By on September 20, 2016

cloth

I should have known better than to get excited. My old friend Brian Makse posted a photo of a four-cylinder 718 Cayman S with what appeared to be a partial cloth seat. This is not something that TTAC readers will know about your humble author, but cloth interiors in Porsches are my thing, man. Long before Singer was charging $400,000 to put plaid door cards in an old 964, I had “cloth interior” on my list of things to find in my next Porsche. It’s a tough ask for any car from Weissach after 1982 or thereabouts, and in fact, of the three 9-somethings I’ve owned, only my 944 had anything besides leather on the seating surfaces.

So you can imagine my excitement when I saw cloth in (what should be) the entry-level Porsche. I was so worked up that I stopped doing what I was doing, which was building a Watkins Glen Grey Grand Sport with Hyper Green stripes online, and promptly pulled up the Porsche website to build a cloth Cayman of my very own. I kind of thought it would be a no-cost option to have a fabric seat, but I secretly hoped it was one of those options where you actually get some money back, like a sunroof delete.

You all know how naive this was on my part, right?


sportext

Let’s just get this out of the way: it’s not really cloth, and as Anna Gaye once told Marvin, it’s going to cost you. In fact, it’s going to cost you a minimum of $2,960. That’s the tab for “Sport Plus Seats With Sport-Tex Centers”. Sport-Tex appears to be a sort of fabric replacement using stranded vinyl. I’m going to try to look at it a bit closer in the near future; obviously I didn’t get an invite to the 718 event from which Brian had posted the photo.

If you choose the 18-way power seats with the “cloth” centers, the additional cost is $5,985. Listen, I’m a big fan of Porsche’s have-it-your-way philosophy. I admire the wide variety of options offered by the company, and if I decided to buy another new Porsche for some reason (like, say, a head injury severe enough to make me forget that the Cayman S costs as much as a Corvette Grand Sport), I would absolutely get a few of the special boxes checked. But six grand for fake cloth seats? Doesn’t that verge on the flat fucking insane?

I wonder if Porsche isn’t learning the wrong lessons from looking at what the Singer folks are doing. Singer, just in case you’ve been living in a cave with no exposure to Instagram since 2013, is the boutique (re)manufacturer that builds cheerfully colored and meticulously detailed tributes to vintage 911s using 1990-1994 Porsche 964-generation cars as a base. The resulting vehicles are sort of like listening to a Super Audio CD of the Berlin Philharmonic playing Bach on a $100,000 stereo system. Intellectually, you’re aware that the modern version is in fact far more perfect and dynamic and powerful than the original performance could have possibly been, but you’re okay with that because nothing exceeds like excess.

Singer has demonstrated that people will pay half a million dollars for a 964 Targa (street value in 2010: $15,000) if it hits all the right vintage notes and has absolutely perfect materials inside and out. There have only been two street Porsches to cost that kind of money: the Carrera GT and the 918 Spyder. Both of them were tough sells at the dealership — but Singer’s order books are full. I can see how the men of Zuffenhausen couldn’t help but cast an envious eye at Rob Dickinson’s Plaid Door Card People once in a while. And I can also kind of hear their inner monologue: If the old, inferior 964 is worth six figures with some nice fabrics and CNC-machined logos, shouldn’t we be able to charge six grand for cloth seats in a 718 Cayman that utterly destroys the 964 in every conceivable instrumented test?

Alas, Porsche is missing two crucial components of the Singer success story. The first is that the air-cooled 911 has, rightly or wrongly, become of the most important and desirable mechanical objects of the late 20th century. In the space of five days or so last week, I drove my old 993 and a brand-new 911 Turbo S with a sticker price of $200k or so — and if Porsche offered me the latter car as an even swap for my 1994-built beater, I’d say haha fuck no. The old cars were special. If you’ve driven them you know; if you haven’t, then go drive one and you’ll see.

It’s not fair, however, for me to endlessly castigate Porsche for not living up to its back catalogue. The air-cooled Porsche can’t meet modern regulations and it sure as hell can’t keep pace with even the basest of Boxsters now. It can’t be helped. But what can be helped, and what Porsche could easily learn from Singer, is the sense of whimsy and fun that exists in their re-created products. Go to Instagram (or wherever) and look at the interiors of the Singer cars. They are wacky, over-the-top, non-matching, deliberately eye-catching, iconoclastic. The fabrics are fun and the materials are mega and that’s all the alliteration I’m comfortable collecting for this current column.

