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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

Avoidable Contact #91: Hell bent for cloth | Hagerty Media

My 1986 Mercury Grand Marquis coupe is superior to my old 1979 Mercury Marquis Brougham coupe in every way. It has the fuel-injected 302 instead of one tended capriciously by a "Variable Venturi" carburetor, cruise control that works without fail, fabulous Town-Car-esque ribbed alloys instead of steel wheels behind covers, full-width tail lamps instead of poverty-spec items surrounded by dull black plastic.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/opinion/avoidable-contact/avoidable-contact-91-hell-bent-for-cloth/
55 REPLIES 55
SlowJoeCrow
Intermediate Driver

The Japanese home market still gets it because Toyota Centuries still have very luxurious cloth.
Personally I'd be happy to see Bedford Cord or West of England Cloth interiors instead of leather. For that matter Alcantara and similar microfiber upholstery does a better job than junky leather. I'd gladly reupholster my truck in MB-Tex if I could do it because leather in a slightly banged up working truck seems incongruous.
topside
Intermediate Driver

Whole-hearted agreement: cloth for cars. Comfortable - and grippier - in any weather and/or temperature. I've wanted to trade the leather seats in my '97 Mustang GT for cloth ones, but haven't seen any that are nice enough...
-Nate
Detailer

2.2.21

Interesting thoughts .

I love my antique Mercedes' MB-Tex seats because no matter how sweaty or filthy I get they're easy to clean and old fat Mechanics in the Desert -do- sweat and grime A _LOT_ . =8-^

For me and millions of other young folks or blue collar types, cloth is no good because it gets filthy so fast, either with stinky sweat or oily grime or worse, both .

My solution since MB-Tex is long out of production, is to go to an Auto Trimmer who do _boats_ ~ the materials used are UV resistant and last far, _FAR_ longer than any vinyl .

Again, the Trimmer's wholesale catalog with have a bewilderingly wide array of colors and styles, I like the perforated materials because they breathe better, important when your whip is 125* F inside after sitting for hours in the Mojave Desert...

Not to mention the spilled beers, and dropped tacos etc. etc. ~ I'd mention bareback sex stains except I can't imagine any crack whore getting in the back seat of this **bleep** box .

Anyway .

Cloth looks nice and for the white collar set is comfy, I'm in the middle of trying to clean the fabric seats in a 2016 Honda Civic 4dr sedan we gave to one of our Teenaged Foster boys as a High School graduation present, he trashed it, I wish I could post images here as it's beyond nasty , only 22,000 miles on it (I had to reposes it for lack of payment) yet the interior is trashed and it stinks like a party house bong in Saturday morning, ugh .

Depending on how clean I can get it (10 cans of foamy upholersy cleaner and brushes plus vacuum so far, the Detailer says he'll give it a go to - morrow morning) I may have to buy some good quality slip covers for it so my Sweet, her daughter and grand daughter will drive it .

_Do_ try the boat material of you have a daily driver or work rig of any sort .

-Nate
Spuds
Advanced Driver

If you have a power sprayer and wont kill the car using it,I'd try that.Seen some utubes of car auction type places doing that,sure cleans lawn furniture pads and such well.
DougL
Intermediate Driver

I could not agree more. Even good leather is a questionable seating material, and one rarely sees good leather in production cars. There is such a variety of comfortable cloth alternatives available, that are not always hot and sticky in the summer had cold and frozen in the winter. My decision to purchase vehicles is very definitely influenced by the seating material. Unfortunately for me, and for the manufacturers, this limits me to the lower trim levels. I would love to see a return to cloth in higher line vehicles. If I wanted to sit on a dead cow, I'd visit a slaughter house.
Spuds
Advanced Driver

Had a 69 and 71 LTD with cloth seats. People said it was like riding on the living room couch.Very nice.