Sticky #3: Pantera Seats

I'm in the same boat, I have the stock seats which I like because they are period correct. There is no ass cushion left which actually is good for me since I'm 6'2 and its enabled me to fit. The downside is that after an hour of driving its uncomfortable. I need something that sits very low and also tucks right up against the firewall, so my butt can slide forward and knees are just bent more.

The C4 seats are really nice, I believe I sat in Gary Herrig's car before he sold it, but I was pretty squashed as there was a lot more cushion.

I'm debating some Kirkey Classic Buckets with the pseudo leather button on upholstery at this point. That way I can add cushioning as I see fit and alter the layback degree.

I can't tell, but this looks like a stock seat re-uphostered, but the headrest removed looks like more clearance to move the seat back ultimately.

Just a quick FWI. C4 and Fiero seats have the same cushion height, width and profile. At 6'2" you will be crouching forward on the seat which puts your knees high and close to the steering wheel.

If you want comfort at your height in a Pantera, you'll need to move the pedals forward and drop the floor pans. That will give you the space needed for seats that will allow you to drive farther that around the corner before your butt falls asleep.

The other option is to pull the seat spacer, pull the seat tracks and mount the seat direct to the floor. It's not a great solution, but will help. If you mount direct, I recommend installing some type of a skid plate in front of the bolts so the heads will not catch anything that might go under the car. If a bolt head catches the right debris, it can rip it right out of the seat.
GTS Classics (classiccarseats.com) have some nice seats that are very thin on the bottom and look period correct.

Mind you, at 6'2", I don't think you'll be truly comfortable unless you do as Kirk suggests; lowering the floor pans and spacing the pedal box forward.

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Thanks for the advice you guys. I'll take a look at how involved it would be to space the pedal box forward. I'll probably delay the floor pan drop, but may be in the books too after the car is back together. I believe most of the back soreness was the result of leaning back at an incline not at the same degree as the seat, so inherently I had no back support. The firewall/seat is inclined at 10 degrees correct? I didn't mind scrunching my legs together by scooting my butt forward, it was the prolonged lack of back lumbar support.

I may be in a better boat if I can just angle the seat correctly as low as possibleand do what you suggested Kirk and just bolt it directly to the floor and remove the rails altogether. It will just be a little more difficult to finagle in. I'll look at the skidplate idea or at the very least a beveled head or something to sink it in more flush.

Those seats are nice David, I want to say I've run across those before. Definitely on the pricey side, but whats your back worth Smiler Do you know anyone with those seats installed?

Seems like every once in awhile I read about guys getting out of these cars mostly because of back issues as they get older. So I should probably put some attention into a solution now.

This Bride Histrix looks interesting as well. Maybe not everyones cup o tea Smiler





Also anyone know who makes this seat? This somewhat positions you in a better position I would think.

The best seat to use in a Pantera is a Pantera seat. That's why they were made for the car.

The original upholstery is the main culprit to them though. It made them hard and somewhat non conforming.

What Hall did with recontouring them into the later 80's configuration makes them 1000% more comfortable.

I have lowered floor pans and the pedal assembly spaced 1-1/2" forward. I'm 6'2".

My pans are dropped 2". I had to space the seat up so I could see over the dash.

I can virtually recline and added power seat platforms which help with the height adjustments as well as seating position.

If you asked me, I'd tell you to do all this and forget about searching endlessly.

The best fitting aftermarket seat that I experienced is the Scheel but that hasn't been made in 20 years.

The Hall seat is better.
Those are the original seats shown on the release of the car in Italy.
quote:
Originally posted by Hustler:
Thanks for the advice you guys. I'll take a look at how involved it would be to space the pedal box forward. I'll probably delay the floor pan drop, but may be in the books too after the car is back together. I believe most of the back soreness was the result of leaning back at an incline not at the same degree as the seat, so inherently I had no back support. The firewall/seat is inclined at 10 degrees correct? I didn't mind scrunching my legs together by scooting my butt forward, it was the prolonged lack of back lumbar support.

I may be in a better boat if I can just angle the seat correctly as low as possibleand do what you suggested Kirk and just bolt it directly to the floor and remove the rails altogether. It will just be a little more difficult to finagle in. I'll look at the skidplate idea or at the very least a beveled head or something to sink it in more flush.

Those seats are nice David, I want to say I've run across those before. Definitely on the pricey side, but whats your back worth Smiler Do you know anyone with those seats installed?

Seems like every once in awhile I read about guys getting out of these cars mostly because of back issues as they get older. So I should probably put some attention into a solution now.

This Bride Histrix looks interesting as well. Maybe not everyones cup o tea Smiler





Also anyone know who makes this seat? This somewhat positions you in a better position I would think.

