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McCoys Launches Custom Gaiter Services
A 1930 Hupmobile sedan is springing back to life on Long Island thanks to custom leather “gaiters,” or spring covers, crafted to the original specifications by McCoys Upholstery. The Woodside, New York company has used the project to launch a new online and mail-order service designed to help automotive enthusiasts and restorers anywhere in the country put gaiters back on their vehicles for the protection and appearance they provide.
“Each gaiter is a custom-fitted cover, or encasement, for the spring that retains and supplies grease to the leaves on a constant basis,” says McCoys’ co-owner Jim Barnes, also a noted area car collector. “This system prevents rusting and corrosion of the spring and ensures a joltless and smooth ride under poor road conditions.” Gaiters were developed for early 20th century automobiles as a way to lubricate leaf springs to keep them from squeaking and to prevent deterioration due to the dust and dirt of unpaved roads.
Depending on the car, replacement gaiters are usually not an off-the-shelf item and it is extraordinarily rare to find shops able to craft them from scratch. When the springs had to be changed on Jesse Deutsch’s Hupmobile and the original gaiters couldn’t be saved, the Dix Hills, New York collector turned to McCoys. “The springs were sprung and had to be changed after 80 years,” says Deutsch. “The new springs were coated in synthetic grease and wrapped in burlap. Then, McCoys found this leather and the eyelets and parachute cord. They showed me the research they did. It was unbelievable. They really knew what they were doing.”
OEM gaiters were not an option, especially for a car as rare as the Hupmobile. “It wouldn’t have been viable,” Deutsch says, “even if you could find 80-year-old leather material sitting in some factory or warehouse.”
Barnes notes that once the gaiters are fitted, they need not ever be removed. Grease can be added through “Tat”- or “Zerk”-type nipples affixed to the leather. “These gaiters are carefully handcrafted in our workshop through an intricate, multi-step process to ensure a precision fit and an authentic look for just about any classic vehicle,” Barnes says. “Through our online order form (http://bit.ly/1UzRQuH) McCoys asks the vehicle owner for six different exact measurements covering front and back semi-elliptic or 3/4-elliptic leaf springs. We also ask owners additional questions so that the work can be done right the first time. It takes some effort on the owner’s part, but the end product is well worth it.”
For more information on this highly specialized service for classic, sports and other vehicles, contact McCoys Upholstery at 718-458-5880 or visit the company’s web site.
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