Sheepskin: Good or Baaaad?

Mercedes have traditionally had firm and fairly flat seats that most anyone could fit. They were seats befitting a comfortable, serious vehicle finished in high-grade fabrics and stuffed with distinctive horsehair padding that had an unmistakably earthy scent unique to European interiors from the 1960s.

It was not unusual for owners to add a pair of sheepskin seat covers to these firm and flat seats. Cool in summer and warm in winter was how they were billed. And it was the truth.

Things changed when heated seats became the norm in the 90s, as did a more form-fitting seat reminiscent of something you were more likely to find in a BMW or Porsche. Seats were no longer a piece of leather and chrome-adorned furniture inside your car. They were a lot closer to a high-performance shoe that cradles your body as you run your vehicle through its paces. Plus sheepskin seat covers didn't make a lot of sense for a narrow sport seat that could be heated, or even cooled, on its own. For all these reasons, sheepskin started to fall out of fashion among Mercedes owners right around the 1990s.

Like so many things on these cars though, the A124 seats were neither here nor there. They were modern, yet classic at the same time, so they had modern optional equipment fitted like heat and even orthopedic adjustments, yet they had that wide flat shape found on seats from the 60s.  Pity they are also covered in what feels like a lower grade of leather that's a step down from the German Roser leather found on the classics.

All of these make Cabriolet seats ideal for a pair of sheepskin seat covers. I found a new-old-stock OEM pair on craigslist outside Washington, DC. Owned by a W124 enthusiast, they were still in the original box with part numbers still attached.

I must admit that I wasn't sure I'd like them. (Frankly, they reminded me of a fur coat.) It took some time getting accustomed to seeing these covers on the seats, but after driving a few hours in them, I now understand their appeal. They take the scorching sun off the leather, they support my back, and the fit and color are flawless. Even installation was simple. Each seat cover is held on by three elastic straps.

If you can find a set of factory sheepskin seat covers, I highly recommend you consider them. Go for the factory part though. If memory serves, I've seen multiple seats on ebay.