Cleaning Rover P5 Seats With Gliptone Leather Cleaner. The last week has been really busy at work so I’ve just been driving the car, getting to know it better, and working out what needs doing first.
So far there haven’t been any bad surprises – a few clunks from the driveline I hadn’t noticed, the exhaust is blowing slightly and there’s a few bits of rust (back corner of the rear doors will be first to need attention I think). But there are also many positives – so far the car has been reliable, everything works (and I mean everything – every single bulb and panel light, every switch, even the heated rear window) and I just love driving it – the power, the noise, the ride quality. It’s a cliche but the car really is a gentle giant, and can really shift when you press the accelerator.
The main task in hand is sorting out the interior. To say the car is tatty inside is an understatement – the carpets have worn through and are dirty, the front seats have 45 years of grime on them and the leather is a quite hard, and the door cards are really dirty. I’ve ordered new carpets from J R Wadhams, plus inertia reel seat belts (which aren’t really period but are sensible when transporting the family), and sundry other bits of vinyl and furfelt.
I also researched how to clean the leather seats, and the web consensus seems to be Gliptone Leather Cleaner and Gliptone Leather Conditioner. I ordered these off the web and managed to get some time today to try them out. I have to say it was much easier than I expected. The leather cleaner is applied directly to the leather with a nail brush, and you work it in for a few minutes. You then simply wipe off the cleaner with a damp cloth. The results are truly amazing, as you can see in the photo below. I’ve only cleaned the front centre section of the drivers seat, and the transformation is amazing. Not perfect, but much, much better.
You can buy Gliptone Gentle Cleaner and Conditioner here:
As you can see below, the rear seat was professionally restored by a previous owner at huge expense (I’ll post the receipt when I sort them out) and looks almost new. I think the front seats will look almost as good when finished. There seems to be a business opportunity there!
So, next week I’ll start removing the interior, including the seats, carpets, seat belts, and door panels and centre console. Everything will be cleaned, before putting it all back in the car with the new carpets and seat belts. Hopefully that will transform the interior and the feel of the car, and maybe remove some of the musty smell. Here’s the worst of the current carpet in the drivers footwell and the wood veneer:
Next on the list after that will be replacing all of the door seals. Some of them are missing, and others are so old and brittle they’re barely useful. I’ll also get the front and rear screen seals replaced to make sure the car is as watertight as possible, although fitting them is no easy job, so the car will need to go to a specialist fitter. The other thing I’ll do is have the car Waxoyled, so hopefully that will slow down any deterioration.
Possibly after that, the drivetrain will need looking at, and the bottom of the rear doors, but that is for the future.
I took a few more photos today of some of the labels around the car. I really like the formality of the language, the Sans Serif typeface (is that Gill Sans – if so I love them even more!) and aged look of these:
Finally for today I removed the radio and insulated some of the ‘spare’ wiring that you always get in old cars. The Motorola radio will be replaced with a period Radiomobile with line-in (easily done – I’ll post here how to do it) and better speaker behind the current panel, as the current radio has a cracked knob (and I prefer the look of a Radiomobile). The Motorola will go on eBay: