Original DUNLOPILLO Seat Cushion - INT-111A
|The MGA With An Attitude
Picture here (courtesy of Garon Curtis in Fair Oaks, California, USA) shows the underside of the original Dunlopillo seat cushion from an MGA roadster or Coupe (not Competition Deluxe seats). Notice the soft foam rubber and large core holes to make it even softer to sit on. Unfortunately the original material (I believe) was latex, and these have usually deteriorated badly over the decades. It is common to find here not much more than a fist full of crumbs, so the one in the picture may actually be in better condition than most.
Modern day replacement cushions commonly use more firm foam rubber and almost never have the core holes. End result is often too high seating position and too firm cushion where you may tend to slide off rather than sit down in. If you are careful you may bore the core holes with a hole saw and tear out the plugs, but be very cautious about not tearing it all the way through the top surface of the cushion. Some people (especially taller people) may also slice a bit off of the bottom side of the cushion to make it thinner for lower seating position. New cushions that are molded to the correct contoured shape are probably the correct original size, but being firm they may not squash down enough when sat upon. When rebuilding the seats it is a good idea to slip the outer cover loosely over the cushion, place it in the car and sit on it to see if it meets your expectations and desires before you button it up. Fifty plus years on it is difficult to know exactly how high the original cushion was supposed to be when sat upon. As such, I recommend that you do what is best for your personal taste, and I don't think a concours judge would be deducting any points for exact height of the cushion (unless perhaps it was extremely thin).
Addendum October 2017: Below left shows a Moss Motors supplied seat cushion (foreground) with the correct molded profile, and different right and left hand parts (but no core holes in the bottom). In the background is a Victoria British cut and glued cushion, too flat, same for left and right, both needing side trimming during installation. That one was 1997 purchase, but likely to be the same today (in 2017). Center photo shows cover on the Moss cushion. Right photo shows my "pleat in the seat" (another tech article) which I always thought was original, but can't prove it.
The following pictures are courtesy of John Backman in Sammamish, Washington, USA. This is a very original Dunlopillo seat cushion. Notice gauze covering front edge of upper plywood. Unfortunately a mouse appears to have made a home here after the bottom screen rusted through.
DUNLOPILLO LATEX FOAM CUSHIONING
MADE IN GREAT BRITAIN