Intro

M&A Custom Auto Upholstery is a full service trim shop offering expert service from some of the most highly trained craftsmen in the industry. M&A is a family owned and operated business that has been in operation at the same location in West Chester, PA for over 37 years. Please feel free to look around our site to see what we do and check out some pictures of our quality craftsmanship..

See Our Work

About

M&A Custom Auto Upholstery is one of the oldest shops around. We take great pride in the reputation we have in the surrounding area. Our goal is to provide the best service possible for our customers. We have been customizing and restoring automobiles for a very long time and are knowledgeable in every area of the industry. Although the business is just a bit over 37 years old, the experience dates well beyond that. Much of our knowledge of the older restoration projects results from the fact that we worked on these cars when they were new. M&A does a lot of business with shops and dealers, but our main business is the retail customer. We prefer to do mostly retail work. We only use our accounts with shops and dealers to fill in the time gaps between retail work. We feel this is the only way possible to do such high quality work. We do not want to sacrifice our craftsmanship so dealers can get work done "cheap and quick". M&A is a family owned and operated business. We have a staff capable to take on most auto, marine, aviation, and commercial upholstery projects, no matter how big or small. Along with our staff, we also employ a full time FAA licensed Airframe and Powerplant mechanic to assist with our aviation upholstery projects and to help troubleshoot and diagnose electrical and hydraulic problems with convertible top operating systems. M&A has one of the largest material stocks of almost any trim shop. Although we can order any material in almost any quantity, we firmly believe in maintaining a high stock level in house. We have several thousand running yards of material in our shop. We stock all types of original cloth and tweed, vinyl, headliner, leather hydes, carpet, and even convertible tops. We believe that by maintaining such a high stock level and buying in bulk, our customers and us can both benefit. We obviously can't stock every type of material on the market, so we maintain excellent business relationships with several large suppliers and manufacturers to ensure a constant flow of convertible tops and materials that are usually only one days shipping away from us.

We have three separate stock locations, including a small section in our front showroom, and an entire second floor location.

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Intro

Convertible Tops

This is the main business of almost all trim shops. We have the skill and experience to install your convertible top the right way. We install several tops each day on all types of cars. We have experience on all types of cars from the newest all the way to some of the older and foreign cars that require hand-stitching and custom made parts and materials. We buy all the tops we sell from the largest manufacturers in the industry. We do not make our own tops. It would be nearly impossible for us to make such high quality tops. All convertible top patterns are cut using the latest in computer aided cutting and design software and machinery. All convertible top seams and rear windows are heat-sealed at the factory using the latest in technology. However, we can make tops for custom street rods and unique cars that no manufacturer has a pattern for. We can also have a top custom made for us by the manufacturer in any material or color. We are an approved and preferred installer by virtually all convertible top manufacturers.

Truck Seats

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We recover hundreds of truck seats each year. We custom make all of our covers right here in the shop out of any material of your choice. We even maintain our own custom patterns right here in our shop for many of the more popular truck seats. We can repair foam, fix springs under seat, and weld and reinforce the seat frame. We offer same day service on all work trucks. We also offer commercial accounts and currently have several ongoing accounts with companies having truck fleets in excess of several hundred trucks.

Marine

We can install custom interiors, repair or re-stitch covers and tops, or make an all new bimini or cabin enclosure. We can also make most cabin enclosures from scratch without a previous pattern. We have a gated and locked parking facility able to house most boats that can be towed.

Aviation

We can recover aircraft seats of all types. We can also provide proof of the flammability of materials used. We employ a full time FAA licensed Airframe and Powerplant mechanic to assist with all of your aviation needs and questions. We are conveniently located within ten minutes of Brandywine Airport, and will give estimates in the field.

Headliners

Headliners (interior ceiling) can be installed while you wait. We have several hundred yards of material in stock in most of the colors available.

Commercial Upholstery Projects

We can do most types of commercial projects. We have even upholstered an auditorium which seats over 700

Foam Sales and Replacement

We can custom order foam to any cut size. We also stock foam in various thicknesses and can cut foam while you wait. We can also order foam in different densities.

Restaurant Seating

We can recover your restaurant booths and bar stools in any material of your choice. We can also repair wood and rebuild your existing booth. Along with our ongoing contracts with several very large chain restaurants, we have also completely redone most restaurants in our area. We also offer pick up and delivery service on most restaurant booths.

