When your Mazda needs new seat upholstery RIGHT NOW

Don’t wear shorts!

When a car has reached such a state of hooptietude that its owner refuses to spend one more dime on it, questionably innovative low-dollar repairs will take place… and, soon after, that car will end up at a nearby U-Wrench auto graveyard. I see many such repairs and/or upgrades during my junkyard wanderings, from door handles made of coat-hanger wire to rear glass made from trash bags and packaging tape to a pickup bed kludged onto a Dodge Neon. The problem of a shredded driver’s seat can be solved via a $15 junkyard replacement, or an even cheaper thrift-store seat cover, sure, but what if your wretched 1990 Mazda 323 isn’t worth even that much? Why, duct tape is your friend in this situation, as I saw during a recent junkyard visit in Denver.

I’m guessing that not many of these miles were endured with the duct-tape seat.

The car was thoroughly trashed, probably achieving Full Depreciation™ well over a decade back, but it served its owners faithfully over its 29 years on the road.


Duct tape doesn’t age so well when exposed to sun and heat, and High Plains Colorado offers more of both than most regions of our continent. Try to imagine easing into this throne on a 103° day with 4% humidity: the combination of nasty disintegrating plastic, toxic melting glue, itchy tape fibers and who-knows-what bodily detritus and fast-food crumbs attaching itself to your sweaty, suffering body.

Maybe a trash-bag seat cover would have worked better.

My guess is that one or two trips with the duct-tape seat inspired this car’s final owner to make that fateful phone call to the nearest wrecking yard.

Silicone sealant costs money, so the quarter-window repair happened during (relatively) high-rolling times.

Maybe the seat “repair” took place during ski season, when the sweaty-duct-tape-on-the-butt problem wouldn’t have been quite so severe.

I’m hoping this CO detector on the dash was a joke, not a necessity.

If you think your car has an exhaust leak, a stick-on carbon-monoxide detector isn’t the solution.

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