Mark Houlahan
Brand Manager, Mustang Monthly
January 1, 2013
TMI offers its Sport bucket kits in standard interior colors, but it’s not a problem if you want to customize your upholstery order. After speaking with TMI’s Dean Satterfield, we selected the standard Mach 1-style Sport kit, but added suede inserts and used the standard ’70 blue interior color for the seat stripe.

When we last left off, our High School Hauler 1970 Mustang was mid-way through an interior makeover that would not only make the car safer to drive, but offer the owner a much more enjoyable driving experience. In Part 1, we gutted the 42-year-old interior and repaired some dash electrical issues, popped a nice stereo in the dash that he could connect his iPhone to (without looking out of place in a classic car), added new carpet, upgraded the factory belts to a more modern true three-point belt setup with shoulder belt retractors, and gave the doors and quarter trim panels all a fresh coat of paint. The big change, however, would be the seating.

We wanted something comfortable and safe for the owner without breaking the bank or looking out of place. Sure, a nice racing seat would be perfect for a track car, and while the High School Hauler will serve dual purpose for street and track fun, we're not building a dedicated track rat here. We felt the best solution was one of a mild upgrade to the stock seats. After all, the '69-'70 high back style seats offer modern seatback height, a locking seatback mechanism, and because they're the original seats, you know they'll bolt right in without issue. We opted to keep the stock seats and simply recover them with new upholstery. Enter TMI Products.

TMI has been a mainstay in the classic Mustang upholstery business for well over a decade (and probably closer to two), and over the course of the last few years, has really looked outside of the realm of just stock upholstery kits by designing and manufacturing its own custom foam seat base material and custom upholstery covers with more support built in. The firmer foam and larger bolsters give the vintage seats a nice touch, while offering up more support for classic Mustangs that now have more capable suspensions and brakes. These "Sport" upholstery kits are the perfect answer for a project like ours where we want a stock look with a little flair (and support). TMI offers its Sport bucket upholstery and foam kits for '65-'73 Mustang front seats, and because TMI also has replacement upholstery and foam patterns for late-model Mustang seats, you can even get a Sport style kit for those seats for your daily driver, or if you're adding late-model Mustang seats to your classic Mustang or Ford.

Installing the Sport upholstery kit is no more difficult than standard upholstery, as the covers come pre-sewn and fit the Sport foam perfectly. If you've never recovered a classic Mustang seat before, the work isn't terribly difficult, but it does take some patience, muscle, and time. Expect to spend a good two hours doing your first bucket seat, but the rest of the interior will go by much faster once you get the hang of things. You'll need hog ring pliers and a good bit of hog rings to attach the upholstery at a minimum. We picked up a pair of hog ring pliers, along with enough hog rings to recover a full interior, at National Parts Depot (NPD). While you can get by with putting the upholstery in the sun for a while to soften it up, we recommend picking up a heat gun to help with the installation. Decent ones are under $20 and you'll have a great excuse to pick up another tool! Watch now as we recover the front and rear seats of our '70 coupe and finish the transformation of our High School Hauler's interior.

We wanted something comfortable and safe for the owner without breaking the bank or looking out of place. We opted to keep the stock seats and simply recover them with new upholstery. Enter TMI Products.

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