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Joined: Feb 24 2017
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Ive been treating the H&Hs seats with saddle soap conditioner since the day I bought it 6 years ago.
Saddle soap has different properties than regular leather conditioners and is used, as the name suggests, in the equestrian field mainly for saddles and riding boots. It has Excellent waterproofing qualities and it seems to make the leather a lot firmer yet subtle, if that makes sense. After applying it generously I normally let it sit overnight then polish it next am. Have been doing this every 6 months and am really impressed with the results. It doesn’t give that gash bright sheen or sticky residue either.
We use it on the daily driver Landcruiser seats and that gets a hammering what with dogs and kids hopping in and out etc...
Just thought I would pass it on now that spring cleaning thoughts may be entering your heads.

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Joined: Feb 25 2020
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That is an interesting piece of advice I plan to follow ... specific "car" products are quite expensive just because.

Ok for conditioner to keep the leather supple, what do you use for cleaning?

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Joined: Dec 30 2015
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That's interesting. I'm just casting about for leather products as I've finished my supply of Gliptone which was excellent but I first bought it a while back. Saddle soap isn't exactly a new innovation in the market :) but if you like it, it must be worthy.

Do you clean the seats before using the saddle soap? If so, what do you use?
Lightstone shows every speck.. and there are some minor cracks on the front seats which look terrible really quickly.

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Joined: Jan 16 2016
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I bought another car towards the end of last year, a Volvo, which had some bad gouges in the side bolster of the drivers seat. The previous owner must have had keys hanging on his belt or something.
I took it to a specialist auto leather repair shop. He did a superb job and the seat was restored good as new. He was telling me that all so called leather seats in modern cars all use PU leather (polyurethane) while old vintage cars used aniline leather, which is discontinued in most countries due to health issues with the aniline dyes.

There are many different types of PU leather apparently. Some are 100% synthetic like faux leather, others are real leather with a PU finish.
My Volvo was PU leather (described as real leather seats) and I assume the p38 seats are as well. Though not all the panels in the p38 seats are leather either. I have taken mine apart to repair the seat heaters and only the center part of the base and back are real leather. The rest is plastic.

Cracks and splits can be repaired if you have got the right equipment. The guy had an old Triunph TR3, an old Mercedes and a Porche in his garage and the seats on all of them had been restored.

I asked about cleaning and he basically said just a damp rag on PU leather. I am guessing but I would imagine saddle soap is for untreated leather.

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Joined: Dec 30 2015
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Interesting, I thought the P38 used Connolly hide - just before Connolly went bust in 2002.

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Joined: Feb 24 2017
Posts: 188

I am a bit pedantic about the leather in my vehicles, to the extent that I use an old toothbrush to clean between the stitchings in the seat bottoms. For cleaning I use Leather Honey Leather Cleaner with warm water and a rag. Ill rinse that off with another clean rag and warm water before letting it sit and then adding the Saddle Soap.
My understanding was that the H&H had Connolly hide, but as my wife will attest, I am usually wrong, so don’t take that to the bank.
Might seem a bit over the top for a 20 year old vehicle but it has kept the seats in very good shape.
The saddle soap works fine on the H&H interior but may not have the same effect on a beige seat. H&Hs have the dark brown leather with the appearance of a saddle. This same product may not suit every vehicles leather appearance.
The Landcruiser has dark grey leather and the soap works well on that but then again its a work vehicle....

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The P38 was the last car to use Connolly leather...

Great stuff, mine is ruined though!!

I use Autofinesse products on mine..

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Joined: Jan 16 2016
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I didn't know any model p38 used Connolly hide. I remember Rolls Royce used to make a big thing about Connolly hide. Cows were raised specially in southern Italy in fields where there was no barbed wire fences, so their hides would not get scratched. Ha Ha.

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I think only a few of the special editions used Connolly, the others are a mix of ordinary leather and PU. If you look carefully at the very edges of the side bolsters you can see the cloth backing under the PU leather coating.

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Joined: Dec 30 2015
Posts: 1861

Ah well, that's what you get for trusting wikipedia!
Apparently it was widely used in the British car industry and the Rover Group but if it was special edition P38s then mine isn't. I'm pretty sure the main parts of the seat are real leather though, going by touch. I'm not going to strip one down to find out :)

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Joined: Jun 17 2018
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The HSE and Vogue have it as standard, the Oxford leather option is connolly also...

The Armrests are PVC on the DSE - SE - and Base these have the cheaper leather...

you can also tell by the seat backs..

TL3 TL4 and special editions all used connolly.

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Joined: Dec 30 2015
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That'll be why my Oxford leather seats are so damn comfy then....

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Joined: Feb 25 2020
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A myth is falling apart on me as I read all this ... I was so proud blabbering to my fellows about "the last of the Connolly, that old British workmanship bla bla bla" :-)))
Well I guess I will keep silent on the subject for the future :-)

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StrangeRover wrote:

The HSE and Vogue have it as standard, the Oxford leather option is connolly also...

The Armrests are PVC on the DSE - SE - and Base these have the cheaper leather...

Dunno where you get your info from but my Ascot HSE has PU leather and the interior is identical to that on the SE I used to have. The base models didn't have leather at all, they had cloth the same as in my ex-plod (which doesn't look as pretty but is far more comfortable). The Oxford almost certainly is Connolly but I'm not even sure about the Vogue, I'll have a proper look at my mates next time I'm round there.

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Joined: Jul 12 2016
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StrangeRover wrote:

TL3 TL4 and special editions all used connolly.

What's TL3 and TL4?

Gilbertd wrote:

I'm not even sure about the Vogue, I'll have a proper look at my mates next time I'm round there.

My Vogue seems to be real leather on the front and arm rests. The sides and backs look to be the fake stuff - I can see the fabric backing where one of the seats has been nicked by something :(

The leather on the steering wheel is real (I can tell because it's heavily worn and it's not got fabric backing) and the leather on the centre console and door cards seems to be real too. Not sure about the knee panel under the steering wheel.

No idea if the real leather Connolly and no idea how to tell.

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Joined: Feb 24 2017
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The H&H has Brindle leather which is a nice addition...

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RutlandRover wrote:

StrangeRover wrote:

TL3 TL4 and special editions all used connolly.

What's TL3 and TL4?

Gilbertd wrote:

I'm not even sure about the Vogue, I'll have a proper look at my mates next time I'm round there.

My Vogue seems to be real leather on the front and arm rests. The sides and backs look to be the fake stuff - I can see the fabric backing where one of the seats has been nicked by something :(

The leather on the steering wheel is real (I can tell because it's heavily worn and it's not got fabric backing) and the leather on the centre console and door cards seems to be real too. Not sure about the knee panel under the steering wheel.

No idea if the real leather Connolly and no idea how to tell.

Tl3 and TL4 are the model designations in the factory for the trim.

TL3 is HSE
TL4 is Vogue and Vogue SE.

My seats are 100% found that out after the stitching in the back came apart, luckily i'm a dab hand with the needle and thread!!