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Martha Wheat-Great Interiors

To: tigers@Autox.Team.Net
Subject: Martha Wheat-Great Interiors
From: Vonski@aol.com
Date: Sun, 27 Jul 1997 22:03:47 -0400 (EDT)
Many Sunbeam enthusiasts are very capable mechanics, and readily complete
repairs to all parts 
of their vehicles.  Some even are proficient at bodywork and paint.  However,
very few are willing 
to tackle their carís upholstery.  This month we talk with Martha Wheat of
Pro-Prep Interior fame, 
to learn about proper upholstery for our Sunbeams. 
Martha has been doing upholstery since 1975.  Martha was working in Studio
City CA., and a co-
worker had a Tiger that needed an interior installed.  Martha did the
interior, and the guy was so 
happy, he asked Martha to marry him!!  Actually, it wasnít quite like that,
but Martha did 
eventually marry the carís owner, Jim Wallace of Pro-Prep Racing.  Jim
continued to work on 
Tigers, and Martha did their interiors, learning them from top to bottom,
seam to pleat.   
Four or five years ago Rick McLeod of Sunbeam Specialties found the original
pattern rollers for 
the interior vinyls for our Sunbeams.  Rick and Tom Ehrhart of Tiger Tomís
worked together to 
get the vinyl created.  Martha then used the bare cloth from Rick to create
the complete upholstery 
sets as currently sold by Rick and Tom, as well as the interiors Martha
provides for her customers.  
Tom  heat seams the necessary interior panels for Martha.  Supplied with the
right materials, Pro-
Prep can then create concours correct interiors for customers throughout the
Most of Pro-Prep Interiors work is arranged by phone.  Martha creates
complete interiors for 
customers from all over the US based on their calls.  Carpeting, under-dash
roll pads, rebuilding 
of seat frames, new seat webbing or diaphragms, new foam and new seat covers,
all as originally 
supplied from Rootes.  From door panels, convertible tops, convertible top
door upholstery and 
rear trunk boards to kick panels, center consoles and tonneau covers.  The
colors are wide ranging, 
and every interior Martha makes is truly custom made for each customer.  She
can also provide 
interior kits, for the committed do-it-yourselfer.  Martha does not install
padded dashes, as Rick 
and Tom provide complete instruction sheets with their dash pads.  It takes
her about one month to 
complete an interior for her customers.    
I asked her what some of the common problems or difficulties were in Sunbeam
interiors.  Martha 
said the biggest problem was people who attempted to repair their seat frames
themselves.  If the 
frame is broken, she will repair it-donít try to fix it yourself, mail it to
her broken for recovering.  
Martha also said that vinyl interiors should be cleaned with mild vinyl
cleaners, but never products 
like Armor-All. 
Martha has seen that her upholstery holds up very well, and that interiors
four or five years old 
look very good if reasonable care is taken of the interior. 
Martha will create anything you want.  If you want the seats changed to
diamond tufted, or tuck Ďn 
roll pleats, sheíll do it for you. Aftermarket race seats have been covered
to resemble the Rootes 
pattern on a stock seat.  Leather is an available option, but it will cost
probably around $1000.00 
additionally because of the increased material costs. 
The vast majority of Sunbeam Tigers and Alpines sporting nice interiors are
the products of 
Marthaís labors.  Award winning cars at Tigers United and Sunbeams Northwest
showcase her 
work in class after class. 
Pro-Prep Interiors serves all Sunbeams, not just Tigers and Alpines and will
happily do Hillman, 
Humber or Rapier interiors.  By having the right cloth and a wide variety of
colors, Martha can 
recreate the warm, inviting interiors that made Rootes so famous.  Thanks
Pro-Prep Interiors 
Martha Wheat 
1481 Hollister Lane 
Los Osos, CA.  93402 

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