Book Review: Automotive Custom Interiors

Published by Naseem Muaddi on February 16th, 2011

If you’re experiencing a case of creativity block, pick up a copy of Sue Elliot’s “Idea Book” titled Automotive Custom Interiors (2009, Motorbooks). It aims to inspire auto upholsterers and fabricators with nearly a thousand detailed photographs of custom interior designs.

Elliot cuts out the needless chit-chat, choosing instead to feature designs that range from domestic to foreign cars, and across a wide time span – classic, present day and even concept cars of the future. A variety of themes are also highlighted – including retro, nostalgia, hot rod, modern and high tech. Captions describe techniques and materials used. In most cases, the designers’ names are also mentioned so that you can search the net for more of their work if you feel so inclined.

Aside from the inspiring pictures, I particularly like how Elliot organizes the book. It’s divided into 10 chapters, each highlighting a different aspect of cabin design. Topics highlighted include seats and upholstery; dashboards and gauges; door panels; consoles; hardware; floor coverings and headliners; trunks; and audio.

I highly recommend this book to all designers and trim shops. It’s a terrific reference tool. Whether you’re in search of ideas for a current project, deciding on a color scheme, or just lost for ideas in general, Automotive Custom Interiors will surely help.

Pick up a copy on Even if you only get one good idea from the book, it’s definitely a great bargain for less than $20.

The Haartz Corporation

4 Responses

  1. stitcher_guy says:

    I have this book, and it’s pretty good. I wish it had more “custom” built interiors by trimmers in shops. Seems to be heavy on the industry-made, prototype car interiors put out by the motor companies. But still has lots of idea. Ish’s tiki seats are very nicely detailed.

  2. Eric's Auto Upholstery says:

    I like the book but, I agree. Wish it had more upholsterers or trimmers work. It is a little heavy on industrial made.

  3. Steven Solis says:

    Hi Nadeem,

    Are there any other books this sort besides this one?


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