When we picked up this clapped-out ’72 Monte Carlo, the clean interior was one of the only real selling points. It was in great shape for its age, and served its purpose. But, as horsepower increased, so did the need for better seats. Read on and see how we changed things for the better using a set of reclining buckets from Procar.
The Monte originally had a small-block 350, and the bench-seat did fine for the most part – cruising isn’t really that demanding. But, with a 383 stroker swapped in, we started running into some problems.
The first-generation Monte Carlo was touted as the “businessman’s muscle car”. As such, it was a well-optioned and comfortable car for its day. However, these big A-bodies were never known for great handling characteristics, so the floating feeling you get when moving around a corner is drastically increased when you’re sliding across a vinyl bench seat.
We knew we needed to upgrade to some buckets, but we didn’t want to lose the look of our factory interior. Bucket seats were a factory option on the first-generation Monte Carlos, but lacked the bolstering we need for any kind of performance driving.
Enter Procar. Procar is a subsidiary of SCAT Enterprises. You know – the ones responsible for all the crankshafts, connecting rods, and rotating assemblies you love. Well, they also offer high-quality seats at an affordable price.
We gave them a call, and filled them in on our project. The folks at Procar assured us, this is not a new issue. They receive calls like this all the time, and they have just the thing. We broke down our needs, and discussed a few options. Ultimately, we landed on a set of its Rally seats.
According to Procar’s website “The Rally features stylish, vertical stitching for a vintage look and comes with substantial side bolstering for added support and comfort. The Rally series comes with a smooth back or complete vertical stitching, with or without a headrest, and is also offered in UV-protected and waterproof canvas material for off-roaders.”
The Rally seats are great for us because they meet all of our criteria. We knew from the get-go, our Monte was going to be a budget street/strip car. Pulling double-duty requires seats that can handle both long hauls, and quick bursts down the track.
The Rally seats do exactly that. With aggressive bolstering on the upper and lower portions, they have no trouble holding you in place during lateral G’s, or when you’re just cruising. Ask us how we know…Donuts anyone?
Some added benefits are the fact they are extremely comfortable for the amount of bolstering they have. We’ve sat in many “racing” seats that cause fatigue after an hour or so in the cockpit. The fatigue typically comes from not being able to recline, or just the hard materials they are made out of, in general.
The Rally seats are part of Procar’s Recliner line, which includes 22 other models ranging in style from “period correct” to more “racey” offerings – several of them feature provisions for harnesses. The Rally’s we selected fall somewhere in between the two.
In our opinion, the reasons the Rally seat is Procar’s most popular model are three-fold. First, they look the part. Take our Monte Carlo for example – while the pleat pattern on the Rally differs slightly, it does pay a certain homage to GM’s factory styling from back in the day.
Second, they offer performance in a comfortable package. Take it from us, we logged some serious miles in these seats right after we installed them. We prepped the car to make the trek from So Cal up to Nor Cal, and on to Las Vegas for SEMA 2018. The whole way we took bumpy, backroads, went around mountains, across desert, and through city traffic – the seats were comfortable, and held us in place the whole way.
Lastly, they come in at an astounding price-point! This one was a big deal for us. As we previously mentioned, the Monte build has been budget-oriented from the start, and the Rally seats start at $397.00 a piece! That is in their vinyl form, but Procar also offers them in leather, canvas, velour, and houndstooth to meet the many needs of its customers.
We elected to go with the leather option which did increase the price, but we felt the durability, longevity, and mounting options more than justified the cost. The universal nature of the Rally seats affords us the ability to put these in another car sometime in the future – all we will need is the vehicle-specific mounting brackets – which Procar offers.
While the Monte isn’t fast enough to require dedicated racing seats in its current form, you never know what the future holds…hint,hint. When…er…if that happens, these seats can find another life in one of our other project cars. That’s the beauty of these seats, they look right at home in a variety of classics, and they feel even better!
Follow along below as we show you how our install went. It was very straight forward, and Procar provides simple instructions.
After logging over a couple-thousand miles in these seats, we can honestly say they are a great value. They went in easily – we’d call this a “three beer job.” Honestly, a couple of buddies could knock this out in a couple of hours. They instantly transformed our interior, gave us some much needed room and adjustment for long trips, and added bolstering for when we want to mash the skinny pedal.
If you’d like to know more about the Rally seats, or the rest of what Procar offers, check out its website, here.