Ford Mustang Brochure Red Interior Scanned

From Red Hot to Red Not

When this car was purchased it's largest selling point was the bright red leather interior. Not just a bright red leather interior - the red hot interior from the sales brochure! As an upholsterer at the time, these were the seats to have. After a dozen years (2006 - 2018) in the scorching Florida sun, the seats had lost their original softness and began to wear down.

Mustang Red Leather Seats (with wear)

The dye of Fords red leather began to fade to a pale red where it faced any sort of wear. The bright red leather that seemed to scream "Look-At-Me" was now the blemish to an otherwise beautiful Mustang. To turn back the seat-odometer we opted to replace the seats with a pair of seats made by our Custom Seat Build department. Our team sourced replacement foam through the dealership and replacement leather was supplied by Katzkin.

Custom Styling with Katzkin Leather

Ford Mustang Katzkin S197 2005 - 2009 Seats - Custom Made To Order

While the striking red leather seats had sold the car, the option to choose almost any combination of colors was a little too much to turn down. We opted for a two tone leather interior drawing inspiration from the Mustang GT C/S. Similarly to the California Special, these seats would be wrapped in a black leather. Instead of dove gray inserts, perforated red leather was used. Red contrast stitching was used throughout to provide additional highlights. The carpet was also replaced with replacement from Auto Custom Carpets.

Heated & Cooled S197 Mustang Seats

Ford never offered heated and cooled seats in the S197 - this feature wouldn't see release until the S550 generation. To get heated & cooled seats functioning in the S197 we opted to use the Degreez climate control system from Katzkin. Degreez is a seat heating and cooling system offered through Katzkin. Professional installation is required. This complete system must be paired with special leather, backing materials, and custom foam to function. Our team added all of these features to the seats giving a sense of luxury that you wouldn't normally find in the S197. The air blowing through the ventilation holes is truly cold. Degreez uses REAL thermoelectric coolers to cool down the air that is then forced through the ventilation holes. For more on this, read our article: How Air Conditioned Seats Work.

Katzkin Seats & Degreez Review

Mustang Katzkin Leather Seats - S197

The Katzkin leather kit, when installed professionally, will fit like a glove. There is some minor wrinkling to be expected when the install is very fresh, but after a few days of adjustment the leather should be form-fit to the seat. Heat helps speed up this process.

As we are located in Central Florida we made full use of the suns energy, allowing the leather to settle for a few days before the owner took the vehicle. During this time it's not uncommon to see us giving seats a massage to help the leather really get into place.


Ford Mustang Red Leather Seats

This kit was installed in June of 2018. In June of 2024 this vehicle returned to our facility for some door panels and we couldn't pass up the opportunity. After six years we expected to see a fair amount of wear, especially since this vehicle is almost exclusively used for short drives. There's a lot of getting in-and-out that happens over 45,000 miles of short drives! The seats were looking a little dirty as the vehicle was more than due for a detail.

With a little freshening up we were very happy to see that the Katzkin Leather had held up incredibly well. There was fairly minor evidence of wear. This incredible durability is thanks not only to the fantastic leather provided by Katzkin, but also to the end-user who took good care of their vehicle and kept their leather cleaned and conditioned.

Final Thoughts

Overall Katzkin leather is a fantastic product. We've been working with Katzkin for years without a single quality issue with the product to-date. As for the appearance of the installation, this is very much dependent on factors outside of just the leather. As they say, you can put make-up on a pig... If your seats need replaced, don't just cover up the issue. Make sure you're addressing any potential problems with your seat frame, sourcing replacement foam when necessary, and picking a good installer.

As for the Degreez system, the verdict is in. It was cool when it came out and it's still cool til this day. Jokes aside, we're actually very impressed with the performance of the Degreez system six whole years after it was installed.

Check out the full size photo gallery below.

Ford Mustang Red & Black Katzkin Leather Seats - Passenger Side
Ford Mustang Red & Black Katzkin Leather Seats - Driver Side
Ford Mustang Red & Black Katzkin Leather Seats