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Hot Rods Seat belts in hot rods, do you have em?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Roothawg, Jun 9, 2015.

  1. Great belts above... I used some leftover RJS racing seat belts in an old Chevy before, had a great look to them. Almost went with them for the Ford, but I'm going 3-point instead.
  2. Shamus
    Joined: Jul 20, 2005
    Posts: 1,217

    from NC

    Have lap belts in my '34 roadster - not in rumble seat, factory belts in my 3 Chevelles & 3 pointers in my '55, '56 & '67 trucks. Bought my 1st new car in '64 (Nova SS, 283, 4 speed, posi,etc) my wife insisted on seat belts, an option at the time. I did not usually use them when driving by myself, but one evening after getting gas I put them on & just as I made a left turn off of a 4 lane divided road to my street I got T boned hard. Flipped over several times stopping just before the big window of a market, windshield popped out & landed 200 feet away, crushed the passenger bucket seat to about 6 inches & slammed the shifter into my hip, totaled the car w/2700 miles. Sore as hell & bruised but otherwise OK - been wearing them since.
  3. In all the years I have been motoring around in the 40, I have never had them. As I get older I start to think more about it though, but I wonder..... how effective would they be without the airbags and crumple zones and collapsible steering columns. A lap belt would just make sure that my face would hit the steering wheel dead on! But I still think about putting them in.............
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  4. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 22,071


    Thanks for the input guys. I am leaning heavily towards some sort of 3 point. It may take some engineering, but I think that is the safest option.
  5. wallyringo
    Joined: May 19, 2010
    Posts: 709


    I use them for two reasons, 1st. about 20 years ago i was cruising with a buddy, took a corner to fast he slams into the door and grabbed the door handle, opens the door and almost falls out but i grabbed his shirt and stopped him in the nick of time. 2nd. reason I cruise with my children with two car seats, 1 teenager.
  6. I was heavily involved in traffic safety issues for more than 16 years. Seat belts save lives, there's absolutely no doubt. Much better off to remain strapped inside, regardless of how violent the wreck. Get 'em; wear 'em.
  7. At least lap belts. 3-point if there is sufficient structure to bolt the upper shoulder mount. I usually get seatblets out of junkyard, prefer the older style, not like used in new cars.
    gimpyshotrods likes this.
  8. flathead4d
    Joined: Oct 24, 2005
    Posts: 889


    Installed 3 point belts in my 50. They are not required in Michigan if the car didn't originally come with them.
  9. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 19,204


    I have belts in everything, with heavily reinforced attachment points.
  11. Special Ed
    Joined: Nov 1, 2007
    Posts: 7,034

    Special Ed

    I really don't understand why there is any debate. Seatbelts HAVE saved, and WILL save many, many more lives than they have ever potentially injured anyone. That's a verifiable fact.

    Do you really want to tempt fate? Become a Darwin award winner? Go ahead, the gene pool could always use a good cleansing ...
    Dean Lowe likes this.
  12. BobF
    Joined: Dec 30, 2004
    Posts: 230

    from Poway, CA

    Never had em any any of the old cars until we rolled the 31 Vic over at 70+ coming back from the Vegas run in 94. We were very fortunate (LUCKY) neither of us were seriously hurt, more damage from the suit cases and a cooler flying around in the car. Now the Vic and 49 PU have 3 pt and the 28 rdstr has lap belts..
  13. I just (2 days ago) bought a set of lap belts for my 39 pickup. They're not what I want to have ultimately but I Really want to run it down the drag strip next week and they're required so they'll do while I shop around for something better. Not sure either on the upper attachment for the shoulder harness in my lil pickup- weld a plate in the corner?
  14. I have 3 point belts.
    Mandatory here after a certain date, of which I'm not sure, maybe mid fifties.
  15. First time I drove my roadster on it's maiden voyage, down my street, no seat belts and the seat wasn't bolted down, I was excited, yes, but scared to pieces.
    I put seat belts in it the following week and bolted down a new bench seat.
    The first trip up on the highway over 70 mph I still felt uneasy.
    I had a guy at a chassis shop build a sturdy roll bar and install a hidden cage thruout the body.
    I feel very comfortable in it now.

