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 Over six decades of aftermarket and factory-fresh incorporation, RECARO has become a household name in the automotive scene. Best known, of course, for their performance seats, RECARO is celebrating the 60th birthday of their automotive seating division.

Technically speaking, the timeline began in 1906 when master saddler Wilhelm Reutter began crafting car bodies, interior bits and, you guessed it, vehicle seats. Back then, production was limited to either small batches or custom work. But let’s jump ahead to the buckets we know and love.

As the simple math suggests, things kicked things off in 1963 when Reuterr Carosserie became RECARO, introducing their first products to the automotive scene. In 1965, the brand launched their first retrofit seat for automobiles. The design incorporated foam upholstery and side bolsters– as one would expect from a RECARO.

It was 1967 when the first “shell seat” design was introduced as their first street-legal bucket seat, and 1974 saw the first RECARO racing seat, built with a double shell, and the first professional-grade seat. The 80’s saw a variety of ergonomic and safety updates, including the first commercial seat with a shock-cushioning system, the CSE extra comfort seat (first with memory function), and the Profi Class of seats– later renamed Commercial Vehicle line. At the end of this decade, the RECARO A8 was launched as the first performance seat with a glass fiber-reinforced plastic backrest.

Going into the 1990’s and 2000’s gave birth to more technology and innovations, including the RECARO Pro Racer in 1995, the first racing shell with head protection, and the first racing shell optimized for a HANS device (head and neck support system) in 2002. In 2005, RECARO’s first lightweight composite shell was released.


For those not up to speed on their RECARO lore, that should suffice as an adequate history lesson. As of late, the brand has launched the RECARO Sport C, “the first fully powered aftermarket sports seat” in 2022; and in 2023 RECARO is crafting a Bluetooth-connected, app-enabled seat with SMART Seating Technologies, as well as a new lightweight composite aftermarket seat.

The days of buying aftermarket buckets for your weekend project are far from over, but now it’s quite possible to get a RECARO mounted inside your ride straight off the assembly line, the iconic white headrest stitching in full-view of front profile glances. From American icons like the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro, European exotics like the Audi R8 and Porsche Cayman and 911, and Japanese greats like the Nissan GT-R and Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X, RECARO has offered itself up as either a sporty option or a standard-equipped necessity.

We get a kick out of learning about the origins of now well-known products and models; and if you do as well, be sure to check out our Retro Reviews on YouTube! In fact, here’s a review of the 2000 Ford Mustang Cobra R, factory-equipped with RECARO front seats.