Leather – the natural choice for a restored car interior
The car in question is a magnificent 1930 Lancia Dilambda, which had originally been owned by the eccentric Sir Bernard Montgomery Hall. He had customised every detail of this most elegant car but, beyond 1949, it appeared lost until a car collector rediscovered it seven decades later and set about restoring it to its former glory.
For the interior, leather – of course – was the natural choice as it is in keeping with the authenticity of the car. Alternatives to leather just would not do. The new owner asked the luxury leather goods maker Serapian to take on the project. The Serapian family have been crafting car leathers in Milan since Stepan Serapian, an Armenian exile, founded his first shop there in 1928.
They used their signature ‘mosaic craft’ technique of weaving very fine leathers to create a beautiful textured pattern for the seats. Just for good measure, they made matching bags because – well, why not?
While restoring a vintage car with Milanese leather is beyond most people’s experience, the appeal of automotive leather remains strong for many motorists. It’s not a question of luxury, either, but a matter of practicality. The properties of leather are well known: it’s hardwearing and durable as well as soft and comfortable. Even retrofitting a relatively modern car with leather seats can also enhance its resale value, so it’s far from eccentric to do so!
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