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This is what factories used until the advent of injected moulded plastics and such. It is easy to handle, sews well, is directional in bending, easily and solidly stapled and pieced together. It is resistant to water and easily protected by simply using plastic water shields as the factory did. These simple sheets of clear plastic direct the water into the door where it drains away through the drain holes in tthe door bottom. (You do clear these or check them regularly, don't you?)

I don't know about the cost or availability of this material today but it surely is still available. We bought a case of the stuff years ago and haven't run out yet.
 

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Yeah, it's still available through upholstery supply houses. I buy sheets that are 39" by 65 " 25 sheets for about $9.50 a sheet from my supplier. It's a lot better now days than it used to be. I prefer PVC foamboard for door panels now, though. That's about $12.00 for a 32" by 48" sheet if you buy 12 sheets at a time.
 

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By the way.......how does the water know to go between the plastic and the door frame as opposed to between the plastic and the door panel?
 

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On my 59
The plastic is glued to the inner door, toward the bottom of the inner door there are slots that the plastic sheet slips into. Any water that gets past the glass shields and inner door will come across this plastic sheet and run down to the slots, It is then directed to the bottom of the door's interior and drained thru the holes in the very bottom of the door.

Bryan
 

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Whichever panel board you decide to use (ABS, PVC foamboard, or black waterboard), you will only need 1/8" thickness. Be sure that whatever you use to pad the panels is not too thick to keep the doors from closing.
 

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Working on old mercs...we use quarter inch luan from Home Depot...cheap, water resistant...

door panels, kick panels, trunk sides, up posts on four door cars....

cant tell from anything, featured cars three times so far..

only drawback...splinters NEVER go away...ya gots to dig them out or they just stay around and fester MAC
 
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