Austin Verts Heads Up On TMI Seat Vinyl

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Hi to all,

Just wanted to give a quick heads up on getting my two front seats recovered in a white/cream color vinyl from TMI Industries.

Proud to say that my '73 Vert still has the original factory front and back seat upholstery installed and in good condition, except for one small split with the stitching on the driver's side seat pad.That has been repaired a few times, but sadly, can't be repaired anymore. The color is called white, but in reality, it's a light cream color. This stitching split issue has led me to bite the bullet and upgrade to a fresh set of front seat covers. I made a mistake and should have ordered the back seat covers as well. All is not lost, as that can be done later if i choose to.

I chose to go through TMI Industries for the new front covers. I know production and shipping waiting times have been, and are bad around the World. In my case it took one calendar year to receive my new covers from when the order was placed and paid for to when they landed on my doorstep. Over that year, there have been 3 separate price rises.

Secondly, my original factory cream seat vinyl, is made up of two separate vinyl patterns or grains. One is called Corinthian Vinyl and the other is called Ruffino Vinyl. What i have noticed about the Corinthian and Ruffino Vinyl, is the basic color match to the old factory vinyl is very good, but for some strange reason, it also comes with a kind of odd pearlescent sheen look to it as well. This pearl sheen effect is quite noticeable. My old factory Corinthian/ Ruffino vinyl does not have this pearl sheen thing going on at all - just a straight plain cream color only. I have taken this matter up with the company already, but they have told me that is the product you get, and there is no changing it. It is certainly not a complete and accurate representation of the original factory vinyl, that's for sure.

As it stands now, the difference in the new front vinyl seats and the original back seat is noticeable, but it doesn't stand out too much. You have to look twice to notice it. I can live with this pearl effect thing going on. It does not detract or take away the good looks or charm of the cream upholstery in the car, but you will need to buy the complete seat set to bring it all together, not just the front or back seats on their own.

So there you go, just a shout out to any Forum members with white seat upholstery that are upgrading and choose to go through TMI Industries. That is what to expect.

Thanks,

Greg. :)
 
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This is an interesting post. What is your trim code? Our original seats have a pearlescent sheen to them. I was under the impression there was only one white trim code for 72-73, CW on a convertible, and they were the same, with Comfort Weave and Corinthian Vinyl. Was there another choice ? I was not aware of the Ruffino Vinyl being used for convertibles or Deluxe interiors.
 
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This is an interesting post. What is your trim code? Our original seats have a pearlescent sheen to them. I was under the impression there was only one white trim code for 72-73, CW on a convertible, and they were the same, with Comfort Weave and Corinthian Vinyl. Was there another choice ? I was not aware of the Ruffino Vinyl being used for convertibles or Deluxe interiors.
Hi Marks 1,

Yes, interesting indeed. For your reference, 1972 and 1973 interior trim codes did vary a lot. 1972 offered up a lot more trim code options than 1973.

In regards my '73 Vert, the factory trim code is CW, which incorporates both Corinthian and Ruffino vinyls. These two vinyls were indeed offered up to the buyng public for the 1973 model range. As i said above, on careful examination of my removed original factory front seat upholstery, there appears to be no pearl effect finish going on at all, just a solid color cream. That includes hidden parts of the seat, like under the seat, that were never on show, and never copped the sun of adverse weather conditions to age or change the appearance of the vinyl over the decades. My 1973 listing goes like this ......................

CWWhite Corinthian VinylWhite Ruffino Knitted VinylDecor Group

In regards your '72 Vert, you would first need to pull an interior trim code for your car specifically. Would it be CW? You mention you have White Knit Vinyl seats. Would that be a White Clarion Knit and a White Corinthian combo Vinyl for example? I will give you a link to a great reference site provided by C J Pony Parts, listing all the interior trim codes for all years of the 1st generation Mustangs. You can scroll down the list till you get to listings for the '72 and '73 interior trim codes. If you apply your own 1972 trim code, and cross reference it to the 1972 listings, you should be able to accurately identify exactly what your vinyl is officially called. I looked into the 1972 listings myself and found a trim code CW FOR 1972 Mustangs. Interestingly, it describes this code as .........

CWWhite Corinthian VinylWhite Clarion KnitConvertible Option
ComfortWeave
Black Appointments

This shows for example, that the same code CW, appears for both years of '72 and '73, but the vinyls and options are different. That might be where the confusion lies.

