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Old 04-16-2014, 08:37 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Northern Louisiana
Posts: 448
MB Tex Vs. Leather

I like salvage yards, and I got to tour a fairly large u-pull today. I wanted to comment on the leather interiors in the cars I see there. The only cars I ever see with leather in any sort of decent condition is the old W126 or S-Klasse Mercedes-Benzes. Many times the finish will be worn off, but rarely are there any tears and the leather is sometimes not even hardened or dry-feeling.
The other Euro, Japanese and American cars will have rotten leather, dried out, shrinking and pulling at the stitches. The Japanese cars I looked at today had very thin leather, I suppose to make it more soft, but it was rotten. The Cadillacs seemed to have leather which was holding up somewhat better than the norm for American cars. Absolutely the upholstery in the best condition was the MB Tex in the 190s: rarely is it torn, and it is soft and supple. That stuff wears like iron. I hated to leave the seats in the cars I saw, they were so nice.
I wonder if the MB Tex in today's cars is the same material? If it is, it is a much longer-lived product than leather.
Providing a home for these cars:
1951 Buick Special De Luxe
1977 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith II
1970 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow
1986 Mercedes-Benz 420 SEL
2005 Mercedes-Benz E 320 CDI
2012 GMC Sierra 1500 4X4
1927 Pierce-Arrow Series 80
1931 Pierce-Arrow Series 43
1926 Ford Model T coupe
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Old 04-22-2014, 06:37 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Bethesda MD
Posts: 18
leather needs maintenance

Certainly after sitting in a salvage yard for years, I would expect MB Tex or any quality artificial material to endure better. Leather is a mammal skin. If it's better quality, aniline-dyed, leaving the pores open to nourishment, and is treated every 3 months or so with a good conditioner, it will last 20 years and more (1992 sedan, 124) (1992 Volvo 740, immaculate after 12 when
sold). If it's lower quality, and cheaply tanned and/or 'sealed' with top dying that blocks the pores, the result is inevitable.

I think in the long run, with 'average' levels of neglect, the MB Tex will endure better, but I doubt there are enough dedicated lotioneers to really compare leather's durability on a proper basis.
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Old 04-23-2014, 11:59 PM
dieseldiehard's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Bay Area No Calif.
Posts: 4,235
MB Tex is great material. I still drive a '79 300TD with MB Tex and only a small area on the drivers bolster where my seat belt rubs has shown wear, its still supple like the day it was made!
OTOH, I bought seat covers from a well known reputable seat material supplier for a '75 230 and later moved them to my '71 220. I have to tell you aftermarket stuff is trash! It started rotting a few years after it was installed now its split at the seams. Bad deal!

The leather seats in my wife's '99 E300D has been covered with sheepskins since I bought it, I afraid to remove them but from a quick peek I saw its cracked a lot, the PO lived in the desert and hot, dry weather made it deteriorate.
'00 E320 (wifes car), '95 E320 Wagon my favorite road car. '99 E300D wolf in sheeps body, '87 300D Sportline suspension, '79 300TD w/ 617.952 engine at 367,750 and counting!
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