How Much Is Too Much?

How much is too much when you’re going to customize an interior on your vehicle? Like a lot of things in life, “it depends”.

The question works in two different ways – one, how much customization can be done before things just start getting stupid?

As an example, should you have us install orange shag carpeting on the door panels, the headliner and the carpets in your car? How long will that be funny and/or cool to you?

Should you go to the expense of installing a pop-up projection screen and projector in the trunk of your car, so that you and your friends can park somewhere and watch a movie? Sure, it’s cool and unique, but you lose your trunk, and really, how many times are you actually going to use it?

The second way that “how much is too much” works as a great question to ask yourself, is, regarding the money you spend on the car’s interior, and just how much enjoyment or value you are realistically going to extract from that expenditure.

First of all, let me say that if you have a collector car, like, say, a numbers-matching 1970 Plymouth Superbird, you will decrease the value dramatically if you make even the slightest of modifications. Don’t do it.

But, if you have a regular car, and you want to make some modifications, is it worth it?

The answer is yes, if you feel the money you’re spending is commensurate with the value you’re getting, and, if you’re you’re going to keep the car long enough to enjoy the improvements (perceived or otherwise).

Here’s a not-so-hypothetical situation – you have a 2008 VW Rabbit (nee Golf) that has 153,000 miles on the clock, but it still runs perfect and it still looks great, too, because it been garage-kept and always driven only in California, so no salt or snow. But, the interior is looking a little worn, a couple of  drinks were spilled on those seats in those 153k miles, wet dogs were carried in the back seat, plenty of muddy shoes put on the carpet, etc. And the headliner is starting to come loose around an edge here and there.

Seatco will do the whole interior, carpets, seats (leather this time, it’s the same price), headliner, etc., for around $3800.

Worth it? Definitely worth it if you’re going to get another 50,000 miles out of it. Definitely not worth it if you’re only going to keep it for another 10,000 miles. The car is not worth very much, period, and maybe you could get $200 of the cost of the interior back if you sold it shortly thereafter.

But, if you’re going to drive it until the wheels fall off, that money is well-spent. It’s kind of like getting a new car for less than $4000.

On the other hand, if you just have a bunch of money, and you really want something cool done inside your car, then there is no point in doing all these bothersome cost/value calculations.

Let’s look at a real-life example of this. Barbara Hutton, the famous Woolworth’s heiress who was very, very wealthy, had seven husbands (one of them being Cary Grant), and a passion for conspicuous consumption, ordered a 1965 Ferrari 365 GTC with two important custom modifications that you couldn’t get from a dealer, and that she had to have. The first was red-pink paint that exactly matched her favorite shade of lipstick, and the second was the requirement that the whole interior had to fitted in pigskin. Yes, pigskin. A Ferrari cost a fortune then, as now, and this particular one cost a lot more, but, hey, the cost was nothing to her. She was incredibly rich! The car was delivered directly to her estate house in Morocco.

If you’re in that type of income bracket, then really, just go nuts. We can help you get crazy with a custom interior.

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