Lastly, you mention above that your original seats have that pearl sheen look to them. I find that interesting as well, and that seems like somewhat of a mystery to me. All i can say is that mine don't. Maybe back in the day, there were variations in the bulk vinyls that were supplied to the Ford plants. Don from Ohio Mustang, did mention to me some time back, that during the year of 1973, there was a fire in one of the vinyl supply plants, and it wiped out their supply of certain vinyls ready to be installed in the '73 Mustangs. He said that Ford had to out source new supplies of vinyls to continue and finish off production of the '73's. That might have had something to do with my upholstery being what it is - i don't know.:unsure:

In any case, the bottom line for me, is that i ordered 1973 CW trim code, which is the white colored Corinthian and Ruffino vinyls combo from TMI, and they supplied me with a good color match to my old factory vinyl, but in my case, it also comes with this pearl sheen effect to it, which my original factory vinyl does not have. That's all i know. The difference between old and new is subtle. I can and i will live with that for now.

Your C J Pony reference ..............................................................


Cheers,

Greg.:)
 
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Hemikiller

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Late '73 convertibles received solid vinyl centers in place of the knitted vinyl. I think @secluff might have explained this in the past. The seats were still sewn in the Deluxe/Grande pattern typical of all 72-73 convertibles.

73 convertible from Bring a Trailer auction with solid vinyl seats.



1669128528046.png
 
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Late '73 convertibles received solid vinyl centers in place of the knitted vinyl. I think @secluff might have explained this in the past. The seats were still sewn in the Deluxe/Grande pattern typical of all 72-73 convertibles.

73 convertible from Bring a Trailer auction with solid vinyl seats.



View attachment 70003
Hi Hemi,
Any feedback or insights regards the pearl effect thing going on with the white vinyl?
Greg.
 
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[url=https://ibb.co/ZVjjKXW][img]https://i.ibb.co/zrMMbxG/s-l1600-2.jpg[/img][/url]
Late '73 convertibles received solid vinyl centers in place of the knitted vinyl. I think @secluff might have explained this in the past. The seats were still sewn in the Deluxe/Grande pattern typical of all 72-73 convertibles.

73 convertible from Bring a Trailer auction with solid vinyl seats.



View attachment 70003

Interesting that the data plate says "CA", which is black Ruffino knitted vinyl but those seats are definitely not knitted vinyl, i.e., Comfortweave. Also... price was kinda shocking but then I saw "84 miles"on the odometer. Wow.
 
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Late '73 convertibles received solid vinyl centers in place of the knitted vinyl. I think @secluff might have explained this in the past. The seats were still sewn in the Deluxe/Grande pattern typical of all 72-73 convertibles.

73 convertible from Bring a Trailer auction with solid vinyl seats.



View attachment 70003
Hemi understood my point, and gave me the answer I needed to know why Austin's vert didn't have Comfortweave. In my business, (I'm a boat dealership owner) we have seen the pearlescent sheen on white vinyl on some boats, but not on others of the same year/make/model. It probably has to do with the dye lot.
 

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I have a 71 Mach 1 grabber blue and white, a 73 Mach 1 Copper and White with power sunroof and a 73 Convertible all loaded
Mine has the original CW interior and has the grey and white comfort weave centers like the 72's and with the Grande/deluxe style pattern. Actual build date 5-22 73 in Dearborn.
 

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[url=https://ibb.co/ZVjjKXW][img]https://i.ibb.co/zrMMbxG/s-l1600-2.jpg[/img][/url]
Mine has the original CW interior and has the grey and white comfort weave like the 72's and with the Grande/deluxe style pattern. Actual build date 5-22 73 in Dearborn
My build date was 5-04-73
 
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Mine has the original CW interior and has the grey and white comfort weave centers like the 72's and with the Grande/deluxe style pattern. Actual build date 5-22 73 in Dearborn.

My build date was 5-04-73
I wonder what AustinVert's build date is ? ! These are not exactly early build dates. I would think the late build 73's would include May, but now I'm guessing 1973 had an extended build run due to the high volume of Mustangs sold, especially convertibles, (twice the number of '72's as I recall, around 12,000), due to the "last" of the Mustang convertible's story going around at the time. May have run all the way into September
 

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I have a 71 Mach 1 grabber blue and white, a 73 Mach 1 Copper and White with power sunroof and a 73 Convertible all loaded
I wonder what AustinVert's build date is ? ! These are not exactly early build dates. I would think the late build 73's would include May, but now I'm guessing 1973 had an extended build run due to the high volume of Mustangs sold, especially convertibles, (twice the number of '72's as I recall, around 12,000), due to the "last" of the Mustang convertible's story going around at the time. May have run all the way into September
Maybe different factories had different dates when they ran out of the upholstery also. Maybe the seat build date is months before the car build date. Also different colors probably had different dates of when they ran out of comfort weave. Also why did they run out when people could still get the fabric elsewhere?
 