The Six Thousand Dollar Seats in the 718 Cayman, by contrast, are boring and depressing-looking and just so serious and so impressed with themselves. It’s Porsche at its narcissistic, Kraftwerk worst. It reminds me of all the company’s well-known mistakes and all the times they’ve ignored their customers and all of the rest. So if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go back to the Corvette configurator.

Chevrolet could also do with a little more whimsy in its available options, particularly with regards to color. But at least they don’t make you pay $60,000 for a four-cylinder car. And they know what the customers really want. Maybe that explains why the various vintage re-creations of the ’60s Vettes don’t really have any traction at any price. The best Corvette is a new Corvette. If you can say that about your product, then I guess you don’t need cloth seats, do you?

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122 Comments on “No Fixed Abode: The Case For Cloth...”


  • avatar
    EMedPA

    My 1988 Isuzu Trooper had “woven vinyl” seats. They did not cost $6000.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      So did my 1963 Rambler Classic, blue, green, and yellow plaid (those crazy AMC people!). They burned just like solid vinyl, so I safety-pinned an old army blanket on the front bench. I had to do it to the back seat after complaints from the red thigh people back there.

  • avatar
    EMedPA

    On a more serious note, my first new car was an ’85 Mark II Golf. It had really nice cloth seats in a nice tweed type pattern. They were comfortable and wore well. I did not miss the lack of seat heaters, and did not risk burns in the summer.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      For a while there in the ’90s, VAG would do you cloth seats with heat. I’m not sure if anybody is still doing that today. Good trivia question for someone.

      • 0 avatar
        Adam Tonge

        C-Max has many grilles and heated cloth seats.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        My Charger has heated cloth seats. I can’t imagine FCA is the only one doing it.

        • 0 avatar
          Adam Tonge

          I know that Ford and VW both do it.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Good, still an option!

            My 90S had excellent heated cloth, with the rotary dial for 1-6, (room temp-hell fire).

          • 0 avatar
            EMedPA

            I know there’s a cold weather package for the Focus SE that includes heated cloth seats.

          • 0 avatar
            Adam Tonge

            Corey-

            My MkV GTI used the same dial. Hellfire indeed.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            The part was different, interestingly. Audi used a N-S dial movement, and my A8 was the same way. The Jetta (at least in my sister’s MKIV) was E-W, because product differentiation!

            You know there was something very satisfying though about the click-click as the dial went up. Very nice feedback to that part.

          • 0 avatar
            Adam Tonge

            I think my GTI used N-S orientation. I know my C-max does. It is much superior to the digital version on the MkT. It make you manually turn the heated seats on whenever you want them on. I leave the C-Max at “3” in the winter.

        • 0 avatar
          Syke

          As does my Fiat 500c Abarth.

        • 0 avatar
          TrailerTrash

          wow…for some reason I just presumed heated meant having to get leather!
          I do not like leather seats.
          Especially the way modern leathers crack and fade while the modern cloth seats seem to clean easily and last a lifetime.

          • 0 avatar
            Beelzebubba

            Heated cloth seats are becoming more common. I know my sister’s 2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo has them and I’ve seen them on the option sheet for several new cars.

            Unfortunately, there’s an even more common trend of replacing cloth with standard ‘leatherette’ seats. I’m not a fan.

        • 0 avatar
          jpolicke

          Cloth seats in Cherokee can be heated. Must be FCA-wide.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        Several Subarus can be had with heated cloth seats, not surprisingly since cold-weather places are Subaru’s core market.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          My Infiniti has four or five-stage heat, and none of them are as strong as the HI LO in my I30. Not impressed.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            I don’t know why so many choices are necessary. Three are enough, as long as they’re set right — just over room temperature, solidly warm, and hellfire.

            The heated seats in my Lexus are excellent. The ones in the C-Max are a little weak even at “3.”

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            My newly acquired ’96 ES300 has simple two stage switches. The two settings feel like a good compromise where setting one is for maintaining warmth, setting two is the “holy hell its’s cold warm my buns up!” My first vehicle with such an option. My fiance, who normally just rolls her eyes at my serial-old-car ownership, actually perked up for once at my offer to let her use this car in the winter if she so chose. Even as a total non-car person, she can obviously discern a vast difference between the previous beater Maxima and this Lexus.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            ’96 ES? Nice choice. Fancy Camry is nothing to be ashamed of when the underlying Camry is the best one.