    It took me one head on collision in a Bronco ll, while stupidly not wearing seat belts, about 20 years ago to learn a hard lesson.
  16. Blue One
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 11,191

    Blue One
    from Alberta

    My 26 RPU is getting lap belts, I previously owned a 36 sedan which had no belts at all in it.
    I felt uneasy and almost vulnerable riding in it and had I kept it, seat belts would have been installed for sure.
  17. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 15,616

    from oregon

    There needs to be some debate about choosing attachment/reinforcements as much as which style/brand to use.
    Many years ago when trying to decide on seats, belts etc. for my roadster, I happened to sit in a repro. Cobra that had seats like I wanted, not too long after that; this very car was in a
    horrific accident where both the driver and passenger were killed.
    The passenger was the son of a fellow club member, they were both thrown out of the car, still strapped in their seats. This incident hammered home the value in correctly attaching seats and belts in any car, in this case a roadster.
    I have seen countless times where the seat and belt mounting appeared to be an afterthought, probably because this is the last part of most builds, I get how easy it is to be excited to finally get a car on the road, I have been guilty of this myself in my younger years.
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2015
  18. Dooley
    Joined: May 29, 2002
    Posts: 2,750

    from Buffalo NY

    I have 3 point non retractable belts in my 36 with lap belts in the rumble seat as well.
  19. Lowbuckboz
    Joined: Apr 2, 2008
    Posts: 500



    Attached Files:

    Runnin shine and warbird1 like this.
  20. I have lap belts in my '30 and '34 pickup. I have always had them and used them long before it was "the law".
  21. wingman9
    Joined: Dec 30, 2009
    Posts: 804

    from left coast

    sed027.jpg You bet I use them...
  22. captain scarlet
    Joined: Jun 11, 2008
    Posts: 2,418

    captain scarlet
    from Detroit

    Read this whole post - at risk of picking fights, one thing that is a fact no car designed pre war has a structure strong enough for a 3 point seat belt at the B pillar. There needs to be structure added to the pillar as well as a tapping plate for the bolts.

    Most 50's cars also will need more metal in the pillars to keep you in the seat.

    Think of it this way. When the car stops instantly you don't unless the seat belt mountings are good enough for a 300lb load. This is with out the violence of a roll over.
  23. wicarnut
    Joined: Oct 29, 2009
    Posts: 8,141


    Put lap belts in all my cars and I use them.
  24. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,792

    Member Emeritus

    I have them in my T Bucket but only used them once. After a wreck in the same T Bucket, I still don't wear them. My car is fiberglass with an 11 gallon gas tank right behind me. In a heavy hit, I'll take my chances on where I land rather than be cut up and burned to death.

    I let my passengers make their own choice.

    On the edge? Nope. Just simple logic.
  25. Here's another tip: If you are salvaging used belts from a boneyard or pick-n-pull, get the belts from the back seat, or at a minimum, the clicking latch (small) end from the passengers' sides. Why? Far less usage, and more likely to "click." I've replaced the driver's seat short end on my OT DD after 400,000 miles when the latching end wore out. Got the front passenger's buckle as a replacement.

    DDDenny, that is a heartbreaking cautionary tale. A stable, integral anchor is a must for any restraint system to . . . well, restrain. These old cars take more than just bolting the belts to sheetmetal.
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 2,422


    My convertible has belts from the donor car that I used the seats from an 84 Olds Toronado. My 39 Ford used nelts from Julianos
  27. sunbeam
    Joined: Oct 22, 2010
    Posts: 5,394


    Most states require them and early cars are not grandfathered in.
  28. okiedokie
    Joined: Jul 5, 2005
    Posts: 4,386

    from Ok

    Juliannos has a pretty neat piece to install in b pillar in 40's to allow three point. Take a look at there tech section on installing in a 40.
    OL 55 likes this.
  29. If the car had seat belts from the manufacture they are required,if the car was built before
    January 1,1968 they are not required in South Carolina. HRP
  30. buikwag
    Joined: Apr 21, 2005
    Posts: 472

    1. Buick Nailheads

    I've got lap belts in the front and rear of my 56 Buick Wagon!!!!

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