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Hijinks Ensue

New front seats, and Hogswatchnight

Yesterday I obtained some more comfortable front seats for Fenchurch and went to the Sheffield SF Group's Hogswatchnight party.

In the morning I went down to south Manchester to pick up a pair of MG Metro front seats for Fenchurch, complete with Newton Commercial bases so they will bolt straight to the Minor floor (it looks like they'll need some new holes and bolts though as the pattern is different to the original seat brackets). The chap I bought them from also has a Traveller, in rather nicer condition than Fenchurch, and he has the expensive Newton Commercial front seats fitted. Upon comparing them to the MG Metro ones, we realised they're actually the same seat frame with a nicer covering. I asked about this on the MMOC forum later and somebody said the front seats that NC are currently selling (£300 each for vinyl, £435 for leather) are based on the Rover 100 seats, which aren't as nice as the earlier MG Metro ones. Because the MG Metro was a sportier version of the Austin Metro, the seats have side bolsters to support you better when cornering. I'm considering trying to buy a new Newton Commercial interior complete with matching covers for the Metro front seats and the standard rear seats but I suspect it may cost rather a lot.

The evening entertainment was a trip down to Sheffield for the Sheffield SF Group's annual Christmas Hogswatchnight party. The plan was to drive over the Snake Pass (AKA the A57) but the signs on the Manchester side were misleading and I wound up taking the less interesting Woodhead Pass instead and coming into Sheffield via the M1. I then managed to get a bit lost and went about 1 and 1/2 times around the ringroad and once through the centre before finding the venue. The signage is poor even compared to other cities I've driven in (particularly streets with no names) and the little map I was trying to work from was very out of date, failing to show several roundabouts. According to johannes_d Sheffield has been deliberately working for years on making it difficult for drivers to get around in order to discourage people from driving into the centre. At least it only took me about half an hour to find the pub - quasi_hayley said it took her five hours the first time she went to a meeting there.

The party itself went well. There was a pork-based buffet, a Christmas-themed SF quiz, then Ian Sorenson was persuaded to put a Hogfather costume on and hand out the Secret Hogfather presents. I think he rather enjoyed having so many women (and dougs) sitting on his lap; not sure if he'll still be able to walk today though! I received a DVD of the original Italian Job movie. It's been quite a few years since I watched that so it should be interesting to see again. Next came the Discworld quiz. Nearly all of the questions were based on the book version of Hogfather, which I haven't read for nearly ten years. I didn't keep count but I believe I knew the right answer to about ten of the thirty questions; quasi_hayley won with a score of 26! The evening finished off with a discussion about Dr Who, then we all had a go on bonsaient's Igor game (basically a remixed Operation), which proved pretty much impossible because some of the new organs were too large to remove with the tweezers.

On the way back I almost missed the way to the Snake Pass again due to the signs being a bit confusing, but I turned around and found the right road, and I was glad I did because it was far more interesting than the Woodhead pass even in the dark, particularly with the Moria section of the Lord of the Rings audiobook playing on the stereo. When I reached the steep downhill part towards the end, the millions of lights of Manchester were an incredible sight.


If you ever want to sell the old ones....... :-)
You want the old front seats? The whole things or just the covers? Postage would probably be a lot for the frames. I've recently replaced all the base straps (the big rubber bands that stop your bum sagging all the way to the floor).

I just realised last night that both the new seats have a sheared-off peg in the tilting mechanism, hence why they were looking a bit lopsided and the tilting knob was very stiff. I'll need to turn up a couple of new pegs and extract the remains of the old ones before I can fit the seats.
Nice... these aren't brand new ones, are they? Seems it abit naff for them both to be broken...

I suppose really all I need is the covers- one of mine is badly torn and the other has been replaced by a very ropey single tone from a much later car. I can refurbish the bases without too much trouble...
The MG Metro seats are probably from a scrapper. The cloth covers look a bit dirty and are the wrong colour but they're not torn or sagging. I think the sheared-off pegs must be a design weakness.

The standard seat covers aren't perfect but they're still serviceable. I think one of them has started to split in the past and been stitched back up. I'll see what I can do once I've got the Metro ones installed.
I finished repairing the Metro seats at lunchtime and I've ordered some new bolts to attach them to the floor (6 mounting holes on each base, only two of which line up with the existing captive nuts). Driving around with no passenger seat feels very odd. Do you also want the door cards and the oddly shaped pieces of trim that go on the sides of the footwells?

I'm not sure if it's any help, but I'm planning to drive down to London Heathrow on the night of Friday the 11th for a meeting on the Saturday, and return home late Saturday afternoon/evening.
You're disposing of the door cards too? is your New Year's Resolution to subsidise Newton Commercial?

Heathrow... Possibly, although I'm not sure what's going on over that weekend- I'm acting, and I may be doing a Saturday Matinee. I shall find out.
If the cards are going, then indeed I am interested. Most of the two-tone fleck material is spoilt in some way in my car, or just missing- with the exception of the back seat, until the garage tore it taking it out for reasons still unknown to me. You'll have to give me an idea of what you want for these gubbins, should help you recoup some of the leviathan sum I guess you're spending on interiors!
I never bothered to refit the green door cards after I sprayed the outside blue. I'm afraid I can't give you the back seat cover or any of the other trim pieces yet but they may come available later this year. If I'm going to do the interior properly it should all be blue or at least a colour that goes well with blue (not green).

I can't imagine they're worth a lot. None of it is in mint condition but it may well be better than what you have. Twenty quid?
Is there any point in me bringing the seats and door cards to Heathrow this weekend?