Jim Smart
March 1, 2004

Through the years, we've done all kinds of interior how-to articles. We've shown you how to replace upholstery, swap door panels, install dash pads, lay carpet, pad seat buns, replace armrests, and install headliners. How much of that can anyone stand? It is time for us to get into something really useful when it comes to vintage Ford interiors. We want to highlight the secrets of restoration professionals and amateurs that truly make a difference in the quality and outcome of an interior restoration. We want to look at the things that frustrate us-and how to make them easier to live with.

Our own Project KISS has been an on-again, off-again project dating back two years. To update you, Project KISS (Keep It Super Simple) is a budget-level project, which demonstrates you can have a fine restomod without selling the farm or taking out a second mortgage on your house. KISS shows how to get there with less money, and teaches how to do it ourselves. We've built a reliable, flat-tappet 302ci small-block at Performance Automotive Warehouse and a C4 Select-Shift transmission. We visited Currie Enterprises and put together a conventional 8-inch differential (that's right, not a limited-slip with 2.79:1 gears). We also fixed the cowl vents, worked the body, and painted KISS at 1-Day Paint & Body in Los Angeles, installed a Grab-A-Track suspension from Mustangs Plus, and opted for new Stainless Steel front disc brakes-also from Mustangs Plus. A couple of issues back, we showed you the new trunk-carpet kit for KISS from Distinctive Industries and Texas Mustang. We're on a roll here!

This month, KISS is going to be fitted with its interior from The Paddock. Nothing fancy going on here. Remember, this is a budget ride we want to get looking nice. KISS is for those of you who just don't want to sink a lot of dough into a hole in the driveway. Let's get started.

Seat Tricks
We see countless restorations with crisp, new upholstery, but seats that work and feel awful. There's the spring that catches you - well - you know where. You're short on legroom. So, you grab the seat-adjustment lever to slide back, only to discover one of the tracks has shown up for work. Maybe the most recent journey found you in the back seat, when the front seatback broke at the pivot. This is all easy stuff to correct.

If you own a newer vehicle, you've likely noticed the quiet when you hit the road. We can't make classic Mustangs any more aerodynamic than they are, which would surely make them quieter. However, we can isolate road boom and driveline harmonics with a firewall pad and sound-deadening kit from Mustangs Plus. Our job begins with space-age technology-stick-on sound absorbers that soak up vibration and resonance. They stop the echo effect we get from steel panels and unit-body construction.

When the stick-on sound absorbers are installed, we lay down sound-deadening material that not only absorbs noise; it keeps out heat and cold to boot. We're going to show you how easy the hush can be.

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