Japanese Quilted Goodness

Nakamae quilted transmission tunnel cover.

Nakamae quilted transmission tunnel cover.

Nakamae. They’ve made high end Eunos Roadster interior parts for longer than I’ve been involved in the hobby. And that’s kind of a long time! I’ve lusted after their stuff since the first day I saw it, but the opportunity to buy any of their fine products never arose.

Until now.

Look at that stitch work.

Look at that stitch work.

I’ve also never had the occasion to fondle and inspect any Nakamae-made items in person. It was always just photos on the internet. Hey, when you live in the back… woods? (back plains?) of New Mexico, JDM goodies are pretty rare to stumble across.

Let me just say, these two pieces of quilted vinyl are gorgeous. They’re as perfect as they can possibly be. Every stitch is perfect. The backing is nice. The lining material is outstanding. It is far above anything I could make myself. I’m very impressed. It lives up to the reputation.

Note the velcro strips around the outside.

Note the velcro strips around the outside.

I’ve never seen the back side of any Nakamae stuff. Doesn’t seem like something most folks photograph. I had no idea how it was held on. The answer: by dozens of little strips of vinyl. And I’ll spoil it early by saying that they hold the vinyl tunnel covers in place perfectly.

My Japanese vinyl came pre-loved.

My Japanese vinyl came pre-loved.

The one small problem with my Nakamae tunnel cover was this little tear. It’s at the very bottom of the passenger side cover (that’s the driver’s side in Japan) right where the seat would hit it. I’m guessing the first owner got the vinyl bunched up a bit and slid his seat back.

Fortunately, the damage is very light and in a spot I’ll never see. No vinyl is missing. It’s just got a little bite mark from the seat. But that’s not enough to stop me from repairing it.

The Permatex vinyl repair kit.

The Permatex vinyl repair kit.

I’ve used one of these before and had some success. I had a couple small tears on the seats of the Jeep I drove in college. Vinyl seats… yuck. I loved that Jeep, but damn were those seats miserable in the summer. They were even hot with those wetsuit seat covers over them…

Anyways, about 16 years have passed since I last used this type of repair kit. I’m hoping I didn’t make a huge mistake in choosing to apply this low-cost repair kit to my rare JDM vinyl.

First, cut a small piece of backing fabric to go under the tear.

First, cut a small piece of backing fabric to go under the tear.

Then a healthy amount of the special adhesive and filler.

Then a healthy amount of the special adhesive and filler.

4 hours later, the tinted liquid vinyl can be applied.

4 hours later, the tinted liquid vinyl can be applied.

I was a little worried at this point. It looked BAD.

I was a little worried at this point. It looked BAD.

Apply heat (the tool gets heated by an iron) and the vinyl grain pattern.

Apply heat (the tool gets heated by an iron) and the vinyl grain pattern.

Fixed!

Fixed!

Not bad, eh? I added the little arrow to the last pic because I wasn’t sure everyone would be able to see the repair without it. The repair is amazingly good. The only way you can really see it is to follow the stitching. The liquid vinyl accidentally went into the seam.

For something I’ll never see, I’m blown away. If this was in an area that was always visible, I’d be very happy with the quality of the repair. It is really really nice. The repaired area even feels like the surrounding vinyl. That little Permatex kit was well worth the $7.

And now… installed shots!

Nakamae vinyl compared to Sharka's door panels.

Nakamae vinyl compared to Sharka's door panels.

My doors are diamonds. The Nakamae covers are squares. But they match quite well. They’re of similar shape and the vinyl finish is quite close between the two parts. I got lucky with those door panels.

Passenger side.

Passenger side.

Driver's side.

Driver's side.

So, does the Nakamae tunnel cover live up to years of lust? Yes. Totally. It is every bit as nice as I’d hoped. It really ties in those quilted door panels. It provides an extra heat barrier against the exhaust and transmission. (Yes, there IS an actual use to this piece aside from looks.) And it looks the world.

Nakamae makes a bunch of other quilted pieces. They do a cover for the package tray and small covers to go over the short carpeted areas between the door panels and the floor. And a whole plethora of other gorgeous quilted stuff as well. But looking at Sharka’s interior leaves me… satisfied. Like this is enough. More quilted stuff would just be that – more. I don’t think it would add much value.

I’m very happy with Sharka’s interior. After I get that early dashboard restored and installed, I think it’ll be… (I can’t bring myself to type the d-o-n-e word.)

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  • Paul says:

    I don’t think car projects are ever the “D” word. There’s always something.

  • Scott says:

    I have been looking into the Nakamae quilted items for some time myself and I have decided to try and make my own, but I have never been satisfied with the finished edges. I have not been able to get my hands on a genuine version to see what they use, but it your pictures it looks like a cloth strip sown around the edge to finish it. Is that correct? What type of material is it, denim?

    Thanks,
    Scott

  • Nick Cascioli says:

    Dear Revlimiter,
    I absolutely love the interior of your car. That is why some of the next upgrades I purchase will be the Nakamae parts. But I haven’t been able to find door panels or the speaker covers like yours anywhere. Can you help? Thank you so much for your time and what you do! I absolutely love my retro window switches and my Rossa-180 gauges!
    Sincerely,
    Nick

    • revlimiter says:

      Thanks Nick! I made the door panels myself. I’ve got a post around here somewhere… let me look.

      http://revlimiter.net/blog/2009/08/the-door-panel-project/

      That gives you the good stuff. Unfortunately, the source for quilted material dried up. The company changed hands and they’re no longer making it. But you should be able to talk to a local upholsterer to get a couple yards of material. Then just add the metal speaker covers (a Mazda OEM item) and you’re good!

      Adam

  • […] Re: Help Me Find Nakamae Pattern for Center Hump Here's the correct link: http://revlimiter.net/blog/2011/08/n…quilted-vinyl/ […]

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