Classic Restorations

We do all types of classic restorations from the daily driver that just needs a nice set of seat covers all the way up to the show car that needs a custom stitched interior.

Motorcycle Seats

We specialize in all types of motorcycle seats. We can also repair or re-shape foam

Frequently Asked Questions

What name brands of convertible tops do you use?

We install convertible tops made by Robbins Auto Top Company, EZ-ON Tops, and Electron Tops. We feel that all of these tops are of similar quality. Convertible tops made by Robbins Auto Top Company are more widely known to most retail customers. The main reason for this is that Robbins advertises to the general consumer. EZ-ON does not advertise to the general consumer because they sell strictly to automotive trim shops. We buy and stock Robbins convertible tops, EZ-ON convertible tops, and Electron convertible tops to help ensure a readily available supply of parts. We have also installed convertible tops from other manufacturers, but Robbins and EZ-ON are the ones we install most often. Whatever top we install, you can feel safe knowing that the parts and the labor are always guaranteed (sometimes for as long as 5 years).

Is your shop a Robbins convertible top preferred installer?

Yes, we always have been.

Do you make your own convertible tops in your shop or do you buy them from a manufacturer?

We buy all the tops we sell from the largest manufacturers in the industry. We do not make our own tops. It would be nearly impossible for us to make such high quality tops. All convertible top patterns are cut using the latest in computer aided cutting and design software and machinery. All convertible top seams and rear windows are heat-sealed at the factory using the latest in technology. However, we can make tops for custom street rods and unique cars that no manufacturer has a pattern for. We can also have a top custom made for us by the manufacturer in any material or color.

I want to change the color of my convertible top to a color that did not originally come with the car, Can you special order a convertible top in a custom color or different material than original?

Yes, we can order a convertible top made out of almost any top material or color. This would take a few weeks to order because the factory will have to specially make the top for us. Only original materials and colors are stocked by the manufacturer.

How do I know when the rear window on my convertible top needs to be replaced?

Most people do not realize this, but the piece of material below the rear glass window is part of the window, not part of the top. If this piece has separated from the glass, the entire window assembly must be replaced. This piece is heat sealed to the glass at the factory. Unfortunately there is no way for any trim shop to repair this without replacing the rear window.

Can you fix the electric motors and hydraulic systems on my convertible?

Many times we can fix the electric motors and hydraulic system problems. Many of today's newer cars have several different motors and micro-switches that need to be adjusted, and some even have a computer control box to control the operation of the top. We employ a full time certified aircraft mechanic to help diagnose and repair all electrical and hydraulic problems on convertible top operating systems.

How much will it cost for you to diagnose the mechanical problems with my convertible top and give me an estimate for repair?

We do not believe in charging to give an estimate for repair. We usually do not charge to diagnose any problems. Some cars which have more sophisticated systems may need to be left with us for a few hours so that we can diagnose the problem.

If I buy my own top outside of your shop, will you install it?

We will install most tops bought elsewhere by our customers. We would obviously prefer all of our customers to buy their convertible tops from us. Many people do not realize, but most people selling tops over the internet buy them from the same people we do. There usually is no cost benefit to buying a top somewhere else and having our shop install it.

Can I buy a convertible top from you and install it myself?

Yes.

If I buy a convertible top from you, will it come with instructions telling me how to install the top?

No. There really aren't any printed instructions anywhere describing how to replace a convertible top. Most tops are replaced using standard upholstery techniques and materials. The only instructions in the box are the factory instructions about what the markings on the top mean. This is because each manufacturer marks their tops differently.

My convertible originally came from the factory with a plastic rear window. Can you replace it with a glass window?

Our manufacturers are now making many tops to retrofit glass windows in place of plastic. Some even have defrosters installed in the glass. This is possible because some cars have the defroster switch and wiring already installed for the optional winter hardtop.

What is your hourly shop rate?

We do not charge an hourly shop rate. All estimates are given per repair. Our customers are not being charged an hourly rate based on the amount of time it takes to perform a repair. Some repairs are time consuming but take minimal skill, and some repairs take a small amount of time with much more skill and expert knowledge required. It would not be fair for M&A Custom Auto Upholstery or our customers to charge an hourly rate.

Do you charge to give an estimate of repair and how long will it take?

No, we do not charge for estimates. It usually only takes a few minutes to give an estimate, unless more time is needed to research prices on unique parts or materials. In any case we try to take as little of our customers time as possible and all estimates that are not given on the spot can be relayed by phone, fax, or E-mail.