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I wonder what AustinVert's build date is ? ! These are not exactly early build dates. I would think the late build 73's would include May, but now I'm guessing 1973 had an extended build run due to the high volume of Mustangs sold, especially convertibles, (twice the number of '72's as I recall, around 12,000), due to the "last" of the Mustang convertible's story going around at the time. May have run all the way into September
Hi,
See my Marti report below. It states that the actual build date was the 12th of June, 1973. What is also interesting is that it states a CW trim code, but lists it as being White Sebring Knit/ Corinthian Vinyl Bucket Seats. Given the fact that my car turned out the Ruffino/ Corinthian combo, it lends to Don's explanation of the fire incident causing an urgent need for Ford to swing to the Ruffino solid vinyl as a backup substitute plan. I'm assuming they ran out of the Comfortweave fabric as such. Does that mean that no Comfortweave was available for the remainder or last half of 1973, only Ruffino?

I wonder if any other Forum members have more background info on this subject?

Greg.:unsure:
 

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Hemikiller

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The BaT 73 vert has a 6/73 build date and a sequential number of 247093. With AustinVert's sequence number of 245656, it's likely that the BaT car was built after AustinVert's 6/12/73 car.

With Greg's build date of 5/22, it's reasonable to assume the changeover was between those two dates.

I don't think you'll find any hard and fast date for the changeover, as it's quite likely the various colors ran out of comfortweave on different dates.

1669261841950.png
certain colors
 
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I have owned a 73 vert that had the factory interior and had the White Ruffino vinyl inserts instead of the gray and white comfortweave inserts. The interior code was CW. I currently own a 73 vert like the yellow one Hemikiller showed with black interior and the Black Ruffino inserts but the code on the door tag is CAA which is a code I have never seen before. I can get the VIN of the car with the black interior. I sold the other car. I seem to remember a story that all this was related to a workers strike at the factory. I later heard the story about the fire. Has anyone else heard the story about the strike besides me?
 

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I have a 71 Mach 1 grabber blue and white, a 73 Mach 1 Copper and White with power sunroof and a 73 Convertible all loaded
I have owned a 73 vert that had the factory interior and had the White Ruffino vinyl inserts instead of the gray and white comfortweave inserts. The interior code was CW. I currently own a 73 vert like the yellow one Hemikiller showed with black interior and the Black Ruffino inserts but the code on the door tag is CAA which is a code I have never seen before. I can get the VIN of the car with the black interior. I sold the other car. I seem to remember a story that all this was related to a workers strike at the factory. I later heard the story about the fire. Has anyone else heard the story about the strike besides me?
The second A means same pattern with non-knitted vinyl as far as I know. I had a 73 Mach with sports interior that had GAA which had the smooth vinyl middle instead of knitted. It was a loaded to the hilt fleet car I believe built at the San Jose factory. I don't believe it was because of lack of supplies though, just a custom order.
 
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A fire at the manufacturing facility that produced the comfort weave material destroyed the looms beyond repair. This was a Perfect Storm of catastrophic events. Ford was in the final 2-3 months of production for the first generation Mustang. The '73s were more or less in a "Lame Duck" period. Ford was focused on getting the last of the '73s built and out the door on time. The Mustang II launch was fast approaching, and the plant needed to shut down for a new model changeover. San Jose ended Mustang production after the '70 model year, and Metuchen built '71s through late December '70. That left Dearborn as the sole Mustang assembly plant until 2005 production shifted to Flat Rock. The Mustang II launch timing was critical and had to be done on time, and extending the '73 production was out of the question. The trim enginers decision was made to substitute plain vinyl for the comfort weave. A third digit was added to the trim code to designate the interior with the deviation seat materials.

