Q: Saddle Leather Int (281) 1968
While we are on the topic of seat material, can you clear up for me when the leather seats became available and in what colors?
A: Leather was an option in late 1968 on the Firebird starting June 6th 1968. It was only available with the Custom Trim Option and was only available in one color…. code 281 which a Saddle color. This is a very rare option and has only been documented on a few 1968 Firebirds in the Registry.
A: I have taken several pics (yet to be scanned though) of the interior of my RA convert which has factory ‘saddle trim’ (ie leather). the leather was just redone this past spring but it is nearly identical in color feel and apperance as the original. the rest of the interior is factory orig. the door panesl are ‘faux’ leather grain. the backs of the seats are orig (and are also tan). the dask is gold/tan and is in great condition but looks very different (ie when you are VERY used to seeing first gens with the black and occasional red dashes). other oddities of this option include a ‘tan’ carpet as standard. also my deluxe wheel is tan to match the interior. again, ill gladly post what i have if anyone would like to the set up.
A: The URLs for the saddle leather interior (281) for his 1968 RA I are found at the following links:
A: In response to his’s query about leather, it was offered in several GM cars, my 1969 album shows leather in Bonneville Brougham convertible (black only) and available in the Grand Prix (green, gold, black) as well as Firebird (trim 293 gold). The 1968 Firebird also offered leather (trim 281 saddle). The Firebirds were based on the Custom trim option, with the entire seat face in leather, just the sides were expanded Morrokide (actually Madrid grain vinyl). This is different than the Custom trimmed seats; they had a bolster panel of Madrid on each side of the 4 wide strips of knit-weave vinyl.
I believe the leather to be one of the rarest options in Firebirds. After almost 20 years of searching, I found a restorable 1969 interior for my 1969 Sprint convertible, and the guy who sold it thought there were 54 cars built in 1969 with leather. I have been around these cars 25 years, and have only heard about or seen maybe 4 69’s and 2 68’s with leather. One of them is Scott Misus’ 1969 Sprint hardtop, another is a Sprint convertible that was listed on the owner’s listing of that “jersey68” list. (Whatever happened to that guy, did he just abandon that list? It never seems to be updated!)
One odd thing I saw at the Irvine CA POCI meet was a restored 69 convertible that showed Burgundy/Leather on the trim tag (PNT65/TR293), but the car had Parchment Custom and I don’t remember what color it was repainted. I never found the owner to ask him about the car. My album does not show this combo to be available, but it’s what I would like my Sprint convertible to be. Who knows what may have slipped through on an order form? The album shows black, white, gold, champagne, maize, yellow, brown, and 3 greens could be had with any gold interior, but no reds, blues, or silver.
While I was digging around my parts book, I learned something else that may be of interest regarding the 1968 Custom interiors without the knit-weave inserts. There are “first type-w/grained vinyl fabric” and “second type-w/knitted vinyl fabric” listed, and this only applies to a few colors. They are Teal (255), Turquoise (256), Gold (257), and Parchment (260, and 275 bench seat). I seem to recall seeing a couple of Black interior cars, but my parts book is dated July 1, 1969 and didn’t indicate any 1st/2nd type material for any black interior codes.
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Content last modified: January 25, 2014 at 10:23 am