weeks or so since I turned the car over so I was planning to call in on the way past whilst doing some exercise. I trimmed the excess fabric and installed it. Here’s a before and after:

Much better! This job is done!

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