Bomber style seats have been a popular style of seat in hot rods for decades. They just look cool. The bomber style seat is timeless and they work perfectly in hot rods, rat rods, and muscle cars!
Quality And Details Of Our Aviation Style Seats
Our bomber style seats are sold in pairs. The dimensions are approximately 19” deep, 22” tall and 18” wide with a 13 degree lay back. The bottoms have six 3/8” coarse thread holes that you can use for mounting your seats. If you need a different width seat, we can custom create that for you, as we fabricate these seats right in our shop.
These seats are available in white, red, and black vinyl with a vertical pleat that is formed by heat. We also offer a diamond stitch pattern in black vinyl. Original bomber seats from actual aircrafts didn’t come padded, but ours are upgraded for comfort! We use a 2-inch thick high quality upholstery foam padding that offers up support to make your ride cool and comfortable. The frames are made from .060” aluminum 6061 sheet and 3/4” cabinet grade plywood with real aluminum rivets.
If you want to make your own custom bomber seats, we can help you out as well! You can purchase just the aluminum seat frames (left and right sides, sold as a set) and then use your own wood and upholstery for a truly custom feel. We also sell bench seat sides as well if that is more your style. To make your bomber seats adjustable we offer seat slider kits, and we also sell riser and slider kits if you want your seats raised higher. Our kits and our bomber seats are all made in the USA, right here in our shop in Idaho. We are dedicated to fabricating unique, custom parts for your classic ride, and to helping DIY hot rodders achieve the look they want for their cars.
Why Bomber Seats?
Hot rod builders have been using aviation style seats in their rides for quite a long time! The trend began shortly after World War ll. Many auto enthusiasts were also returned soldiers who had technical training in mechanics and airframe repair…they began to use their expertise to customize race cars to race on dry lake beds. These cars were built for speed and needed to be lightweight, so aluminum was used when possible. Around this time there also happened to be plenty of wartime military surplus to include old warplanes, bombers and otherwise. Hot rod and race car builders realized that these old aircraft seats would be ideal for racing and hot rodding due to their lightweight construction and futuristic look.
Bomber seats worked well in race cars where there was usually just one seat, but often the typical bomber seats were too big to fit two of them into a hot rod. Fighter aircraft seats were often used in hot rods so two could fit into the cars. During this time many wartime airstrips were closed to aircrafts, but were used now for “speedways” for racing cars. The whole trend of aircraft to auto re-use became, for many racers and street rodders, also aesthetically pleasing. The industrial/utilitarian look of the military surplus was now considered to be very cool. These surplus military aircraft seats continued to be very popular for race cars and hot rods throughout the 1950’s and 1960’s. Many folks who built their own race cars and hot rods kept using the bomber seats for budget reasons for decades because they were not expensive, didn’t need a lot of upholstery (if any) work, and were easy to modify. They waned in popularity a bit during the 1970’s and 1980’s, and could still be found easily, due to the surplus from the Vietnam War. Then in the 1990’s and early 2000’s “rat rods” became very popular. This type of incarnation of the hot rod became popular in the DIY arena as people could build them in their garages on a budget, and the utilitarian “look” was suddenly in demand again.
Rat rod builders are enthusiastic about period parts and authentic looking aftermarket parts. At this point in time the vintage aircraft and military surplus parts supply has pretty much dried up. A builder might be able to find something on eBay or a similar site, but the price is probably going to be very high, and parts are much more scarce now. Replica parts, including bomber style seats are now very popular and priced reasonably. Replica or vintage inspired seats are still made from aluminum, and still exude the great vintage bomber style, but can be made to fit all kinds of cars. These repro parts still look incredibly cool and work for everyone’s budget. It is still fairly easy to find World War II-era or Vietnam-era seat belts and harnesses that add authenticity and retro style to the bomber style seats available now. Bomber style seats can be found with upholstery or without, depending on how much comfort is desired by the driver. These seats can be bolted to the floor of the hot rod, or can be installed on risers. Even though these style seats are popular among the rat rod builders and the hot rod and race car builders, they also look really cool in muscle cars and classic 4×4’s. They can be found in bench style seats or as single seats.
Pick up this set of adapter plates and sliders to make your bomber style seats slide. This kit includes all the parts for TWO complete seats.
The bomber seats can look very sleek and classy as well as industrial and rustic. They are truly versatile and their aesthetic is timeless. These retro bomber style seats can be found from many different outlets and in a variety of styles and prices. There are also instruction online to show you how to fabricate your own if you have the time and equipment to build them yourself. If you don’t have the time or tools to make your own, we think ours are pretty cool and you won’t find a better deal for comparable upholstered seats. Hells Gate Hot Rods acquired this seat design from Rotten Leonard’s Jalopy Shop and we maintain the same standard of quality and also the original tooling so that we can continue to bring builders this great style of aviation style seat. They come upholstered in red, white, or black and have 2-inch upholstery foam padding for a comfortable ride. These seats are definitely for hot rods that are driven! These seats are also of the utilitarian style, they are not show quality seats, they may have tool marks, small scratches, and may possibly need a bit of light de-burning, but our price is right and the look is clean and cool. If you want to build and install your own, we also offer the following parts:
- Aluminum bomber style seat frames
- Sliders for bomber style seats
- Risers and sliders for bomber style seats
Whatever your ride is, our bomber seats will perform and look great!