            My LS has rotary switches for all four outboard seats that give you all of these:

            1) 3 heating choices
            2) off
            3) 1 non-cooled ventilation choice
            4) 3 cooling choices

            They all work great, except that I need to clean the ventilation filter in the driver’s seat as the airstream is a bit weaker than it is in the other three seats.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            dal, yep I’m back in the “golden age” Toyota fold, and kicking myself for ever straying in the first place. The saddest thing is that I bought the Lexus for the same exact initial price ($1600) as I did that ill-fated Maxima.

            Will be taking it to my brother’s to do a timing belt, diagnose an ABS light and rear suspension clunk, and replace brakes all around. But man this thing is a smoother operator.

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        I think the GTI is the only current VW with heat + cloth. The Jetta Sportwagen had that combo standard(!) in base trim but that went buh-bye with Golf wagon. Effers.

        I’m odd in that I prefer cloth and think the mouse fur that is no longer vogue felt richer than some of the odd cloth that is trendy now. My Sportwagen has 3 different textures of cloth on the seats and all of them are a bit weird and industrial feeling.

        • 0 avatar
          la834

          Yes! Cloth upholstery in cars hit a high point with the thick, soft velours associated with the 1970s though it was actually much more common (and improved) in the ’80s and ’90s. Best heated seats I had the pleasure to sit on were in my dad’s ’95 Buick Park Avenue which has two different textures of velour cloth that both looked and felt so sumptuous. We had to special-order to avoid leather but the cloth was so much sweeter, grippier, and long lasting; cheaper tood. The heater was switched on with a chrome lever that cycled a nearby light from yellow to orange to red as you got hotter.

          My ’07 Rabbit has much grittier cloth that feels industrial in nature, but I still can spin the horizontal dash knob from off-1-2-3-4-5, though I rarely venture beyond 3 and only briefly. I believe the US-market Golf GTI still has heated cloth seats.

      • 0 avatar
        GS 455

        Hyundai and Nissan also offer heated cloth seats in most of their products but the quality of the cloth leaves alot to be desired. My wife’s 06 Focus has cloth and the seat heats up almost instantly whereas the seats in every BMW Mercedes and Audi I’ve tested take almost 10 minutes to warm up. I’d pay extra for high quality cloth seats but we’re stuck with crap cloth or plasticized leather.

      • 0 avatar
        piro

        Plenty of cars out there with heated cloth seats. Have them myself in a new car.

      • 0 avatar
        dividebytube

        My ’94 Buick Roadmaster had cloth heated seats. I would somehow accidentally turn them on during the summertime and wonder why I was getting so hot.

      • 0 avatar
        IAhawkeye

        Heated cloth is available in new F-150’s

      • 0 avatar
        86er

        Wife’s Flex has heated cloth. Very nice!

      • 0 avatar
        vvk

        Of course, plenty of cars have heated cloth seats. My 2015 Traverse has heated cloth seats.

      • 0 avatar
        ...m...

        …i had heated cloth in my top-trim 2000 turbobeetle; had to buy it up-front and wait few weeks for the order to be delivered, but the combination was available…not many tip-trim cars were available without leather even back then, though, and cloth has only grown more rare since…

        …i consider myself fortunate to’ve been smitten with the mazda 2’s handling a few years ago, because i would have had a *very* difficult time finding cloth in any of the other top-trim cars i was cross-shopping at the time…

      • 0 avatar
        cdotson

        My 2014 Elantra GT base model 6spd (no options) has cloth seats and seat heaters.

      • 0 avatar
        Mirko Reinhardt

        Cloth seats with heat is special? Not so much in Europe.
        My 1-series has premium cloth sports seats with heaters. Of course at BMW, that meant three options: Seat heaters, premium cloth replacing regular cloth (sports seats only come in premium cloth, cloth/leather or full leather)
        My girlfriend’s Juke came with standard heated cloth seats.

    • 0 avatar
      scott25

      Maybe it’s just in Canada where heated seats are a must for most buyers (not me, I think they’re pointless), almost every mainline manufacturer has heated cloth seats as an option on even the cheapest models (Micra and Mirage included).

    • 0 avatar
      05lgt

      My 1970/1971 Challenger has 1982 Scirocco cloth buckets in between the (narrowed via box welded sheet) rails. Nice seats, I like them.

