68 xr7 seat reupholstery question

Hi all,

I am looking into getting my front buckets and rear bench seats redone.

The seats are original, so they need new leather/vinyl and I should think new foam/padding should be done as well.

I have been looking on-line, and I can get the vinyl covers for the front buckets and rear bench at a number of cougar shops.

one place, however, offers a service of getting my seats redone and shipped back to me completely finished. This is Ken’s Cougars.

Has anyone had this done by Ken’s Cougars, and if so, can you share with me your experiences with this vendor? I am not sure if I am going vinyl or leather, although I am currently leaning toward vinyl because of the cost and what I have left to complete on my car. Still, I would like to get the job done correctly regardless of what material I choose.

I would like to know how happy or unhappy you were with the work that was done, or if you would suggest I look somewhere else (like maybe a local shop) to do the job. I could buy the materials I guess (the foam inserts and covers are available for the bucket seats, and I assume they could cut the correct foam for the rear… or perhaps I could just give them the covers and let them cut the foam for both front and back).

anyway, as you can tell, any info would be appreciated!

I have a 68 XR7, and will be looking to get the seats redone in black, if this matters or if you were wondering… if you have any other info you would need in order to answer this properly, let me know.

There has been a lot of controversy about Ken’s over the years although I haven’t heard much recently. Many people have had bad experiences and many have good things to say. Because of this uncertainty, I deal with other Cougar parts vendors. I will order upholstery kits and then have them installed locally.

I redid my front and rear seats using a vinyl kit from Autokrafters and front foam from WCCC. The back seats don’t use normal foam, they use a padding material with some burlap to cover the frame.
I did it all myself, but it was tough. The rears weren’t really bad to do, but the buckets were a real pain. Now that I have done them once I learned a few tricks to make it a little easier for the next set I do.
Take the new foam and new skins to your local upholsterer for installation if you have more money than time, effort, and patience.
When I lived in Edmond, Ok I went to Kens a couple of times for a few parts. He does very good work but in my opinion is way too conceited to buy from again, and he is very pricey. I ordered everything else from Don at WCCC and was very happy to do so. I would happily wait a few days for delivery than have to deal with Ken ever again. Just my 2 cents.
By the way, if you have headrests and they need to be redone, your local shop will have to custom make the new covers. I have not found replacement headrest covers anywhere yet.

Thanks for the feedback.

Can i ask what Ken did to make you feel he was arrogant and you wouldn’t do business with him ever again? That’s a very bad first impression, and if there are others that feel this way, I wonder how he is in business if he just sells cougar parts.

If someone has ever had their seats done by Ken’s, i’d love to hear from you.

I live too far from Ken’s, so I would have to mail my seats and get the. Mailed back to me… All while trusting him to do a job that even with vinyl will cost over a grand. That’s a pretty big ticket item for someone who people don’t have a good feeling about.

There is no reason to send your seats to someone across the country. Any competent local upholstery shop should be able to source the leather and create seat covers from scratch that match the factory patterns. It usually isn’t much more expensive than buying pre-sewn kits and having them installed.

I ordered replacement seat upholstery from Ken’s and had a local shop install them. I’m very satisfied with the product from Ken’s; fit and finish are real good. The only drawback I experienced was that the original “comfort weave” was no longer available although the replacement looks almost the same.

I’ve always ordered my upholstery from John’s Classic Cougars and had a local shop install them. It’s always come out great and I don’t have to worry about damaging expensive material through inexperience.

I think that you would be farther ahead to either just purchase premade covers and have a local shop do the install or have a local shop make their own covers and do the work right there. By having a local shop do the work you will be able to stop in and check on the progress and if needed provide some light encouragement to get the job done. And in the unlikely event that there is a problem you do not have far to go to get it fixed. Plus shipping those seats back and forth is going to add $150-200 to the total expense. Stay local, you will be happier.

Randy Goodling
CCOA #95

Thanks all.

I have found a few local shops that i will be visiting in the next couple of weeks to make my choice. But before i go, I did want to ask some questions for those of you who have nee through this already.

  1. if i purchase the covers and take them to get installed, should I also purchase the 68 XR-7 seat cushions that are available at a number of retailers, or should i let the shop put their own foam inside the seat covers?

  2. i don’t know how easy or hard it is to copy the grain and patterns of a car seat, but do local shops work in both vinyl and leather, and have the capability to match the interior they are replacing with their own materials?

3). Would it be best to just buy the seat covers and cushions and hand them off, while permitting them to fill the rear seat however they want and ask them to cover the seat bottom in burlap? Nwill they know what was used in the 68 rear seat, or if i give them my current seat and they tear it down, will they just use that same material in the new seat?

  1. finally, has anyone permitted a local shop to do leather, were you pleased with the accuracy, and was there a significant savings from buying leather covers from, say John’s, (who i have heard from a number of folks do a great job with their leather seat covers).


I had a local shop do the whole job. He made the covers and provided the foam. I did not purchase a kit from anyone. This shop does a lot of restoration and street rod custom work so he was very willing to work with me to provide as close a match as possible. We spent some time going through his sample books to find material that matched the original grain very closely. This was all in real leather, no vinyl, 68 XR-7. They came out great.

Randy Goodling
CCOA #95

There are no correct XR7 seat cushions reproduced. There are some that are advertised as being compatible, but they are not correct. I would let the shop make their own replacements if you want to stay as close to original as possible. And you need to let them dismantle the original seats if you want them to return them to original. Much easier than trying to communicate what you want.

I talked to a local shop that has done a lot of interior work for me on previous Cougars about doing my Cougar seats and even about becoming a second source for them. In the process, they walked me through all their books so I think they could produce a close match. But they weren’t going to be any less expensive than John’s. It seemed easier to just order them from John and have the shop install them for me.

The seats came out great and now I have a set on order with John for B3Cat, this time in vinyl rather than leather since B3Cat is going the custom route.

I ordered front seat upholstery from WCCC and installed it myself. And, it was a pain to do. It’s hard on my candy-ass computer hands. My foam was good. The guys at WCCC were great and they look awesome. I’d post a photo if I had one. Maybe later.