This should be an obvious question, but for some collector vehicles the best place for the mats are in the trunk. While I do like these mats, they are rare and special, but they also need to stay outta my sight. 😀
Perhaps this also applies to those of us that live up north with their daily driver, as the winter months mean its time for slush friendly floor mats too?
The factory mats in all of my classics are long gone. That being said, I ordered my wife some royal blue Thunderbird mats for the '79. They are on the floor to protect a perfect original carpet. All the others have mats that are somewhat "pedestrian", but serve the purpose. Of course, we have mild winters here much like you do, so using them isn't that much of an issue as none of these cars get driven in bad weather due to people around here losing their minds if the weather gets a tad on the bad side. Here in Metro Atlanta they actually drive faster when it rains for some reason. And you can forget the use of common sense when we get the occasional ice storm. Anyone remember "Snowmageddon"? I called it Snowpocalypse. That was ridiculous.
I get that we don't get a lot of winter weather here in the southeast, but the age old things taught in driver's education still apply. When it's wet out, slow down. If you start to hydroplane, don't stand on the brakes. In fact, don't use them at all in a plane unless you actually want to turn your car into a Tilt-a-Whirl. If it's icy out, you basically have no traction so why on earth would you think that electronic driver aids are going to turn you into a hero. SLOW DOWN!!!!! BRAKE GENTLY! DON'T JERK THE STEERING WHEEL! USE SOFT INPUTS........
Sorry. That was a rant for another topic. It just hit my brain and I went full on alpha as I always do when I think of bad weather driving around here.
My original mats have been on the floor since I bought the car 35 years ago.
it was a daily driver for 3 years but I have always used a second mat on top of the original.
I have a set from my old GP that fits well and my original mats still look new.
Original clean Fiero mats are next to impossible to find anymore.
Like hyperv6, I put "everyday" mats over top of the original mats in my Jeep. But I can't really say it's to "preserve" them - it's just that they are a very light color and I figured they were going to get super dirty. Why oh why would the factory put light-colored mats in an off-road vehicle?
Regarding having original mats in the trunk of a classic, I would suggest that how you regard your car as having some bearing on where the original mats reside. If you see your classic as an investment, you might store those mats. If you just bought the car to drive, mats are just like tires: there to be used while you put miles on.
I have never bought a car viewing it as an investment, so I never have reserved the mats. Can't say as I even gave it a second thought when I went to sell any of them, either, wondering if I'd have made more money if the mats had been in plastic under wraps somewhere.