Jim Smart
February 24, 2011

It seems like only yesterday that I was in the Grant Ford showroom in St. Petersburg, Florida, buying a new '85 Thunderbird. To lure then-young buyers like me, there were new Mustang GT hatchbacks and convertibles with 5.0L High Output engines on the showroom floor. Because I needed more room, I bought a Thunderbird instead. However, I never forgot those Mustangs with their soft duotone interiors with bolstered bucket seats and bold color piping.

That was 26 years ago.

In the years since, quite a few of these popular Fox-body Mustangs have survived because people love them for the same reasons a lot of us are fond of the older classics. They remind us of our youth and were also good-looking automobiles that fit the era. Foxes are a solid generation of Mustangs worth preserving and keeping.

We're freshening up a well-worn '85 Mustang GT with a 5.0L and five-speed manual transmission. What makes the car a keeper is its rust-free Southern California condition and status as the last carbureted high-performance Mustang before Ford switched to fuel injection in 1986. Of course, the greatest challenge is finding parts for these cars because the restoration market is just starting to catch on to the demand. However, Latemodel Restoration Supply understands the value in restoring a Fox-body Mustang fun car because these cars remain plentiful and cheap. Latemodel Restoration Supply has a lot of genuine Ford and quality reproduction parts on hand for Fox classics.

We will tell you this is not a step-by-step guide to Fox-body seat reupholstering due to space limitations, but rather it's a general overview on what to expect when tackling your seat restoration project. Although there's a lot of evolution in seat design and construction, basics are the same as the older classics with hog rings and listing wire. There's just less of it. Where these seats differ greatly is their seatback pivot points with hinges that are a lot safer than what Ford used in the early classics. These are seats designed to better absorb impact in an accident, not to mention the comfort they yield because they do so much more than those early classic buckets.

Lancaster Auto Interiors in Lancaster, California, is going to freshen up our dated and worn-out Fox seats, which were the first of their kind in '85-comfy high-back buckets with side bolsters and good leg support. Although Latemodel Restoration Supply sells these upholstery kits, they're manufactured by TMI Products in Southern California. Few companies have done more for classic and classic Fox enthusiasts than Latemodel Restorations and TMI Products. Let's get started.

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