Procar Seats: Quality and Affordability For Your Next Project

procarseatsdart-leadartA visit to Scat Enterprises in Redondo Beach, California, is an eye opening experience — and a genuine lesson in distinctive manufacturing to say the least. The Procar seats they produce are among the more popular, affordable aftermarket seats in the business.

For many years, hot-rodders, musclecar aficionados, off-road enthusiasts and sporty car types have all enjoyed the comfort and style Procar designs and builds for their rides. A tradition of quality goes into everything Scat produces — and the seats have been a key part of the company’s growth. We are also getting to install and test a set of seats in our project 1967 Dodge Dart – a dual purpose street and track car.

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The first exposure to Procar seats came in the Scat conference room. Surrounded by a number of the products and company history in showcases and on the walls, we met with Tom Lieb, founder of Scat Enterprises. We sat in the comfortable “Sportsman” office chairs — ergonomic, sporty automotive seats with a caster-laden base. Then we began to chat about the Scat business and the very chairs which we were sitting in. We were impressed with the business, beginning with those “office” chairs!

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Lieb explained that the US Navy uses these Procar office chairs in their pilot ‘ready rooms’ on aircraft carriers. Just imagining those Top-Gun fighter pilots getting their briefings while seated in these chairs makes the mind swirl with thoughts of aerial combat. It is a chair deserving of the flyboys — who prepare for their jet-fighter acrobatics — in comfort. Just imagine how it feels in your car.

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The Story Behind Scat Enterprises

Scat Enterprises itself has a storied history. The 53-year-old family owned business, known for its crankshafts, was started by hot-rodding and air-cooled VW legend Tom Lieb in his parent’s garage in 1964.

I couldn’t think of a name off the top of my head, but always remembered my grandmother sweeping the floors and swatting at us with her broom telling us to ‘scat, get out of here’ and that popped into my head, and it stuck. -Tom Lieb, Scat Enterprises

“It was easy to go to the junkyard and find parts to refurbish and sell them for fifty dollars, as opposed to working at the gas station part-time and making a dollar-fifty,” Lieb remembers.

He made enough profit that he actually rented the space from his parents — until he outgrew it. That business has grown into a 42,000 square foot manufacturing and distribution facility that employs some 80 people.

We asked Lieb about the company name, and how it came to be; he tells us a rather amusing story, and how it’s actually paying respect to his grandmother. “We were making performance parts and when it came time to get our business license, the lady at the window asked what the company name is,” he told us. “I couldn’t think of a name off the top of my head, but always remembered my grandmother sweeping the floors and swatting at us with her broom telling us to ‘scat, get out of here’ and that popped into my head, and it stuck.”

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Scat is recognized as one of the most respected and innovative manufacturing companies in the automotive aftermarket. There are more than 70 major pieces of equipment including CNC machines, rod honing machines, crankshaft grinding and polishing machines.

Considering the Ford Model T is over 100 years old, we grind and sell two Model T crankshafts per day. -Tom Lieb, Scat Crankshafts

As part of its core business, Scat manufactures crankshafts, connecting rods and rotating assemblies. Their client list includes numerous OEM automotive and agricultural customers. Buy a GM crate motor, it has a Scat crankshaft. Buy a John Deere Tractor — it, too, has a Scat crank.

Early on, Scat found a niche business in VW Beetle performance making finished air-cooled high performance crate motors. From there, Scat has moved into everything from sport compact cranks to vintage Ford, Porsche, Chrysler, and GM performance parts. Lieb explains, “Considering the Ford Model T is over 100 years old, we grind and sell two Model T crankshafts per day.” We staggered at the thought!

seats 15A Growing Business

Procar seats are a natural part of the Scat growth. As the VW business grew, so did the need for aftermarket parts — such as seats. But because of Lieb’s overall automotive interests — he is a genuine car guy and collector — it became a long-term evolution to design an entire series of different seats for multiple applications. A glance at the Procar catalog will reveal there are more than 3,000 applications. Buckets or benches, plus full front and back seat kits, there are many options to bring an interior back to life.

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As Lieb explains, the hallmark of a Procar seat is “sensible styling”. Clean, classic lines fit well in any street rod, cruiser, pony car, musclecar, off-road buggy, truck, or sport compact. Procar seats assimilate well to a car’s interior. Given the number of product lines, there is a seat that will look really good in any project, or as an upgrade to the interior.

