Story: Michael Crenshaw
Photography: Clifford Sutrisno
These are bespoke and extremely rare automobiles, so what makes it right [read: worth it] to tear apart the interior and redo it? Top Stitch’s owner, Anthony Salazar, explains that though rare in the conventional sense, there are only a limited selection of interior options. “[For the] Ferrari Daytona [interior] package, there are not a lot of color options, so we add color striping, color stitching, Alcantara and Stradale versions of the interior [on non-Stradale cars],” Anthony clarifies. “People think it fucking came like that [after we’re done]!”
That might not sound all that impressive when spoken in passing conversation; however, the quality and nature of perfection is what Anthony strives for. “This is identical quality to Ferrari,” he boasts. “Our stitches and our threads are what make us stand out the most. The biggest thing is the double stitching, and we only use Autolux and Nappa leathers, which are more expensive.” Not cutting corners would be one thing, but the quality is meant to be on the same level as high-end manufacturers—like some that charge over $300K for their products.
Anthony and his team cut their teeth in the private aviation industry, making interiors for private jets and coach aircraft, where the leather and interior have to be certified and meet specific standards. This is when Anthony started using thicker threads (size 207), which hold up longer than is traditionally acceptable, creating a stronger bond between fabrics. “Once I started getting known in the industry, working for Mister Cartoon, West Coast Customs and 310 Motoring, I stepped it up a notch and dedicated myself to doing high-end upholstery work,” Anthony explains. This experience gave him the confidence to conquer the builds that have put Top Stitch on the map: Rolls-Royce Phantoms with ostrich interiors, Mercedes SLR McLarens with fully built interiors and Anthony’s personal favorite, a Range Rover Autobiography where they took off all the factory pieces and replaced them with a black and red interior with leather door panels. “That was a more than $100,000 car, and we made it look better than how Range Rover is from the factory. I was very surprised with it!” Anthony admits.
With time in the industry, clients and projects stacking up, Top Stitch has joined with Transcal out of the U.K. to develop factory replacement seat covers, which would reduce build time from a few weeks to a few days with the same quality of work. This is breaking into the 21st century with new manufacturing techniques, without leaving behind the quality of old-world, handmade fabrication.
And that is exactly how Top Stitch maintains and builds some of the finest show-quality interiors in the industry, by moving forward but never forgetting where—and how—they made their name.
Shop Name: Top Stitch Upholstery
Owner: Anthony Salazar
Address: 7250 Bandini Blvd.
Commerce, CA 90040
Phone Number: 323.707.4981
Time In Business: 15 years
Shop Specialties: Exotic and high-end auto upholstery; Alcantara installation; automotive interior design
Standout Vehicles: Floyd Mayweather’s Rolls-Royce Phantom; Mister Cartoon’s 1960 Chevrolet Impala; Brad Pitt’s 1969 Chevrolet Chevelle