A classic car should do more than look great on the outside; a well-constructed interior is just as important to the restoration process. But what kind of interior will best fit your classic car? There are a few factors you should consider.

Budget

Since the interior is sometimes the last part of the car to go in, restorers often wait to set this budget for the end. This is a mistake. If you cut corners in your budget, your interior will reflect it. Set a plan for what you want to spend on an interior in the beginning of your restoration, and stick to it.

Cloth is the most economical option for upholstery and can be the best choice if your budget is limited. It comes in a variety of textures and colors and is easy to personalize to your tastes. Depending on your make and model, you can find ready-to-install interior kits that could save you money.

Leather is a more expensive option, but for good reason. It is durable, easy to repair, and attractive. The smell and feel of leather can complete the look of your classic car. If you do choose leather, plan on spending money on a custom job. Be honest with yourself about what you want to spend.

Vinyl is an attractive option for those who want the look of leather without the price tag. It costs slightly more than cloth, is easy to clean, and lends an air of authenticity to a classic car, as most cars in the 1960s were upholstered in vinyl.

Audience

Who will be riding in your car? This is a major consideration for a car’s interior. If you have young children and plan to use your car often, then a leather interior is your best bet. Leather is easy to clean and does not absorb spills the way cloth does. You don’t want to replace the foam padding in your seats only to have them smell of spilled milk.

If you don’t have children or if your car is for adults only, you may opt for cloth. Just be aware that cloth is more susceptible to fading if you have a convertible model.

Climate

The last thing you should consider is the climate in which you’ll be driving. If you live in temperatures that run extremely cold or extremely hot, you might want to consider cloth. On the other hand, if you live in a moderate climate with lots of sunshine, leather is an attractive option. There is less fear of burning your legs on leather left in the hot sun in seasonable temperatures, and with leather, there is no risk of UV fading.

There are several factors to consider when choosing your upholstery. If you stick to your budget, consider your options, and maintain communications with your upholstery expert during the restoration process, you’ll end up with an interior you love.