Demystifying the black art of headliner installation – Terry McGean @Hemmings

Demystifying the black art of headliner installation – Terry McGean @Hemmings


There are certain tasks involved with auto restoration that tend to intimidate even the most “hands-on” enthusiasts, things that most consider the realm of professionals almost reflexively.

Gene Tasso of Gillin Custom Design prepares to install a new headliner in a ’67 Camaro by laying out the headliner material from an OER kit along with a fresh set of reproduction bows. A clean, flat workspace is recommended for this job.

Installing a bow-type headliner is certainly among those seemingly forbidden jobs that many of us wouldn’t dare attempt. It was a feeling we sensed yet again when we recently found ourselves in need of a fresh headliner after having repairs performed on the roof skin of a ’67 Camaro.

In this case, the procedure seemed particularly daunting because the old headliner had been removed and discarded a few years prior, leaving nothing for reference.The car was being worked on at Premier Restorations in Sloatsburg, New York, which sources Gillin Custom Designs for its upholstery and trim work.

Gillin operates out of its own shop in Middletown, New York, but travels to other facilities for installation work when necessary. For our headliner, Gillin boss Gil Monge brought along veteran trimmer Gene Tasso, who said he’d been doing this kind of work since around the time our Camaro was new

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