Austin Verts Heads Up On TMI Seat Vinyl

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Joined
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Brisbane - Australia
My Car
1973 Mustang Convertible
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. :)
Hey Steve,

Thank you very much for getting back to me, and going to the trouble of giving me a great detailed and broad background on your own and family history associated with Ford. Very interesting indeed.

From what you say, things at Ford must have been chaotic around the middle of 1973 with the run out of the Comfort Weave, and trying to come up with substitute fabrics, at fairly short notice. It seems that the Knitted Vinyl and the Ruffino Vinyls got the nod, and that was that. Sorry you are at a loss on the pearl effect thing going on with the white Corinthian/ Ruffino vinyls. As a Forum member commented above, different vinyl supply lots were probably offered up to Ford at the time, and these must have presented slight variations in the regular color and finish continuity of the vinyls. Interesting though how TMI would offer up the pearl variant or version as their take on the original factory version of the '73 white color seats.

Regards the Comfort Weave - again thanks for your feedback. It seems that this fabric represents a superior product to the solid vinyl fabrics in its ability to handle the hot direct sun and high cabin temp conditions, and take care of the sweat issues as well. It also has a very classy look to it in the bargain i would say. Comfort Weave wins hands down here i would think. I will make comment though, on my white vinyl seats, and say that over the years, there have been many times when i have left my car in the direct sun, top down and also top up with windows closed, and gone to sit on the seats, and have had no uncomfortable burning issues at all. I would put this down to the fact that being a white color, it does not capture and retain the heat as darker colored vinyls would, like black and dark blue or red. I guess with those Mustang owners with dark seat upholstery, there is always an option of buying cloth or sheepskin seat covers if the burning issue is that much of a big deal to them.

Thanks again Steve,

Greg.;)
 
Joined
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My Car
1972 Mustang Convertible, 351 C2V, 3 Speed Manual Transmission, Decor Group, Color Keyed Racing Mirrors. 6C Medium Goldenrod, White Knit Vinyl Bucket
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.

The Pearlescent effect is very faint, but it's there on ours. I will try to take a pic of it, but I doubt it will show.
 
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