Oct 14, 2020 update to the BMW M3 project car

Project BMW M3: Sisal Floor Mats Capture a Retro Cool and, Yes, Talking About Floor Mats Again

Floormats? How hardcore is that? They might not make you faster, but floor mats exist for a reason: They block sound and heat while giving the dirt somewhere to land. Back in olden times, it was either floor mats or bare metal. It was like the first accessory that you bought for your Porsche 356.

We talked about floor mats a while back with our Toyota Tundra when it received a set from WeatherTech. The comments showed that we weren’t the only ones who appreciate a good mat. 

The mats in our 2004 BMW M3 were done. The hook-and-loop mounting tabs had pulled loose, while the backing materials was coming off and making a mess out of things. We weren’t going to glues these back together. End result: sad mats that slid around and looked, well, tired. 

Floor mats even came up when talking M3 stuff with James Clay at BimmerWorld. He sells a lot of mats, he reports. 

Most people put in the factory stuff because it actually makes your car feel factory new for some reason,” he told us. “I splurged and did it on one of my cars and was shocked at the difference they made.”

BimmerWorld’s catalog includes a few options for factory mats, with a velour set for front and rear retailing for about a hundred bucks. For half that, though, BimmerWorld will sell you some genuine BMW rubber mats. 

We like factory stuff, but sometimes you gotta go off the rack. An article about sisal mats on the Classic Motorsport site got us thinking. 

Sisal mats are a close cousin of coco mats. Those mats, woven from natural coco fibers, have been a favorite in the sports car world going back to the ’50s. They add a certain warmth to the cabin, both literally and figuratively. 

Sisal mats come from the Agave sisalana plant,” Jeff Allwine told Classic Motorsports. Who’s Jeff? He owns a company called CocoMats.com and has become the go-to source for these mats in the U.S.–yet it all started with a shipment sent to him by mistake. Seriously, check out the story. It shows how opportunity can come knocking at any time. 

So if coco mats are a product of the ’50s–think German cars, in particular–sisal mats joined the scene in the ’70s. Again, they were–and still are–popular in German cars. Where coco mats feature a thicker weave, sisal mats are a bit slimmer. Sisal mats come in solids and checkers, with the latter arriving back during a BMW promotion. 

We did some simple math: retro, cool looks plus the right colors and a tie to the brand meant that we had to splurge–figure about $220 for a two-piece set. To us, at least, sisal mats look like something fitting for nearly any occasion, from a vintage concours to Radwood to Simply Clean. If they’re good enough for Steve McQueen, right? 

CocoMats.com makes everything to order–they have a zillion patterns on file–but that still means just days and not weeks. Our mats arrived bagged and boxed. As promised they have the corresponding hook-and-loop mounts and fit like the factory pieces. They’re heavy, too, as each mat features a thick rubber backing.

Final thoughts: They fit perfectly, look rad, and make us smile. 

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