The design team at Ghia (under Tjaarda) designed these seats. The seats were their solution for the Mangusta's lack of head room and leg room, rather than making the Pantera taller or longer. By reclining the seat backs the front of the seat cushion is kicked-up higher. This supports the thighs and bends the knees, thus creating legroom and improving comfort at the same time. Reclining the seat puts the driver in a reclined position and creates headroom.

Tom told me the foam blocks compressed and the seating became uncomfortable after about 20 minutes of driving. The shells were also a bit too narrow or too tall for those wide in the hip region. Rather than spending time developing the seats, Ford chose an alternative seat, the uncomfortable seats we all know and many of us put-up-with. The design team's solution for head room and leg room was thus defeated, and the Pantera isn't much better (if at all) than the Mangusta in that department.

The shells for these seats became the racing seats installed in Group 4 Panteras, optional in Group 3 and GTS Panteras.

I'm 6'2". I installed longer bolts and stacks of washers where the front seat tracks bolt to the floor pans, thus reclining the seat backs and raising the fronts of the seat cushion. It did indeed create headroom, leg room, and improve comfort. I can drive the Pantera for hours and arrive at my destination relaxed, with less fatigue than what I've experienced in cars with far more expensive seating.

I don't know if it creates enough headroom for 6'2" AND a helmet ... but for the price of two bolts and a stack of washers its cheap enough to experiment. I'd also recommend experimenting with this to anyone who finds the OEM seating position uncomfortable, whether or not you need head room or leg room. Start by raising the front seat track by 1", then increase the stack in 1/4" increments until you find the height you like best (if at all).

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I had forgotten about the prototype seat story. Tom also said they were going to try a higher density of foam that was molded with shape but was overruled.

The spacer issue is another solution I used on all of the AmeriSport GT5-S cars because the pans were dropped flat and is you did not space the front of the seats, it felt like you were slipping forward--HORRIBLE!

Removing the rear spacers and adding them to the fronts will help allot---the later car spacers were welded in---earlier one were aluminum blocks. If you have an later car with the longer seat tracks, you could replace them with the shorter tracks and move the front mounting holes in the shorter tracks to the longer track forward mounting position. Then re-drill the rear mount holes without any spacers spacer which would also drop the back of the seat. The bottom of the seat when all the way back will be touching the floor using this approach and will give you the max head space height without cutting the car.
On the C4 seats, you can gain headroom by removing the wire basket that supports the foam on the lower seat pad.

This can be done without removing any of the seat covering or the foam, from underneath the seat (before mounting it, of course).

Rocky

PS - I like those Bride seats - a throwback to the original prototype design!
quote:
Originally posted by Rocky:
On the C4 seats, you can gain headroom by removing the wire basket that supports the foam on the lower seat pad.

This can be done without removing any of the seat covering or the foam, from underneath the seat (before mounting it, of course).

Rocky

PS - I like those Bride seats - a throwback to the original prototype design!


Very similar and in the same family as what the GT40 seating position was.

The most recent production car that comes to my mind with this thinking is the Lotus cars.

I want to see what Alfa did with the 4c seats also but those cars are scarce to the dealers and seem to be allocated to them?
I'm leaning toward the kirkey 41v and the largest bucket they have which is 18" at the hip for the side bolsters. Figure I can add foam cushioning to tighten the side bolstering and back cushioning if I go too large. The fixed brackets will allow me to recline them to the degree I want for headroom and the slim back profile will allow me to scoot it way back to the firewall and put it practically on the floor.

Can someone provide me with center to center bolt measurements from front to back and side to side for the factory floor/slider mounting bracket holes? Is this documented anywhere? Would save me a 2 hour drive.
Seats with any kind of sidebolsters in a Pantera are not easy to live with.

It isn't that once you are in they are much of a problem but getting in and out combined with the deep footwells and the proximity of the steering wheel are for me are just a "bridge to far".

You don't really need side bolsters in a Pantera because the car itself is going to hold you in place. Not unless you are 100 pounds and 5 foot tall.

You are really creating an "infant car seat" for adults with it.

I stand with my original combination of the Hall modified seat on the early hinged back design, lowered pans, pedals moved forward, power seat platforms, quick release steering wheel and height adjustable column.

That all didn't happen over night. I understand why there is just so much resistance to it by other owners, but just changing to the one "magic seat" isn't going to do it.

Putting in power seat platforms are going to give you the flexibility of tilt and height adjustments that you are looking for. It gives you the ability also to lower the seat enough to wear a helmet as well on track day without creating additional drama.

Those platforms are adjustable fore/aft, up/down, tilt forward/tilt backwards.

Corvette units are the easiest to find and are going to match up to just about any seat you decide on.

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