  • avatar
    JimZ

    I wish you could get nicer cloth seats on higher trim level cars. I hate leather seats. Not for any ethical reason, but because I don’t want to pay for it, it looks crappy after a while, and normal leather care products are meant for traditionally tanned hide.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      Jim the Japanese have some very high dollar cars with very nice velour seats (even wool) for their home market. The story I always hear is that the squeaking sound of leather when the VIP sits down in their seat is seen as uncouth and undignified, as well as nice cloth being seen as more comfortable and cozy year round.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        CENTURY.

        *Gold phoenix medallion comes into view.*

        Ahh.

        • 0 avatar
          yamahog

          It’s not just the century, the a good number of Lexus LSs (Toyota Celsiors) had cloth seats. The original LS400 was available with cloth seats but leather was a no-cost upgrade and I think it was one of the first options dropped from the LS400 (probably was dropped for the 1992 redesign but it could have persisted until 1994). But it had a <1% take rate. I've only seen pictures of the cloth seats.

          The Japanese cars can have weird combinations – air suspension, laser cruise control, and cloth seats.

          Though I don't know if the LS460 ever had cloth seats available.

      • 0 avatar
        56BelAire

        Back in the 70s and 80s I loved some of the crushed velour seats that were out there. Good looking and comfy.

    • 0 avatar
      Mirko Reinhardt

      There’s a F11 5-series in my family with a very nice cloth-senters-and-Alcantara-sides-on-sports-seats interior.
      Here’s a bunch of pics of a F10 with that kind of interior. I like it. Way more BMW-ish than leather.
      http://f10.5post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=847851

  • avatar
    ajla

    “But at least they don’t make you pay sixty grand for a four-cylinder car.”

    They save that for Cadillac.
    —————-
    “And they know what the customers really want.”

    Just wait until the mid-engined thing comes out.

  • avatar
    threeer

    I miss the houndstooth interior of my 1978 Plymouth Arrow GT. And my wife can’t understand why I mostly prefer cloth to leather in my vehicles (although after last weekend’s first-ever attended dog show, I’m not so sure of that one anymore).

  • avatar
    FormerFF

    My father had a 1972 911T. It had cloth seats in kind of a black houndstooth pattern. I got to drive it a few times. By today’s standards it would be slow, noisy, and treacherous, but it was also simple and direct.

  • avatar
    chiefmonkey

    With a seat pattern like that, who needs fake dice.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    German luxury marques. If they could remove the oxygen from the cabin and then charge you to put it back in there, they would.

    I’m one of the internet dwellers who would rather have decent cloth than crappy leather, vinyl, and possibly even quality leather on their car.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    I haven’t seen really nice cloth in a car in some time. Since cloth became The Cheap Choice the cloth quality has gotten a lot worse. The best cloth in any car I ever owned was that in my ’88 Accord.

    I would pay extra to have Japanese-style wool upholstery rather than the leather in my LS460. But wool upholstery has never come to the US to my knowledge. We’ve had a couple cars with wool carpet, but not anymore.

    • 0 avatar
      Adam Tonge

      The GTI has excellent cloth seats. They are plaid, but excellent.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      yeah, it’s either base car penalty box sackcloth, or leather that is sealed with so many polymers and colorants that it might as well just be vinyl anyway.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      I think you’re right on the wool. Our best chances for that would have been a Cressida, Corona, or something like a late ’80s 929. Those real broughamy options.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        You can still get it on new LSes in Japan (sob).

        I remember that the dad of a friend growing up had a last-gen Cressida with cloth, and that the cloth was amazing. But I don’t think it was wool.

        • 0 avatar
          Mandalorian

          That’s just it. High quality cloth is all but gone. These days it’s leather vs cheap nasty scratchy cloth. I like good high quality cloth that breathes. Good high quality leather breathes as well- vinyl just doesn’t and gets uncomfortable quickly.

      • 0 avatar
        Windy

        My grandparents had a 49 Cadillac long wheelbase (jump seats on the back made the extra length practical) it hd a lovely light grey woolen fabric interior. they was a matching grey lap rug in alpaca wool on a lap rug bar on the back of the front seats…. my grandmother put over 30,000 miles a year on it (she had a driver that also was a handyman and gardener when not driving…it had almost 400,000 miles on it when My dad replaced it for her with 1961 continental convertible…. the driver had a small filing cabinet full of every receipt including fuel bought army from home 9my grandfather has his own gas tank and pump as well as the garage being steam heated and with a grease pit. the driver dis all the minor maintenance (the 64 chassis grease fittings along with the engine oil were attended to every 2000 to 3000 miles….