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Dodge Dart Project Car

Our 1967 Dodge Dart is being built from the ground up by our friends at Viau Motorsports, and it’s going to be a driver as well as a performer. Procar’s Classic Lowback bucket seats provide extra comfort with a classic muscle car look, and the custom seat adapters make mounting the seats a quick task. There are a number of available seat options and fabric choices that can give a car a classic or upgraded look.

Many times, seats are an afterthought in a restoration project. Some restoration projects needing restored OEM seats require the arduous process of stripping down the old OEM seat to the frame, re-springing and re-padding, then getting a shop to redo the upholstery. The concept behind Procar seats is to provide an affordable alternative to used up and damaged OEM seats. Procar seats come ready to install — easily. The company makes a number of custom mounting brackets, right in the Redondo Beach factory, to cover a myriad of different cars.

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In the engineering and development of the many individual applications, Procar ironically uses 3,000 year old technology to get the seats lined up right. Tom Lieb describes, “In the design process, we find the center using a pendulum from the steering wheel. So many times an aftermarket seat is installed and the driving position is off-centered. It looks wrong and is uncomfortable. We design each seat and mounting bracket, in each car, for a perfect centered driving position.”

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The quality of the seats are impressive. Procar really does have a competitive edge over many other aftermarket seats — like the inexpensive types you will regularly find on eBay. The Procar seat frames are all-steel and TIG-welded. Then they are ‘electrostatically’ coated for strength and durability.

The upholstery is made from premium grade fabrics and stitching. By design, the seat will stand up to years of use. Comfort and proper support is assured by incorporating ergonomically designed cushions. The seats contain high-density, injection-molded foam — whereas some seats have cheap, cut foam that breaks down — and heavy-duty suspension straps at the base hold everything securely in place.

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While these seats are specifically for street-type cars, and are not homologated FIA/SFI, it was impressive to see that some Procar seats will accommodate a 5-point race harness — unlike many other sport seats that only support four. Not only can you give a racy look to your ride, it is perfect for track and test ’n tune days, as there is an opening for a submarine/crotch belt.

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The stock seats are great, but it doesn’t end there. Procar offers many custom options to make your car’s interior as unique as you want. Options include complete seat covers, or insert only, headrest covers, map pockets, perforation and custom piping. Further, Procar can create matching door panels and custom embroidery.

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For the 1967 Dart, we opted for the Classic Lowback seats in black vinyl. Clearly this is the classic look of so many OEM interiors from back in the day – and the Dart will retain its classic look while comfort and quality is enhanced!

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Bracketing for custom sliders is an area where Procar steps up, providing a model-specific kit or universal kit for applications not covered. Incorporating the “pendulum method,” the guys at Procar were able to fabricate the bracket for proper positioning of the seat for optimal driving position in the car. Whether sitting in traffic, or spirited driving – or perhaps the occasional drag race – the driver will have the perfect reach on both the wheel and pedals. Even the OEMs sometimes did not have that built-in from the factory.

Because Procar makes all the brackets right in its Redondo Beach factory, we can be assured that the fit will be right – considering also our car was a “mule” for the fit. Needless to say, for future builds of similar cars, Procar and Scat will have the right fit for yours. We really like the look of the seats and look forward to having our back pressed back firmly in these babies as we hit the loud pedal.

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Scat Enterprises’ credo is customer satisfaction. “Scat/Procar has a wealth of hands on experience in design, manufacturing and engine building for the street and the track. We pride ourselves in the ability to assist our customers to ensure they are buying the parts that make sense for their particular application. Our Customers are our most important resource and are a testament to our success. We pride ourselves in our ability to handle our customers needs. From our friendly and professional receptionist to our dedicated team of sales professionals to our executive team, at SCAT, the customer is KING!”

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The passion of its founder flows into every aspect of the business. Lieb stresses that passion and credo as the company’s mantra. As long as there are builds to be done, and you’re looking for an affordable seat for your project, Procar Seats by Scat is one website worth visiting.

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Article Sources

About the author

Tom Stahler

At eight months of age, Tom Stahler sat in a baby stroller in Thunder Valley and watched Chuck Parsons and Skip Scott win the 1968 Road America 500. He has had the car bug ever since. He has won several awards, including the Motor Press Guild’s Dean Batchelor Award and the International Motor Press Association's Gold Medal for his writing and photography. When not chasing the next story, Tom drives in vintage road racing events.
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