As Hemikiller noted, there was no fast and hard date when this change occurred. These cars were not built in consecutive serial numbers, and changes at the assembly plants did not occur simultaneously. Ford could assign a serial number to an order, and it could be in the "Buck" process and go down the assembly line the next day. Others could take days or weeks. All depended on the vehicle line, trim level, and options. It also didn't help that the sales record-setting new '72 Gran Torino with the bucket seats also used the comfort weave material, and the '73s were experiencing the same type of off-the-chart sales.

It was inevitable that during all this commotion and last-minute changes that some vehicles would be produced with all vinyl replacement seats without receiving the additional third letter in the trim code. This resulted in more chaos in the parts and service departments when attempting to order replacement seat covers. To fix this, Ford removed all part numbers in the MPC (Master Parts Catalog) soft trim section pertaining to Mustang, Gran Torino, and sister Mercury vehicle seat covers. The dealer parts department would be required to call a parts expediter in Detroit and give the vehicle Vin to identify the installed interior and reason for the request. Ford gave warranty concerns involving comfort weave seats priority above any other type of order.

The illustration below shows a correct "GF" seat from David's (Carolina_Mountain_Mustangs) '73 Mach 1. The second shows a seat in a Gold Glow '73 Mach 1 with the comfort weave replacement vinyl (Code GFA) but with the incorrect GF code on the door certification label. So mislabeled codes did make it out the door during this transition period.
1669524181500.png

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Hi Steve,

Thank you very much for providing such a detailed explanation of events surrounding the mystery fire/ vinyl changeover thing, and my apologies if this topic has been dealt with before.

Sounds like you're way up on background knowledge here. All credit to you. If you don't mind me asking, what have been your go to sources of background info/intel regarding this subject over the years? Just asking out of curiosity.

So based on the information you have provided, it would explain that in my case, the Marti Report and door tag shows that my '73 Vert has a trim code CW - White knit vinyl, when in reality, my car left the factory with solid vinyl (Ruffino) and Corinthian combo seats, and does not display a three letter code. As you say above, this falls into the catagory of a mislabeled factory car. My label should have read, CWA, not CW. Now i get it. Would it also be fair to assume that no more Comfort weave vinyl was used for the remainder of the 1973 production year, directly after the fire and supply run out of Comfort weave ?
It;s also interesting to note that for 1973 Standard interiors(doors and seats), it appears that the Ruffino/ Corinthian combo was the go to choice - correct me here if i'm wrong.

Also, is there any light you could shed on this issue of the pearlescent sheen effect thing going on with the white colored vinyl? As i said in my initial post, my original factory white vinyl seats does not have this pearl effect thing going on, but my new replacement front seats from TMI Industries have the pearl effect finish. Another Forum member has stated above, that his original factory white vinyl has this pearl effect finish as well. That's confusing. Would you have any background knowledge as to why this would be?

Lastly, and on a different topic, i have always admired and loved the look of the course grained Ruffino vinyl seats on my car, and have received many a compliment on the appearence of my seats over the years from the public. Many people have claimed that my seats are made of a leather material, and don't believe me when i try and explain that they are made of all vinyl. I have never seen the appearance of the Comfort weave vinyl seats in real life, and never sat on one to try it out. So what's the general opinion of Comfort weave out there? It it considered more of a luxury look vinyl over Ruffino?, and what about the comfort level when you sit on the seats, as to how it feels up against your bare skin, or even with light clothing on? Comfort weave being the stock and trade go to vinyl choice from Ford, begs the question on how the public perceived or thought of the forced changeover to a solid vinyl.
A poor man's Comfort weave maybe?:unsure: Feedback here would be interesting. And what about the knitted vinyl?

See my pics below as an example of a few 1973 Verts up for sale a while ago. First up, note the Ruffino/ Corinthian vinyl combo, and like my own car, no apparent pearlescent sheen effect thing going on. On the second blue '73 vert, we seem to have an example of a white knitted vinyl used on the seats. On the third red vert, we see an example of an original Corinthian/ Ruffino vinyl with the pearl sheen effect thing. On the fourth example we have the Comfort weave. So it seems there were three different vinyl combos going on in 1973 - Comfort weave/ Knitted/ Ruffino. The plot thickens ! Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm--------
Lord Mr Ford!:giggle:

Thanks again Steve for all your great help and knowledge on this one. Any more help or insights would be appreciated.

Greg :)(y)
 

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I will comment that the black Comfort Weave seats in my '71 Mach 1 429 CJ-R with no AC are actually fairly comfortable to sit on in hot and humid summer weather. Not as nice as having AC of course, but my legs do not stick to the seats. Had a '68 Pontiac GTO way back in '80 with the black vinyl "Morrokide" seats, no AC of course, and those were a bugger to sit on in summer and it was my daily driver car.
 

