Arguably when building a show car, the main focus is usually a flashy paint job, a baller-status set of rims and a stereo system loud enough to kickstart the Zombie Apocalypse. But the novice builder usually overlooks the place they spend all their time in; the ride’s interior. Even if you check off every box when ordering your new Mopar, and get every possible bell and whistle, it’s still going to look like every other Mopar that rolls off the assembly line. And while now they’re offering plush Napa Leather seats and 8.4″ touchscreen radios, it’s up to you to take it to the next level. We here at Modern Mopar Magazine feel it’s our duty to let you in on some of the modifications we’ve grown to love and look for when selecting our feature vehicles. With some of these ideas, it’s possible to turn your commonplace interior into a lounge fit for a sultan!
Obviously the biggest statement you can make with your cars interior is reupholstering the seats. From the factory, your options on seat skins is sorely limited. Simple colors like black and grey are really all that’s on the menu. A factory red was added a couple of years ago, but if you’re still looking to take it to the next level, then the aftermarket is the place to turn. For almost 30 years, companies like Katzkin Leather have been whipping up the finest custom interiors on the market. With virtually endless customizing capability, you can let your imagination run wild. You can do a leather/suede combination to reach that elite pimp level status. Got a two-tone exterior paint job? It’s just as easy to carry the color scheme over to your seats and door panels. Or if you want to go retro, maybe an all white leather is the road for you. Katzkin is also the company of choice for Mopar with their limited edition rides. The “Mopar” Editions of the Challenger, Charger, 300 and Dart have all been produced with a custom Katzkin interior that complements the exterior of the car. Case in point is the Mopar ’11 Charger that has the blue stripe on the driver’s seat to go along with the full length offset racing stripe. This is also a good way to rejuvenate a tired interior, should you happen to purchase a pre-owned vehicle and want to spruce it up.
Sounds silly, right? It’s something you rest your feet on. But companies like Lloyd Mats can stitch you up a set of floor mats to add some detail to an otherwise utilitarian accessory. I remember back in the day where you had to specifically ask the dealer for some cheap mats just to protect your carpet. The other option was going to Pep Boys and buying a set of $10 mats just to cover up the rips and holes in your floorboards. But now you can get some plush carpet mats that are custom embroidered with almost anything your heart desires. Usually the only limitation is whether or not it violates any copyright laws, so make sure you purchase from a company who is officially licensed by Mopar. Another benefit to aftermarket floor mats is that the material will often be softer than the OEM and if you choose to take your shoes off at a show, it makes for a very comfy footrest.
Not to be confused with Plasti-dip, Hydro-dipping is a water based film transfer process that affords the builder an almost endless array of customizing ideas. SRT Charger owner Brad Jameson has raised the bar in interior modifications by “dipping” pretty much every component in his ride. Everything from the radio bezel, to the seat side bolsters, to the door handle surrounds was dipped in a natural carbon fiber finish. While carbon fiber of course is the most popular choice among enthusiasts, numerous other finishes are available should you want to go a little crazy. Skulls, true fire, camouflage and even a zombie print are all ways that you can personalize your cabin. Hydro-dipping also brings some color inside, as the first stage in the process is painting the parts that are to be dipped. So it becomes possible to create a red carbon fiber or purple flames. You do have to be careful though, as you’re paying for paintwork which, like getting a tattoo, becomes addicting and expensive. However, if you put your creative juices to work, going this route is a surefire way to have one of the most unique interiors out there.
If you’re on any Mopar related internet forum, you’ve no doubt heard the name Jina. Jina’s Sew Simple Embroidery has been helping modern Mopar customizers realize their dream interiors for years now. The vehicle owner sends Jina their parts, which usually include their headrests or center console covers, along with a high resolution image that they would like embroidered, and Jina works her magic. If your ride has a theme, such as Transformers or The Punisher, Jina can add the logos to help carry that theme throughout the car. It’s all about the details, and as you can see in the pictures, adding custom embroidery is definitely something to look into.
With the 2014 car show season looming on the horizon, we here at Modern Mopar Magazine know you’re going to be looking to rack up points on the show field and wow the judges. Consider some of the ideas you’ve seen here and let your imagination be your guide. We also encourage our enthusiastic Mopar owners to share their custom interiors on our Facebook (/modernmoparmag) and Instagram (@modernmoparmagazine) pages. We’d love to see them!
By: Shawn Kaufman