        I would love to be able to buy a new car with a cloth interior like that.

        aside from a special order BMW I can not even find a red leather interior anymore

  • avatar
    gearhead77

    I know this article is more about Porsche’s “You can have it your way but you VILL pay for it” pricing, but I prefer leather or “pleather” for durability and cleanability. Wipe ’em down, hit it with leather cleaner and conditioner every so often (about every 6 months for me) and done. My Cruze is cloth and it’s OK, but it reminds me of why I like leather interiors, even if most of it isn’t leather in most cars.

  • avatar
    86er

    I’ve been living in a cave, for much longer than since 2013.

    I too prefer cloth, or at least, the more “velour” type of material that was once common.

  • avatar
    lon888

    I really like cloth seats – as evidenced by my 2012 GTI. However, I also like on-board nav systems. Now, to get nav I MUST get leather seats. Damn VW and their (lack of) option packages.

  • avatar
    Driver8

    For a second my brain read that you were building a ‘Cayenne’ and I was sure I’d had a stroke.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    I’m a leather(ette) snob and have never owned a car with cloth seats. Even my 1990 Accord had some kind of strange eggplant-colored vinyl.

    But I would buy cloth in my newer cars if it (a) felt premium, (b) was available in higher trims, and (c) was not a $6K upcharge.

  • avatar
    IAhawkeye

    My ’04 Silverado’s driver side seat heater died after the first winter I had it. At -20 degree’s the seats were essentially ice cubes. Everytime we had a really bad cold spell I was wishing for cloth seats.

    For $6,000 those “cloth” seats are pretty ugly, they don’t even look soft in any way.

  • avatar
    06V66speed

    Porsche has been calling my name lately. I blame it on TTAC’s article mildly praising the 924.

    But that pricing is flat out dumb. And here I thought it was a waste of money just going out to a restaurant for dinner.

    Shiiiiii*…..

  • avatar
    Sigivald

    “It’s Porsche at its narcissistic, Kraftwerk worst.”

    Ralf und Florian don’t deserve that kind of abuse, Jack.

    • 0 avatar
      David "Piston Slap Yo Mama" Sanborn

      As a man who’d change his name to Kraftwerk, I’m shocked, SHOCKED at this broadside against arguably the most influential band … in the world!
      https://www.theguardian.com/music/2013/jan/27/kraftwerk-most-influential-electronic-band-tate

      Or he just threw that word in there because it literally means “powerplant”.

  • avatar
    vvk

    I would pay good money for cloth seats. Definitely would pay $6000, maybe more. They better be really good seats, though. I hate leather seats. I am so grossed out by them. Slimy, stinky, disgusting! Hot in summer, cold in winter. Require ungodly amount of maintenance and still crack and look terrible eventually.

    Take a look at some old Mercedes S-class cars on mobile.de. Even after 20-30 years the ones with cloth interior look like new. The ones with leather look like you would expect — cracked, ripped, disgusting…

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      Of course, there’s also Mercedes-Benz’ MB-Tex leatherette—which is so good that 70s and 80s cars are salvaged these days for their MB-Tex to make guitar straps and such—but that doesn’t address the fact that cloth is friendlier during extreme temperatures.

      • 0 avatar
        06V66speed

        Off-topic (maybe?), but you can order MBTex goods from some website. I almost pulled the trigger on a recycled MBTex wallet.

        Repurposed automotive materials and products give me the warm and fuzzies.

        • 0 avatar
          stevelovescars

          http://www.couchguitarstraps.com

          Cool stuff. I have a wallet and belt made from VW vinyl. It is inexpensive and well made stuff.

          Most of their material doesn’t come from salvaged cars, though, it’s re-manufactured or NOS. The seatbelt camera straps are cool, too.

  • avatar
    5280thinair

    Leather (and substitutes) make sense if you carry pets or are most concerned about being able to keep the seats clean. For comfort, though, good quality cloth seats win every time (at least for me). Car sitter big in the sun in a hot day? No problem, the seat’s still reasonably comfortable. 20 degrees below? The cloth seat won’t freeze your posterior and won’t harden up and risk cracking.

    I find it annoying that most nice cars these days seem to come only with leather or leatherette.

