With few exceptions, every notchback I have ever looked at or owned (especially here in Australia), has had knackered rear arm rests. Mine were no exception as you can see below. Amazingly the front arm rests are still like brand new. Go figure.
This is how they looked when removed from the car for the first time. Kind of okay, but clearly in need of a re-skinning and appropriate other works to get the shape back to original.
Clearly this one was quite bad.
This is the better of the 2 however it was extremely brittle so needed the treatment.
Backsides of the arm rests were still as original and in decent condition. I have seen these rust away on the odd occasion over the years.
And this is how they look now.
The original 'course' pattern vinyl does not exist here in Australia (that I am aware of) so I chose this grain and ran with it.
The vinyl has been vacuum formed as per original and is extremely tight against the foam underneath. A lot of folk get their arm rests reupholstered with material over the top of the original foam and that (to me) looks like crap.
The ends of the arm rests required a bit of re-shaping due to damage but came out very well.
And the back sides of them still look the business.
Nicely formed vinyl even on the edges should remain in situ for another 50 years I hope.
So there you have it. If your arm rests are cracked or broken, it's not the end of the world. In fact, it's probably good that way so you can fix them up and get them as close to original as you can. The company that did this can colour the vinyl grey or any other colour you desire (within reason) so for owners of VW-1500 cars requiring grey arm rests, this is the solution.
For more details head to: http://www.dashoriginal.com.au/