What are your business hours?

Monday thru Friday 8:00AM-5:00PM

Do you accept credit cards?

Yes, we accept all major types of credit cards.

My car was vandalized and the upholstery was damaged; Can you deal with the insurance company or do I have to do everything first?

We can deal with the insurance company from start to finish. You can drop your car off at our shop and the adjuster can look at it here. If proper arrangements are made, we can even keep your convertible inside during bad weather to help our customers that do not have access to a garage. Insurance companies cannot legally tell you where to take your car for repair. You can tell your insurance company where you want all repair work done.

Do you stock any material in your shop?

M&A Custom Upholstery has one of the largest material stocks of almost any trim shop. Although we can order any material in almost any quantity, we firmly believe in maintaining a high stock level in house. We have several thousand running yards of material in our shop. We stock all types of original cloth and tweed, vinyl, headliner, leather hydes, carpet, and even convertible tops. We believe that by maintaining such a high stock level and buying in bulk, our customers and us can both benefit. We obviously can't stock every type of material on the market, so we maintain excellent business relationships with several large suppliers and manufacturers to ensure a constant flow of convertible tops and materials that are usually only one days shipping away from us.

Do you guarantee your work?

Yes, we guarantee all work for a minimum of one year up to five years on materials used in some instances.

Do you do custom work and restorations?

We do all types of custom work and classic restorations from the daily driver that just needs a nice set of seat covers all the way up to the show car that needs a custom stitched interior.

My dashboard is cracked, what can you do for me?

Most dashboards cannot be recovered. They are usually made of a vinyl and plastic combination that is molded at the factory. The only option is to replace the dashboard. This can get expensive because the only place to buy a dashboard is through the car's manufacturer. Our manufacturers do make dashboard covers that fit over the original dashboard. These are plastic covers that are molded to the shape of your dashboard and simply glued over top of the existing material. They usually only come in black plastic and do not completely cover the entire dashboard and instrument panel.

My headliner (fabric on interior ceiling) is falling down, can it be re-glued?

No, the headliner must be replaced.

Why does the headliner fabric fall down after a certain period of time?

Headliner material is actually a paper-thin layer of fabric attached to a 1/4 inch layer of foam. The reason the headliner falls down is that the foam dry-rots and separates from the fabric layer over time.

How long will it take to replace my headliner?

Depending on the model of the car it could take between one to four hours to replace the headliner. There are some models of newer cars that require more time due to the side curtain airbags.

Will the new material be the same color as the original?

We will match the material in your car as close as possible to the original color. We stock several hundred yards of headliner material in over 50 different colors. We usually buy headliner in bulk in an ongoing order process to maintain as many colors in stock as possible.

Why does it cost more to replace my headliner if I have an aftermarket sunroof?

Aftermarket sunroofs are installed by cutting a large hole in the roof and the original headliner board. When the headliner is re-installed, the material is glued to the outside perimeter of the vehicle and the roof cutout in the sunroof. This must be done while inside the car and is very time consuming. The headliner is always loose in the center because it must allow several additional inches for the metal frame that houses the mechanical components of the sunroof.

This is a series of pictures taken during the replacement of a headliner in a Volvo station wagon with a factory sunroof.

ADD ALL 5 PICS OF HEADLINER REPLACEMENT

Can you put a patch on my seat?

No, there is no way to patch a seat. Although some places actually do put patches on a seat, this is not a good solution. A patch will pull away from the fabric even with minimal use of the seat. All repairs we perform are done the right way. We remove the seat cover and cut out the section of the seat that is damaged. We then stitch a new piece of material in its place. We can order the original cloth, vinyl, and leather for almost all cars on the road. The only evidence of repair will be that the new material will match the original color of the seat. Unfortunately all seating material has at least a minimal amount of fading from the sun.

My seat frame is broken. Can it be fixed?

Many times we can weld the seat frame. We can also reinforce it with additional metal supports. This is not uncommon, in fact we weld the seat frames of almost all truck seats we recover. We also have excellect relationships with parts departments of every manufacturer and can get any part available.

My seat frame is broken. Can it be fixed?

Many times we can weld the seat frame. We can also reinforce it with additional metal supports. This is not uncommon, in fact we weld the seat frames of almost all truck seats we recover. We also have excellect relationships with parts departments of every manufacturer and can get any part available.

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