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Old 03-03-2009, 03:02 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Custom Upholstery, Vinyl or Leather??? Which would you do?

As a lot of you know, my car is done, less the interior. I'm about to send it out to a local custom upholstery shop, and am torn between doing leather or vinyl interior.

My car is Lexus Indigo Ink, and I'm going with a Sage Tan interior. The current black FFR seats are going to get re-upholstered, ect.

I've got a lot of $$$ into the car, over 50k (ouch), and am wondering if a leather interior would add any substantial value to the car over the vinyl. Now, keep in mind, if I go with the vinyl, it is a high quality vinyl I'm speaking of.

My concerns of going the leather route are, it's more $$$, and living in S. Florida, I worry about getting caught in the rain in an open car w/leather interior, and what the water could do to the leather.

If you guys think it will add value to the car, if I decide to sell one day, I'll go the leather route, otherwise, I don't mind the vinyl. I'm really just thinking more about re-sale value.

BTW, here is the interior treatment the car is going to get. Dash covered in leather or vinyl, seats leather or vinyl, custom side door panels w/pockets, custom leather or vinyl tranny tunnel with custom shift and e-brake boots, custom dash glove box door, and custom (removeable) carpet in the cockpit and trunk.

Thanks, Rob.
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Last edited by ROB J; 03-03-2009 at 03:05 PM..
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Old 03-03-2009, 03:09 PM   #2 (permalink)
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If your going tan I'd go leather. I've never seen a tan vynil that looked all that good.
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Old 03-03-2009, 03:20 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Lex, my dash is currently covered with this tan vinyl material that I got from the upholstery shop, and the quality does not look bad. It's way better than the FFR tan vinyl. It has a slight orange hue to it, similar to Ferrari tan.

But, was thinking of re-doing it, when they do the interior. I'm personally happy with the quality of the material, but just wanted to get opinions if you guys thought it would increase re-sale value on the car. If you think it would, I'll have them re-do the dash in leather.
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1965 Buick Riviera Gran Sport (Currently undergoing a frame off restoration)
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2005 F150 FX4, Supercrew (Daily Driver)
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Old 03-03-2009, 03:23 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I have considered the same, but would go vinyl if it looks good. IMHO, you will NEVER get your money out of the car. Has anyone on this forum ever made a profit when they sold their car? I doubt it. I also have $$ in my car and soon to be $$$ after paint. Do you have an estimate on the interior? I would be interested in knowing what someone charges for that type of work.

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Old 03-03-2009, 03:27 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Rob, I am with your initial thought over what is going to wear better. With the sun exposure and potential rain, I would think the leather is going to take more work to keep it looking good.

_Scott
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Old 03-03-2009, 03:50 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Here is a pic with the dash currently covered in the same vinyl material I'll use for the seats, tranny cover, glove box, and side panels.

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SOLD: 10/4/10

1987 Buick Grand National (All original with only 16k miles)
1965 Buick Riviera Gran Sport (Currently undergoing a frame off restoration)
1965 Buick Riviera 401 car, unrestored survivor, driver.
2005 F150 FX4, Supercrew (Daily Driver)
2001 Dodge Grand Caravan (Beater)
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Old 03-03-2009, 04:44 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I few thoughts, I think you will find that leather is slightly cooler than vinyl of the same color. Leather will take more care - cleaning, oiling, etc. how likely are you to get caught in the rain? In other words, are you even considering a top?

What does the upholstery shop recommend?
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Old 03-03-2009, 04:53 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Rich, I am not considering a top.
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SOLD: 10/4/10

1987 Buick Grand National (All original with only 16k miles)
1965 Buick Riviera Gran Sport (Currently undergoing a frame off restoration)
1965 Buick Riviera 401 car, unrestored survivor, driver.
2005 F150 FX4, Supercrew (Daily Driver)
2001 Dodge Grand Caravan (Beater)
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Old 03-03-2009, 04:54 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I used a heavy grade of vinyl, some call it marine grade. I did not want to worry about the leather maintenance and conditioning, and the cost was certainly a factor. Leather will get just as hot or cold as vinyl. Also, since I have the high back seats, the upholsterer discouraged leather because of the compound curves on the seats. It came out great, and I am happy. Don't worry about the resale value, the new owner probably won't like the color anyway. At least that is what will be said when they are negotiating the sale.
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Old 03-03-2009, 05:14 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Leather really doesn't like exposure to rain or strong sunshine. You will be spending an awful lot of your time conditioning the leather instead of waxing the paint like you should....

Maybe I'm just too old school, but doesn't that tan seem to clash with the Blue a bit? I've always thought tan looked great with Reds, but not so much with darker colors like Blue, Black, etc....

Bob
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Old 03-03-2009, 05:33 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Leather

I plan on having my interior done in a custom medium brown color with leather seats, dash, basic door pockets and shifter & E-brake cover. (for comparison) I got a quote of $3,000 for the above plus carpet with water proof padding in the cockpit and trunk. I am still looking for the correct leather; color and texture. I saw the M-B McLaren SLR Roadster at the Chicago Auto Show and I need to track down the brown leather used for the inserts in the seats and door panels.

Leather is more comfortable to sit on then vinyl because the leather breaths whereas Slip-And-Slides are made of vinyl. Most all of my daily drivers have had leather seats and this includes a 10 year old Chrysler convertible that my son now has and the seats hold up just fine with a semi annual treatment of Luxor leather treatment.

For a high dollar Cobra roadster I think it is only fitting to have real leather. I wouldn’t pay $50,000 for a car with cheap Chinese plastic.

Jack
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