Q —  I own one of the “entry level Porsches”; a late 80’s Carrera. Generally the carpet is in pretty good shape but some of it is a little tattered (near the clutch pedal), it is getting a bit droopy (under the pedals), the backing has gotten a little rotted (on the floor), and it’s a little faded (map pockets and package shelf). Of course I could buy a new carpet kit, but I would like to keep it as original as possible and besides, I like playing with it.   Do you know any alternative that is good AND cheap?   Charlie

That “good and cheap” is a favorite oxymoron of mine. I prefer “above average” and “resourceful”. Good and cheap usually doesn’t work out too well, but I will give this a try. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

The fading is easy. At the local auto parts store, there is a product called “Carpet and Vinyl dye made by Duplicolor. I have used it to restore rear hatch carpet on 924 and 944, the package shelf carpet on 911 and it works fantastic. I don’t sell it but I could. It works that well. I did my door pockets with it and it took longer to mask off the doors than it did to apply the product.   In two hours, I was “back to black”.

Since this is the Motor City, there are many sources that sell automotive carpet. I found a source that one would never suspect could match the black 80’s Porsche carpet; Seat Cover King in Pontiac. When I got a sample the comment was made “it’s not an exact match, I’m not sure you will like it”. Fact is, it is NOT an exact match, it is actually better! The pile is thicker and it has no backing (just like the original). For the compound curves inside a Carrera, it is excellent and inexpensive. Far better than “good and cheap”

For the backing, I have seen rubber glued to the back of the carpet to help keep it flat. It looks pretty tacky and makes the carpet sit higher too. What I tried was poly urethane glue (A.K.A. Gorilla glue) from the local hardware store. I cleaned the carpet very well and dried it with cement blocks on top to flatten it.

Once it was mostly dry, I created a waffle pattern on the back with Gorilla glue. I covered it with wax paper and again used cement blocks to squish it thoroughly into the carpet. When it was dry, the piece was nice and stiff and sits proudly where it belongs, looking fresh and beautiful.

Of course, there are those who might say: “why bother, just buy the doggone kit”. Well I might someday, but this time I can proudly say “I did it”.  –MC