  • avatar
    Nick 2012

    I’d pay real money for an option on a family car to get the iron-wearing, removable, and washable cloth used on the mid-90s Volvo 940.

  • avatar
    ...m...

    …so the evora 400 couldn’t win your heart after all, or the grand sport’s just too fantastic a bargain by comparison?..

  • avatar

    You can get cloth from BMW, but you have to know to ask and wait for the custom build.

    When I ordered my 2003, I did this. Best decision ever. At 325k miles, the frame is going to die of cancer, but the seats….the seats are as good as new. Really. The microfiber BMW uses is almost indestructible and will have outlasted the rest of the car.

    There is a little fade from the backs of the headrests on the rear seat, but that’s it-car lives (lived) outside. The driver’s seat shows some wear, but no tears or loose fibers.

    I’m NOT a fan of leather. Hot in summer, cold in winter, and does not wear better than quality cloth seats. I can only surmise it is cheap at OE.

    • 0 avatar
      hubcap

      I think the M3/4 come with cloth standard as did the E9X M3.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      Not anymore you can’t. Sadly. MAYBE if you paid them enough you might be able to get cloth through Individual on an M car or a 5ver and up. Maybe. Would probably make Porsche’s $6K seem cheap though.

      I would have paid (but not $6K) for the cloth interior that the Europeans get for free in the M235i. Just make it the same price as the leather option and I would have been sold. Baffling.

  • avatar
    mustang462002

    So what happens once Porsche gets their act together and starts making fun cars like the 80’s 911s instead of 1% supercars like they are doing today?

    I’m guessing used Porsche prices drop and Singer can’t do what it’s doing today.

    Singer might force Porsche’s hand on this.

    • 0 avatar
      hubcap

      IMO Porsche has some fun cars. Particularly the Boxster and Cayman. They’re not designed to be the fastest cars on the road but are enjoyable to drive.

      911s are fun too. Turbo? I don’t need no stinkin’ Turbo. Just give me an S or GTS with a manual transmission and I.m good. In fact, with turbos across the entire range, the base Carerra just might be the sweet spot.

  • avatar
    MikeTyson8MyKids

    +1 for referencing SACDs! haha

  • avatar
    CowDriver

    I got my Volvo 850 wagon with cloth seats and have been extremely happy. Leather seats simply do not make sense in Southern California during the summer.

    • 0 avatar
      stevelovescars

      Similarly, I got the base cloth seats in my Fiat 500 Abarth. Sacramento summers are brutal. Cloth in a performance car is also nice in that you don’t slide around in corners like you do on leather.

  • avatar
    Hogie roll

    I can only get the fender hashes to be green in the corvette configurator. I don’t see a green stripe.

  • avatar
    ToddAtlasF1

    If values are anything to go by, isn’t the best Corvette a 1967 vintage with a limited production big V8?

    • 0 avatar

      The big block cars are rare but I believe the most valuable Corvettes are still ’63 split window coupes with fuel injection.

      http://www.rmsothebys.com/dd13/the-don-davis-collection/lots/1963-chevrolet-corvette-sting-ray-fuel-injected-split-window-coupe/1058295

      • 0 avatar
        ToddAtlasF1

        I didn’t realize there were only 2,610 fuel injected Sting Rays built in 1963. Does that include convertibles? That’s a strong auction result, but that car is concours gold. To put the price in perspective, a nice ’67 coupe with an L88 went for $3,850,000.00 http://www.barrett-jackson.com/Events/Event/Details/1967-CHEVROLET-CORVETTE-L88-2-DOOR-COUPE-161046

    • 0 avatar
      Hogie roll

      Of what I would consider “regular” models, 67 427/435 4 speed roadsters are probably the most valuable. I don’t consider fuelies special option packages, but there will be some particularly rare combos that collectors love.

      There are more rare special option packages roughly in order of value:
      C2 Z06
      C3 L88s, 200 made
      C2 L88s, 20 made (3.2mm auction price for one)
      C3 ZL1, 2 known

  • avatar
    pmirp1

    As someone who couldn’t afford to buy car magazines when in college and instead read them at the college library, let me just say, Jack, you are the heir to David E. Davis Jr., Breock Yates, Jean Lindamond, John Phillips, Ezra Dyer (yes he is still young).