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The advantage of ComfortWeave was it's "comfort", especially in a convertible. The woven vinyl does actually breathe and you'll find your backside less sweaty on a hot day.

Side story - I had to run to the hardware store one afternoon this past summer and my daughter wanted to go with me. She asked if we could take the wagon (solid vinyl bench), so we hopped in and she started flailing around in the seat next to me. Took me a second to realize the passenger side had been in the direct sun for some time and had heated up the vinyl. It was her first experience with a hot vinyl seat and shorts. She rode the two miles to the store hovering her backside off the seat.
 
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Hey Greg,
Like I've said quite a few times, trying to sort out and make sense of what was going on over 50 years ago on these assembly lines can be challenging. The present-day assembly lines are still running at a maddening pace with strict production schedules, but blips can and do still happen. But with robotics and plenty of computers monitoring everything, it is now more of a controlled chaos.

As far as experience, a lot comes from growing up in an all-Ford family. My Dad was great about raising the hood on family cars and pointing out all the different parts and what they did. When he returned from Viet Nam, he decided it was time to supplement the family car with something sporty. The '67 models had just come out, so the dealer had several '66 and '67 Mustangs on the lot. I tried my best to convince him that we REALLY needed that dark blue '67 GT fastback with a 390 and 4sp!! My Mom said she couldn't drive a manual transmission, so that went down in flames. We did end up with a '66 coupe with a 289 and A/T (Grrr). But with the Mustangs a very hot commodity, and one now in our driveway, I now had street cred in the neighborhood! Thus began my fascination and lifelong love for Mustangs and all things Ford.

I picked up some more experience with these four-wheeled beasts with close to 40 years of dealership work (or abuse). I only intended to stay there for a year. I don't know what happened! That put me in a lot of contact with engineers and knowledgeable people at Ford when seeking help with part-related issues. These are the same people I contacted when needing vehicle DSO information and those unique parts ordered. Even though I was still in the Military and stationed in Georgia in '73, I did ask them about the comfort weave issue back then. I explained that I had a '72 Gran Torino Sport with those seats, and everyone liked how they looked. One friend had bought a '73 early in the year and received the comfort weave seats. Another had ordered a '73 Sport later that year, and it came in with solid vinyl bucket seats, and he wasn't thrilled with them. My contact was familiar with that issue and explained what had happened and the fix. That is part of the info I posted earlier, including purging all seat cover part numbers on any vehicle that used that material from the soft trim section of the MPC. Several '74/ models were scheduled to receive that seat cover material, but that was all canceled.
I did accumulate a large amount of Ford to-dealer material over the years. Once the sales department found out about my "Pack-Rat" tendencies to collect those types of materials, they inundated me with all their previous model year printed materials/manuals during the new model launch. Unfortunately, almost all those items before 1989 were lost when the storage room they were stored in was destroyed during a hurricane. Trying to locate and replace some of those items has been a slow and expensive endeavor. I'll probably never find most, so I've concentrated on '71-3 specific items for now.

My opinion on the comfort weave seats....they are great! The seat material appeared to be and felt like cloth but could be cleaned like a standard vinyl seat. It was great to sit on in the summer and not have the back of your pants and shirt wet from sweat and stick to the seat. It did not feel like your tail was on a block of ice in the winter. That's why the two friends I mentioned earlier decided to trade after riding in my Sport during those ultra-hot mid-Georgia summer days and not have to change into dry clothes at your destination.
Hemikiller relating how his daughter was trying not to burn up on his wagon's all-vinyl seat took me back to my Myrtle Beach days. I had a dark green '67 Mustang with a black vinyl interior. Sitting all day with the windows up while my friends and I frolicked on the beach made my car not much more than a heat-collecting solar panel on wheels. After sitting on those seats with your saltwater-soaked and sweaty butts and arms, you could almost hear the sounds of bacon frying in a skillet. Trying to push the clutch pedal in, work the gas, and shift gears at the same time without my tail touching the seat should have qualified me for a job at the comedy club!

As far as the pearlescent sheen on the white vinyl material, sorry, I haven't seen that on any of my friend's vehicles. I had a '73 blue glow Mach 1 parts car with the white comfort weave seats, but they were so dirty they almost looked gray, so no help there. :)
 
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