Bucket seat backs for XK140 OTS?

Dennis,

It all depends on how “original” your bucket seats should look. The factory optional Bucket Seats were either trimmed in Bedford Cord or in leather. They had a fixed back and as far as I know without seat rails, meaning access to the battery is “rather difficult” without removing the seat.
I’ve opted for the modern version with a tilting seat back and fitted on the standard seat frame and runners.Most of them look like this:

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I had a thorough look at how the seat cushions had been trimmed for the original factory bucket seat (without any pleats) and asked the supplier to have the seat cushion and seat back made accordingly.

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The new seat back will be much “thinner” than the standard XK 120 seats (I accept the drop in comfort) providing more space for your arms and legs. Expect the bucket seats to arrive by mid April and I will show the result.

Bob K.

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I thought long and hard about this. I tried a couple of finished 140DHCs, one with standard seats and one with replica buckets. The main advantages that I could see for the bucket-style seat back was improved lateral location, and ease of access to the rear seat area. By this I mean that my wife, who always navigates and manages the contents of the car on our long-distance European events (typically 2-300 miles a day on small single-carriageway back roads over 7-10 days), needs to be able to reach behind her for maps (no satnavs allowed on an event), water bottles, etc.
The problem I had was that I much prefer the look of the original style seat. It just looks more correct in a large touring convertible, which is what a DHC is. My friend Nick Green has a 140 OTS which he has used for very many of the same events that we have done, and he has mentioned the reduced lateral support offered by the standard seats when cornering.
I had a long discussion with the trimmer before he started on my seats (Pete Smith at Aldridge), and he said he had come across this before with 140 seats. His recommendation was to fill the seat slightly differently, modifying the seat back woodwork a little along the lines of the 120. This gives a bit more curvature to the seat which provides more location whilst still giving support. That is what I chose to do as I really like the bench-style look of the fifties Jaguar. My wife can reach over the seatback to the top of the rear seats, but not the rear footwell - although there isn’t much space there anyway.
We shall see how it works soon, hopefully. I think my personal view would be that for an OTS either would work, but that in a DHC the full seat style is more appropriate, and looks nicer with the top down. But obviously the ‘it’s your car…’ rule applies, as it always does. It wouldn’t be difficult to get new seatbacks made if necessary.

p.s. - that’s not my moody photo of my car’s interior - Aldridge brought in a pro photographer to take photos for their new brochure. I feel honoured!

well , following along for a while…of pics, and the few cars I have seen with buckets…I am not a fan of the look in the XK120 140 150…just looks odd to me and out of sorts. A slight bit of seat stuffing mods in original seats still looks almost the same–but provides a marked seating support difference. Once my 3 inch seatbelts are secured…good enough for me for street driving. I did shorten my clutch-brake pedal rods…and the steering wheel closer to dash via Moto Lita assembly…those small mods…made the biggest difference in driving feel and comfort.
Nick

I also prefer the looks of the standard seating of the XK’s but the lack of lateral support is definitely an issue, My solution to improve it but not alter It permanently is a removable (in 5 seconds installation takes about 10 seconds) center console, it provides lateral support for both driver and passenger and has a convenient storage compartment and a comfortable arm rest. It fits snugly over the driveshaft tunnel original pad, the “wing” and “fin” on the back slip under and between the seat backs to stabilize it and a tab on the front hooks under the tunnel pad to lock it in. All covered in leather to match the seats. It has to be easily removable because the seat backs tilt forward to access the top.





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Very neat and professional looking. You should market that!

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Thank Roger. After seeing the picture of the interior of your car I understood why my seats provide inadequate lateral support, the contour of the backs of your seats are what mine are lacking. Perhaps the 21 years of use has contributed to that. The upholstery work and quality of leather on your car are outstanding. Looking forward to seeing a set of “restoration finished” photos of the car!

Very impressive solution!

@Terry_McGrath I have a set of the replica style buckets in my 140 OTS that I love, but miss being able to stow the top (hood) behind the seats, my only option is to remove it completely which isn’t idea.
You mention something about mounting to a hinge, have you found a method that allows the fixed seat to accommodate top storage as well, or is that simply a lost cause?

I have removed the soft tops incl hard ware, on my two 1;0 roadsters and my 120 roadster. That way I can push the seat a bit further back. I never drive when it rains and have the tonneau covers in the trunk

There are so many advantages to being only 5’ 8"…

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I want one :wink:

Beautiful solution for touring. I will try to make one. Would you have plans or drawings you’d be willing to share?

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I am interested in plans too.

Without plans we will have to use CAD.

CAD = Cardboard Aided Design :wink:

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Possibly this image I found somewhere, and kept, would be of interest.

these show the original Bedford Cord

I see in another post that Leaping Cats in the UK are gone. They were a supplier of racing seats and seat backs for the XK’s per photos on their website.