“Just like a house, the interior of a Mustang should reflect the personal style of whoever drives it.”
A thick, 3-spoke steering wheel, pod style air vents that match the large, round separated tach and speedometer– all are features reminiscent of past Mustangs. The ductile dash flows into an uncluttered radio and HVAC system, matching the ergonomic trend of modern styling. Firm leather seats hold you in place while pushing the limits of the car, but not so firm as to be uncomfortable during long drives loping down the freeway. Yes, the interior of the S197 Mustang is a pleasing blend of new and old. The Pony car look is retained but with a subtle infusion of luxury.
Wrapping the Dash
So far, all of the above has provided good form with excellent functionality. For those seeking to further improve the aesthetics of the interior cabin, consider joining the modern day composite trend by installing a carbon fiber dash overlay kit. Pre-cut vinyl wrapping embossed with a carbon fiber pattern is used to cover the dash, entertainment center, center console, steering wheel spokes and even interior door trim. Extremely smooth to the touch, the carbon fiber overlay kit gives the interior a stealth fighter-esque demeanor.
Stretching Out in the Back
Officially, the Mustang is a 4 seat car; unofficially, it is a 2 regular seat, 2 child seat car (who says the Mustang wasn’t a family car?!). Basically, if you have legs, you barely fit in the back. Keeping with the racing motif of above, why not do away with the cruel joke that is the back seats. A rear seat delete kit is a specifically tailored panel to bolt in place of the rear bench, all you have to do is remove the rear seats, bolt in the new upholstered panel and you’re ready to go. Removing the rear seats will shed some weight and open up space for a serious nitrous kit or a banging stereo system.
Sitting Down and Strapping In
If you’re looking to hunker down without giving up luxury, consider Corbeau CR1 racing seats. Aggressive shoulder hip and thigh bolsters ensure that the driver stays planted when pulling g’s through a mean turn or hard acceleration. Don’t think that these seats are solely for racing. Made of cloth and leather, the under padding is firm enough for racing but surprising comfortable for touring as well. The way they hug your body gives an added feeling of security but will not induce claustrophobia.
If you like to “lean back” fear not, as unlike many other racing seats that are fixed in an upright position, the Corbeaus are fully reclinable, allowing you to dial in the perfect position for maximum comfort. The CR1’s are made with a harness pass-through, which as the name implies, is a reinforced area for a multipoint racing harness to pass through, should you decide to install one.
Of course, if one is going with the racing seats, they probably want a racing harness as well. Schroth makes an excellent 4-point “QuickFit” harness to go alongside the CR1 seats. The idea behind a 4-point harness is of course to keep you sitting in your seat, be it for racing or in the event of a collision, two belts drop vertically over your shoulder connecting to the lap belt, which itself is positioned lower across the pelvis to prevent you from sliding under as is possible with traditional belts. Getting in and out is relatively simple as the belt uses a quick latch system, as opposed to the more cumbersome, traditional latch-and-link style. The QuickFit is also designed to work with the factory seat belt receptacles, allowing for uninterrupted use of the factory tensioners and seat belt warning system.
GT500 Style Pedal Covers
Pedal covers are one of those small but noticeable interior mods you can knock out in fifteen minutes or less during the week. No downtime, no messy installation and instant gratification—you’ll feel the fresh grip every time you drive. Best of all, the GT500 inspired styling will demand attention every time you open the driver’s door. One bummer though, this kit does NOT fit 2010-2014 Premium Mustangs.
A Classic Centerpiece
For manual Mustangs, the last thing to give the interior some personal pop is the shift knob. Always a popular modification to 5-speed Pony’s, there isn’t a more classic knob than a nostalgia inducing black retro shift ball. The iconic round ball screws right in place of the original, further combining the retro-modern look that is the S197 Mustang.
Windows Down, Volume Up
Speaking of a banging audio system, the stock head unit, perhaps a fresh look in 2005, is now a very dated look in 2016. It is also amusing to note that the stock stereo piece in the Mustang is the same 7”x4” one that is used in the Freestar, which is a people hauling minivan, not a go fast pony car. Keeping the minimalist look but greatly increasing the functionality is made easy with the Raxiom radio and navigation system.
Designed as a double-DINN drop in replacement (double-DIN radios measure 7”x4” whereas single-DIN units measure 7”x2”, thus double-DIN have larger screens), the Raxiom Gen2 is many steps up on the factory piece. Also included is a factory style dash bezel so that the radio can be mounted flush, maintaining the original sleek appearance.
The unit features built in GPS navigation, Bluetooth connectivity (Apple & Android compatible) and the necessary pieces to add and control a backup camera. The touch screen provides a slick interface to operate all the features and has conventional tactile controls at the top for eyes-free operation.
Padding with a Purpose
A custom trunk mat like Lloyd’s black tri-bar offering is a modification tailor-made for the person looking to win at their next car show, but it is equally revered by Mustang owners with a keen sense for the small, personalized touches that make a particular Mustang stand out from the rest. You’re not going to lower your quarter mile times with this upgrade, but in five minutes or less you’ll have installed another affordable and stylish way of showing off your appreciation of the Mustang’s rich and well-celebrated history.