    As someone who just bought a new Stingray let me say the best vette is a new one, I agree. Look at the admiral blue, what a color. What sounds. What fury. What technology. Yet… As someone who also owns a 2014 Mustang GT premium(because I hate the front end of the new ones), I miss something about the pony in the Stingray. The horsey reflection at night on the ground, the Mustang lighted sills, the mood lights. Still the stringray is amazing. Last weekend, the Admiral Blue got an Asian lady in a camry to turn her phone on and take pictures of it.

    Keep the great work going. You and your brother are a credit to autos and auto writing.

  • avatar
    SC5door

    Every single one of my new cars has had cloth seats, the newest with 3 stage heating of which “3” is too much after a minute or two; I’ve had little desire for downsides of “leather” or vinyl (or the need to buy “the best trim” in a shallow attempt to impress others). I still say my 93 Intrepid ES has some nice cloth seats, they were so much better than the leather couch that was in my Dads Town Car.

    My complaint is cars lacking extending thigh cushions as seats end up feeling too small for my taste. I take the dogs in the car and bought a seat cover for the rear seat, it folds up nicely and tucks away under the load floor in the back.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    Most seat leather these days is so over-processed it barely deserves the name leather. And in 90% of new car leather seats, I can’t shake the feeling I’m sitting ON rather than IN them, due to the lessoned friction of the smoother, denser material. Cloth is more, shall we say, yielding?

  • avatar
    acmoney

    I actually was recently looking at a mid 90’s Mercedes SL that was a convertible with factory cloth seats. Makes sense here in Texas. I travel to Europe for work and regularly see luxury cars with cloth seats. I really wish it was an option here. My family’s 1995 Windstar had amazing cloth seats that kind of set the standard for me in my teens for comfort.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      Nice Trooper!

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Look at this limited edition Bighorn!

        http://www.ebay.com/itm/Isuzu-Trooper-Bighorn-/112127054850

        With Recaro seats and special tuning!

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          That thing is really funky, sort of a road-centric sport edition of an SUV before that became a thing (X5M, ML55, etc).

          I had taken a picture this past summer of the police station parking lot in Akademogorodok (suburb of Novosibirsk that I’m from), there were a pair of nice looking final-gen JDM-spec Big Horns in the parking lot, together with a pair of UAZ 4x4s, a newer Patriot and a Hunter. Oddly absent is any flavor of Land Cruiser since they absolutely dominate in terms of numbers. People over there love them some BOF suvs!

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            So unusual! I agree they were light years ahead on the performance on-road SUV concept with this. I love the webbed headrests.

    • 0 avatar
      acmoney

      Wow! Glad I could elicit a few replies :) Unfortunately the Trooper has passed after a few years of faithful service: Off road parks, trips to the ocean to drive on the beach, several trips to central Texas ranches, and several home moves. Its successor (not replacement) is a 2016 4Runner.

      Sweet Bighorn link. I saw a near mint Gen I 2-Door Trooper parked in Big Bend this summer –with a hand written offer to buy on the windshield.

  • avatar
    DirtRoads

    The cloth seats on my old Chevy work truck (1990) started to wear on the driver’s side so I put a cloth bench seat cover over it all. You know, the kind with the pockets in the front. That thing has lasted 20 years so far, or close to it.

    However, I love the smell of leather upholstery. I don’t have that with the leather in the Vette — maybe it’s too old. But the 2002 Passat has it, especially on a warm day. Love it.

    I like the cloth seats in the truck, but not so sure I’d want them in a car.

  • avatar
    Tifighter

    Heated cloth, thy name is LEAF. Standard, front and rear. Soul EV and others, too.

  • avatar
    furiouschads

    Chevy Volt has good cloth seats with optional seat heaters. 3 stages. Considered to be the practical approach to winter comfort in a car with little waste heat. Better than leather in my book.

  • avatar
    Domestic Hearse

    But the deal is, the Singer is for the Porsche buyer who already has one or two new ones, and wants something more Porschephilic as he cashes out his/her latest stock options. Porsche marketers and designers may enviously study the Singer website and consider the whimsey and price-is-no-object add-ons. But then they remember they are A) humorlessly German, and B) the new Porsche buyer wants serious, in order to prove how serious they are about their automotive choices and driving talent.

    Maybe Porsche management could consider an even more special Sonderwunsch where the would-be Singer buyer, with two new Porsches already in the garage (along with an Italian or two), could go a little nuts utilizing both imagination and wallet?

    Behold, your cloth checkered interior awaits. Along with lime-green RS-style door pulls and matching Schroth belts.

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