Mark Houlahan
Brand Manager, Mustang Monthly
February 1, 2000
One of our completed black Deluxe interior front seats sits next to the original blue standard interior bucket seat for comparison.

While our '66 hardtop's new sheetmetal is slowly finding its way to the quarter-panels and floors of our Mustang, we have plenty to do with everything we've removed to get the Mustang down to a rolling shell. Items such as the heater box, seat upholstery, gauge cluster, engine rebuild, and more can be restored and upgraded while the bodywork is being completed.

One of the first things we wanted to accomplish--mainly because we couldn't wait to see the finished product--was the reupholstering of our hardtop's seats. Not only were we going to change colors, but we also planned on upgrading the stock seats, as well as the entire interior, to the more luxurious Deluxe interior package--more commonly known as Pony interior. Just covering the original seat frames with new Pony seat buns and upholstery is a relatively simple task if you follow our suggestions here. Later, as the car progresses, we will bring you further articles on the Deluxe interior conversion process, including finding and restoring a Deluxe steering wheel, adding the woodgrain trim, and more.

When we started this project, the original goal was to restore the hardtop to pay homage to another car yours truly owned many years ago. We are still on track with that, as we gather up the correct parts to build a 289 C-code hardtop with black Deluxe interior, power steering, power drum brakes, console, and more. Stay tuned as we bring you regular how-tos and updates on our 1966 hardtop, which by the way has not been named yet.

We contacted Virginia Classic Mustang, a TMI Upholstery dealer, to help us complete our Deluxe interior conversion and provide new hardware and other Deluxe interior items that we'll be using down the road. Since we can honestly say we've never attempted this conversion, as well as the installation of new buns, we let the professionals at Mr. Autocraft in Bartow, Florida, handle the installation for us.

The Skinny on Fat Foam
We've since talked with TMI Products and Virginia Classic Mustang and the companies state that the upholstery was designed to be used on original seat foam and when using any new foam under new upholstery, you will encounter a snug fit. If we had been covering original Pony seats with TMI's products, we were told we wouldn't have had such a tough time. Nevertheless, with some tips from Virginia Classic Mustang and the professional installation performed by our friends at Mr. Autocraft, all worked out well.

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